The Story of Barsisa
Fatwa No: 370798

  • Fatwa Date:18-2-2018 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 3, 1439
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Assalamualaikum. I had heard many times the story of Barsisa. But I have some questions and confusions regarding the story. So I need a fiqhi analysis of the story, how can we apply the story to our day to day lives. Otherwise, there's no point in relating it! My questions are, 1) At first it says, the shaytan told barsisa, that he should take care of the girl, because no other people in that locality is good. My question is how does the narrator know, it is the shaytan who told him?2) Is it haram to take care of that girl when there is nobody trustworthy enough? I mean, Zakariyya (As) was Non Mahram to Mariyam As, but still took care of her. 3) Why did the other people from that community not go to Jihad, when the brothers were going? If it is because the the Jihad was an offensive one, then why did the all of them were going to Jihad leaving their sister?4) Even if they wanted to go to Jihad, why didn't they take their sister also? The women can help in nursing the soldiers in Jihad! 5) What Barsisa should have done instead of doing what he did initially?6) The most important question. If a similar case arises , I am only trustworthy guy in my village and there is a young girl alone, should I take care of her or not? Please let me know.


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The story of the monk Barsisa was reported by some interpreters of the Quran such as Al-Qurtubi, Al-Baghawi and others when interpreting the Allah says (what means): {[The hypocrites are] like the example of Satan when he says to man, "Disbelieve." But when he disbelieves, he says, "Indeed, I am disassociated from you. Indeed, I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds."} [Quran 59:16]

However, we have not come across this story in the reliable books of the Sunnah. Hence, there is no use in raising such questions or searching for an answer to them, especially that –if we assume that it is true –it is related to the legislation of the people who came before us [i.e. the previous nations before Islam].

If we assume that a man is responsible for the care of a girl who is not a Mahram to him, and he must take care of her and manage her affairs, then there is nothing wrong with that, but he must observe the Islamic conditions in dealing with her: so he does not stay in seclusion with her or do anything that may lead to temptation.

The story of Zakariyya  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention with Maryam, may Allaah exalt her mention, does not indicate that he used to stay in seclusion with her. Even with the assumption that this happened, then the legislation at their time was different from our legislation; it could be that this was permissible for them then.

Allah knows best.

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