Mahram and Non Mahram in Islam
In Islam, the term “Mahram” designates a person who cannot be married. The prohibition against marrying Mahram women is stated in a very clear and direct way in the Quran. It is against the Allah’s commandment to marry your mothers, sisters, daughters, step daughters, daughters of their brothers or sisters, milk moms, milk sisters, or daughters of their stepchildren. This is the verse from the holy Quran in which Allah talks about the people with whom it is forbidden for us to enter into marriage.
The definition of Mahram is a women you are forbidden to her at your wife while the Arabic word Non-Mahram is defined as someone you can marry.
(4:23) Forbidden to you are your mothers,34 your daughters,35 your sisters,36 your father’s sisters and your mother’s sisters, your brother’s daughters and your sister’s daughters,37 your milk-mothers, your milk-sisters,38 the mothers of your wives,39 and the stepdaughters – who are your foster-children,40 born of your wives with whom you have consummated the marriage; but if you have not consummated the marriage with them, there will be no blame upon you (if you marry their daughters).
In the verse that you just read right above, Allah makes it clearly obvious that we Muslims are not permitted to marry Mahram women. Those who commit this terrible crime of marrying a Mahram woman would be given a harsh punishment by the Allah. Participation in an activity that gets us to the severe punishment was forbidden by the holy Quran. Marriage to a member of the Mahram is an immoral practise as well. Even if we wanted to, moral consciousness prevents us from marrying Mahram women.
Non-Maharam on the other hand are those women you are allowed to get married. You can marry all those women who have been excluded by the Quran from the forbidden list mentioned in the verse of the Surah Nisāʾ( Chapter Women) of the Quran. That means you can marry someone who doesn’t relate to you, and those who are your relatives you could marry include cousins. Islam doesn’t prevent Muslims from marrying their cousins. Cousins are included in the non-mahram category. So, when someone is non-mahram to you even if she is your cousin, you are allowed to marry her in Islam.
Islam forbids believers (Muslims) to avoid sitting alone with the non-mahram people. Neither non-mahram women nor non-mahram men are allowed to share a space alone and the solid reason is that the third person who incites sexual feelings is Satan is always the third person between them. However, you are permitted to be with your Mahram people because there is already a moral boundary set in all of our consciousness.