Taking care of grandparents.

Q. If someone has a grandmother and she is disabled to do anything at all and you as a grandson or any other male relative has to clean her or bathe her, how should he go about this, because cleaning or bathing a person like that, you will have to do everything as well as cleaning of the private area and to clean it you have to watch it. What is the shariah ruling concerning this? And also please highlight the reverse side, a grandfather and female relatives.

A. In the case mentioned, it would be permissible for you to do such cleaning which does not include the area from her neck to her knees. This is the area of her awrah which cannot be seen or touched by even her male blood relatives (except for the husband). As such you must get a female relative or a worker to look after such cleaning and bathing which involves the looking and touching of her private area (awrah) as identified above.

In the case of an ailing grand father who must be looked after, then it is permissible for a female relative to clean, look at and touch those areas of the body which does not include the area between the navel to the knee (except for the wife). This area is the awrah of a male which cannot be exposed to both females and males, relatives and non-relatives. However, when the above care must be tendered to the grandfather which includes the cleaning of the private areas then a male relative or non-relative should do it.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan