Assalaamu'alakum I have intention to employ a female muslim maid from a different country. Is it ok for her to travel to my country without her mahram? Is it ok for her to stay in my house with my family and she has no mahram with her? Sometimes my wife is not at home and I and my children are left with the maid, is it ok? How about if I am left alone with her in the house but we are in different rooms? As her employer, am I responsible if she does not pray or does cover her awrah? How is necessity or "dhorurah" is defined legally? Until what stage of hardship ? Jazakumullahukhairankathira .
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 is His slave and Messenger.
We have issued many Fataawa about the prohibition of a woman traveling without being accompanied by a Marham (men who are Islamically prohibited from marrying her), about the prohibition of being in seclusion with marriageable men and about the prohibition of being alone with one's maid. The necessity that allows a woman to travel without being accompanied by a Mahram.
Being with one's maid while his wife is present in house is allowed as there is no seclusion between them. If there are children only and if they are pubescent or in the age that they could realize what is going on, then we believe that there is no harm since there is no seclusion between them.
Imaam An-Nawawi said while explaining the following Hadeeth: "No man should stay in seclusion with a marriageable woman except in the presence of her Mahram.” He said: “If he stays alone with a marriageable woman and there is no third person with them then it is forbidden according to the agreement of Muslim scholars. Similarly, it is not allowed to stay alone with her if there is someone from whom one would not hesitate from committing shameful acts due to his young age, such as a two year old or a three year old child and the like, as his presence and absence are equal."
The above statement proves that the seclusion no longer exists if there is one who has intelligence, perception and good sense and can distinguish good from evil. However, it is safer and nearer to piety to keep away from any loophole from which Satan could enter.
As for the owner of the house staying in a room and the maid in another separate room within the same house; it is not safe that temptation would not happen as she may come out for some reason and he also may come out for something and they may encounter each other, which could lead to an evil result.
If your maid does not pray and does not wear Hijab, then your duty is to command her to do good and forbid her from doing evil. If she does not accept, then you are not responsible for her action. However, it is best not to keep her in your house.