Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following: “We learn from scientific studies on autism that autistic people are not at all different from ordinary people in their sexual cravings and desires, as they do have such desires and they are able to get married and have children, etc. The thing that sets them apart from ordinary people is not any lack of sexual desires; rather it is primarily their inability to communicate their needs or establish normal social relations. Since they do have sexual cravings, women are not allowed to take off their hijab in front of them—if they are not their close blood relations listed in the verse cited below. The specific verse in question is at once precise and explicit in stating that—aside from close blood relations, which does not include cousins—women are allowed to take off hijab only in front of such men who have no sexual desires whatsoever or children who are still unaware of women’s nakedness. Allah Almighty says:
“And tell believing women to lower their gaze, and guard their chastity, and that they display not their charms except what appears of them. And that they draw their veils over their bosoms and display not their charms except to their husbands, fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers, their brother’s sons, their sister’s sons, other women, their slaves, male domestics who are beyond all sexual desire, or children that are as yet unaware of women’s nakedness. And let them not strike their feet together so as to reveal their hidden charms. And repent to Allah, all of you, O you believers so that you may succeed.” (An-Nur: 31)
Based on the above considerations, wives are required to observe the rules of hijab in front of their cousin who is suffering from autism.