I was reading Sura 24 when I came across a list of mahrams – categories of men which are forbidden for a woman to marry (or vice versa) and in front of whom she may remove her outer garment. Of course this includes the usual close blood relatives, but I was surprised to notice it also includes father-in-law and step-son.
Such men are only forbidden to marry the woman by virtue of her current marriage, i.e. once she has got married, she cannot marry her father-in-law even if she becomes single again. If she had never married her current husband, that father-in-law would never have been mahram to her.
And obviously, therefore, it is possible for the father-in-law to be attracted to her. Unlike her blood mahrams who would not be attracted to her. So I was surprised that she is allowed to discard her outer garment in front of him. What does this tell us?