Ruling On Marrying Cousins: Is It Correct, That Our Rusul, Discouraged Marrying Cousins

08 August 2012

Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts

Islamic Questions & Answers

Is it correct, that our Rusul, discouraged marrying cousins. You, see marrying cousins should be the last resort. Jazakallah.

Al-hamdu lillah (All praise be to Allah). There is no objection whatsoever in the Islamic religion for a man to marry any of his relatives except al-maharim (those forbidden for marriage) whom Allah mentioned in surat al-nisaa', 4:23 (interpretation of the meaning):

Prohibited to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, daughters, sisters; father's sisters, mother's sisters; brother's daughters, sister's daughters; foster-mothers (who breast-fed you), foster-sisters (who breast-fed from the same woman as you); your wives' mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives with whom you have consummated marriage, no prohibition if ye have not consummated; (those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Thus, when Allah mentioned for us the relatives to whom marriage is forbidden, we then come to know that there is no objection for the remainder of the family relations. Furthermore, there is no condition that it be the last resort as indicated in the question. Among the most prominent evidence of this fact is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) married his daughter Fatima to Ali (may Allah be pleased with them) and he is the son of her father's uncle, as well as the marriage of the Prophet himself to Zainab bint Jahsh (may Allah be please with her) and she is his aunt's daughter (i.e. his cousin); and there are many other such examples.

However, a different question may be asked, namely: "Is it better or preferable for a Muslim to marry someone he is not related to rather than a relative?"

The answer to this question varies from case to case, and perhaps it may be preferable to marry people who are non-relations, for example if one aspires to form new social ties or bonds, and regards the existence of a marriage relationship with a different family as constructive in widening the circle of social bonds.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

If The Custom Is For A Girl Not To Marry Her Cousin, Does He Become A Mahram For Her?

It happens that in my country,it is not allow to marry someone cousin according to their culture,if it happens like that ,can my cousin be my mahram?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The woman's mahram is anyone whom it is permanently forbidden for her to marry because of blood ties, breastfeeding or marriage ties. This is not based on traditions and customs; rather it is based on sharee'ah. Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, has stated which women are mahrams for men, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters, your foster mothers who gave you suck, your foster milk suckling sisters, your wives' mothers, your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in — but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in them (to marry their daughters), — the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins, and two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed; verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful"

[al-Nisa' 4:23].

So a woman's mahrams on the basis of blood ties are: her son, her father, her brother, her brother's son, her sister's son, her paternal uncle and her maternal uncle.

Her mahrams through breastfeeding are the same.

As for her cousin, it is permissible for her to marry him, and it is not correct for him to be her mahram under any circumstances, even if custom dictates that he should not marry her.

No one has the right to regard as permissible that which Allaah has forbidden, or to regard as forbidden that which Allaah has permitted, or to claim that a cousin may look at his female cousin or be alone with her, because that is contrary to sharee'ah. Rather the woman must observe hijab before her cousins as she observes hijab before all non-mahram men.

Allaah has mentioned those before whom it is permissible for a woman to show her adornments, and He did not mention the cousin because the cousin is not one of her mahrams. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband's fathers, or their sons, or their husband's sons, or their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islâm), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful"

[al-Noor 24:31].

May Allaah help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.

And Allaah knows best.

Women who are forbidden for marriage because of kinship

Please could you tell me the basic guideline on marriage in Islam with regard to relatives? I know that it is permissible for a person to marry paternal cousins, but what is the ruling on marrying one's father's paternal cousin? And what is the ruling on my daughter marrying the nephew of my mother-in-law? Please advise me, may Allah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.

Allah, may He be exalted, has mentioned women who are forbidden in marriage because of kinship. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters…"

[al-Nisa' 4:23].

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

These are seven who are forbidden in marriage, according to the text and scholarly consensus; none of the scholars differed concerning this. End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti‘, 12/53.

They are:

1. The mother, which includes grandmothers on both the father's and mother's side

2. The daughter, which includes granddaughters

3. Sisters, whether full sisters or half-sisters through the father or mother

4. The paternal aunt, which also includes the paternal aunt of the father or mother

5. The maternal aunt, which also includes the maternal aunt of the father or mother

6. The brother's daughter, which includes his granddaughters

7. The sister's daughter, which includes her granddaughters

Any other women who are relatives, apart from these, are permissible for marriage. Hence Allah, may He be exalted, says in the following verse (interpretation of the meaning): "All others are lawful…" [al-Nisa' 4:24].

Based on that, the daughter of one's paternal uncle or aunt, or of one's maternal uncle or aunt, are permissible in marriage. The Qur'aan states that in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

"O Prophet (Muhammad SAW)! Verily, We have made lawful to you your wives, to whom you have paid their Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), and those (slaves) whom your right hand possesses - whom Allâh has given to you, and the daughters of your ‘Amm (paternal uncles) and the daughters of your ‘Ammaat (paternal aunts) and the daughters of your Khaal (maternal uncles) and the daughters of your Khaalaat (maternal aunts)…"

[al-Ahzaab 33:50].

Based on this, it is permissible for a girl to marry her father's paternal cousin, because a person's paternal uncle is an uncle to him and to all his offspring. So her father's paternal uncle is also an uncle to her, and his son is her cousin, and it is permissible for a girl to marry her paternal cousin.

And it is permissible for your daughter to marry the son of your mother-in-law's brother, because the brother of your mother-in-law is her maternal uncle, because he is the maternal uncle of her father, and the maternal uncle of one's father is also an uncle to his children. And it is permissible for a girl to marry her maternal cousin.

And Allah knows best.


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