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Marrying Close Relatives
Course on Islamic Marriage
Question: Is it better or
preferable for a Muslim to marry someone he is not related to rather than a
Answer : Praise be to Allaah.
number of scholars regarded it as mustahabb for a man to marry a woman who is
not related to him, and they gave a number of reasons for that:
The child would have good characteristics, because he would take
characteristics from his father’s side and his mother’s side.
– There is no guarantee that they will not separate which would lead to
severing of the ties of kinship.
says in al-Insaaf (8/16): It is mustahabb to choose a woman who is
religiously committed and fertile, a virgin of good lineage who is not a
relative. End quote.
says in Mataalib Ooli al-Nuha (5/9): A non-relative, because her
children will have better characteristics, and because there is no guarantee
that they will not separate, which in the case of marriage to a relative would
lead to severing of the ties of kinship, which we are enjoined to uphold. And
it is said that non-relatives give children with better characteristics and
female cousins have more patience. End quote.
is not allowed to all relatives: So, it is banned to whom
said in al-Manhaaj: It is mustahabb to choose a religiously committed
virgin who is of good lineage but is not a close relative.” Al-Jalaal al-Mahalli
said in his Sharh: “Not a close relative” means a non-relative or a
distant relative. The one who is distantly related is better than one who is
not related at all. End quote from Sharh al-Mahalli ma’a Haashiyat
Qalyoobi wa ‘Umayrah, 3/208.
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can see that there is no text concerning this matter, rather it is the
ijtihaad of the fuqaha’ which they based on these interests, which differ
from one person to another, and from one type of relationship to another. A
man may decide to marry a relative so as to protect her and honour her family,
or she may be religiously committed and of good character.
basic principle is that marriage is permissible. The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) married Zaynab bint Jahsh who was
the daughter of his paternal aunt, and he gave his daughter Zaynab in marriage
to Abu’l-‘Aas who was the son of her maternal aunt, and ‘Ali married
Faatimah, and he was the son of her father’s paternal uncle.
Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, after quoting the
reasons that the fuqaha’ gave, of seeking good characteristics in the
children and the fear of severing the ties of kinship:
they said is true, but if there is someone among the relatives who is better
in terms of other considerations (such as religious commitment, lineage and
beauty), then that is better. In the event that they are equal in these terms,
then a non-relative is better.
if a female cousin is religiously committed and of good character, and he is
in a weak position and needs kindness and support, then undoubtedly such a
marriage serves a great interest. A man should pay attention to his interests
in this case. There is no shar’i text concerning this matter that has to be
followed, hence a person should do what he thinks is in his best interests.
End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 5/123.
scholars of the Standing Committee were asked about marrying relatives and
whether that causes retardation in the children.
replied: There are no saheeh ahaadeeth which forbid marriage to relatives. The
incidence of retardation happens by the will and decree of Allaah and is not
caused by marriage to relatives as is widely believed. End quote.
al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 18/13
Allaah knows best.
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