Preventing marriage of cousins on basis of common practice impermissible
Fatwa No: 31254

  • Fatwa Date:14-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 13, 1435
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There is a tribe in Chad that has the habit of preventing the marriage of cousins, and there is a man from this tribe who wanted to marry his cousin, but his father did not approve of that marriage, following the customs and traditions of the tribe. What should the son do? Please advise us. May Allaah reward you.


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

Indisputably, it is permissible for Muslim men to marry their paternal and maternal cousins and other female relatives who are not of a prohibited degree of kinship according to the majority of Muslim scholars.  Allaah The Exalted Says (what means): {O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those whom your right hand possesses from what Allaah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts…} [Quran 33:50]

Hence, it is impermissible to deem marrying one’s cousins prohibited on the basis of the common practice in a country or a tribe; Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a religion to which Allaah has not consented?} [Quran 42:21]

 Moreover, Allaah The Exalted also Says (what means): {O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allaah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allaah does not like transgressors.} [Quran 5:87]

Hence, this young man should try hard to convince his father of this marriage and strive to be dutiful to him and to win his favor; since the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The pleasure of the Lord is in the pleasure of the parent, and the wrath of the Lord is in the wrath  of the parent.” [At-Tirmithi, Ibn Hibaan, and Al-Haakim: Saheeh]

Furthermore, perhaps this son’s marriage to his cousin would break this barrier that is based on the common practice of this tribe, giving it precedence over the Islamic Sharee'ah. However, if the son fails to convince his father of that marriage, then perhaps marrying another girl is the best way, in order to be dutiful towards his father.

Allaah Knows best.

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