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Why do Muslims Marry their Cousins?

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Muslimah07 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 23 December 2006 at 3:28pm

SalaamAlaikum,

I recently met 2 Arab Muslim Women who were both married to their First Cousins.

I'm American, and I am curious to know in WHICH countries is this Common?? ..WHY do they do this?

Does EVERYONE in that particular family marry their First Cousin as a Tradition--and will familes get upset if their children marry someone Outside of the family? (does the family NOT accept "outsiders"?)

In America, this is uncommon (and maybe illegal)--so I am very curious.

I am not saying it's wrong--because the Arab Woman I met had LOVELY, Healthy children and they were a Wonderful Muslim family--I'm just curious.

If you have experience with this--please explain this to me.

Salaam

 



Edited by Muslimah07
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herjihad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herjihad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 December 2006 at 3:56pm
Originally posted by Muslimah07 Muslimah07 wrote:

SalaamAlaikum,

I recently met 2 Arab Muslim Women who were both married to their First Cousins.

I'm American, and I am curious to know in WHICH countries is this Common?? ..WHY do they do this?

Does EVERYONE in that particular family marry their First Cousin as a Tradition--and will familes get upset if their children marry someone Outside of the family? (does the family NOT accept "outsiders"?)

In America, this is uncommon (and maybe illegal)--so I am very curious.

I am not saying it's wrong--because the Arab Woman I met had LOVELY, Healthy children and they were a Wonderful Muslim family--I'm just curious.

If you have experience with this--please explain this to me.

Salaam

 

Salaams and Bismillah,

My first thought is:  Why not?  This is allowed in Islaam.  Current research shows that previous ideas about genetic deficiencies arising from this are inaccurate.

Places I know that do this:  Phalastine, Lebanon -- but not so much, Syria.  I feel like most places allow or encourage this.

It is illegal in America.  I believe the law is we can marry a third cousin.  I'm from Appalachia, and although many jokes are made about this practice being common there, I don't know anyone who has married a close cousin. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote niqab_ummi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 December 2006 at 4:57pm

Assalamu'Alaikum Sisters,

Good Question Sr.muslimah07 for some living in the west especially those who become muslims at a later point in life rather than being raised muslim this can seem like a foreign and strange custom....Insha'Allah I would like to post a response to a very similar question answered by a prominent Scholar here in America....Oh and to add to the list of countries Egypt, lybia,Tunisia, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mali, Algeria, Yemen,Saudia,The Gulf Region...Oman, Qatar, etc....

Sr. herjihad, Mash'Allah Good point it is permitted and mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah we should always try to accept all Halal practices and partake in them when they apply to our life situations...

MasSalaama,

Name of Questioner

Higazi   - Egypt

Title

Islamic View on Marrying Cousins

Question

What is Islam's position on marriages between cousins? I ask you this question because of the growing controversy that such marriages are not healthy and are very likely to cause serious birth defects in the offspring. Please answer this question in the light of the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah. I would also like if you could give your own opinion on this subject matter keeping in mind the health risks posed by such marriages. Thank You.

Date

02/Jan/2003

Name of Counsellor

Group of Muftis

Topic

Marriage

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

Answering the question in point, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states:

"Marriages between first cousins are allowed in Islam. In surat an-Nisa' (4:22-24), Allah mentioned the women who are forbidden for marriage and then He said, "… Lawful to you are all beyond those mentioned, so that you may seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock…" In surat al-Ahzab (33:50), Allah mentioned to the Prophet that he may marry the daughters of his uncles and aunts from the father's side or the mother's side. It is the consensus of the jurists that this permission was not only for the Prophet, but it is also a permission for other believers. Muslims have practiced marriages between first cousins in all countries since the time of the Prophet.

Such marriages are allowed in many other religions and cultures as well. In United States, most of the states allow marriages between the first cousins. There is nothing wrong in this marriage.

However, it is a good practice to have a blood test before marriage. If one suspects some hereditary disease or any other problem then he/she should seek the advice of a medical expert in this field. The chances of health risk in this marriage are very rare. Most of the marriages have been good and children quite healthy."

Excerpted, with slight modifications from: http://pakistanlink.com/religion.html

Elaborating on this issue, we'd like to cite the fatwa issued by Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author. He states:

"There is no objection whatsoever in the Islamic religion for a man to marry any of his relatives except those forbidden for marriage whom Allah mentioned in surat an-Nisaa' (4: 23) 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.

Among the most prominent evidence of this fact is that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) married his daughter Fatimah 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 Zaynab bint Jahsh (may Allah be pleased 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." (Source: www.islam-qa.com)

Elaborating on the issue whether it is preferable not to marry close cousins, we’d like to cite for you the following fatwa:

“Islam permits marriage between first cousins. If we read the Qur'anic verses which enumerate women to whom a Muslim cannot be married, you will find that this list does not include cousins.

The Islamic view is that while marriage between cousins is permissible, it is preferable to choose a marriage partner from outside one's family. We have to distinguish between what is permitted and what is advocated. Some clans restrict marriages to amongst their kin only – a practice far from what is advocated. It is worth stressing here that when marriage of cousins is repeated over several generations, they are bound to have more effects on children.

By permitting such marriages Islam does not encourage them. It advocates the cementing of social relations through marriages between totally unrelated families.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) once told one of his Companions to choose a wife from a tribe different to his, and then to choose for his son a wife from a third tribe, and to seek for his second son a girl from yet another tribe.

Preferring this course of action, Islam nevertheless permits marriage between cousins because it meets a social need.”

Excerpted, with modifications, from: www.islamicity.com

In conclusion, it is clear that Islam, undoubtedly, permits marrying cousins. As for the issue of preferring to choose a marriage partner from outside one's family, this varies from one case to another. Yet, Islam is generally keen to widen the circle of social bonds. As for the fear of hereditary diseases, it is a good practice to have a blood test before marriage. If one suspects some hereditary disease or any other problem then he/she should seek the advice of a medical expert in this field.

May Allah guide you to the straight path and direct you to that which pleases Him, Ameen.

Umm Abdelkhalek
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aply123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 December 2006 at 6:23am
Salam
 The fact of marrying with a cousin or a cousin is not a thing prohibited by the human or illicit law in the religious law. I did not read the answers because you excused me I cannot include/understand English quickly. Here I will try to give you my idea it remains to you then freedom to choose or make your conclusion.
 
  The origin of this phenomenon is mainly related to the polygamy which generates a group which defends these interests. This group in sociology is called a tribe. This phenomenon is not specific to Arabic but you can also find it at the Jews. By making married a woman with his cousin one is spirit to protect the interests from the tribe. With the disappearance of the tribes this mode of marriage remained only by practice and not for an economic and political goal. The Christians who prohibited polygamy do not have this phenomenon. Nevertheless the Christian middle-class classes marry between them to preserve and amalgamate the heritages and fortunes.
 
  Between us and according to the experiment is better to marry with a cousin, because the union with the chance to last in time. Here the two married ones is plain for a goal determined well, whereas the other marriages do not have a quite precise goal, it is especially the goal of the pleasures which prevails. In the coran one speaks about the marriage from a point of view of Contract (meethak), here the pleasures are an element in a general contract  signed in front of a judge and in the presence of the witnesses.
 
 
 in french :
 

Salam

 Le fait de se marier à un cousin ou à une cousine n’est pas une chose interdite par la loi humaine ou illicite dans la loi religieuse. Je n’ai pas lu les réponses car vous m’excusiez je ne sais pas comprendre rapidement l’anglais.

 Ici je vais essayer de vous donner mon idée il vous reste ensuite la liberté de choisir ou de faire votre conclusion. L’origine de ce phénomène est lié en grande partie à la polygamie qui engendre un groupe qui défend ces intérêts. Ce groupe en sociologie est appelé une tribu.  Ce phénomène n’est spécifique aux arabes mais vous pouvez le trouvez aussi chez les israélites.

 En faisant marié une femme à son cousin on est entrain de protéger les intérêts de la tribu.  Avec la disparition des tribus ce mode de mariage est resté uniquement par habitude et non pour un but économique et politique.

  Les chrétiens qui ont interdit la polygamie n’ont pas ce phénomène. N’empêche que les classes bourgeoises chrétiennes se marient entre elles pour préserver et fusionner les héritages.

  Entre nous et d’après l’expérience vaut mieux se marier avec une cousine, car l’union à la chance de durer dans le temps. Ici les deux mariés sont unis pour un but bien déterminé, alors que les autres mariages n’ont pas de but bien précis, c’est surtout le but des plaisirs qui prédomine. Dans le coran on parle du mariage d’un point de vue de Contrat (meethak), ici les plaisirs sont un élément dans un contrat général signé devant un juge et en présence des témoins.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aamna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 December 2006 at 1:14pm

My husband is from Pakistan and it's really common over there.  He's had several cousins who've had a 'crush' on him, meanwhile for me the thought of having a 'crush' on MY cousin feels absolutely disgusting because it's uncommon in my culture.. but that's their culture.  For them, It can be your first, second, third, fourth, distant cousin, etc., usually someone from the family.  He said people usually marry within the family because they know about the boy/girl and their families for years.. i.e. the parents are not giving their child away to a complete stranger who may be putting on a friendly mask until after the marriage, which i think can still happen even if the marriage is between cousins anyway.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UmmAminata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2006 at 9:02am

 

Salaam O Alaikum Muslima

I have a brother in law married to his cousin. And that is my only experience.

Islamically speaking it is not harram to do so, so this of course is the foundation for many Muslims who practice this.

My husband is from Senegal West Africa however his farther is from North Africa, what I have seen is that for the sake of family integrity people marry within,

He's some what of chart of how I see it in my head

First choice

Marry cousin

Second choice

Marry within in local tribe

Third choice

Marry within local ethinic group

Fourth choice

Marry within nation

Fifth choice

Marry within cousin nation

Sixth choice

Mary within the world

Mrs. Dia
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rookaiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 December 2006 at 12:34am

i was married to my 3rd cousin. for us we didnt even know that we were cousins, until the day they came to propose marriage. i was shocked to learn that my moms mom n his dads mom were first cousins and that our parents were second cousins. but both families didnt have a problem with that issue. it was only me who was taken aback at first cos i thought its really freaky to marry your own cousin. i guess it depends on how close u were to the person growing up. im very close to some of my first cousins n they are like my brothers and i cant imagine myself getting married to any of them. it would be like incest for me. so i guess it all depends on how u as a person feel about it.

also in my culture, its frowned upon to marry your first cousins from ur fathers side. u cant marry your fathers brothers sons. cos u all have the same surname and its viewed as taboo and total bad luck. unheard of.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UmmAminata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 December 2006 at 7:02am

also in my culture, its frowned upon to marry your first cousins from ur fathers side. u cant marry your fathers brothers sons. cos u all have the same surname and its viewed as taboo and total bad luck. unheard of.

 

Interesting...

Mrs. Dia
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