Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I hope that you are in the best of health and eiman.
I would be grateful if you could explain to me what Islam says about marriage with cousins. I know that this type of marriages are allowed but in Medicine they are against it as they say that this type of wedlock will produce congenital diseases in the future children and other health problems.
Also I do believe that as muslims we should try and produce healthy and strong children but this type of behaviour especially amongst muslims does not help.
I look forward to hearing from you in the nearest future.
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Your Question: I would be grateful if you could explain to me what Islam says about marriage with cousins.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verses 22-23: And do not marry at all those women whom your father had married, though what has happened in the past is excepted. This is an indecent and abominable thing and an evil practice.
Forbidden to you (for marriage) are your mothers, daughters, sisters, paternal aunts, maternal aunts, brothers daughters, sisters daughters, your foster mothers who have given suckle to you, your foster sisters who have taken suckle with you, the mothers of your wives, the daughters of your wives whom you have brought up, the daughters of your wives with whom you have conjugal relations, and it is not sinful for you to marry their daughters (after having divorced them). Also forbidden to you are the wives of your sons who are from your loins, and it is unlawful for you to keep two real sisters as wives at one and the same time, though what has happened in the past is excepted, for Allah is indeed Forgiving, Merciful.
The cousins are not considered mehram relatives in Islam, thus it is perfectly legal to marry them; if one wishes to do so.
Your Statement: I know that this type of marriages are allowed but in Medicine they are against it as they say that this type of wedlock will produce congenital diseases in the future children and other health problems.
Dear and Beloved Sister in Islam, we must understand and comprehend the difference between what is permissible and what is obligatory in this vast and beautiful deen of Islam.
Allah Subhanah has permitted and declared it absolutely halaal for the believers to eat from amongst any kind of the vegetation they wish; that does not in any way mean that it is obligatory for a believer to eat each and every vegetation! If one feels that the eating of thorny vegetation like cactus, etc. would harm him in any way, it would be only prudence if one abstained from it!
Similarly is the case regarding the marrying of cousins. Allah has made it permissible for the believers to marry from amongst their cousins if they wish to do so; but if one chooses not to marry ones cousin for any reason whatsoever, there is absolutely no obligation or sin upon him in the least. If the advancement in medical science has indeed proved that the marrying between cousins increases the probability of genetically inherited diseases; there is absolutely no harm and absolutely no sin if one abstains from inter-marrying amongst ones cousins.
What is indeed a sin is if one starts to legislate and declare forbidden from himself, what Allah and His Messenger (saws) have declared halaal and legal.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,