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Al-Muharramaat
Women You are not Allowed to Marry

Prepared by Abul-'Abbaas, Edited by Ali Yahya
Based on: Hidaayatur-Raaghib (p.661-665)

In the Name of Allaah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful

Women who are impermissible for a man to marry are of two types: (a) Women who are permanently impermissible to marry; And (b) women who are temporarily impermissible to marry but may become permissible in the future under certain circumstances.

Let us identify these two types and the women who are included in each type.

Women You are Never Allowed to Marry

[1]: Your mother, grandmother, great grandmother, etc.

[2]: Your daughter, granddaughter, great granddaughter, etc.

[3]: Your sister, your sister's daughter, granddaughter, etc.

[4]: Your niece (your brother's daugther in this case), your niece's daughter, granddaughter, etc.

[5]: The sister of your father, grandfather, etc (paternal aunt)

[6]: The sister of your mother, grandmother, etc. (maternal aunt)

Regarding these first six, Allaah the Exalted says, what means:

( Forbidden for you (to marry) are your mothers, daughters,
sisters, nieces, and your paternal and maternal aunts )

[Soorah an-Nisaa' (4):23]

[7]: All of the above from a breastfeeding relationship (if a wet nurse breastfed you as an infant)

This means that if you were breast fed (at least five times) by other than your birth mother, then your wet nurse takes the ruling of your mother, and her daughter takes the ruling of your sister, and so on. This is based on the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam):

"Breastfeeding makes forbidden all that is forbidden due to
blood relations."
[Agreed upon by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

[8]: The wife or ex-wife of your father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc. (even from a breastfeeding relationship)

Allaah says, what means:

( And do not marry the women that your fathers have married )
[Soorah an-Nisaa' (4):22]

[9]: The wife or ex-wife of your son, grandson, great grandson, etc. (even from a breastfeeding relationship)

Allaah says, what means:

( And (forbidden for you to marry are) your sons' wives... )
[Soorah an-Nisaa' (4):23]

[10]: Your wife's mother (your mother-in-law), your wife's grandmother, etc. (even from a breastfeeding relationship) whether the marriage was consumated or not

In the same verse Allaah says, what means:

( And (forbidden for you to marry are) your wives' mothers... )

[11]: Your wife's daughter (your step-daughter), your wife's granddaughter, etc. (even from a breastfeeding relationship) only if the marriage was consumated

In the same verse Allaah the Almighty says, what means:

( And (forbidden for you to marry are) your step-daughters who live in your dwellings, (those who are the daughters) of your wives with whom you have consumated the marriage. And if you have not consumated, then there is no sin on you (in marrying their daughters) )

[12]: The mother, grandmother, etc. and daughter, granddaughter, etc. of a woman you mistakenly had sexual intercourse with, thinking she was your wife (may Allaah protect us from such trials)

For example: . A woman chooses a represntative (walee) for her marriage other than her father without his permission. This remains unknown until after the marriage is consumated. Then it becomes known and the contract is thus ineffective, the marriage is invalid, and they are seperated. In such a case, the woman's mother, grandmother, etc. and daughter, granddaughter, etc. are all the man's muharramaat and he can never marry them.

Other examples: A woman marries someone during her 'iddah, the marriage is consumated, this later becomes known, the contract is thus ineffective, and they are seperated. Or a man somehow initiates sexual intercourse mistakenly with a woman other than his wife. These kinds of errors cause the woman's mother, grandmother, etc. and daughter, granddaughter, etc. to be the man's muharramaat whom he can never marry.

[13]: The mother, grandmother, etc. and daughter, granddaughter, etc. of a woman you had illegal sexual intercourse (zinaa) with (may Allaah protect us from such trials)

[14]: The mother, grandmother, etc. and daughter, granddaughter, etc. of a man you had homosexual intercourse with (may Allaah protect us from such trials)

Homosexuality is haraam (impermissible), and those who are seen engaging in homosexual intercourse by four just witnesses who testify in an Islamic court under Muslim rule face the death penalty.

You may ask: How can a man be prevented from marrying anyone if he is supposed to be dead?!

The answer: This is applied when the incident occurred and was either not witnessed or not witnessed by enough people to be proven in court. The two who committed the homosexual intercourse are to refrain from marrying each other's daughter and mother. Since the case is officially unproven, then this is something that is between them and Allaah.

[15]: Your ex-wife whom you accused of committing adultery in a Mulaa'anah case in an Islamic court (may Allaah protect us from such trials)

Mulaa'anah is when a man accuses his own wife of adultery but does not have the four witnesses required to prove it. He is then required to swear by Allaah four times in front of a judge that he is truthful in his accusation, adding the fifth time, "And may Allaah's Curse be upon me if I am lying." The accused wife may then defend herself by swearing by Allaah four times that he is lying, adding the fifth time, "And may Allaah's Anger be upon me if he is truthful." The couple is then seperated and can never re-marry.

Read: Soorah an-Noor (24):6-9.

These are the women you are never allowed to marry. Let us now look at the types of women you are temporarily prohibited from marrying, those whom you may be able to marry in the future under certain circumstances...

[ PART TWO - Women You are Temporarily not Allowed to Marry ]

 

TEST YOUR UNDERSTANDING

What is the proof that an infant's wet nurse takes the ruling of his mother?

Can a man marry his step-mother? What about his step-daughter?

What is a Mulaa'anah court case? And what is the resulting ruling from such a case?

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Muharramaat (#2): Women you are Temporarily not Allowed to Marry

Questions and Answers on Marriage Divorce, and Family Matters