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Friday 08 December 2023  
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Home » Social Dealings » Marriage and Engagement

Is Marriage to Relatives or Non-Relatives Preferred?

One of my relatives has come to me for the purpose of marriage but I heard to marry from non-relatives is preferred for the sake of the future of the children and other reasons. What is your opinion on this matter?

The principle has been stated by a number of scholars. It points to the fact that genetics and heredity has an effect. There is no doubt that genetics has an effect on the physical and psychological make-up of a person.

This is shown in the hadith where a man came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) and said, ''My wife has given birth to a black child. ” ( He was opposing that child as all of his ascendants were of light skin.) .

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) told him, ''Do you own camels?” He said, '' Yes.” The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) said, '' What colour are they? ” He said, ''Red.” The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) asked him, ''Is there a dusky one among them ? ” He said, ''Yes.” The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) then said , ''How has that come about ? ” The man replied , ''It is perhaps due to the strain to which it has reverted .” So the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) told him , ''Perhaps that son of yours is due to the strain to which it is reverted. ” [1]

This is evidence that genetics does have an effect and there is no doubt about it. However, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) also said,

''A women is married for [any of] four reasons: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her religion. So try to marry one who is religious, may your hands be smeared with dust. ” [2]

Therefore, the most important matter in proposing to a women is her piety. The more religious she is and the more beautiful she is then the better she is, regardless if she be a close relative or distant [non-] relative.

The religious women will protect the man’s wealth, children, and house. Beauty fulfils his needs and lowers his gaze and he will not look to others. And Allah knows best.


[1] Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

[2] Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen
Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women - Darussalam Pg.187-188.
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