Are First Cousin Marriages Permissible in Islam?

Hanafi FiqhShafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I’m looking for answer on first cousin marriage according to Quran and sunnah.  I love my cousin but her mother say first cousin marriage is not allowed in Islam.  According to her mother Allah warns us to beware of cousin marriage danger.  Please explain this for me.  Thanks.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith.

The General Ruling

First-cousin marriage is completely fine and lawful according to the Qur’an and Sunna. There is scholarly consensus (ijma’) on its permissibility.

In Sura Nisa’ (4:22-24), Allah Most High lists all the categories of women that one cannot marry, which does not mention first cousins, and then says, “Lawful to you are all besides those mentioned.”

From the Noble Sunna, we know that our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) married his daughter Fatima to his first cousin Ali (Allah be well pleased with them both). And the Prophet himself (peace and blessings be upon him) married his first cousin Zaynab bint Jahsh (Allah be well pleased with her).

Your Particular Case

Having said that, the permissibility does not necessarily mean that such marriages are encouraged, especially when repeated over generations.

There are often health concerns if first cousin marriages continue over several generations. A physician should be consulted in particular cases. This answer sheds more light on the issue:

Lastly, I would strongly advise you to consult a pious scholar or counselor to help you deal with this situation, as there are other considerations that must be taken into account when dealing with such sensitive issues. A marriage with family approval more often than not is better in the long run, although there are always exceptions.

And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani