Did Being Raped by Her Father in Law End My Friend’s Marriage?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat


I have recently come across a report in relation to a fatwa conveyed by some Ulama in response to the rape of a mother of five by her father-in-law, decreed that her marriage with the rapist’s son was no longer valid.

How can this be? Does this not create more problems for the woman? I would really appreciate it if you could clear this up.


I pray you are all well.

Impermissibility Through Marriage

The answer they gave is based on the position of Imam Abu Hanifa, which states that sexual contact with someone makes the parents and children of the partner impermissible to marry. This is a precautionary position which has a legal basis. The impermissibility of this is called hurmat al-musahara.

This type of impermissibility is a blessing which comes through marriage, as it build familial ties. Allah said, “He is the one who created from water humans and made for them lineage and relationships through marriage.” [Quran, 25:54]

The ruling was then extended, as a precaution, to sexual contact outside of marriage. This is the position their answer was based on.

An Alternative Position

Imam Shafi‘i concluded that this impermissibility was a blessing, and hence could not be derived through a sin. Therefore, he did not deem this to extend to cases such as the one you have mentioned.

It appears that the scholars you mentioned answered based on the position of their school. It appears that Imam Shafi‘i’s answer would be better suited for this lady, as life would be very difficult for her otherwise. She should continue her married life with her husband based on the position I have mentioned.

Please refer to this answer too for further clarity.

Getting Help from Mental Health Experts

Given the considerations in such cases, we urge you to please ask your friend to contact a local mental health professional to assist her as soon as possible.

May Allah facilitate all matters for you all.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital, and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.