Intermingling Of Cousins And Brother-In-Laws And Sister-In-Laws


Would you be kind enough to enlighten us of the dangers and gravity of free mixing between brother between cousins and between brother-in-law and sister-in-law. What does Shariah say about this please?

Some argue as a justification that it is only family or that she is like my sister or he is like my brother.

How does one trying to be religious deal with these situations and can you enlighten us on how grave this sin is as many of my family, by their actions, consider it trivial?


The relationship between cousins and between brother in laws and sister in laws is that of strange men and women according to the Shariah, with regards to segregation. Intermingling and free mixing between them is impermissible. 

With regards to the brother in law, Al-Imam Al-Bukhari Rahimahullah and Al-Imam Al-Muslim Rahimahullah have recorded a Hadeeth in their authentic compilations wherein our beloved Nabiyy Sallallalau stated: 

“The brother in law is death”

Al-Imam Al-Nawawi Rahimahullah , commentating on this Hadeeth writes: “The meaning of this is that fear from him (brother in-law) is more than others and evil is expected from him. Fitnah is of a greater degree due to him being able to reach his sister in law and be in seclusion with her without anybody reprimanding him, unlike strangers. He further writes “The meaning of “Al-Hamw” is brother (of husband), son of brother, paternal uncle, paternal uncle’s son, and those similar to these, who are non-mahram. The habit of people is leniency with regards to this and a man will sit in solitude with his sister-in law. This is death and is more likely of prohibition than a stranger due to the reasons mentioned.

It is absolutely wrong to violate the command of Shariah, with a meager and invalid excuse of courtesy and maintaining family relations. The actual reason for the violation is that the state of the Ummah has degenerated to such an extent that we consider just a few actions necessary upon ourselves, with the misconception that we are acting upon Deen. We need to embed in our hearts and minds that success lies in acting upon the whole Deen, and we need to make a firm resolution that when we are told a ruling of Deen, we accept the ruling and suppress our whims and fancies for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. 

The argument that ‘it is only family and she is like my sister or he is like my brother’ holds no weight in front of the ruling of Islam because Islam has made marriage permissible between them which clearly shows they are not like brothers and sisters. In addition to this, there are so many cases where cousins fall in love with each other. Isn’t this also a clear sign that they’re not like
brothers and sisters? Nowadays, the inclusion of brother and sister after ‘cousin’ (e.g. cousin brother, cousin sister), which is the norm in many Indo-Pak families, deceives the mind to think they will be dealt with like real brothers and sisters discarding the obligation of segregation. Similar is the case in the brother in law and sister in law. Unfortunately, this is due to lack of knowledge
and understanding. 

Negligence with regards to segregation between brother in laws and sister in laws and cousins has led to the grave sin of fornication in many cases, (May Allah forbid), and has led to division and complexities in many a families. Let Shaytan not deceive us in thinking we are safe from these dangers. There are many Ahadeeth wherein Nabiyy Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam has mentioned the dangers and trials of women. 

May Allah Ta’aala make it easy, grant us all the true understanding of Deen and grant us the ability and willpower to implement.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.


شرح النووي – ج٤١ ص ١٥٤ – المطبعة المصرية بالأزهر

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