Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Brother and Sister relationship in Islam – is it incest?

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All Muslims are brothers and sisters, but the prohibited categories of marriage follow specific rules dictated by the Quran.

Asalamu'aliakum, I'm a 20 year old sister currently in my final year at university. I recently became a lot closer to my deen Alhamdulillah and recently began Hijab. I knew that Allah tests those who he loves and i faced many difficult situations over the past few months, but Alhamdulillah I've kept my faith in Allah and I pulled through.

As I was facing certain problems, many friends tried to help me and especially this one brother who has been on my course for 3 years yet we have never really spoken much before, but he was facing very similar situations, and the reality of our issues brought us closer together. Please do not get me wrong, we did not engage in any haraam we would talk mostly about deen and studies over MSN.

He helped me a lot to stay affirm on my deen and keep my faith in Allah to pull through my problems, we established at the start of our friendship that we are nothing more than brother and sister, but as time passed and we overcame our problems and i got to know more about him i felt like everything I desire in a spouse he has. I felt in my heart that I did not want these feelings to become haraam so I prayed Istikhara on whether he is the right choice for marriage several times and felt good feelings every time.

I've also consulted my parents about him and they know I speak to him sometimes. Recently we spoke more in depth about marriage and our friendship got raised and he basically said that because we built a barrier of brother and sister at the beginning that he cannot cross this barrier because it would be like incest. We debated about it because I said that yes we did establish a brother and sister relationship but I argued that I meant it in terms of deen not family-wise and he argued the opposite, because I do not believe in talking to a brother and being so close I personally feel it is haraam because I do no believe there is such a thing as brother and sister between two people who do not share blood. He agreed with me here but he said that it's against his principles to say something and then go against his word.

He basically said that we'll leave it to Allah and if we are right for each other we will be together in the future, so we have stopped talking as I thought this was the answer to my Istikhara. But I have heard from other people that he has been asking other people their opinion on brother n sister relationships and he has said that he his very stubborn in his thinking, and deep down in my heart I don't feel my Istikhara has been answered.

I would just like to know what islam would say about such a situation. We haven't done anything at all I basically put forward the idea of marriage because i felt that he is a brother in terms of deen and family that he was suitable for me, my deen and my family I told him that I love him for the sake of Allah and that if he is wrong for me Allah will remove him from me and Insha'Allah I will be content with the outcome. But the whole incest thing has left me a little confused, please could someone help me understand whether he is right in what he is saying or not. But Allah knows best.

Jazakallah khair for your time.


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24 Responses »

  1. Asalaamualaikum Muslimah89,

    We are all brothers and sisters in Islam. The question of incest does not even arise in your situation as you are not in any way real siblings.

    This person is either using this as an excuse to reject your marriage proposal because he does not want to marry you. Or either, he does not understand the difference between brother/sister in Islam and real blood siblings.

    You have done your part by behaving well, then doing istikhara and then proposing to him.

    So now, take some time out away from him. Give him time to find the answers to his question.

    If after this, he accepts your proposal, take it from there. If he does not come back to you, maybe this is the answer to your Istikhara. You cannot make him understand.

    It may seem to you, based on what you know that this brother will be a good husband for you. But only Allah knows the unseen and the future - He knows what we do not know. It maybe that Allah does not want you to marry this person as He may be saving you from something or He may want something better for you. So, if you have taken the right steps, you have nothing to worry about - don't try to change the brother's mind. Trust in Allah that He will do what is best for you.

  2. It sounds like he either has a great deal of respect for you and already sees you as a no-go zone which is very sweet OR he is just not attracted to you in that way
    Peace,
    Leyla

  3. Very simple dear, it is definitely NOT incest!!! That is impossible by all logic and reason, if you both do not share any of your parents' blood. Personally I don't get this concept of brother sister by name. Sorry, but I have been duped too many times to believe in it anymore. I knew a man who kept calling a little neighbor child girl his sister, and he tried to molest her. Horrible, yes.
    Then my own husband, who kept calling his cousin like a 'sister', ended up having an affair with her. So, there is no such thing as bro-sis relationship apart from the valid bothers/sisters. This person with whom you have grown so close to is not your brother at all, and you are not his sister :) Your marrying would be the perfect thing to do if you are compatible. marry him, girl!!!! You don't find so conscientious and decent people in this world anymore! Do whatever it takes... kidding... but yes, I mean it too. If you are convinced that you will be happy with him, convince him with all the knowledge and logic you can find that it will be the best thing to do for you both to marry!
    May Allah guide you both and bless you both always. Aameen.

    • Jazakallah khair for all your replies sisters :) I completely understand u all n its just wat i have been doing. I'm not actually thinking about it too much but obviously it means something to me so I do tend to reflect on it. See the thing with him is, he is very naive a bit like me but hes clever at the same time lol because since our marriage tlk i've gotten a few prank calls from him n i'm 100% its him because he even told me that him and his friends prank people all the time lol n before knowing him i've never get pranked, also i've noticed and been told that wen i go on msn his status changes from busy-online-busy-online a million times and as soon as i sign out he goes as well lol. he speaks to my friend about it sometimes and she just told me that she feels hes confused about how he feels and his not thinking about it too much as we have our finals nxt month n to be honest its my main focus as well. and we recently startd uni again on monday and i saw him but i didnt approach him he came and just smiled and waved lol and it was a little awkward but its always been awkward between us lol but do u understand what i mean by sayin that silence speaks louder than words sometimes?.. and since then we have tlkd a few times online but briefly as we are all stressed with uni work, but its weird because we sorta going on like nothing has happened, the only difference is hes stopped called me "bruv" which he knew i hated but he used to do it all the time. This all probably sounds quite immature i suppose but we are both still very young n still very naive as i have no experience but he has a little yet i feel i'm not the one acting weird! lol its not something I'm desperate for i don't no wat it is but i dnt feel like if nothing happens i'm at lost although its incredibly hard to find a guy like him, yet i've resisted myself so much because i dnt want to get carried away with it if you get wat i'm sayin, hes jus a part of this duniyah i dnt want my emotions to go overboard with tthis as shaitaan's just going to take advantage of my thoughts if i become weak in my emotions because i can say it now i do genuinely love and care for him a lot but if u see me and see how i act.. you would never know! but do let me know you thoughts and jazakallah for ur time Salaam :)

      • Assalamu Alaykum, Sister

        I am a man, and have the same kind of thing going on with a sister of mine. Allah will guide the both of you, don't focus too much or Shaytan will inject his tricks and you will find it harder to trust your own thoughts.

        Ten years from now this will not seem like an important issue, whether you are married to him, inshallah, or someone else, inshallah.

  4. Well, as it's smooth-sailing for the time being, let it be so. Focus on your studies and let things progress with him normally. Then if he does have strong feelings for you there will come a point when he cannot ignore them, especially when the question of his marriage arises. But if you feel that time is passing and you still have feelings for him, and he has not addressed the marriage question yet, then approach him again. Tell him clearly that you want to clarify if he wants to marry you or not, and that you will leave him in peace if he is not interested. Tell him something like you're getting proposals (if you are), or you might be married off soon, to make him realize that time is of importance. See his reaction, and decide what you want based on that.
    All the best.

  5. I am facing same problem here. I am married 6 years back. and have 5 yrs son from my husband. But since childhood, i am having body relations with my younger brother. Since he is addicted to me, even after marriage, he continued to have body relation with me. My husband is 50 yrs old, and does not suspect any thing haram in this. But i think it is sin , and i have been requesting my brother to stop this. But now , i am pregnant from my own brother. my husband is still not suspecting anything wrong.
    What should i do? should i abort myselves? or let my brother's child live? please guide.

    • Dear Rehana, Asalaamualaykum,

      Sister, our Editors here are very concerned about you as the situation you have described is extremely shocking. Incest is a major major sin in Islam! I will urge you to break all relationship you have with your brother for the time being and seek immediate help. The nature of your relationship with him is completely wrong and although you know so, you have become desensitized to it. I do not know what your age is and what kind of upbringing you have had, but this relationship with your brother must stop now.

      At the same time, you have a deeper issue at hand - and that is of your pregnancy. I really do not know the answer to your questions about aborting your child, but I will try to put you in touch with a qualified imam by email as soon as possible.

      I will email you now, please do respond, as you clearly need help and we want to help you inshaAllah.

      SisterZ
      IslamicAnswers.com Senior Editor

      • Its been long since i wrote here, but i humbly just have to comment on rehana.. Seriously i cant really beleive what i read about your case. Its unbeleivable, really... But what ever be the case, know that Allah is ever oft-forgiven, most mercifull... Its not over with you, its not too late,, you can turn to Allah (GOD) in repentance And ask for His forgiveness ... And resolve never ever to commit such sin with your brother again.. Infact distance your self from your brother (if that would help you stop the sin).. And inshaALLAH, when you do this, Allah is gonna forgive you.

      • Dears,
        i had one same things as above my friends want to know also, she had close to his bro in body relation in night but she wants me get the information about that in islam is acceptable of having body relation with is own bro, she said he did manything expect intercourse, i told him an bro and sis can't married to gether then u had body relationship in night like your husband, i told him do dnt this thing even she said its wrong but she wants me get information basis of islam its acceptable or not..she advice me to concern from good knoweldege person(Aaleem) whose has best knowlegde on the subject(body relation is acceptable or not), please advice in correctly in light of islam and presence senairo...

        so that i can forward this mail to my friendzz

        waiting your reply will get me soon

        thanks,

        • Imran,

          'Bodily/physical/sexual relations' are not allowed between anyone but husband and wife. Any such relation outside of marriage is completely forbidden and haraam. And any such relation between brother and sister is not only absolutely haraam, it is incest too - two major sins! It does not take one to be an Imam to know this.

          I suggest you advice your friend very strongly to stop any such relations with her brother or any other man and check herself. Turn back to Allah, do sincere tawbah and learn about her deen to avoid falling into such sin again.

          SisterZ
          IslamicAnswers.com Editor

        • Dear

          I got your email regards sex/body relation between brother and sister must be stop immediately,she make me stunt after saying they cross intercourse reaction also and its continuing, we find no solution other than marriage, its marriage is permissible(Own Bro & Sis) in islam for such sensitive cases, because i dont find they going to stop it..

          kindly advice me in the light of holy Quran & Hadees

          Thanks,
          Anonymous.

          • Marriage between brother and sister is not permitted, of course. The Quran states clearly which people are considered mahrem or prohibited for marriage. Brother and sister are forbidden from marriage. Aside from being religiously prohibited, such a marriage would likely lead to genetically defective children. Lastly, it is prohibited in every human culture, so I find the question a bit ridiculous.

            Wael
            IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  6. Dear sister,
    If such an event would have happened with me, I would have said the same thing as did the brother and I don't know what he did next but I would have declared you my enemy. Think and then act. Don't act and then think.

  7. Rehana
    This is so disgusting , ppl like this exist in this world astagfirullah(i mean ur brother)

    How can , I means this is so so disgusting
    Having relationship with ur own sister

    This cannot be my appetite
    We are just moving on to the end times where good deed decrease and haram/sin/greed/lust/bad deeds increase

    • Br. Trueblood
      It takes two to tango - she is as equally responsible for the sin as the brother is...neither is worser than the other. She clearly has been 'enjoying" the relationship, or she would have done something about it - NOW that she is pregnant, she is asking questions.
      Sorry, I rarely am so harsh, but this is truly one of the most disgusting things I have read here. The poor husband is in the dark, but they never realized that Allah is always watching?

  8. Rehana, you are not a kid right? Now when you are pregnant with your brother's child,you are acting like a goofess. For God's sake and your own sake,Stop It Now! Respect yourself.

  9. this is your istikhara working, you said you feel its not..IT IS LOUDLY !! this guy is acting all childish you deserve better..take care and good luck sister

    • Agree 200% with "hopes". You want the istikahara to show u what YOU WANT, not what Allah IS showing you. You are reading and sort of inventing a magical game in your head. Please wake up and move on

  10. If u both share the same natural drink from your mother then you cannot share sex relationship & then it falls in incest ref surah nisa

  11. Sister,sister ,sister,stop wasting ur time looking for clues if this guy wants to b with u,if a man wishes to marry a woman he will make this loud a clear! Ur time will come little sis and the right man will reveal himself to u,I promise

  12. Please dont do it This brother had Deeply belived you as her sister .Take him as brother. Its is for upsetting to islam to first call him as a brother and you need to change it for Saataan.

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