Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Can I marry my wife’s younger sister?

Question:

I have my wife. But we cannot get a baby. We have done all necessary check-up with different specialist doctors and physically I have no problem. All the doctors have done treatment of my wife but the problem could not be solved. After trying from last 5 years, now my wife is 35 years old. That's why now we are thinking for my 2nd marriage.

On the other hand my wife has her own younger sister who is also suffering from the most unhappy conjugal married life and she has already a daughter. But she wants to get rid of her unhappy conjugal life.

In this case can I marry the younger sister of my wife with a view to solve both of our problems?

- Shamim

Wael's Answer:

No, you cannot marry her. It is not permissible in Islam to marry two sisters at the same time. Even if they shared only one parent (the same father or same mother) you could not marry them. The evidence on this is very clear:

Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed. [al-Nisaa 4:23]

"It was reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade marrying a woman then her paternal aunt, or a paternal aunt then her brother's daughter, a woman then her maternal aunt, or a maternal aunt then her sister's daughter, or an older sister then the younger sister, or a younger sister then the older sister." (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 1045; Abu Dawood, no. 1768. Al-Tirmidhi said, it is hasan saheeh).

Fayrooz al-Daylami said: I came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allaah, I have become Muslim and I am married to two sisters. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Choose whichever of them you want [i.e., and divorce the other]." (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1048; Abu Dawood, 1915, et al.)

Furthermore, the woman in question is already married. So even if she were not your wife's sister, it would still not be appropriate to talk about marrying her. I don't know her situation, but since she is still married there is presumably something good in their relationship and they can work on it and improve it Insha'Allah. It's very inappropriate to talk about marriage to a woman who is already married.

And Allah knows best.

If any readers have some additional advice for this questioner, I invite you to post your comments below.

(O Allah), Guide us to the straight path; The path of those whom you have favored; Not those with whom you are angry; Nor those who go astray.

Best regards,

- Wael Abdelgawad
IslamicAnswers.com Marriage Advice
Zawaj.com Muslim Matrimonial Service


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28 Responses »

  1. Assalamu aleykum,

    Brother, as I read, you don't have problem with your wife, you would like to solve another woman's problem, and your family's problem. The only thing missing from your life, is a baby. Why do you want to make it more complicated with involving another wife. There are many nice ladies out there, mashaAllah, but what you both want with your wife is a baby, not a wife...there are babies without parents out there also...and we should care for them as well as for women in need.
    If I should make a decision like this, I would consider adoption-in the Islamic manner.
    May Allah help you in making the right decision, and guide you and your family on the right path. amin

  2. As Salaam-u-Aleikum Brother Wael: Please forgive me if I sound accusatory, but the manner in which your question is posed leads me to speculate whether the thought of marrying your sister-in-law is but one option amongst others or whether it is the easiest option to choose. The tone also betrays some element of conspiracy and voluntariness amongst the two sisters and you as though this situation has been previously discussed amongst you: there’s a conspicuous absence of any objection or comment from your wife and the sister-in-law as though this is a settled matter. I pray that I’m merely reading “into it” something that’s not there; but in the (hopefully remote) event that there’s a gossamer thread of truth in my assessment, you should examine objectively your role in her “unhappy conjugal life” seeing that you have no qualms about coveting “thy neighbor’s wife”. ‘Nuff Said!

    • As-salamu alaykum brother Waheed. I think you meant to address your response to brother Shamim, the original questioner, right? The reason the post seems to be written by me is because I am the administrator of this website, and when I receive questions by email I post them here. So you will see my name on many of the posts. But if you read it closely you will see the name of the questioner is Shamim, and the answer was written by Wael (me).

      By the way, I want to thank you for your participation on this website. Your answers are always well thought out and intelligent.

  3. you should consider adoption and not involve the younger sister. If you and your wife are happy and the only thing missing is a child, then bless an orphan and take him/her under your wings and care for that child like it would be your own. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The best house of Muslims is one where an orphan is cared for.”

  4. I want to know my wife wants me to get married to her sister.
    as she she has come out of a realy BAD marriage. and has a little girl.
    the thing is that she does not want to get married to anyone else as they may not like her baby girl and if she has another child with that person they may say she dont take care off the chlid and all she does is look after her own.. i am willing to help her out and do paper marriage so she will be mine. but we will never make love together.
    is there anyway of helping her i am willing i might sound like i want this to happen so i can get with her. but NO i want to help her and keep her safe and make sure her and her child are safe. she ask's if i can help her. pls there must be some way under some law that this can happen and i can keep her safe.
    even if she is in pakistan and me and my wife are here in the uk.
    pls get back to me a.s.a.p
    i am waitting for you to help me on this. GOD MUST HAVE A WAY OF ME HELPING HER AND HER CHILD.

    THANK YOU

    I WANT TO ADD THIS???? I FOUND THIS SAY THE ONLY RESON THAT I SHOULD NOT MARRY MY SISTER INLAW IS THAT THEY MAY BE SOME ISSUES IN MY WIFES FAMILY AS THEY MAY HAVE A FIGHT OR THEY MAY NOT LIKE EACH OTHERE IF SOMTHING HAPPENS????
    PLS TAKE A LOOK I WANT THIS TO HAPPEN I KNOW I CAN GIVE HER EVEY THING THAT I HAVE GIVEN MY WIFE. GOD WILL HELP ME IN EVERY WAY I KNOW HE WILL ....

    Question:
    I am Hanafi. I have been good friends with my wife's sister. She is divorced with 2 kids. We now realise we love each other. Can I marry her and be still married to her sister? Do I have to take permission from my wife to do this? We don�t want to tell her any thing because we don�t want to hurt anyone�

    PausePlay
    Answer:
    In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim narrate in their respective Sahihs from Uqba ibn Amir (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah said:
    �Do not go near [non-Mahram] women.�

    A person inquired: �What about in-laws?�

    The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) responded,
    �In-laws are death.�

    Answer:

    In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate. All praise is to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And the blessings and peace of Allah be upon His Chosen Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions, and followers.

    It is completely impermissible to marry one�s wife�s sister. There is clear scholarly consensus regarding this, because of the explicit text of the Qur�an relating to it.

    Allah Most High says in the Qur�an, when mentioning those whom it is forbidden for men to marry,

    �And (it is forbidden unto you) that ye should have two sisters together, except what hath already happened (of that nature) in the past. Lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.� [Qur�an, 4.23]

    Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas al-Razi (Allah have mercy on him) explained in his Ahkam al-Qur�an,

    �This entails the prohibition of joining between two sisters in marriage in any way, because of the general purport of the wording.� [Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur�an, 2.186]

    Imam Ibn Hazm (Allah have mercy on him) explained in his al-Muhalla,

    �This verse means that Allah Most High has forgiven them that which occurred in the past [f: before the prohibition was revealed], not that He has allowed them to stay married [if that was the case in the past]� There is no difference of opinion regarding the prohibition of being married to two sisters at the same time.� [Ibn Hazm, al - Muhalla, 9.134]

    Imam al-Kasani confirmed this and explained the reasoning and wisdom behind this prohibition in his Bada�i` al-Sana�i`:

    �As for joining between two sisters in marriage, it is forbidden (haram), because of Allah Most High saying, �And (it is forbidden unto you) that ye should have two sisters together�� This is because joining between them would lead to harming family ties [f: between the two sisters], because hostility between co-wives is obvious�� [Kasani, Bada�i` al-Sana�i`, 2.262]

    • Soahil, it is forbidden in Islam to marry two sisters at the same time, as you already know, since it says so clearly in the fatwa you quoted. The answer is for you to stop coveting that which is forbidden. If you want to help the sister, you can offer her financial assistance, and help her find a good husband who will accept her child Insha'Allah.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  5. I'm from the United States. It is not legal to have two wives here, but you can/ if allowed by your wife have the other sister have a baby that you take care of with the wife in return for, to put lightly, the baby. If allowed by your wife you could , in other words service your wife's sister while married to your wife. Though seeing as you might not be from the USA, marrige laws might be different so you could marry them both as long as you are not blood related and where you are from allows it. (Pushing any religion aside so long as law allow there is nothing wrong with it no laws that i know prohibit you from having both sisters.)

  6. i have my wife i need to marry my wife elder sister because she is divorced and she did not have baby because she had been divorced so i decide i want to marry my wife elder sister,so can i marry her please give me good advice

    • Brother,

      Islam does not permit a man to marry two sisters at the same time while they are both living.

      Did it never cross your mind how terrible your wife would feel if she knew what plans you have been making in your mind about marrying her own sister? Seriously brother, worry about keeping your own wife and marriage happy first before anything else. And if you 'sincerely' care about your wife and your sister in law, then help your wife to find her sister a good husband and keep your distance from your sister in law.

      SisterZ
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  7. There are lots of things which are haram accoording to the Koran, but then once you did it it becomes valid. For example giving three talaks at the same time is haram but if somebody did it then the dovorce becomes valid. It is an utter shame that the Muslim society is particularly dead against marrying two sisters at the same time. Is it not better to say that marrying two sisters would be a sin but the marriages would, nevertheless, be valid.

    Only those in extreme situations then go onto marrying two sisters at the same time.

    I am sure that Allah (SWT) would forgive me if I did it - but it is the Muslim society which would make our lives hell. Only those in true love can understand the difference between short-lived infatuation and the love for Allah's creations. Please note that those who are only after having sex with sister in law would not think of marrying her. I have had numerous opportunities but as I love her so much and as Allah (SWT) hates this I did not do any sex with her. But that does not mean I have any less sexual appetite/ability.

    • Aminul, Islam is what it is, and it is determined by the infinite wisdom of Allah.

      Allah says: "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." [5:4]

      You may wish that it was permitted to marry two sisters at the same time, but Allah has clearly forbidden it, and the religion does not go according to your wishes and desires.

      Allah says: "And who is more astray then the one who follows his own whims and desires devoid of revelation?" [28:50]

      How easily you say, "I am sure that Allah would forgive me if I did it." SubhanAllah! Is Allah your puppet or tool that you can be so sure of His forgiveness? Allah forgives who He wishes, and punishes who He wishes.

      The great Companion Anas Bin Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) said later in his life, to the tabieen around him: "You are a people who commit many mistakes which appear to you as thin as a hair; but during the lifetime of the Noble Prophet we considered them as the most dreadful sins."

      It's a mark of our lack of faith in these times that we commit or contemplate the most serious sins, and we think it's no big deal, and we say, "Allah will surely forgive me."

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • how can you go against THE QURAN. Whts written in QURAN is ABSOLUTE
      Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed. [al-Nisaa 4:23]
      read it carefully brother. What has been passed means pre islamic era NOT that what you are doing unknowingly
      Sharia e MUHAMMADI FORBIDS such an act. You better stop misguiding others by giving the example of divorce because divorce is HALAAL (although ALLAH dislikes it)
      stop loving sister in law n start learning THE RELIGION ISLAM !!!

    • "Is it not better to say that marrying two sisters would be a sin but the marriages would, nevertheless, be valid."

      It's as invalid as marrying your mother. What is the matter with you? Have sense, you will regret this later.

      "I am sure that Allah (SWT) would forgive me if I did it"

      You are assuming of Allah other than the truth. Rather, he punishes whoever he wills and forgives whoever he wills.

  8. Assalamoalaikum Dear Admin,

    I was searching for the answer for this and I am thankful to Allah Subhana Hu Ta'lla for bringing me here. I was searching multiple scenarios regarding the same issue because of so many people asking me the same question. Your answer will help so many other brothers and sisters. Please find some questions below as these were mailed to me and I need answers of these questions on urgent basis.

    (Remainder of question deleted by Editor)

    • Arsalan, Walaykumsalaam,

      I aplogise for deleting your questions, but there is a queue of people already waiting to have their questions answered. So please log in and submit your question as a separate post. Thank you.

      SisterZ
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  9. how about my sister inlaw's daughter? in clearly does not state in the quran or hadith right..? pls advice with evidence.. thanks f

    • f, you can marry your sister-in-law's daughter (presumably you mean the daughter of your brother's wife).

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com

      • let me correct u wael. U CAN marry your wife's sister's daughter but u CANNOT marry your brother's daughter
        reference
        AL QURAN
        SURA E NISA
        AYAT 23
        ”Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters.......”

        • Shahid, I'm not sure what you're correcting me on. I never said anything about the brother's daughter.

          Wael
          IslamicAnswers.com Editor

          • ”f, you can marry your sister-in-law's daughter (presumably you mean the daughter of your brother's wife).”

            daughter of your brother's wife is brother's daughter. Thts wht im correcting !

  10. Sallam,
    Can I marry the nice (brothers daughter) of my ex-wife if I am divorced from her and have no intention of reuniting with her (my ex-wife).

  11. In the light of ISLAM AND QURAN which is 100% correct and one can not deny it as muslim. In ISLAM each and everything is defined logically.

    I want to understand the logic behind not allowing two sisters marriage at the same time with a man but allowing antoher women to get married and not wife's sister.

    Another thing is in mind that it is only allowing either divorce or after death of wife which again compel a problem for wife if the person is too engaged in love or sexual attatchement with wife's sister.

    Please guide and give logical answers.

    • Why is everyone so keep in marrying their sister in law. Their a lesson why not allowed to talk to ur non Mahram. u should stay away from sister in law/ brother in law as d prophet said they are ur death.Why would someone or that sister betray his wife / sister. This is so wrong.

  12. can i marry my sister's husband after they had devoiced?

  13. Please read the answer that has been given ten times over here! Theres been numerous people posting if they can marry there wifes sister under this question tread. The answer is not going to change each time. It is stated in the Quran and has been mentioned here numerous times, no you can not marry your wifes sister and still be married to your wife.

  14. My wife is Christian she converted to islam .
    my wife little sister wants to marry me.is that possible i can marry her and she also converted to islam.
    please help me out.

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