Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Can I marry my wife’s younger sister?


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 Marriage Advice Muslim Matrimonial Service


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46 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.

      • Brother Wael.
        Asalam o alaik.
        Don't you think the the adoption the another brother point out is not allowed that is why men can take up to four wife's as mentioned in sura al nissa.

        And to keep in mind zaid RA was not to see prophate's pbuh daughters

        • Wa alaykum as-salam. There is nothing wrong with adoption, and in fact it is a good deed to care for an orphan. However, there are certain limitations placed upon it in Islam. The child must retain his own family name, and does not inherit from the adoptive parents. It's more like a fostering arrangement than what is typically called adoption in the West.


        • Our Prophet was taken care of my Halima Alsa3diye R.a... She was not his mother, and her father had passed away... So no, you cant say adoption isnt permissible, because the prophet himself was adopted for a period of time... And Allah knows best.

  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.



    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�

    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.�


    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 Editor

      • Scholars in Islam have been asked this question on numerous occasion, however in my humble opinion, they never satisfy with a concrete reason as to " Why it is not allowed to have two sister in the Nikkah at the same time" Our beloved scholars always give references from different hadith and Rivayat but fail to give a true and sensible reason of why if a Muslim is allowed to marry 4 wives at one time cannot marry two sisters at once". We Muslims are now divided into numerous sects of Islam i.e. Sunni, Shia, Shafai, Maliki, Hambali, Qadyani, Agakhani, Bahai to name a few and have made the religion in accordance to how we would like to see it fit. We beat around the bush on numerous issues the issues that are close to Humanity and Insaniyat. We also have gone away from doing " IJTEHAD " Which at one time our beloved prophet PBUH suggested to Muslim Ummah to follow. None of this is happening and each and every scholar has his own version of Islam. The matter of Marrying two sisters at one time is very simple. First of all what are the reasons behind it ? Why a man want's to marry the sister of his wife at the same time ? is it because she is divorced, widow or can not get married. What is a reason for this idea of marrying her while the other sister is in his house. No one want's to even explore the possibility of IJTEHAD on this because it will start the controversy in the world of Ullama and since this is not going to generate revenue for the Mullahs of our time, there is no such interest. While not looking at the Core reasoning or looking at this matter at the Grass root level that why this man is thinking of such a thing?
        I believe we live in times where everything is motivated by money and resources. The issue of giving a woman a safe house, love and respect by the same person who is married to her sister is looked upon as the greatest sin of our time. While men go out to other establishments of Haram doings in this and other societies, or marrying up to four wives without their consent, It is all good because it was set in stone 1400 years ago and looking to do an IJTEHAD would be the biggest sin of all times.
        My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, on the basis of pure humanity, piety and love in my humble opinion I don't see any wrong doing by giving the other sister protection and love at the same time. Our world is full of issues and misery and I see this is an act of goodness by a man who can handle it if the wife permits.
        May Allah make us a better person FIRST and make this short life full of good deeds and spreading insaniyat amongst us. Ameen.

        • Faisal, either you are Muslim or you are not. Marrying two sisters at the same time is prohibited in the Quran, 4:23. It is clear and unambiguous. If you are Muslim then you obey Allah, His revelation and His laws. If you are not Muslim, then by all means, feel free to do whatever you like, and face the consequences in the aakhirah.

          There is no ijtihad on a matter which has already been decided by Allah. Allah's laws are not relative. They do not change with the times. This is the fallacy of the modern Western age, that people think that Allah's eternal laws should change to fit the whims of the people, rather than the people changing themselves to fit Allah's decrees.

          You ended your comment with a prayer "May Allah make us a better person..." I suggest that if you want Allah to hear your dua', then you start by hearing Allah's words to you.


        • I think it's disgusting for a man to marry two sisters especially after knowing that it is forbidden in Islam and the mere fact that it is immoral should put this matter to rest.. There may be dodger moulanas out there but Allah will deal with them accordingly.. Shame on you dirty brothers that contemplate such a heinous act of haram. Who would you marry next? Your mothers!!!!!! Shame may Allah guide all of the Ummah

  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 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 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 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).


      • let me correct u wael. U CAN marry your wife's sister's daughter but u CANNOT marry your brother's daughter
        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.


          • ”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 that possible i can marry her and she also converted to islam.
    please help me out.

  15. Thank you for the clear answer, at least I know I can't marry twins even if I wanted to.

  16. Dear sir I have a question I was married n one day i came out to give my paper at my chachu place but my husband. Frst taunted me n then stopped me to go thrr even then I went n the same night he texted me to go for kulla I immediately went back but he did not open my door n aftr four days he signed the divorce papers n sent me ,I hav nt sighned the papers yet ,wat shud I do

    • maria, it sounds like this marriage crashed before it got started. I'd say sign the divorce papers. But if you need more advice then please register and submit your question as a separate post, and provide more details.

      Wael Editor

  17. My friend has married his sister in law immediately after giving divorce notice to his previous wife. Is it valid?

    • It is not allowed to marry two sisters at the same time. So if he did not wait for the completion of his 'iddah before marrying the second sister, then the marriage is NOT valid. And Allah knows best.

      Wael Editor

      • Assalaamu Alaikum Brother Wael,
        You said: "So if he did not wait for the completion of his 'iddah before marrying the second sister, then the marriage is NOT valid."

        Can I please know what is the "Iddah" for men?


        • Iddah means waiting period, from the time U had divorced your wife then you have to wait until she through and witness three mensuration before u can be allowed to marry the other one, Allah knows the Best.

  18. Slm does it mean that the one sister has to pass on first before one can get married to the other one.

  19. Salaam.just need to understand that according says (except for what has already passed)regarding the marriage of two sisters .so one has to pass on before you can marry the other .

    • No brother, that verse "..except for what has already passed..." doesn't mean that one has to pass on before marrying the other!
      It refers to the one that has already happened, that is; those who have already married two sisters at the same time before this verse was revealed!

  20. Is there any way to get married to younger sister of my wife

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