Can you marry your wife’s sister in islam? Check out the answer according to some Muslim scholars.
Can You Marry Your Wife’s Sister in Islam?
At the same time, the answer is NO. Because the wife’s sister is regarded a “stranger” (non-mahram) to her sister’s husband, he is not permitted to gaze at her, be alone with her, or shake hands with her.
Some people believe that since she is forbidden to the husband in marriage, it is permitted to gaze at her, be alone with her, and shake hands with her, but this is wrong.
What is meant by forbidden in marriage here is that it is not permissible for a man to be married to a woman and her sister at the same time; similarly it is forbidden to marry a woman and her paternal aunt or a woman and her maternal aunt at the same time.
The Qur’an mentions the prohibition of marrying a woman and her sister at the same time.
Allah has revealed that among the women who are prohibited from marrying, He states (interpretation of the meaning):
and two sisters in wedlock at the same timeSurah al-Nisa’ 4:23
And it is stated in the saheeh Sunnah that it is forbidden to marry a woman and her paternal aunt at the same time, or to marry a woman and her maternal aunt at the same time. Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim, 1408.
So what is forbidden is marrying two sisters at the same time, and the wife’s sister is not permanently forbidden to the husband for marriage.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a woman who lives with her married sister and does not wear hijab in front of her sister’s husband. She claims to be a mahram (forbidden in marriage) to him for a temporary time. What is your response to that?
This woman is confused. It is not permissible for her sister’s husband to marry her so long as her sister is with him, so she is forbidden in marriage to him for a certain period, not permanently. But her understanding is mistaken because those who are forbidden in marriage for a certain period are not mahrams.
The mahrams are people to whom marriage is permanently forbidden, either due to blood ties or for a legitimate reason, namely marriage or breastfeeding relationships.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
And marry not women whom your fathers married, except what has already passed; indeed it was shameful and most hateful, and an evil way.
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,
- Your foster mothers who gave you suck,
- Your foster milk suckling sisters,
- Your wives’ mothers,
- Your stepdaughters under your guardianship,
- Born of your wives to whom you have gone in, but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in them (to marry their daughters),
- The wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins, and
- Two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed; verily, Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”
[Surah al-Nisa’ 4:22]
Allah did not say, “And the sisters of your wives.” What is forbidden is to be married to two sisters at the same time.
Based on this, we say to the sister of the questioner, who says that her sister speaks to her sister’s husband and does not wear hijab in front of him, and says that they are temporary mahrams, that this is a mistaken notion and is not correct.
This is not the matter of being temporary mahrams, because what is forbidden is to be married to two sisters at the same time, as Allaah says: “and two sisters in wedlock at the same time”. The case of the wife’s sister is not as the questioner understands it.
Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 2/877.