Which Women Are Not Permissible to Marry?


The Almighty Lord of all the worlds states:
“And do not marry the women who were wedded to your fathers (and grand fathers), except what has already passed; that is indeed an act of shame and great wrong; and an evil way. (Surah Nisaa Verse 22)
In the following verse Allah Azzawajalla states:
“Forbidden for you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and your father’s sisters, and your mother’s sisters, and your brothers’ daughters and your sisters’daughters, and your foster-mothers (who breastfed you), and their daughters (your foster-sisters), and your wives’ mothers (mothers-in-law), and your wives’ daughters who are under your protection - born of the women with whom you have cohabited; and if you have not cohabited with them, then it is no sin for you to marry their daughters; and (forbidden are) the wives of your own sons (and foster sons and grandsons) and the keeping of two sisters together in marriage, except what has already passed; indeed Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful. And all married women are forbidden for you except the wives of disbelievers who come into your possession as bondwomen; this is Allah’s decree for you; and other than these, all women are lawful for you so that you seek them in exchange of your wealth in proper wedlock, not adultery; therefore give the women you wish to marry, their appointed bridal money; and after the appointment (of bridal money) there is no sin on you if you come to a mutual agreement; indeed Allah is All Knowing, Wise.” (Surah Nisaa Verse 23-24)
At another point Allah Azzawajalla states:
“And do not marry polytheist women until they become Muslims; for undoubtedly a Muslim bondwoman is better than a polytheist woman, although you may like her; and do not give your women in marriage to polytheist men until they accept faith; for undoubtedly a Muslim slave is better than a polytheist, although you may like him; they invite you towards the fire; and Allah invites towards Paradise and forgiveness by His command; and explains His verses to mankind so that they may accept guidance.” (Surah Baqarah Verse 221)
There are certain women whom it is unlawful to marry and there are certain reasons why it is not allowed to marry them.
There are below types of women it is not allowed to marry for various reasons.
First Type: Those women who are unlawful due to a close relationship with them and there are seven categories – Mother, daughter, sister, paternal aunt, maternal aunt, paternal niece (brother’s daughter), maternal niece (sister’s
Mother means the woman whose child you are either directly or indirectly. As well as the birth mother, this category also includes grandmothers (maternal and paternal) and great grandmothers etc. Regardless of how many generations up you go they are all unlawful to marry as they are either your own mother or the mother of your parents, grandparents etc.
Daughter means those women who are his offspring meaning daughter, grand-daughter, great grand-daughter (paternal
and maternal) regardless of how many generations removed she is as she is considered a daughter.
Second Type: The second group of women whom it is not allowed to marry are those women who are related by marriage meaning your wife’s daughters, mother and grandmothers. Also the wives and daughters of your fatherin-law and grandfathers-in-law etc.
Third Type: Those women who have a blood relationship with each other which makes it unlawful for a man to be married to them both at the same time. For example, if a man marries a woman, her sister is now considered to be his sister and therefore he cannot marry her at the same time. Similarly he cannot marry his wife’s aunt (maternal or paternal) as they are his wife’s aunts and his relationship with them is now considered to be that of aunt and nephew. Therefore, they cannot be wives at the same time and even if he was to divorce his wife, he cannot marry the relations of his ex-wife mentioned above until she has completed her ‘Iddat’ (probationary period). (Hidaya etc)
Fourth Type: Those women who are in your possession by way of slavery like slave-girls regardless of whether she is
solely in your possession or jointly owned by someone else. However, latter day Scholars state that Nikah should be
performed with them to be on the safe side but this does not mean the usual Nikah with Mehr and divorce allowances. (Hidaya, Bahaar)
Fifth Type: Those women with whom Nikah is forbidden as a result of polytheism (shirk).
Sixth Type: Those women who are unlawful as their marriage to someone else have not yet been terminated.
Seventh Type: Those women who are unlawful as their marriage to someone else have not yet been terminated.
Eighth Type: Those women who are unlawful as a result of already having the maximum number of wives.
Ninth Type: Those women who are unlawful as a result of the relationship of suckling (drinking their milk). (Qanoon-e-

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