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Marrying a sister’s stepdaughter

Question:

What do the scholars and experts of shari’ah say regarding my situation? I wish to marry the daughter of my paternal uncle’s son; her father is also my brother-in-law. The woman I wish to marry is not my sister’s daughter, rather her stepdaughter. Is such a marriage allowed in the shari’ah?

Answer:

The shari’ah clearly outlines the woman with whom one is not allowed to engage in a relationship with. The Holy Qur’an states:

“It is forbidden for you to marry: your mothers; your daughters; your sisters; your maternal aunts; your paternal aunts; nieces from the brother’s side or sister’s side; your foster mothers who have suckled you, and your foster sisters; your mothers-in-law; the stepdaughters who are in your care from women with whom you have consummated marriage, but if you have not consummated your marriage with them then there’s no blame. Also, forbidden are: the wives of your sons; and marrying two sisters at the same time, except if such a marriage has already taken place. Allah is the Forgiver, the Kind. Also forbidden are women who are already married, except what your right hands possess. These prohibited marriages are Allah’s commandment to be obeyed. Whatever falls outside the above-mentioned prohibitions is lawful for you to desire.” (Surah Al-Nisa:23-24)

In regards to the scenario presented, marrying the daughter of a brother-in-law whose mother (your sister) is a step-mother to the daughter, is permissible. In shari’ah, the mother’s brother will be considered a maternal uncle to her daughters but not to her stepdaughters and therefore the prohibition of marrying ‘nieces from the sister’s side’ will not apply here.

And Allah ﷻ knows the best

This Fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari