Question About Mahram and Non-Mahram Relationships

Discussion in 'Islam' started by Amica, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. Amica

    Amica Member

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    Aren't mahram and non-mahram relationships to be defined culturally? While the Qur'an was initially referred to Arabs, I can understand why Qur'an specifies who is mahram and who is not. So, in the context of Arabic culture one can marry one's aunt's son/daughter. Well, in many there countries of the world such is unacceptable. One example is Bosnia.

    Bosnian Muslims have traditionally maintained strong family ties with immediate as well as extended family. And, as per cultural norms, marrying one's cousin is not acceptable. While people understand that the Qur'an allows cousins marrying, people still do not abide by that, if you will, privilege. Suddenly, after the war, we are seeing people cutting family ties with aunts and uncles because in their view now that they are more religious the uncles and aunts are not mahram (family) anymore. I think this is so absurd and truly sad state of affairs. I would never ever marry my uncle's son. In fact, we call each other brother and sister. My uncle's son I used to call half-brother when I was little and he called me half-sister (even though we do not share any of the parents biologically). And that is how we introduced each other to people. So, how would I to even think marrying my half-brother?

    If the permission to marry cousins was meant as commandment, Allah SWT would not say "permission is given," but rather it would be: you are commanded. And Qur'an, based on my limited understanding, is not commanding such practice. So, why do some people make it seem sinful if family ties are maintained with extended cousins, without any marriage arrangements mind you?
     
  2. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    A lot of questions today Amica? Personally I think a trip to a Masjid nearby might be more appropriate, But I will try to answer your questions as best as I can.

    The cousins issue is mostly cultural. Allah tells us they are legal for us to marry. There is no commandment TO MARRY one. It is merely an option. Biologically the separation is far enough to avoid genetic issues (or so science has told us so far). If you are asking if it is commanded to be legal, kindof yes. It specifies it as Halal. However if you do not want to marry your cousin, there is no compulsion to do so. And on that I cannot go further, as I am not entirely sure what you find contention with.
     
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  3. Amica

    Amica Member

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    I am definitely on a questions spree :) I should go and talk to someone at the masjid. The imam is from an Arab culture, so I am sure that his reply would not only be from a religious perspective, but also cultural.
     
  4. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    trying to sift the culture out is difficult at times... but not impossible.
     
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  5. Ahmad232

    Ahmad232 Member

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    nope, mahram and non-mahram relationships or not to be defined culturally; we cannot allow one group to continue doing fornication and just ban it for another group ... for fornication is what haram relations lead to!
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    The cousin thing.... Science used to be concerned....it appears not so much anymore...the issue is when you continue to do it...generation after generation... But folks knew that back then, they saw the disabilities...hence the mention about it.

    It was my understanding that limited travel, losing men in war, made marriage choices limited...and population growth being required to keep societies alive...this was not forbidden.,.. As suggested...not required, not encouraged, but acceptable.
     
  7. ayman almadi

    ayman almadi New Member

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    Marriage cousins or aunt's son/daughter is not forbidden in Islam
    It is permissible but islam encourage to marry outside the family for build anew relationships between peoples
    the quran said
    يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ {13
    People, We have created you all from male and female and have made you nations and tribes so that you would recognize each other. The most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most pious of you. God is All-knowing and All-aware.
     
  8. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    Salam alaikum Amica.

    First we need to understand where the issue of not marrying cousins came from in Europe. It was first banned by the Catholic Church at the Council of Agde in 506 AD, but only lasted for a short time and the practice of marrying cousins then continued ... until the mid 19th century when it became a popular belief that this caused birth defects. Interestingly Charles Darwin, he of natural selection, was married to his first cousin.

    So it isn't an Arab practice, it was a world wide practice often to ensure money and land remained within a family. Virtually all the royals in Europe were married off to their cousins to ensure the 'royal bloodline'. So your first question should be when did Bosnia decide it was not ok to marry your cousin and who (ie which group of people) led this belief?

    As others have said, we follow the Quran, not cultures. The Quran allows a man to marry 4 wives but it doesn't instruct them to do so it's simply permitted, same with marrying a cousin.

    Your next question should be why are Bosnians cutting ties with aunts and uncles? Paternal and maternal uncles and aunts are Mahram but their children (cousins) are not as you can marry them if you want to. All that means is for girls they must maintain hijab in front of their cousins when they reach puberty and can't spend time alone (male and female together), so why would this lead to cutting ties?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015

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