This Is A Shighaar (Quid Pro Quo - Sisters For Sisters, Brothers For Brothers) Marriage And Is Not Permissible
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I am a
young man and I did the marriage contract with my
cousin (the daughter of my maternal aunt), but I do
not love her, I love her sister. But I was forced into
that because her brother would not marry my sister
unless I married the one whom I do not love. The girl
knows that I cannot stand her, but her family insisted
that she marry me. Now I do not know what I should do.
Praise be to Allaah.
honoured man with reason and He has given him free
will to choose that to which his religion, reason and
character make him inclined, so that he may rise above
the promptings of whims and desires and of the
shaytaan. So the one who has been honoured in this way
should not be heedless and respond to the desires of
those who are around him and their hateful customs.
In the Sunnah there is a prohibition on the kind of
marriage that you have entered into, which is called
nikaah al-shighaar (quid pro quo marriage).
It was narrated from Ibn 'Umar (may Allaah be pleased
with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade shighaar.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5112) and Muslim (1415).
A shighaar (quid pro quo) marriage is when it is
stipulated that each man will marry the daughter,
sister or ward of the other, whether there is any mahr
It says in al-Mudawwanah (2/98):
What do you think if someone says "Marry your daughter
to me for one hundred dinars on the basis that I will
marry my daughter to you for one hundred dinars"?
Malik disliked that and regarded it as a kind of
This is also indicated by the report narrated by Abu
Dawood (2075) and others from 'Abd al-Rahmaan ibn
Hormuz, that al-'Abbaas ibn 'Abd-Allaah ibn 'Abbaas
gave his daughter in marriage to 'Abd al-Rahmaan ibn
al-Hakam, and 'Abd al-Rahmaan gave his daughter in
marriage to him, and they both gave dowries.
Mu'aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan wrote to Marwaan ibn al-Hakam
telling him to separate them, and he said in his
letter: This is shighaar which was forbidden by the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
Some of the scholars regarded shighaar as an invalid
marriage which cannot be gone ahead with.
It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah (18/427):
If a man gives his ward in marriage to a man on the
basis that the other will give his ward to him in
marriage, this is the shighaar marriage which was
forbidden by the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him). This is what some people call an
"exchange" marriage, and it is an invalid marriage,
whether a dowry is given or not, and whether there is
mutual consent or not.
But if one man proposes marriage to the ward of
another man, and the other proposes marriage to the
ward of the first, without any stipulation, and the
marriages are done with the consent of both women and
all the other conditions of marriage are met, then
there is no dispute concerning that, and in that case
it is not a shighaar marriage. End quote.
See also the answer to question no. 11515.
Thus it is clear that you have done something that is
forbidden in Islam as well as being reprehensible in
social and psychological terms.
That is because marriage should start with consent and
be entered into by choice. Islam is keen to ensure the
consent of both parties, to such an extent that the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: "A virgin should not be married off until her
permission has been sought." Narrated by al-Bukhaari
(5136) and Muslim (1419).
If marriage is not done with consent then it is
usually doomed to failure, so how about if the husband
dislikes his wife as is the case here?
Even more serious than this is the fact that you love
the sister of the one with whom you have done the
marriage contract. Your dislike of the one with whom
you did the marriage contract and your love for her
sister means that your nafs (self) will call you to
consider haraam things, and the shaytaan will find a
great opportunity to make sin appealing to you. It
will also deprive you of happiness in your marriage
and contentment and love between you and your wife.
The reason for that is going against the laws of
Allaah and entering into a shighaar marriage.
Our advice to you is not to go ahead with this
marriage and not to respond to any attempt to make
excuses. You should explain to your sister's husband
that connecting one marriage contract to the other is
haraam, and renders both contracts invalid. He should
keep his wife, but at the same time he should do the
marriage contract again, because the contract is
invalid due to the shighaar. If he refuses and insists
on leaving her, then Allaah says (interpretation of
"But if they separate (by divorce), Allaah will
provide abundance for everyone of them from His
Bounty. And Allaah is Ever All-Sufficient for His
creatures' needs, All-Wise"
I remind you to fear Allaah and urge you not to
transgress His sacred limits by trying to get in touch
with that girl whom you love. If you cannot marry her
in a proper manner, then you have to cut off all ties
with her completely.
We ask Allaah to guide you.
And Allaah knows best.