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What is the status of the relationship between children born from more than one marriage?


Nasihah (Advice): Do not separate a mother from her child


Sayyiduna Abu Ayyoob Radhiyallahu Anhu reports that he heard Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam saying: “Whoever separates a mother and her child, Allah will separate him from those that he loves on the day of judgement.” (Sunan Tirmidhi)



Question and Answer:


  1. Many of our elders in the family had more than one wife. When one passed away they married another woman. Some married 3 times.

What is the status of the relationships between the children born out of these marriages in Islam?


(Question published as received)


  1. Children born from more than one marriage can be divided into two types:
  2. Children who share a parent – Siblings who share the same mother(Uterine siblings), for e.g. one’s mother married two husbands (at separate times) and she had children from both of them, or siblings who share the same father (Consanguine siblings), for e.g. one’s father married two wives and he had children from both wives. These siblings are counted as Mahrams whom you cannot marry. Accordingly, observing the laws of Hijaab between them is not necessary.


  1. Children who do not share a parent – Siblings born of two different families who have been joined by marriage (step-siblings), for e.g. one’s parent married a spouse who had children from a previous marriage. Step-siblings are not counted as Mahrams. Accordingly, observing the laws of Hijaab between them is necessary. (Badaai-us-Sanaai 2/257)


And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best


(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh unless otherwise stated.) 


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Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

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Durban, South Africa
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Email: fatwa@jamiat.org.za
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