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Chapter twenty-seven » Laws of permanent marriage → ← Chapter twenty-seven » Situations in which a man and a woman can annul the marriage contract

Chapter twenty-seven » Women with whom marriage is unlawful (ḥarām)

Ruling 2403. It is unlawful for a man to marry women who are his maḥram,)1( such as his mother, sister, daughter, paternal aunt, maternal aunt, his nieces, and his mother-in-law.

Ruling 2404. If a person marries a woman, then even though they may not have had sexual intercourse, her mother, her maternal grandmother, and her paternal grandmother, however many generations they go back, become maḥram to him.

Ruling 2405. If a person marries a woman and has sexual intercourse with her, her daughters and granddaughters, however many generations they go forward, become maḥram to him, irrespective of whether they are alive at the time of the marriage contract or are born thereafter.

Ruling 2406. Even if a person has not had sexual intercourse with the woman he has married, as long as he is married to her, he must not – based on obligatory precaution – marry her daughter.

Ruling 2407. The paternal and maternal aunts of a person, and the paternal and maternal aunts of his father, and the paternal aunts of his paternal grandfather or paternal grandmother, however many generations they go back, are maḥram to him. Similarly, the paternal and maternal aunts of one’s mother, and the paternal and maternal aunts of his maternal grandmother or maternal grandfather, however many generations they go back, are maḥram to him.

Ruling 2408. The father and grandfather of one’s husband, however many generations they go back, and her sons and grandsons, however many generations they go back, are all maḥram to her, irrespective of whether they are alive at the time of the marriage contract or are born thereafter.

Ruling 2409. If a person marries a woman, be it in a permanent or temporary marriage, he cannot marry her sister as long as she is married to him.

Ruling 2410. If a man gives his wife a revocable divorce (al-ṭalāq al-rijʿī) in the manner that will be explained in the laws pertaining to divorce, he cannot marry her sister during the prescribed waiting period (ʿiddah). However, he can marry her sister if she is observing ʿiddah of an irrevocable divorce (al-ṭalāq al-bāʾin). And the obligatory precaution is that a man must not marry a woman who is observing ʿiddah of a temporary marriage.

Ruling 2411. A person cannot marry his wife’s niece without her consent. However, if he contracts a marriage with his wife’s niece without her consent and afterwards his wife consents to it, there is no problem.

Ruling 2412. If a woman realises that her husband has married her niece and she does not say anything about this, in the event that she consents afterwards, the marriage is valid. But if she does not consent, it is invalid.

Ruling 2413. If a person fornicates with his maternal aunt or paternal aunt before marrying the daughter of either of them, then based on obligatory precaution he can no longer marry the daughter.

Ruling 2414. If a person marries the daughter of his paternal aunt or maternal aunt and after sexual intercourse, or before it, he fornicates with her mother, it does not annul their marriage.

Ruling 2415. If a person fornicates with a woman other than his maternal or paternal aunt, the recommended precaution is that he should not marry her daughter.

Ruling 2416. A Muslim woman cannot marry a man who is a disbeliever (kāfir), be it in a permanent marriage or a temporary one. It makes no difference whether the man is from among the People of the Book (ahl al-kitāb)(2) or not. And a Muslim man cannot marry women who are disbelievers other than those from among the People of the Book. However, there is no problem if a Muslim man contracts a temporary marriage with Jewish or Christian women but, based on obligatory precaution, he must not contract a permanent marriage with them. As for Zoroastrian women, based on obligatory precaution, a Muslim man must not contract marriage with them, not even a temporary marriage.

A man who has a Muslim wife cannot contract marriage with women who are from among the People of the Book without the permission of his wife; rather, even with her permission, it is not permitted (jāʾiz) for him to marry them. As for those who consider themselves to be Muslims but are subject to the rules applicable to disbelievers, such as nawāṣib, (3) a Muslim man or woman cannot marry them in a permanent or temporary or marriage. The same applies to marrying an apostate (murtadd).

Ruling 2417. If a person fornicates with a woman who is observing the ʿiddah of a revocable divorce, then based on obligatory precaution that woman becomes unlawful for him [to marry]. However, if a person fornicates with a woman who is observing the ʿiddah of a temporary marriage, or the ʿiddah of an irrevocable divorce, or the ʿiddah of a widow (wafāt), or the ʿiddah of intercourse that has ensued from a mistake (waṭʾ al-shubhah), then in all of these cases, he can marry her afterwards. The meaning of ‘revocable divorce’, ‘irrevocable divorce’, ‘ʿiddah of a temporary marriage’, ‘ʿiddah of a widow’, and ‘ʿiddah of intercourse that has ensued from a mistake’ will be explained in the laws pertaining to divorce.

Ruling 2418. If a person fornicates with an unmarried woman who is not observing ʿiddah, then based on obligatory precaution he cannot marry her before she repents. However, there is no problem if another man wishes to marry her before she repents unless she is known for fornicating, in which case, based on obligatory precaution, it is not permitted to marry her before she repents. The same applies to a man who is known for fornicating [i.e. based on obligatory precaution, it is not permitted to marry him] before he repents. Furthermore, the recommended precaution is that if a man wishes to marry a woman who commits fornication, whether he himself fornicated with her or not, he should wait until she menstruates and then marry her.

Ruling 2419. If a man marries a woman who is observing the ʿiddah of her marriage to another man, in the event that both or one of them knew that her ʿiddah was not yet over and they knew that marrying a woman who is observing ʿiddah is unlawful, the woman becomes unlawful for him forever even if they did not have sexual intercourse after getting married. And if they were ignorant about what ʿiddah is or about it being unlawful to marry a woman who is observing ʿiddah, then the marriage contract is invalid. Furthermore, if they have had sexual intercourse, it is forever unlawful [for them to get married to each other]; otherwise, it is not unlawful and they can get married again once the ʿiddah is over.

Ruling 2420. If a person knows that a woman is married but he marries her anyway, he must separate from her and must not marry her again. The same applies, based on obligatory precaution, if he does not know that she is married but he has sexual intercourse with her after getting married to her.

Ruling 2421. If a married woman commits adultery, then based on obligatory precaution she becomes unlawful forever for the adulterous man. However, she does not become unlawful for her husband. And in the event that she does not repent and persists in committing adultery, it is better for her husband to divorce her, although he still has to give her dowry to her.

Ruling 2422. If a woman who is divorced – or if a woman who was a temporary wife and who was given the remaining marriage period by her husband, or whose marriage period came to an end – marries again after a period of time but then doubts (i.e. has a shakk) whether or not the ʿiddah of her first husband had finished when she married her second husband, such a woman must not give heed to her doubt.

Ruling 2423. The mother, sister, and daughter of a boy who has been sodomised are unlawful for the one who sodomised him if the latter was bāligh, even if the extent of penetration was less than the circumcised part of the penis. The same applies, based on obligatory precaution, if the one who was sodomised was a man [i.e. bāligh] or if the one who sodomised him was not bāligh. However, if he merely supposes (i.e. has a ẓann) that penetration occurred, or he doubts whether or not penetration occurred, then they are not unlawful for him. Furthermore, the mother, sister, and daughter of the one who sodomised are not unlawful for the one who was sodomised.

Ruling 2424. If a person marries a woman and after marrying her commits sodomy with her father, brother, or son, then based on obligatory precaution she becomes unlawful for him.

Ruling 2425. If a person marries a woman while he is in the state of iḥrām (iḥrām is one of the requirements of hajj),(4) the marriage contract is invalid even if the woman is not in the state of iḥrām herself. And in the event that he knew that marrying a woman [in the state of iḥrām] was unlawful for him, he cannot ever marry that woman.

Ruling 2426. If a woman marries a man while she is in the state of iḥrām, the marriage contract is invalid even if the man is not in the state of iḥrām himself. And in the event that the woman knew that getting married while in the state of iḥrām is unlawful, the obligatory precaution is that she must never marry that man.

Ruling 2427. If a man or a woman does not perform ṭawāf al-nisāʾ,(5) which is one of the rituals of hajj and ʿumrat al-mufradah,(6) then sexual activity is not lawful for them until they perform ṭawāf al-nisāʾ. However, if they marry, then in the event that they perform ḥalq(7) or taqṣīr(8) and come out of the state of iḥrām, their marriage is valid even if they have not performed ṭawāf al-nisāʾ.

Ruling 2428. If a person marries a non-bālighah girl, it is unlawful for him to have sexual intercourse with her until she has completed nine lunar years. However, if he does have sexual intercourse with her before then, it will not be unlawful for him to have sexual intercourse with her after she reaches bulūgh even if she has developed a cloacal abnormality (the meaning of which was explained in Ruling 2399). And if she has developed a cloacal abnormality, he must pay her blood money (diyah), which is equivalent to the blood money for killing a human being, and he must also pay for her living expenses forever, even after divorce. In fact, based on obligatory precaution, even if that girl marries someone else after getting divorced [he must still pay for her living expenses].

Ruling 2429. A woman who has been divorced three times – having returned to her husband twice or having again contracted marriage with him twice in between those three divorces – becomes unlawful for her husband. However, if she marries another man in accordance with the conditions that will be mentioned in the laws pertaining to divorce, her first husband can marry her again after the second husband dies or divorces her and after her ʿiddah finishes.

(1) A maḥram is a person whom one is never permitted to marry on account of being related to them in a particular way.

(2) As mentioned in Ruling 103, the ‘People of the Book’ are Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians.

(3) In Ruling 103, nawāṣib (pl. of nāṣibī) are defined as ‘those who show enmity towards the Imams (ʿA)’.

(4) Iḥrām here refers to the state of ritual consecration of pilgrims during hajj and ʿumrah.

(5) This is an obligatory circumambulation (ṭawāf) of the Kaʿbah that is performed as part of the hajj rituals.

(6) ʿUmrat al-mufradah refers to the recommended pilgrimage to Mecca that is performed independently of hajj at any time of the year.

(7) Ḥalq is the shaving of the head performed by men as part of the hajj rituals.

(8) Taqṣīr refers to snipping one’s hair or trimming one’s beard or moustache as part of the hajj and ʿumrah rituals.
Chapter twenty-seven » Laws of permanent marriage → ← Chapter twenty-seven » Situations in which a man and a woman can annul the marriage contract
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