I watched one of Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa’s lectures in which he narrated a story of a married woman cheating on her husband with someone she call cousin. The said cousin always visited his cousin in her matrimonial home when her husband traveled until it got bursted.

She even had the guts then to every time her cousin-lover visited her house, calls her husband so that her lover can greet the husband on the phone. That was how her lover kept sharing the woman with her husband. Sheikh Daurawa ended his preaching advising couples and everyone dating any girl telling him about cousins, that they should be extra careful, because most of those cousin-cousin relationships are not too healthy.

Again, I am aware of the story of one woman who was in love with her cousin, but was married to another man. As a tradition, our wives travel for events in their families. So, this woman sought the permission of her husband to attend a marriage ceremony in her extended family. And unfortunately, that same house she went for the marriage ceremony was the same house that her cousin-lover lives. And we all know how scarce accommodation can be during marriage ceremonies. Thus, this her cousin invited her to sleep in his apartment and she complied.

Unfortunately, he deceived her with romantic talks and they had sex all through the night. And as a result, she got pregnant. The pregnancy was not what disturbed her much, but the fact that she never committed adultery even before her marriage until she got married.

A woman I know is still in trauma when she found that two of her daughters were impregnated same time by same person in her own room. She got to know what has been happening between them when one of the daughters didn’t see her monthly period for two months. She was confused and disturbed because her daughters never go out except to Islamiyya School and their secondary school which she drives them to and from. Upon investigation, she found out that their cousin living in the house was responsible. One of the daughters narrated that he sometimes had sex with them in their room, their mother’s room or his room. All these happened without her knowledge or that of anyone else, because she took him as blood brother and so, allowed him to have unrestricted access to her daughters.

A friend was telling me when and how he had his first sexual encounter in life, when I was advising him to stop some of his too rampant and uncontrolled habits. He told me frankly that his first sexual engagement was with his cousin who was even older than him.

It all started when he graduated from secondary school and the cousin was staying in their house. She was attending a university close to their house and as such, she was staying with his family. According to him, they watched, dined, played and mingled all through together because she was considered his blood sister. So, she took advantage of him and introduced him to that act. And since then, he has been making attempts to continue crossing her even when she get married, but her husband has been too protective and vigilant.

In all these, you would see that many families have either adopted children or blood relations having unrestricted and uncontrolled access to our homes and daughters, thinking they are biologically part of us. This is in clear violation of the Qur’anic teachings.

Conventionally, whoever can marry a woman is not her “muharram” and should have restrictions to how he meet or access our wives, daughters and sisters. Allah say in Surah An-Nisa, Verse 23:

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُمْ وَعَمَّاتُكُمْ وَخَالَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ الْأَخِ وَبَنَاتُ الْأُخْتِ وَأُمَّهَاتُكُمُ اللَّاتِي أَرْضَعْنَكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُم مِّنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ وَأُمَّهَاتُ نِسَائِكُمْ وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللَّاتِي فِي حُجُورِكُم مِّن نِّسَائِكُمُ اللَّاتِي دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ فَإِن لَّمْ تَكُونُوا دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَحَلَائِلُ أَبْنَائِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَابِكُمْ وَأَن تَجْمَعُوا بَيْنَ الْأُخْتَيْنِ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

“Forbidden to you are your mothers and your daughters and your sisters and your paternal aunts and your maternal aunts and brothers’ daughters and sisters’ daughters and your mothers that have suckled you and your foster-sisters and mothers of your wives and your step-daughters who are in your guardianship, (born) of your wives to whom you have gone in, but if you have not gone in to them, there is no blame on you (in marrying them), and the wives of your sons who are of your own loins and that you should have two sisters together, except what has already passed; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

Whoever falls within the category of the verse above is “Muharram” and whoever doesn’t fall can marry and as such should have restrictions. If the person she always refer her cousin does not fall within such category, you shouldn’t be allowing him into your house in your absence. So many things are happening because we fail to abide by the simple teachings of the Holy Qur’an and as a result, our daughters are being sexually assaulted in our own houses even while we monitor and control who they meet outside.

Most of those cousins that are used to each other before marriage hardly spare them even after they are married, they still follow them into their matrimonial houses or go after them when they visit home. So is better you draw a boundary for your fiancée to stay off attaching herself to cousins, especially those you suspect cannot be clean. If not, you may end up sharing your wife with those cousins you cherish whenever she introduce them to you. If she is for cousins, leave her and allow her to marry cousins. Find another one that truly know the positions of cousins Islamically and marry. As for fathers, her cousin can marry her. Therefore, define his boundaries before he turn her to his home slut.

May Allah continue to guide, protect and bless us with pious wives, sisters, daughters, cousins and offsprings. Amin.

Auwal Mustapha Imam