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Vindemiatrix

"Marry who you love, but don't marry your cousin" [WHY?]

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Salaam all, first things first, cause I know some you guys will be like "But I don't believe that and I'm western" 

This talk applies to the majority of the western population from any religion. Not all the people born in western countries or living in western countries. For example 

Now that that is cleared up, I'll start the discussion:

It's a common thing for many people western countries to belived that you should marry or be with who you love regardless of their "sexual orientation" or "gender" etc... But whenever someone brings up the idea of marrying your cousin or loving your cousin, it's regarded as disgusting or something which (pardon my language but this has actually been said) produces retar**d children... 

 

So why does everyone think this is the cause? If western people are meant to be so inclusive, then why do most of them reject cousin marriage? People who have studied biology know that there's no real risk of cousin marriage producing children with disabilities unless there's a known genetic disorder in the family... But most of the time it's fine. And a small gene pool has no relevance these days as more cures for diseases are being discovered (الحمداللہ)

Edited by Vindemiatrix

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Guest Westerner here

We do not believe that everyone should marry anyone.  There are always considerations one takes into account.  A straight and a gay person do not marry, a trans person may marry whomever depending on how they identify.  However, in the main, in America heterosexuals marry heterosexuals.  In America it is illegal to marry a first cousin, brother, sister. This is because it can potentially cause babies to be born with mental defects, physical defects, and learning disabilities.  In America one can marry a second cousin.  There are places in America, famously the south in particular, where these rules are ignored and children are produced with challenges.  

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On 12/13/2019 at 5:37 PM, Guest Westerner here said:

We do not believe that everyone should marry anyone. 

But I said: 

On 12/13/2019 at 3:15 PM, Vindemiatrix said:

It's a common thing for many people western countries to believe that you should marry or be with who you love

 

On 12/13/2019 at 5:37 PM, Guest Westerner here said:

This is because it can potentially cause babies to be born with mental defects, physical defects, and learning disabilities. 

I don't know if you read it or not but I pointed out this:

On 12/13/2019 at 3:15 PM, Vindemiatrix said:

People who have studied biology know that there's no real risk of cousin marriage producing children with disabilities unless there's a known genetic disorder in the family... But most of the time it's fine. And a small gene pool has no relevance these days as more cures for diseases are being discovered (الحمداللہ)

But now I'll actually provide scientific evidence to back up my point... 

Firstly I would like to discuss: What causes a birth defect? 

Birth defects are structural or functional abnormalities present at birth that cause physical or mental disability. They are the leading cause of death for infants during the first year of life. Birth defects may be caused by genetic problems, problems with chromosomes, or environmental factors.

Genetic problems caused when one or more genes doesn't work properly or part of a gene is missing. Problems with chromosomes, such as having an extra chromosome or missing part of a chromosome.

Environmental factors (although they aren't relevant for this discussion) that a woman is exposed to during pregnancy, such as rubella or German measles while pregnant, or using drugs or alcohol during pregnancy.

Second thing to discuss: What actually causes genetic problems/abnormalities? 

Abnormal chromosomes most often happen as a result of an error during cell division. Chromosome abnormalities often happen due to either or both of these errors:  

Errors during dividing of sex cells (meiosis)

Errors during dividing of other cells (mitosis)

Meiosis

Normally, meiosis causes each parent to give 23 chromosomes to a pregnancy. When a sperm fertilizes an egg, the union leads to a baby with 46 chromosomes. But if meiosis doesn’t happen normally, a baby may have an extra chromosome (trisomy), or have a missing chromosome (monosomy). 

A woman age 35 years or older is at higher risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality. This is because errors in meiosis may be more likely to happen as a result of the aging process.

Mitosis

Mitosis is the dividing of all other cells in the body. It’s how a baby in the womb grows. Mitosis causes the number of chromosomes to double to 92, and then split in half back to 46. This process repeats constantly in the cells as the baby grows.

During pregnancy, an error in mitosis can occur. If the chromosomes don’t split into equal halves, the new cells can have an extra chromosome (47 total) or have a missing chromosome (45 total). 

And finally: Risk of genetic disease

This concept is actually quite complicated. But in simple terms: We each receive one copy of each gene from each of our parents. For a recessive gene to actually manifest in an individual, both copies of the gene must have the recessive allele. But when but when an allele is rare in a population in the first place, few individuals are carriers. In cousin marriage problems will only occur if one grandparent was a carrier of a genetic disorder or affected by genetic disorder in the first place. But the thing is, the odds of either grandparent being a carrier of a rare allele are low. And the odds of them being affected by a genetic disease are even lower.

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Guest huh?Monad

question should be, if there are many females outside the extended family, what is the motive of marrying a cousin?.

Cousin marriages or marrying within families is not only related to particular cultures of religions, infact many western monarchs practiced it too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_intermarriage

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Maybe the current scientists know more genetics than Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام)?

1. Fatima bint Asad and Abu Talib -cousins

2. Ali and Fatima (عليه السلام) - cousins

3. Zainab binte and Abdullah bin Jafar- cousins

4.Imam Muhammad Baqir's parents - cousins 

5. Lubaba binte Ubaydullah and Abbas bin Ali - cousins 

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My grandmothers family had a tradition of marrying cousins and my entire family is from northern Europe. So I think it is a relatively new thing that cousins are not suppose to marry. Probably due to speculations about genetics. And it is true that there could be genetic defects.

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From the scientific perspective, it's discouraged due to higher risks of birth defects and all...However, if people still want to go for a cousin marriage, then I heard there are these tests people can do to see if they're biologically compatible.

My position is that I would not want to marry a first cousin. Marrying a second cousin though, I might consider, if I see a good match. In general though, I feel cousin marriages, due to the high level of comfort and informality between the families, are sometimes not given the value and specialty that's given to a marriage between families that do not know each other so closely...

Aside from this, like another member has already expressed, problems in the marriage could cause problems in the family. Moreover and more common that that, problems between the two families could cause problems within the marriage. 

As for cousin marriages done by the ahlul bayth, were any of these cousin marriages between FIRST cousins? @starlight

Can't say too much but maybe there are ways, conditions, and certain things that need to be understood first, before it comes to emulating the actions of the ahlul bayth and the holy personalities. For example, we know the Imams (a) did certain things in Taqiyyah, or because of the conditions of the time...

In addition, like a brother already expressed above, some scholars discourage it. For example, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi discourages it if I'm not wrong (he has something about marriage on al-Islam.org, it should be written there).

Anyway, if these marriages still want to be pursued then it is still halal, and maybe doing those biological tests would be a good idea to check for biological compatibility. Also, I have extremely close relatives who are first cousin couples and everything is fine for them alhumdolillah. However, back to back cousin marriages in the family down the generations does not seem like a good idea...The famous ruler, Charles the 2nd of Spain, is a classic example of the problems having to do with excessive cousin and relative marriages in the same family. There were so many back to back relative marriages down his family chain that he was born with serious birth defects. Well, this is what was taught to me in a university biology class. 

Edited by AStruggler

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15 minutes ago, AStruggler said:

were any of these cousin marriages between FIRST cousins? @starlight

Imam Ali's parents were first cousins, paternal cousins, though I am not 100%sure of this will have to look it up.

Imam Baqir - one grandfather was Imam Hussain (عليه السلام) the other Imam Hassan(عليه السلام), that's close enough. 

Lady Zainab and Abdullah bin Jaafar were first cousins.You think Imam Ali (عليه السلام) the door of the city of knowledge,knowledge of the heavens and Earth wouldn't know about laws of genetics? And he would still marry off his beloved daughter to her first cousin?

And if we look in the children of Imams (عليه السلام) especially the first six I am sure we will find plenty more first cousin marriages. 

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Forgot to mention earlier

Ruqayah binte Ali and Muslim bin Aqeel also first cousins.

If you think about it Karbala was all sons and daughters of Abu Talib(عليه السلام) so going by this how can we say cousin marriages result in genetically less gifted children?

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5 hours ago, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

If you divorce, the whole family will have problems. If someone in the family fights with another, which is very common, it will ruin the relationship not only for both of you but for your children as well. It has to do with social issues more than biological.

This can happen even where a divorced couple have children who are now blood relatives to two families worlds apart. Wise people, irrespective of the proximity of their blood ties, will behave justly with each other. I have several examples of people very close to me who got married to close relatives, split, but kept the peace between the families. I also saw that two aunts of my ex husband who had married their children to each other and the marriage ended in divorce, do not even say salam to each other. If one walks into a room, one walks out. How is this Islamic or logical behavior? Hello, thats not just your ex son/daughter in law, its also your niece/nephew! 

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18 minutes ago, AkhiraisReal said:

islamically is family marriage recommended or spreading genes throughout the world by marrying converts or Muslims from other nations.

Islamically, it is highly recommended to marry someone who is "kufw" to you. That person may be a relative or a complete stranger. Why should you avoid a kufw partner because they happen to share some genes and blood? I personally consider it a plus to have a spouse from one's wider or smaller family.

Edited by habib e najjaar

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5 hours ago, AStruggler said:

 In general though, I feel cousin marriages, due to the high level of comfort and informality between the families, are sometimes not given the value and specialty that's given to a marriage between families that do not know each other so closely...

I suppose this is true for families where na mahram cousins interact freely. For me and a lot of people I know, my first cousins who are not my mahram may as well be random strangers off the road. I do not even know the basic facial features of most of them and can easily pass them on the street not knowing who they are unless its one of those with a trademark family face or something. I know uncle/aunt so and so has x number of sons of approx ..... age. For those we interact with "a lot" I may even know their names, but thats about it.

I do know that a lot of people who interact very closely with their first cousins and treat them like their brothers/sisters/mahram may have an issue marrying these relatives.

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9 minutes ago, habib e najjaar said:

Islamically, it is highly recommended to marry someone who is "kufw" to you. That person may be a relative or a complete stranger. Why should you avoid a kufw partner because they happen to share some genes and blood? I personally consider it a plus to have a spouse from one's wider or smaller family.

what's "kufw"?

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Many of us don't have practicing Muslim cousins, so marriage with them is off the table for us already. I'd image that this is becoming more common. We have trouble finding spouses even in large Shia communities lol. 

Edited by Lilly14

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6 hours ago, Revert1963 said:

My grandmothers family had a tradition of marrying cousins and my entire family is from northern Europe. So I think it is a relatively new thing that cousins are not suppose to marry. Probably due to speculations about genetics. And it is true that there could be genetic defects.

What part of the Northern Europe are they from if that is not rude to ask? Cousin marriage was banned by the Ancient Christian Church, and that bans remains in Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism and in a lot but not all Protestantism. 

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1 hour ago, AStruggler said:

In addition, like a brother already expressed above, some scholars discourage it. For example, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi discourages it if I'm not wrong (he has something about marriage on al-Islam.org, it should be written there).

Okay so I couldn't find Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi's view in writing but I did find a lecture of his on the topic: 

However, I did find this on al-Islam.org: 

Edited by AStruggler

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21 minutes ago, AkhiraisReal said:

what's "kufw"?

 

7 minutes ago, AStruggler said:

@habib e najjaar I would like to know as well...

کفو or the concept of کفایت in marriage can be translated as compatibility, or being "sufficient". The concept refers to two parties being suitable for each other, or matching each other well. For example, an elderly man who is well established may be a good kufw match for one type of woman, but not a good match for a young girl who has never been married before. Kufw goes beyond the generic "good" qualities in a spouse and goes a step further to see if the two particular parties are matched/suitable for/compatible with one another. For example, a woman of averagely good hijab may be a good match for person x (because he has no problem with that), a terrible match for person y (perhaps because it will make him look down upon her), and an excellent match for person z (because he will respect and love and inspire her to greater levels of hijab). So the most kufw of these matches would be person z. 

Parties wishing to marry should be kufw in several aspects, from height, physical characteristics, education and intellect, religious practise, family and cultural background etc.

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9 minutes ago, habib e najjaar said:

 

کفو or the concept of کفایت in marriage can be translated as compatibility, or being "sufficient". The concept refers to two parties being suitable for each other, or matching each other well. For example, an elderly man who is well established may be a good kufw match for one type of woman, but not a good match for a young girl who has never been married before. Kufw goes beyond the generic "good" qualities in a spouse and goes a step further to see if the two particular parties are matched/suitable for/compatible with one another. For example, a woman of averagely good hijab may be a good match for person x (because he has no problem with that), a terrible match for person y (perhaps because it will make him look down upon her), and an excellent match for person z (because he will respect and love and inspire her to greater levels of hijab). So the most kufw of these matches would be person z. 

Parties wishing to marry should be kufw in several aspects, from height, physical characteristics, education and intellect, religious practise, family and cultural background etc.

Interesting. How is the physical characteristics aspects of kufw assessed? Is it just based on subjectivity like the hijab preference example you gave above...? Or are there like actual objective facts about this that tell us what makes good kufw between two people with regards physical characterisics, like in ahadith or something? 

Edited by AStruggler

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1 hour ago, starlight said:

so going by this how can we say cousin marriages result in genetically less gifted children?

Well marrying your first cousin does increase the risk of the child having a certain genetic defect, although not always. Why are you denying this reality if there is sufficient scientific evidence?

Islam is about ijtehad. You can't always compare today's time with what happened 14 centuries ago. We might as well marry women who are 9 years of age then. 

Scholars who see that scientific evidence is strong, they will discourage us, although it's not harram.

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7 minutes ago, AStruggler said:

Interesting. How is the physical characteristics aspects of kufw assessed? Is it just based on subjectivity like the hijab preference example you gave above...? Or are there like actual objective facts about this that tell us what makes good kufw between two people with regards physical characterisics, like in ahadith or something? 

There are ahadith that mention physical traits to consider when marrying someone, for example there is a hadith mentioning something about it being ok to marry short women if they have broad shoulders, or things about height and weight compatibility. I think we do not need a picture illustration to explain why it can be impractical for some people of extremely different physical characteristics to marry each other, for example an extremely skinny person with an over weight person. 

Essentially, it comes down to marrying someone you will be happy to be around. Not waking up next to a person who makes your first prayer of the day be: oh no.. Lord help through another day with this face.

Edited by habib e najjaar

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1 hour ago, starlight said:

Forgot to mention earlier

Ruqayah binte Ali and Muslim bin Aqeel also first cousins.

If you think about it Karbala was all sons and daughters of Abu Talib(عليه السلام) so going by this how can we say cousin marriages result in genetically less gifted children?

While I agree in general with what you're saying, but maybe this thinking isn't supposed to be applied in this situation. Like I said earlier: 

Can't say too much but maybe there are ways, conditions, and certain things that need to be understood first, before it comes to emulating the actions of the ahlul bayth and the holy personalities. For example, we know the Imams (a) did certain things in Taqiyyah, or because of the conditions of the time...

In addition, scholars themselves expressed discouragement to it...

King Charles the 2nd of Spain:

Image result for king charles ii of spain

https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/inbreeding-and-the-downfall-of-the-spanish-hapsburgs

Edited by AStruggler

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4 minutes ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Well marrying your first cousin does increase the risk of the child having a certain genetic defect, although not always. Why are you denying this reality if there is sufficient scientific evidence?

Where there is a defect, yes, it will get multiplied. But where there are positive traits, these will also get multiplied or example a family with high IQ, good looks, good physique... intermarrying would increase chances of kids having these traits. Genetics works both ways. If theres a problem, it will multiply. If theres a plus, it will multiply. So if one is from a family with admirable qualities, why not marry within? 

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3 minutes ago, habib e najjaar said:

Where there is a defect, yes, it will get multiplied. But where there are positive traits, these will also get multiplied or example a family with high IQ, good looks, good physique... intermarrying would increase chances of kids having these traits. Genetics works both ways. If theres a problem, it will multiply. If theres a plus, it will multiply. So if one is from a family with admirable qualities, why not marry within? 

Having a lot of genetic diversity can be very advantageous too...

Edited by AStruggler

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3 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Why are you denying this reality if there is sufficient scientific evidence?

I don't think it's conclusive. Just because it's not in vogue anymore in the west is the reason we see all that research. It's very naive think the research that happens is totally unbiased

Quote

New research flies in the face of a whole host of genetic complications, though. Marriages between cross cousins — cousins whose parents are opposite-sex siblings — might have biological benefits after all, and that the bad rap it gets in the public discourse is (slightly) unfair. The research was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Quote

Yet some research suggests an alternative perspective. "There's this counterintuitive finding that higher spousal relatedness is related to higher reproductive success in several humans societies," said Drew Bailey, a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and co-author of the study detailed May 21 in the journal Biology Letters.

Even in modern, industrialized society, research suggests that people tend to marry others with similar DNA.

I am not advocating cousin marriage, just saying it's not the perilous, bio weapon the west preaches.

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Just now, AStruggler said:

Having a lot of genetic diversity can be very advantageous too...

Agreed. I come from a family of extremely mixed ethnic and religious diversity, but I do think it is strange to argue against cousin marriages on the basis of genetics unless there is a known defect. If a family has good genes, good looks, good intellect and (often the major issue) a good inheritance, why should anyone feel offended if they decide to keep it within the family? Lol

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2 minutes ago, starlight said:

not advocating cousin marriage, just saying it's not the perilous, bio weapon the west preaches.

Yeah agreed. 

8 minutes ago, habib e najjaar said:

So if one is from a family with admirable qualities, why not marry within? 

 

37 minutes ago, Lilly14 said:

Many of us don't have practicing Muslim cousins, so marriage with them is off the table for us already

My answer^ lol

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3 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

My answer^ lol

Do make a point of reciting this dua often:

Rabbana hab lana hukman wa alhiqna bis-saliheen. 

My Lord, grant us wisdom and join us/keep us in the company of the righteous.

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3 minutes ago, habib e najjaar said:

Do make a point of reciting this dua often:

Rabbana hab lana hukman wa alhiqna bis-saliheen. 

My Lord, grant us wisdom and join us/keep us in the company of the righteous.

@AStruggler 

Recite it day and night!

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Just now, Celtic Twilight said:

What part of the Northern Europe are they from if that is not rude to ask? Cousin marriage was banned by the Ancient Christian Church, and that bans remains in Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism and in a lot but not all Protestantism. 

A protestant Country

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1 hour ago, habib e najjaar said:

This can happen even where a divorced couple have children who are now blood relatives to two families worlds apart. Wise people, irrespective of the proximity of their blood ties, will behave justly with each other. I have several examples of people very close to me who got married to close relatives, split, but kept the peace between the families. I also saw that two aunts of my ex husband who had married their children to each other and the marriage ended in divorce, do not even say salam to each other. If one walks into a room, one walks out. How is this Islamic or logical behavior? Hello, thats not just your ex son/daughter in law, its also your niece/nephew! 

Except it only affects the child. Not the whole family.

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10 hours ago, starlight said:

Maybe the current scientists know more genetics than Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام)?

1. Fatima bint Asad and Abu Talib -cousins

2. Ali and Fatima (عليه السلام) - cousins

3. Zainab binte and Abdullah bin Jafar- cousins

4.Imam Muhammad Baqir's parents - cousins 

5. Lubaba binte Ubaydullah and Abbas bin Ali - cousins 

Maybe it has to do with akhlaq and religiousness the reason why they choose them and not because of family ties? 

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