Want to marry your cousin? Think again!

Published: October 25, 2013

Doctors have found a link between cousin marriage and heart and lung problems as well as Down’s syndrome. PHOTO: K BRIDALS

Cousin marriages have been very common in the subcontinent and this may be one reason why quite a large number of people in our rural areas are so unhealthy.

I personally know two families whose members are the products of many generations of inbreeding. In one family – distant relatives of mine – many children are deaf and consequently unable to talk. The head of the family reacted with amazement when told that his children and grand-children suffered from various birth defects because of cousin marriages in his household.

In fact, many doctors advised him to stop arranging marriages of his grandchildren with first cousins; they asked him to arrange marriages strictly with non-relatives. Even still when he received a proposal of marriage for his 18-year-old granddaughter from another family whose son was also deaf, he rejected the proposal and instead opted to have the girl married to a first cousin who was also deaf and dumb.

The result was predictable. The couple now has two children, both deaf and dumb.

With the proposal from a on-relative, there was a good chance of a normal child being born from such a marriage, but sadly, this arrangement was not given a chance.

In another family I know, practically everyone is cross-eyed. They cannot be convinced that this too is because they, their parents, grand-parents and even great grand-parents were married to first cousins. They point out to others who married first cousins and have normal children, but obstinately close their eyes to the fact that in those cases the ancestors of the children’s parents were not closely related.

Among certain Hindu castes, marriage between cousins is banned. In fact, in some Hindu sects, a boy and girl from the same village are considered to be brother and sister, even though they are not related. But in most Hindu castes, cousin marriage is considered to be normal.

In Bradford (UK), out of 11,000 children born between 2007 and 2011, 2,000 children (born to Pakistan-origin parents) had a six percent chance of having a congenital abnormality, compared to three percent chance of children of non-Pakistani groups. This was because the Pakistan-origin children were born in families in which cousin marriages had been taking place for many generations. Doctors have also found a link between cousin marriage and heart and lung problems as well as Down syndrome.

This does not mean, of course, that marriages between first cousins should be banned altogether as it is in 24 states in the US. What I mean to say is that if the boy and girl are not the end products of generations of inbreeding and if there is no known genetic defect which can be passed on to their offspring, they should not worry about their children being born with genetic defects. However, in most areas of Pakistan, where marriages between first cousins have been the norm for centuries, it is advisable to educate the masses about the risks which children born of cousin marriages can be exposed to.

Do you approve or disapprove of cousin marriages?

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Shakir Lakhani

Shakir Lakhani

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (twitter.com/shakirlakhani)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Omer

    If not now then when?Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    For many elders cousin marriages are marriages of convenience also, less effort in finding a partner for their children.Recommend

  • water bottle

    Does Quran sanction cousin marriage?Recommend

  • water bottle

    “But in most Hindu castes, cousin marriage is considered to be normal.”

    A correction here. This is allowed between cross cousins only. The lineages are different when they are cross-cousins.

    First of all, it’s not normal. It’s very very rare, even though it is allowed as a culture.

    As far as our scripture goes, it says “Use your common sense and seek knowledge”. it doesn’t say “follow me”.

    Why do you think Hindus (which is a wrong term) have always been and will be in the future, so succesful? By following a book blindly, that says “I’m the truth”.Recommend

  • Mohammed Yusuf

    I take offence to this statement of the writer “But in most Hindu castes, cousin marriage is considered to be normal”. Can you name a single Hindu caste where a marraige between cousins is permissable? I live in India and I know Hindus address their first cousins as “cousin brother and cousin sister” and marriage between cousins is prohibited. Even Indian Christians don’t marry their first cousins. However, among us – Muslims – marrying a first cousin is considered normal and privileged.
    This writer should stop churning out articles with half-baked knowledge and facts.Recommend

  • Sppock

    A correction here regarding Hindu cousin marriages. Generally Cousin marriage are looked down upon and outright rejected/illegal. Cousins are considered brothers and sisters. There may be few castes which allow them but it is very rare.

    Here is what Hindu Marriage Act says

    (f) (i)” sapinda
    relationship” with reference to any person extends as far as the third
    generation (inclusive) in the line of ascent through the mother, and the
    fifth (inclusive) in the line of ascent through the father, the line
    being traced upwards in each case from the person concerned, who is to
    be counted as the first generation;

    So basically you cant marry in down three generation from your mother’s side and down 5 generations from your fathers side.Recommend

  • Random Reader

    I was surprised to read “But in most Hindu castes, cousin marriage is considered to be normal”. I admit that I do not know if Hindus in Pakistan have started doing this but for most Hindus this is a strict no-no. I know of some groups that allow it but they are in a minority whereas your statement indicates them to be in a majority. In fact even if the boy and girl are not directly related but belong to same ‘gotra’ (which indicates common ancestry), marriage is not permissible. This has received a lot of negative publicity in India in recent times since some local village panchayats have meted out harsh punishments to couples who dared to marry within the gotra. But this is besides the point. The main point remains that in Hindus cousin marriage is not considered to be normal.Recommend

  • mimi sur

    Dear Author,
    From scientific point of view , cousin marriages be it first or any , should be discouraged and banned . It is responsible for genetic diseases . A science student with basic genetics knowledge can say , it is not desirable . And to correct your perception , Marriage among cousins are strictly banned among Hindus ,can’t say about christians .But There might be exceptions. It is very high among muslims and lack of education and culture to be blamed for this.Recommend

  • saman

    Hinduism does not allow cousin marriages ! They do NOT practice inter-family marriages.Recommend

  • Pappu

    Cousin marriage is prevalent in Allah’s chosen and favorite nation i.e arabs.Recommend

  • irtaza

    wow! you say “deaf and dumb”…
    and I am reading this from a person who is “A graduate from NED University in mechanical engineering, he has been part of the chemical and petroleum marketing industry in Pakistan and was a visiting lecturer at NED University”…

    Sir its called “deaf and mute”… I hope you don’t discriminate such ppl if they lack an ability that normal ppl don’t.Recommend

  • Jamil

    I am a firm believer in eugenics. Lower intelligent people and people with genetic abnormalities should should be sterilized. The state has a duty to protect the genetics of the population. What we have in Pakistan is the exact opposite of eugenics namely racial degeneration. How can we compete with high IQ countries like Japan and Singapore. Using the Stanford–Binet test Pakistan’s average IQ is 81 while Japan is 105.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    I think cousin marriages should be discouraged, but not banned. I could not, and would not marry my female cousins (I’m a straight male) personally. It would be far too “weird” for me, and probably for them.Recommend

  • Christian

    My parents once turned down a good match,because the person was my 4th cousin.Marrying, a relative as distant as a 4th or 6th cousin etc.is considered taboo in our family.Recommend

  • aneel

    no hindu will ever marry his or her cousin…it is prohibitedRecommend

  • AB

    I have just ONE basic question with the Author, if this Cousin marriage is so harmful, then WHY our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) agreed to mary her daughter to Her cousin i.e Hazrat ALI?
    Please dont said that Science wasnt so advance at that time, because Our Prophet is THE prophet of Whole Universe and is Divine soul, who havent done anything WRONG. Please elaborate..Recommend

  • Zahid

    MY dilemma is that I am in love with my first cousin. Should I decide not to marry her because of fears mentioned in this article? I don’t think so and no one in my position would make a different decisionRecommend

  • Mohammed Yusuf

    It is not “deaf and mute” any longer. The usuage for special people in such cases is called “HEARING AND SPEECH IMPAIRED”Recommend

  • KDP

    Hinduism has no set rules. That is the unique aspect of Hinduism. Hindus practice their religious rituals (if it is a religion) in thousands of different ways. Similarly there is no common Social Practices either. Wedding Rituals and procedures are different depending upon a specific Cast or sub group of castRecommend

  • kdp

    I agree. It is not acceptable to use the term “dumb”. Use of this term is hurtful l and cruel. Just like it is We no longer call autistic, “retarded”. Why does anyone think it is acceptable to call someone who is mute or deaf, “dumb”?Recommend

  • Sharif Sa-Aadu

    Whose more knowledge about the creation Allah or the scientists can Allah make something halal are you trying to inform Allah about something Allah is the All knowledgable the most wise and not have it be beneficial glory be to Allah above what people associate him with,Recommend

  • $17462361

    “..But in most Hindu castes, cousin marriage is considered to be normal…”

    Completely rubbish! Except for a certain caste in south india (very small percentage of hindu population) , cousin marriage is an incest.

    Here is clue, on the occasion of ‘raksha bandhan’ when a sister ties a rakhi (sacred thread) around her brother, it is very common for the first/second/third cousin male/female to do the same, i.e. they first/second/third cousin male/female treat each other as ‘sibling’.

    Don’t try to lump hindu,sikh and other of the sub-continent together with the arab/muslim practice for cousin marriage prevalent in pakistani muslims.

    The proof in pudding is immigrants from the sub-continents to UK. According to UK health ministry, the pakistanis-muslim parents have the highest percentage of mentally challenged/retarted children, not from hindus,sikhs or any other community. In fact one of the UK MP wanted to make cousin marriage illegal which got all the pakistani-muslims upset.Recommend

  • water bottle

    Sad to hear that Allah’s chosen land is a desert and full of extraordinarily ignorant people.Recommend

  • Rabia

    It is true though that most commonly used term is “deaf and Mute” but no offence writer has written correctly too.”Dumb” has the meaning of” lacking the power of human speech” or “unable to speak because of hereditary deafness”( for reference, check any dictionary).And this term is also very prevalent in the society.Recommend

  • indian

    i completely agree with you!!!Recommend

  • Ahmed

    In April 2002, the Journal of Genetic Counseling released a report which estimated the average risk of birth defects in a child born of first cousins at 1.7–2.8% over an average base risk for non-cousin couples of 3%, or about the same as that of any woman over age 40.


    Please go read this. Before you start stigmatizing a thing that you not that much knowledge about.

    Please stop writing about some stuff you do not have complete knowledge of.
    When you talk about this stuff over here people raise fingers over Islam. There is a hadith prohibiting marrying cousins “generations” after “generations”. Marriage with cousins is ok but not generations after generations. Please get a holistic view of the subject including its religious, scientific, social aspects. This goes for all those people who want to write anything about anything.Recommend

  • Ravi

    Yes, it’s true.. Even I was suggested not go with such alliance to my pathan friend’s brother who later married to the daughter of his mother’s sister.. Now the kids were born dumb..Recommend

  • Bangalorean

    Among Christians, cousin marriages are a strict No-No. The very whiff of it will make the priest run away.

    Agree with you almost 100%. Only point I would like to make is that Christians and others I know including Hindus generally follow the Hindu norm and we generally address cousin-brothers and sister as “brother” and “sister”, or rather “elder brother”, “younger sister”, etc and the specific words associated with it, rather than cousin brother, cousin sister, etc.

    Among Hindus, I have come across very few marrying their distant cousins but even for them that was not the norm.Recommend

  • Ravi

    may be that’s why all other ethnic groups (of Islam) following it..Recommend

  • Mohammed Yusuf

    Please don’t refer to the children as “deaf and dumb” or “deaf and mute”. In this modern age it is politically incorrect to call them as such. Such special needs children are now called as “speech and hearing impaired”. ET editors pls publish this to enlighten some illiterate writers hereRecommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    I agree in my family there is only one cousin marriage in this generation there are mostly marriages outside the family. With the advent of education this practice is dying.Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    What is to you? This practice is dying it’s natural death due to the spread of modern education. Recommend

  • Anooop

    Very good topic, which actually strengthens Modern Evolutionary theory that so many clerics and such as Zakir Naik reject..

    Here is why.


    Cheetah’s too inbred and now they are susceptible to disease and other conditions. There is no genetic variation.

    Isn’t it amazing that Hindu culture recognised this Centuries ago and made a strict rule of marrying people only outside of one’s village and Gotra. I wonder why the Author chose to take a dig at the Hindu Religion. I think its because of this line: “Cousin marriages have been very common in the subcontinent”. The Author had already made up his mind that its very common in the subcontinent, logic dictates it must be common among Hindus for it to be true.

    Sadly for him, its not true. This practice was and is still practiced in Arabia, NOT THE SUBCONTINENT! Pakistan have inherited much much more than Religion and practices from Arabia.

    I wonder if people who violently deny Evolution, saying “Its just a theory”, will actually agree with this. Will they be willing to sacrifice their grandchildren’s future because of faith? Because if you believe in the theory of Evolution, it automatically invalidates some of the biggest Religions in the world.Recommend

  • jin

    but Islam gives full permission for cousins to marry. Love has no boundaries. If people in West can date and sleep with a new woman every weekend then why is cousin marriage is so distateful to them?Recommend

  • Tahira

    Do you think they are normal as normal goes?Recommend

  • Tahira

    I want to know if intermarriages also result in some mental disorders like Bipolar?Recommend

  • Kuldeeo sharma

    Leave cousin marriage, even the same gotra marriage is a taboo in Hindus. My parents rejected a nice girl just because her grandmother & my moms gotra was same.
    May be writer just need to research some more before writing anything.Recommend

  • Sophya Khan

    I was reading it with so much concentration but reading the author’s intro, I am afraid, I am confused now..what is common between chemical and petroleum engineering and marketing and the connection of this to genetics? please write something related to your field sir, leave this genetics to genticists…thank you… and while you do that, half of your article has been torn in to pieces by Hindus as they say you have not written accurately about the issue…Recommend

  • Pappu

    I am totally against cousin marriage. This is one of the reason arabs are laziest people on planet.Recommend

  • water bottle

    Why don’t you write that Hadith here?Recommend

  • water bottle

    Yes. starting with you.Recommend

  • J T

    Heil Hitler?Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    “We in South India too have
    communities that practise consanguineous marriages. Gotram (ancestral lineage) is taken seriously and marriage does not occur, generally, between a man and a woman of the same gotram. Thus a brother does not marry his own sister.
    But he can (if even used to be “should”) namely, first cousin. Using the same
    logic, an uncle-niece marriage is allowed and practised too. Recall what a
    daughter-in-law refers to her mother-in-law as in Tamil (Mamiyar, wife of my
    mother’s brother)”. For further info, please visit http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/the-biology-of-first-cousin-marriages/article4902050.eceRecommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    About 80% of the world’s population at one time was practicing marriage between first cousins (in the Muslim world, the practice is widespread, which perhaps explains why our people are not as healthy and have a lower life-expectancy than people of other religions).Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    That’s what I wrote, there should be no marrying cousins “generations” after “generations”. I did come across this Hadith once, but it was not in Bukhari, so I assumed that it could be doubtful.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Yes, if mental disorders are already present in a person’s family and if he or she is a product of generations of first-cousin marriages, there is a good chance of his/her children also inheriting the disease. I know of some families in which there are more mentally challenged persons than in normal families (where first-cousin marriage is rare).Recommend

  • Mike Sullivan

    Or his parents.Recommend

  • Indian Muslim

    Cousin marriages in India are considered incest and illegal.

    Who in the right mind would marry their cousin sisters.Recommend

  • mano

    hinduism……………what is that..There are so many caste,gotras,region and each following its own rules for marriage………….there is no single law for hindus..if by hindus you mean brahmins ,they too have rules changing with region…..ex.among kerala brahmins only the eldest son can marry.Recommend

  • Mohammed Yusuf

    “If people in West can date and sleep with a new woman every weekend…”
    Is it the norm? People who have the money and lust, irrespective of whether he lives in the West, East, North or South will resort to things of pleasure to satisfy his needs and ego. You mean to say such things don’t happen in the Arab and Islamic world? If not, then why were the harems created and why is prostitution still practised in those countries?Recommend

  • kay

    What’s your source? In Arab world, no marriage is allowed between the two if the lineage is the same as of 5 generations.. Similar to Hindu practice…Recommend

  • Rustam

    I read that China aborts foetus of mothers who are mentally retarded . I think we are afraid to confront the reality. We see evidence every day. Just look at the number of people we see with cretin sized heads. I believe cousin marriage should be banned and those with impaired intelligence should not breed.Recommend

  • Hera Iftikhar

    Err…yeah no..youre wrong there genius.
    Islam encourages to marry outside of ones own clan. The main purpose was not only to spread Islam but also discourage marriages within family. Get your facts straight before you bring religion into this.Recommend

  • Fazlur Rahman Khan

    Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) wed his daughter Fatima to his cousin Ali. So cousin marriage is the bestRecommend

  • Mohammed Yusuf

    Tahira, pls consult a doctor about bipolar disorder not the writer. Besides genetics, environment and parental age plays a big role in bipolar disorder cases.
    The paternal age effect can refer to the statistical relationships of: (1) a man’s age to sperm and semen abnormalities; (2) a man’s age to his fertility; (3) a man’s age to adverse pregnancy outcomes in his female partner (including miscarriage and fetal death); (4) a father’s age at the birth of his offspring on the probability of an adverse birth outcome (such as low birthweight); or (5) a father’s age at the birth of his offspring on the probability that the offspring will have a health-related condition (e.g., decreased intelligence), a specific disease/disorder (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, Down syndrome, and schizophrenia), or risk of mortality, or social and other psychological end-points.
    The genetic quality of sperm, as well as its volume and motility, all typically decrease with age. Scientists have formulated at least two hypotheses to explain how paternal age might cause health effects.
    The population geneticist James F. Crow said that the fact that DNA in sperm degrades as men age and can then be passed along to children in permanently degraded and irreparable form, which they likely pass on as well, means that the “greatest mutational health hazard to the human genome is fertile older males”. He described mutations that have a direct visible effect on the child’s health and also mutations that can be latent or have minor visible effects on the child’s health; many such mutations allow the child to reproduce, but cause more serious problems for grandchildren, greatgrandchildren and later generations.Recommend


    On a lighter note:
    A fresh out of the courtroom divorced Pakistani couple.
    Man: Oh please stop crying now… atleast we’ll remain cousins!!Recommend


    Thank you for saying it the right way!Recommend

  • Imtiaz Alam

    @Jamil. You are asking courageous questions. I also ask myself the same question – are we as intelligent as the whites or the orientals ? I see evidence everyday which gives me nagging doubts of our abilities. The Japanese are one of the intelligent races and look at how successful they are. It is culture but also intelligence that makes a people successful.Recommend

  • Gumnaam

    Lack of trust with non-related Muslims.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad

    Calling someone “illiterate writer” is dumb too.Recommend

  • jin

    then why is cousin marriage permissable in Islam?Recommend

  • Tariq

    Where did you get your info. Arabs marry cousins. Just go to KSA and you will find out.Recommend


    :[email protected] Hindu in south India they get marry to 2nd cousin……

    two brothers kid can’t get married. cas of some grotra issue i dont know in detail abt gotra…bt bro sis kid can as their gotra r nt sameRecommend

  • Nasir

    Not true. There is no concrete proof that cousin marriages are unhealthy. Secondly, deaf and dumb or otherwise crippled doesnt mean that this is due to cousin marriage. In the US we have cases with same issues but couple are not cousins? So, this shows that there is no scientific proof. Recommend

  • meem

    quite strange it is that today we are supporting whats illegal and wrong (gay marriages & living together) and looking at legal things (marriage/concept of marriage) with disgust. very sad indeed! with so much advancement around us, our minds are not advancing at all!Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Why don’t you stop read the independent article that i posted so that you can know the details through your source of information i.e. science.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Charles Darwin, who first expounded the theory of evolution, was a Christian. He married his first cousin. Cousin marriage is allowed in Christianity.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    “The frequency distribution of various consanguineous marriages was studied in the city of Madras, Tamil Nadu, South India. Parallel first cousin marriages (PFC) were found to occur in appreciable frequencies in all caste groups of Hindus. While it has been generally believed that PFC marriages among Hindus are mere exceptions and are usually not tolerated, our data show that they can no longer be treated as exceptions. The high frequency (27 per cent) of PFC marriages in some Hindu communities necessitates in-depth studies to elucidate the forces at work which go against the very fundamentals of Dravidian kinship”.

  • A reader

    There is some misinformation here that I wish to correct for the purpose of edification. Brahmins have and sometimes do (although far less frequently nowadays) marry cousins. A girl is also allowed to marry her maternal uncle, though it is discouraged. The one thing that is absolutely forbidden anywhere in Hindu scripture is marriage between identical “Gotras.” Gotras are clans established by the Seven (Sapta) Rishis who were our ancient preceptors and founders of our faith. There are more than Seven Gotras because the Seven Rishis had children and grandchildren who also became Rishis and founded their own sub clans. However, these sub clans still trace back to the original Seven. Gotra lineage passes through the father, so it is a paternal system. However, there is no strict law prohibiting cousin marriage in our scriptures, or marriage within the same village. These may be generally discouraged, but they are not rules set in stone.

    Finally, the reason why many Brahmins and Muslims in the India subcontinent marry within extended family is due to the social pressure of conservative cultures not to interact with females belonging to other communities or cultures or castes. Brahmins and Muslims in the Indian subcontinent possess two of the most conservative cultures found anywhere in the world. Hopefully, this offers some clarification for your readers.Recommend

  • Insaan

    Bangalorean: Hindu norm and we generally address cousin-brothers and sister as “brother” and “sister”, or rather “elder brother”, “younger sister”, etc
    I have noticed most Muslims guys address Muslim girls as sisters in chatrooms before they go to one and one chat…I don’t know what happens later…….you can just imagine the restRecommend

  • Insaan

    It depends on the genes the parents carry. Genes are carried in pairs. Most of the time if one gene (of the pair) is bad, your problem is not real bad and people even don’t know about the problem. Relatives are likely to carry similar genes.
    Real problem is if 2 particular bad genes end up in the kid. One genetic disease is Thalasemia, kids with 2 bad genes (that control blood synthesis) can end up needing blood transfusion all their life.Recommend

  • gp65

    please do not make this article which relates to marriage between cousins turn into a Hindu Muslim pow wow. If practices were common between all Muslims, Sunnis would not be killing Shias. There would be no debat about Ahmadis who believe in all 5 pillars of Islam, people would not dismiss TTP demands for sharia as ‘their version of shariah’ because there would not be multiple versions of Shariah. The reality is that diversity in interpreting religion is present not just among Hindus but also Muslims and Christians.Recommend

  • famasaurus

    As far as I know Hindus look down upon cousin marriages elsewhere. This might be specific to PakistanRecommend

  • famasaurus

    I can cite a hundred scientific articles for every one that you cite that statistically proves cousin marriages are detrimental and lead to genetic decline


  • Awara

    Cousin marriage is sin as per Hindu scriptures.People here r killed for same gotra marriage let alone cousin sister.Author is totally wrong in that regard.Recommend

  • Awara

    But do accept that Majority of Hindus considers cousin marriage illegalRecommend

  • Pappu
  • Awara

    Hinduism simply bars marriage b/w brother and sister (that include sisters from relatives like mama,fua,mausa etc)..A part from that if people r of same gotra but even though they r not distant relatives ,they r not suggested to be married as marriage b/w same gotra is equivalent to marriage b/w brother and sister.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Some religions evolve and some do not. Cousin marriages is now considered incest in Christian countriesRecommend

  • Gratgy

    Tamil Nadu is one state. Are you saying Tamilians make up most of the Hindu castes?Recommend

  • Insaan

    Some mental disorders seem to run in families. Schizphrenia (psychosis) seems to be genetic. Genetic disorders can be passed from parents to their offspring. Chances of genetic disorders increase in cousin marriages.
    I don’t think Bipolar is a genetic disorderRecommend

  • Insaan

    That is called weird logic.Recommend

  • Afrooz

    obviously he did not get this one right. :)
    When the outcome of an experiment does not align with the assumptions going into the experiment, you revise your assumptions and not discard the outcome. If you follow this principle, it is science, if you do the the opposite, it is dogma.Recommend

  • Awara

    Even in Tamilnadu most of the people avoid cousin marriage except few casteRecommend

  • Awara

    Lie absolute lie..Brahmin people r most restricted in their practice.All other caste just follow their footprint.They dont marry their chacheri bahen (cousin sister),mamas daughter,fuas daughter,mausis daughter etc…A part from that they dont marry people from same gotra even though they r not their distant relatives..So please correct your assertion..I m a brahmin myself.Recommend

  • AZ

    The best? Really now? Holy Prophet SAW himself first married Hazrat Khadija and secondly Hazrat Ayesha who were his two most important wives and they were both NOT related to him
    cousin-marriages are far from the best.Recommend

  • Awara

    There is no similarity b/w Brahmins and Muslima..They r poles a part.I will suggest you to read extensively about gotra coz you r absolutely misinformed about it.Brahmins r most empowered,knowledgeable and modern community in India .They r protector of Hindu culture.No way they r conservative. However I agree with you that brahmin people least intermingle with other caste or religion people.This is all coz they posses every quality a human being to be successful.They r smart,cunning ,hard working and have beautiful women.I would like to marry anyone who follow brahminical culture irrespective of caste or religion but it is difficult to find such woman in other community.Recommend

  • Awara

    Entire gotra concept is to avoid marriage b/w brother and sister and intercaste marriage.If cousin marriage is permitted and a girl can marry maternal uncle ,what is the use of gotra then.You r contradicting your own logic.Recommend

  • Fixer-1

    Tamils allow niece and maternal uncle to marry. Marathas are known to marry first cousins. Different communities have different norms in a multi-ethnic areas. Let us stop generalising, and focus on the pitfalls of genetic overlap causing defects.Recommend

  • cloud9

    “Cousin marriages have been very common in the subcontinent” Oh Rly.
    Majority Hindus don’t practice cousin marriages.Sikhs don’t marry in the same surname.Christians,Buddhist,Jain’s don’t follow this practice.

    Its only Muslims that follow this practice.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Cousin marriage is the best? What a poorly thought out statement?
    Seems a common problem with many Muslims today. Blindly follow like sheep, ignore modern day studies/practices/cultures. That’s the reason progress is hindered in so many Muslim majority nations.
    While I don’t think cousin marriage should be banned, I do think it’s healthier to marry outside of the family, particularly if generations have been inter-marrying. Personally, I wouldn’t marry any of my male cousins. I’m far too close to them and it’d be weird.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Cousin marriage is distasteful to them as promiscuity is distasteful to the average Muslim (even those who engage in it – such is the hypocrisy around us). I don’t find either particularly distasteful nor am I condemning or condoning either practice. Simple stating that cultures are all different and unfortunately, they tend to be critical of what they don’t practice in their own culture. Cousin marriage shouldn’t be banned just as I don’t think promiscuity should be judged, monitored or banned, but expecting everyone to see things your way isn’t realistic. [completely off topic and unnecessary but FYI, women often like to have a bit of fun with new men as well ;) ]Recommend

  • Nobody

    Permissible doesn’t mean encouraged or rewarded. Doesn’t mean cousin marriage is prohibited, but it wasn’t encouraged either.Recommend

  • GIndian

    I don’t know how can one find one’s cousin sexually attractive. Besides that point, somebody argued that in Hindu culture one cannot marry one’s 3rd, 4th or 5th cousin.
    The amount of genetic material shared betwen two 3rd cousins is negligible. On what scientific basis did Hindu seers come up with ignorant Gotra concept. It doesn’t make sense. South Indian Hindus used to and some still practice cousin marriage. South Indians are not at all intellectually impaired and they are one of the most intellectually gifted groups in India. Hard science and technologies like rocket science, nanotechnology, missile science, software, mathematics, pharma etc. are dominated by South Indians.Recommend

  • Nobody

    These things are illegal and wrong because society decided to make it illegal and wrong. I’ve never found gay marriage or living together “wrong” per se. It may not be what I believe in or practice, but it makes no difference to me to allow someone else that ability if it makes him/her/them happy. Playing the “absolute ruler” game has caused so much trouble in Muslim majority nations and yet so many people resist change and progress. And I don’t personally find people criticize marriage; I see people criticizing traditions and customs that should not be practiced anymore and are causing more harm than good. (i.e marrying girls off too young, having too many children, joint family system, discouraging married mothers from working, etc)Recommend

  • Awara

    A study on this issue, led by scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad together with US researchers at Harvard Medical School, the Harvard School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT was published in the September 24th issue of Nature. This study supports in a way the contention of those who are opposing the marriages within the same Gotra.According to this study many groups in modern India descend from a small number of founding individuals, and could not get gene flow from other groups since then. This happened obviously because of marriages within the same caste and more so within the same gotra.This finding that a large proportion of modern Indians descend from “small number of founding individuals” means that India is genetically not a single large population. Instead it is best described as many smaller isolated population-groups. The populations have remained isolated because of marriages within castes. Traditionally in Hindu society marriages do take place within the caste but marriages within Gotra (further sub-division of caste) is avoided. The study mentioned above is being cited now as the scientific basis to oppose marriages within the Gotra. If marriages take place within the same Gotra then the risk of Recessive Gene Disorder becomes higher. But it does not mean every such couple will give birth to a baby with the Recessive Gene Disorder. If parents are of same caste and same gotra then there are enough chances that both are carriers of a recessive gene. Recessive Gene Disorder occurs only when the baby carries two malfunctioning copies of the relevant gene, one coming from mother and other from father. The study mentions, “Allele frequency differences between groups in India are larger than in Europe, reflecting strong founder effects whose signatures have been maintained for thousands of years owing to endogamy (marriage within the caste). We therefore predict that there will be an excess of recessive diseases in India.” Haldane wrote decades ago that ‘‘if inter-caste marriages in India become common, various… recessive characters will become rarer’’ that means only Indians will have that disease. An example is a 25-base-pair deletion in MYBPC3 that increases heart failure risk by about sevenfold, and occurs at around 4% throughout India but is nearly absent elsewhere
    ET,pl allowRecommend

  • Gratgy

    Yes I know, I am just questioning the basis of the author’s statement where he says “Most Hindu castes accept cousin marriages” and then goes on to mention just one caste in one state which maybe constitutes .001% of India’s population as the basis for the sweeping statement.Recommend

  • Sane

    Ancestors of Charles Darwin were apes, but he was born like a human. Miracle…….Recommend

  • Toobah

    Thankyou for bringing this up…..Sadly this is a huge issue especially among Pakistani’s in the UK .
    Islam encourages you to marry outside the family to strengthen your blood and science backs it up. There is no excuse.Recommend

  • Sohaib

    what we have to do with Hinduism andtheir practices? I think mentioning Hinduism is non-sense!Recommend