Why you should not marry your cousin

Published: October 5, 2011

Miscarriages, still-born babies, mutations, diseases - inter-family marriages pose a grave danger.

Doctors are often looked up to, and it is common for people to ask for advice, suggestions and treatment. As a medical student, I have come across questions and situations that have alarmed me, however, I have never been overwhelmed. The story I heard on a flight from Lahore to Karachi particularly struck me. It concerned a woman’s struggle to bear children, a seemingly ordinary ordeal, magnified by the fact that she was married to her first cousin.

I was sitting comfortably in an aisle seat when a man came by asking to exchange seats as he was sitting next to a lady who would prefer a woman.  Since it didn’t make much of a difference to me, I volunteered to to exchange seats with the man. This is how I ended up sitting beside Leena* who was married to her cousin.

We got to talking, and when she found out I was studying medicine she told me about herself. She was on her way to consult a geneticist at Aga Khan University Hospital. The trials and tribulations Leena* had while trying to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby brought tears to my eyes. She had suffered a miscarriage, two still-born babies, and poly-cystic ovarian disease, yet she was still hopeful that she’d be a mother soon.

To me, she was an example of courage and determination. After going through such a traumatic ordeal, the persistence exhibited by this lady struck me as nothing short of remarkable. It was fortunate that she had a supportive husband who would constantly reassure her that with the words:

“Every black cloud has a silver lining.”

I wasn’t sure what caused Leena and her husband’s problems but her story inspired me. After landing in Karachi, I made it my personal mission to research inter-family marriages. I knew that there are numerous cases of inter-family marriages in Pakistan. With awareness cousin marriages have become highly stigmatized in the West, but in Pakistan and the Middle East I would estimate that up to 50 per cent of marriages  are between cousins or distant family members.

To this date, many are blissfully unaware of the complications that a couple can face when marrying within the family. There can be a myriad of genetic aberrations and chromosomal mutations that could result in sometimes fatal congenital anomalies. Children, for example, can be born with a hypoplastic heart, a condition where one side of the heart is severly underdeveloped, agenesis of a kidney, where one or both kidneys fail to develop and many more.

These mutations occur primarily because first cousin couples possess a higher than normal consanguinity; they have, on average an increased chance of sharing genes for recessive traits. A positive association between in-breeding and a very wide range of common adulthood disorders, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, uni/bipolar depression, asthma, gout, peptic ulcer, and osteoporosis has been reported. Therefore it is very important to make known the risks inter-family marriages pose and provide appropriate counselling to people in this relationship.

Here are a few things that can be done to protect children from being born with birth defects:

  • Comprehensive genetic education and premarital genetic counselling programs can help to lessen the burden of genetic diseases
  • Genetic education programs should be directed towards high school students
  • Preconception reproductive options should be explained to parents
  • All pregnant women should be given Folate,Vitamin B12 and Calcium to prevent neural tube defects, and serum levels of proteins (Alpha Feto Protein) should be monitored for Down Syndrome
  • New borns should be screened for hearing loss and inborn errors of metabolism

It is very important for our community to understand this message because many people are confronted with such problems.


Do you approve or disapprove of cousin marriages?

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Nida Hasan

A second year medical student at Dow Medical College.

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

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/728/batool-ali/ Batool Ali

    You have shed light on a very serious concern. I was actually going to write on this topic, but you win :). Cousin marriages are indeed a very big problem especially in the Muslim countries, no doubt of that.

    And what I do not understand is how this can be stopped. Because no, it is not always lack of education the reason behind this issue. I have seen very highly educated people marrying in their families. And that includes doctors, of course. I mean come on, who would know the dangers of intermarriages better than the medical professionals themselves? How do we change the mindset of such people? Such people who know about the pre and post child birth issues. What is the fault of the poor child? Is our tradition and culture all that important that we risk the life of the mother as well as that of the one growing inside her?

    We cannot really blame the village people and the uneducated because they would not even know the consequences till we tell them. What irks me is when people having fully knowledge about everything plunge into the disaster.Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad

    Thanks for raising most important social issue. Cousin marriage should be banned. Recommend

  • Umar

    I understand you are a medical student, but that doesn’t make you an expert or give you the right to publish info for which you don’t have proof. I’m a doctor as well, and most experts agree that the risk of a second-cousin marriage is about the same as two complete strangers being married. There is some risk with first cousing marriages, theoretically, but still controversial. You post this as fact which is certainly not true. Recommend

  • Retract this article

    Experts agree that marrying your second cousin has the same level of risk as marrying a complete stranger – meaning none. Withe first cousins, there is a theoretical risk – not proven and still controversial.Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com Shumaila

    Good job girl. :) We really do need more awareness on this issue. Recommend

  • Ali Mustafa

    Article is good but I totally disagree with the science mentioned in this blog.Recommend

  • Hina Safdar

    What is easy to spread , Genetic Education or better Antenatal Care and Health Facilities for the moms to be? Recommend

  • Chacha

    In South India also we have some communities which allow some form of marraige among first cousins or even uncles – neices.
    Once discussed this with a close friend and she said the impact of this is that the women of the house cannot trust anyone other than thier father or brother. Everyone else tends to look upon them with different eyes.
    Endogamy tends to create unhealthy familial and social behaviour, That is why it is strongly opposed in most societies.

    I do not oppose anyone’s religious rights here nor seek to transgress anyone’s teachings. Merely offering a humanist intervention.Recommend

  • Jahanzeb Effendi

    A good write up.
    If you are really interested, you should go on and read up some local and international published researches on the subject.
    Once you come in your clinical years, which is very soon I suppose, you will see everyday cases of consanguineous marriages resulting in Thalassemias and other congenital anomalies. As physicians its our duty to counsel the patients. But spreading awareness will be a noble idea, especially in the lower socioeconomic groups. As students, and as females you could reach the high risk women. A lot needs to be done and kids like you are the hope for the future.

    Good job.Recommend

  • e-samosa

    @Retract this article:

    What experts are you talking of? Please do some research before commenting on a purely scientific subject. Whether you support cousin marriages or not is up to you, but whether consanguinity is related to increased incidence of genetic disorders is NOT a matter of opinion; it is a matter of science. Sadly, our Pakistani “brothers and sisters” take do a great job of proving how terrible this idea is, over and over again. I can offer this link about a publication on one out of thousands of birth defects consanguinity in Pakistani parents causes.


  • Shane

    my father and mother are 1st csn, we are eight brothers and 2 sisters..:P all are healthy mashallah with normal heights and 6×6 eyesight non of us even had a minor operation. Allah nazar bad sai bachaie ameen… so we are living prove there can be no such thing :P Recommend

  • Saad

    Finally, the people in my extended family really need to read this! Also, it would be a good idea to translate this into urdu…Recommend

  • khalid

    but we are selfish people, do not want to see the facts.
    parents force there children for marriage within the family.
    Just for the sake of some mean interest,


  • Hanif

    oh, so you’re trying to tell you’re a medical student? hmmmm.. interesting! Recommend

  • Family History

    In my family, we have a long history of family inter marriages. And here are some hard facts:

    Three cases of mentally challenged children
    Two cases of albinism
    One case of leukemia
    A lot of us usually have a low white blood cell count

    Therefore, to all the people disagreeing with the article above, all i can say is, if your family has a long history of first cousins intermarrying, you need to stop now.

    Everybody in my family is marrying outside the family and thankfully AHamdulilAllah bearing healthy children now.Recommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam


    i totally agree with you but you know what nothing in life comes with a guarantee.
    if u guarantee me today that if XYZ gets married to ABC instead of her cousin she wont have any issues conceiving or her child wont have any medical issues what so ever , she will definately do so but u cant guarantee it right?

    In Islam out of family marriages are preferred but cousin marriages are not banned. If what you are saying is a rule of thumb then don’t u think they should have been banned?

    and one last thing i may be an exception but in my life i have encountered more cases of abnomalities with out of family marriages.
    its just that when we hear of someone having any medical issues we at once blame it to cousin marriage.Recommend

  • Yasir

    Good job Nadia,

    It energizes the whole society when youth shows this much of concern on core socia issues.

    Well done and keep it up.Recommend

  • AL

    the article is informative, and i know there are dangers, but my parents are first cousins and masha allah we are three siblings, all healthy and happy :) so not all first cousin marriages are bad. Infact, most of my family is that way ( my aunts, uncles are mostly first cousins and they all have given birth to healthy happy babies masha Allah :) I agree with Umar, the dangers are present in theory, but miscarriages etc dont normally happen. You have the example of that lady and now you have my example. There are pros and cons for every situation, theory and decision! Someone meeting my family may think first cousin marriages are ok :)like meeting that lady you felt that they were wrong.Recommend

  • Muslim

    After reading the article when i read the comments only one thought came into my mind.
    We are so silly that v believe and agree with the thinking of an indivisual who is a human being just like we are but we we dont accept the words of Allah. When Allah Subhanwatala allowed the marriage with cousins then who are we to judge ?????????

    And even for once i believe you then can u give any guarnatee that the kids in result of a marriage within strangers will be normal ????Recommend

  • Sultan

    Well i only have one thing to say that i simply dont understand as if WHY DO MEDICAL SCIENCE talks on this issue???? If ur a MUSLIM then you shud have faith in ALLAH with ur LIMITED knowledge over something.

    Marrying with ur cousin or outside ur family DOESN’T PROOVES ANYTHING…. remember onething ALWAYS that ALLAH is the only ONE who gives us the Child…. Its NOT ABOUT US, IT WAS NEVER…. we are NOT the one to decide or even Argue on that, So please with ur LIMITED knowledge on Medical science Dont try to proove urself something when WE dont have anything to do with Child birth….

    Have come across many examples my life, seen ppl marrying outside family BUT still having birth related issues or after birth issues… and many cusins marrying oneanother and still having No problems….

    So all in all ALLAH is the BEST PLANNER about something. U ppl need to think DEEP really!Recommend

  • Wasi

    Very nice and informative Article, i personally know some of friends who had married with their cousins and unfortunately are facing severe diseases like cancer and Asthma, and also some brain and weakness diseases.. there is also a big problem that if we are going to guide our elders the side effects of these marriages the say Drs are wrong and we cant change our forefathers ideas and rules. there must me some awareness workshops and seminars so that everybody can get broader knowledge of these diseases .Recommend

  • Aneeza

    There’s a difference between an occasional cousin marriage in a family or the constant practice of only inter marrying. I think its important for the writer to distinct between the two. Because it is the latter, that gives rise to genetic problems while the former does not have any formal proven record.Recommend

  • Rehan Aqib

    I’ve married with my first cousin and 1 week ago she gave birth a healthy baby boy. Recommend

  • Muffi

    Dis agree with thisRecommend

  • Sheikh Ali Tariq

    The point of inter-family marriages also shows mistrust and lack of unity among mainstream and sophisticated Pakistanis.

    I think the root cause is that in Pakistan it is difficult to question traditions, methods, ways of doing things, etc etc….

    When we question we form the basis of creating knowledge………..

    Unfortunately Pakistanis hardly create any knowledge and that in itself explains the lack of questioning and development of critical thinking in our society. It is such a pity that some 180 million people are living in dark times even when the first word their creator said was “read”Recommend

  • Hindu Indian

    @Everyone: If you think God gives you kids without you doing anything. All i can say is “cheese” . Wat the author is trying to say here is that by marrying people from your close relations you increase the “chances” of having a abnormal child. It doesnt mean that “you will have”. The same is the logic with marrying a person out of your blood line, the probability reduces , but nobody can say it surely that you will/will not have a abnormal kid. Having said that if you still want to give yourself a try, nobody (even God) can stop you. I think the author has made a very good attempt to educate people about the problem. But if the “people” dont want to be educated , you cant blame anyone.

    Nice work, NidaRecommend

  • Saira

    Thanks for raising an important issue and i have gone through the comments like you are no expert so i just wanted to add a personal experience.
    My nephew (11 months old and 1st cousin parents) has recently been diagnosed with Diastrophic Displasia. For those who have never heard of it, its a very very rare disease caused by inter-cousin marriages and it is so rare that u dont find a single expert doctor for it in all of pakistan and according to the doc treating him , my nephew is probably the only one in Pakistan having this disease.
    The idea to share this info is that inter-cousin marriages are a very serious issue and those who go through this, live with this constant what if situation, for the rest of their lives and i can tell you this becasue i am. Recommend

  • not at all impressed

    yeah, now please dont marry your cousin too because genetic probs usually occur in the second, third or later generationsRecommend

  • not at all impressed

    calm down buddyRecommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    @Muslim: ‘When Allah Subhanwatala allowed the marriage with cousins then who are we to judge?’
    Allah allowed cousin marriages.. He did not make them mandatory.Recommend

  • Adeel

    I think the writer was talking about first-cousin marriages.
    Ive seen many first-cousin marriages in my family… and miscarriages/lack of pregnancies, etc have been quite common. From personal experience, seems like what the writer is saying is true, and it definitely has some medical basis… (I come from a family of doctors and have way too many doctor friends).

    That is not to say that strangers marrying would not have this problem, but first cousin marriages just makes the chance of diseases slightly more.

    Also… it comes in the Hadith, that generations after generations you should not keep marrying with first cousins… according to Dr. Zakir Naik.Recommend

  • Omair

    Cousins are like brothers and sisters man…how can sumone develop sexual feelings towards their cousins???..i have a lot of femalecousins and we have been playing since childhood and have always respected them like my sisters……
    but sadly in our GREAT muslim conservative society this is normal…..Recommend

  • Khurram Arif

    I studied software engineering, and worked to build better softwares, having introduction. 2 lines It’s. Better to seed in an ovary that creates diversified permutation. It creates a fair chance to have healthier babies and a better chance of redundant gene that cause disorders, The issue here is cousins marriage are forceful, for land, money. We need to stop this, that’s all. In a family a 1 or 2 cases of cousin marriage may also help as a glue to keep families don’t fall apart. There is no extreme point. Balance is the key!Recommend

  • jaweria Rehman

    it is not necessary that still birth or miscarriage is due to inter family relations,I too have example when a couple is completely unknown to each other in terms of family but yet they are facing so many problem in conceiving etc, The point is ALLAH almighty did not declared any such thing ,In Hindus usually they donot marry their cousins and take them as their real brothers or sisters…if there would have been some issue marrying ur cousins,Islam would have revealed itRecommend

  • KolachiMom

    I totally agree with Omair. I could never think of my cousins as anything but brothers and sisters. So, just the thought of cousins marrying each other and having sexual relations, brings to mind a word which I’d rather not type.Recommend

  • Amrica Wala

    I disagree with the conclusion of this article. I live in the US and I frequently read online comments posted by Americans. In the US there is negligible instances of first cousin marriage but….

    The comments on this thread as as dumb and devoid of logic as the comments (posted by Americans) in response to American articles. Therefore, even though the muslims have been practicing cousin-marriages for many generations, they are no different from the Americans.Recommend

  • Naveed Javed

    Very Nice article; Wish my parents read it!Recommend

  • http://Australia Naeem Siddiqui


    Please don’t bring religion on an academic discussion based on research.

    Cusion marriage in Islam is allowed; it’s neither recommended nor ordered. You could avoid it if you think it’s good for you.Recommend

  • V

    12 years ago as part of my graduate studies in Human Genetics, I chose a project “Inheritance of Hearing impairment in consanguineous marriages” in Ali Yavar Jung National Institute For The Hearing Handicapped, Hyderabad, India. This institute was a sister concern of National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped.

    Though I initially chose to concentrate on inheritance of hearing impairment problems, I gradually saw that the number of genetically inherited diseases was the maximum in Muslim population. Due to illiteracy and poverty, these Muslims never went to doctors and kept on producing more kids in the hope of “one” normal kid. There was this one family I met who had 7 kids – 5 with hearing impairment, slurring of speech, and with mild mental retardation and 2 with Down’s Syndrome. It took a lot of effort by social workers to pull this family for counselling and to convince them not to have any more babies. But they still did and produced 2 more kids – both being deaf and dumb.

    My sample size was 250 families and an alarming 78% of my sample size were Muslims and most did not go to doctors or practised family planning. It was a real heart breaking scene to see so many of these helpless kids who were born such way and that too for no fault of theirs. My study included their 3 previous generations too, and the risk of genetic diseases increased with every successive generation of consanguineous marriage (cousin marriage). The risk was higher with first cousins but those who married 2nd cousins or distant relatives too were not spared.

    Abt 18% of my sample size was Hindus and though they did have some genetic diseases, it wasnt as high as Muslims. And majority of these 18% were south indians. The remaining 4% of my sample size were Christians and Jews.

    Just as a note: Hindus are not allowed to marry within their own “Gothra” as people of one Gothra are considered to be blood relatives.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Jaweria, that was complete nonsense.
    It’s not a speculation at this point. It’s pure, hard science. You’re argument is like saying that people who do not smoke cigarettes also get lung cancer, so there’s nothing wrong with smoking.

    Do you understand the concept of “risks”?Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    @Omair: ‘cousins are like brothers and sisters man’
    Its totally cultural. You have the right to your opinion that cousins are like brothers and sisters… to some that is not the case. Growing up and playing with females irrespective of cousins would have the same effect – that you would consider them as your sisters. Please don’t assume weird things about people who have married their cousins to which KolachiMom referred to but did not mention :)Recommend

  • saleem

    This is already a proved issue , wonder how us Pakistanis are so ill informed, Some countries in the gulf who have large proven cases of disorder and birth defects have already set up a rule to obtain medical clearence before getting married and between cousins is discouraged. In my clan too many cases of birht defects are largely due to cousins getting married. Interestingly the major south asian religion discouraged cousin marriages by instituting rakhi for brother and sisters including cousins.Villagers all over the region who are poor have over centuries set up systems for exchange between different villages for marriages. Guess it has been property, land owning and middle classes which has been the back bone of cousin inter marraiges. Recommend

  • Ali

    Nice article Nida, keep it up. A followup for the new findings and treatment types would be great.

    Read the first few comments, I don’t know why people start giving their points when they don’t
    know about the topic. I am not a medical student but had the chance to read in detail about the impact on children born to married cousins.

    Not all cousin marriages can result into this, but the ones who do face a lot of trouble. Because of unawareness many don’t even know that they children are facing problems because the problems are not obvious enough. Like for example I know a family with their eldest daughter having problem straightening her hands, her growth is somehow stopped too; her younger sister is facing problem of weak hand grip. They are aged 10 and 5. Fortunately the treatment exists and they are currently having it; and all this at this age as previously they couldn’t understand the reason. (And yes the doctor from the DNA/genetics tests confirmed the problem was due to the parent being cousins)

    So awareness is do required, we all know that cousin marriages in our part of the world cannot be banned and for what reasons. We can take extra steps to make sure every thing is happening normal and to keep a check of frequently occurring problems.Recommend

  • danish

    We always drag Islam in these kinds of topics but actually we does not understand Islam. Islam allows cousin marriages but does’t say it is mandatory.Its us,we the so called Muslims ,who made it mandatory because of our greed to wealth(Land,House,Money getting to a person who is not in family) .Islam also says you have to take a medium approach in every aspect of life.That includes Cousin Marriages. Think about it . Recommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    just the same way like u develop feelings for a friend.
    i got married to my best friend. we played together, shared , hang out everything , never thought it would be this way but …

    so just like the same way u can play, hang out with cousins and end up marrying one of them …it NORMAL.

    my friend is marrying her colleague ….a guy u work with….sooo it is NORMAL to marry a cousion!Recommend

  • Dr Omar

    Despite strong indications from all over the world; a few of the educated people (in our country) appear to be taking offence to this feature. Perhaps because marrying within families, tribes, clans(beradari) and similar ethinic origins is a norm in our part of the world.

    This feature is well written and informative. But in order for it to have the desired affect I would request the author to post some research refferences (ideally a link to a medical journal containing an article on this subject). For only through authentic research references we can provide the required evidence to convince people to change their current practices.

    Dr Omar Recommend

  • http://Australia Naeem Siddiqui

    Lots of people here are arguing that you should not marry with cusions becouse they are like ‘Brothers’ and ‘Sisters’ !!!

    Guys you dont need to think/considers all those as ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ you dont want to marry!! :) Just dont marry if you dont want, thats it!

    Only your natural brothers and sisters are your brothers and sisters all others are Na-Mahram for you and you should take all the care Islam has adviced to aviod any misdeed or mis-conception.

    Just a humble advice :)Recommend


    @Hina Safdar:

    Anti natal health care ………………….in my humble opinionRecommend

  • Muslim

    Mr. Omair i am not sayg that u or anyone else shoud marry his/her cousin if you dont wana marry your cousin no one and even Islam is forcing you but the point is that, we cannot negatively point out matters and things which are prescribed Halal by Allah Subhanwatala.

    I know most of us are well educate but we cannot exceed the knowledge that Allah Subhanwatala has.Recommend

  • sana

    now i know why our society is becoming retard day by day coz we are marrying our cousins all the time!Recommend

  • khan

    I know cousins are like brothers and sisters when you have a joint family system….you grow up together and that is where you develop the feelings that you can never think of marrying your cousins..but if you think about it..Islam treats cousins as na mehram which means you are advised to observe pardah from your cousins, and they are na mehram for the same reason that you dont develop the brotherly sisterly feelings with each other so that if you get married some day, there wont be that awkwardness…but lets not get into that since no one observes it…so the point being, you will never have the same feelings for a cousin who you havent seen at all or who lives abroad and only comes after half a decade…what would be your take on that..so stop blaming this so called Conservative Islamic society because not every family is like yours. what you believe in doesnt necessarily mean others believe it too..and the same goes for kolachi mom…..its not incest when you dont have the brotherly sisterly relations before marriage.Recommend

  • Faisal

    One established fact, only losers marry their cousin.Recommend

  • hameed

    dear, you need a lot more study to prove this, and it is very controversial issue. i think mostly people in Pakistan observe this trend in Pakistan and they have no problem. so good article but the story of that lady can not be generalized for all.Recommend

  • Mehfooz

    Author here is just saying that ‘probability’ of birth ander after-birth defects are high in inter-cousin marriages (in-breeding)…She is not promising that marrying outside the blood-line can not have such problem…Only it has lesser probability.

    It is similar to saying that the people who smoke are at higher risk of lung cancer and heart disease than who do not. Simple! You can not argue with these. These are not mere theories, rather proven facts established after thorough reasearch. And PLEASE for God’s sake don’t give references of Islam in this. It has nothing to do with that. Islam or Quran doesn’t say any thing on mobile technology, communication satndards, internet laws and by-pass surgery, and still we use all these things without second thought.

    No wonder Pakistan is so high-up in birth and genetic defects related cases in the world. And, finally, marrying your own cousin!!! Eeeewwww!!! Grosss!!! (shudder)Recommend

  • Syme

    Great article. She is talking about the high probability not the certainty. Nadia Hasan, peptic ulcer is not genetically controlled but if you want to link it with depression associated life style change then you may but that would be an overstatement…If there is no prohibition of cousin marriage in Islam then that doesn’t mean the article is blasphemous and Islam is under threat. I don’t know why people drag Islam in everything.
    Medical professionals are not sufficiently trained to answer the concerned individual and sadly healthcare professionals don’t admit their ignorance. Recommend

  • Ali from Karachi

    1) This is only a problem for a couple if cousin-marriages have been happening for the past several generations – a one-off cousin marriage does not limit the gene pool.
    2) Second or third cousin marriages do not cause a significant problem. Recommend

  • Mehfooz

    @khan: I disagree dude…even the thought of marrying my cousine sends a chill down my spine…regardless of having met her or not…it fills me with so much disgust that it has to be incest or worse…i agree with kolachimom on this…guys go out and find love…or at least go to any professional breeder of animal (pets or otherwise) and they will tell (or rather show you) the harmful effects of inbreeding…Recommend

  • Ali kazmi


    if you are refering to conservativeness in Islam, you are wrong my brother.
    In islam there is no borther or sister out of your real blood siblings. The cousins are considered as cousins and not sisters and brothers. In our part of the world it is a cultural practice to take cousins synonyms to sisters and brothers.

    I am marrying my best friend, my very first cousin and we also never thought about getting into such relationship. But beleive me, the pleasure is doubled when we see much more eaisness in compatibility in various aspects.

    its an advise to broaden up youe views and suggestions and relate hardline facts other than cultural boundages. you will feel better this way.

    Regards Recommend

  • Syme

    Poly cystic ovarian syndrome is a condition befallen on her due to her parent’s cousin marriage. Infertility isn’t the only complication of PCOS. She is at increased risk of diabetes and heart disorders and should be counselled appropriately. The depression associated with obesity and infertility is too much for a young female and she requires support and frequent visits to genetic clinic and gynea/obs specialist will make her more vulnerable. The treatment plans are tricky and counselling should be directed to educate her about the outcomes.
    Bitter realities should be made known to her than to keep her in denial.Recommend

  • Omair

    for all the believers of cousin marriage just let me sum up your logic: “Din ko bhai bhai raat ko charpai”….

    Plus for all the people who are putting religion into this….plz dont associate such stupidness with Allah….its an Arabic tradition that u guys r following not the actual words of God…..plz dont say Allah has given u permission to merry cousins…..

    How can Allah Allmighty give u permission for sumthing that a mere human being can prove is wrong????? Allah is all knowing and mighty……Recommend

  • Omair

    @Ali Kazmi

    I will pray for u brother that you have normel children……Recommend

  • Saud

    After repeated generations of cousin marriage the actual genetic relationship between two people is closer than the most immediate relationship would suggest. In Pakistan, where there has been cousin marriage for generations and the current rate may exceed 50%, one study estimated infant mortality at 12.7 percent for married double first cousins, 7.9 percent for first cousins, 9.2 percent for first cousins once removed/double second cousins, 6.9 percent for second cousins, and 5.1 percent among nonconsanguineous progeny. Among double first cousin progeny, 41.2 percent of prereproductive deaths were associated with the expression of detrimental recessive genes

    Source: Wikipedia

  • Jaweria Rehman

    @Loneliberal PK:
    sense or no sense its not you who can decide..bringing islam in between was just due to the fact that there is nothing written about any restrictions in marrying zousins

    In my family i have so many couple who are cousins but yet have healthy children alhamdulilah…while projecting your views ona public forum you donot have right to declare some one is speaking no sense …anyhow these are my opinions and its not necessary that u would agree to itRecommend

  • Rizvi

    Well, Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Fatima married as well. Both were first cousins. Their children were one of the most intelligent human beings ever. So if Prophet Muhammad agreed to something like this then I don’t think there is a problem. Not to mention probably Allah Almighty was aware and gave permission to the Prophet.Recommend

  • R.A

    It will be difficult to choose
    between mother in law and aunt
    to takke sides.

  • Maqbool

    ” Neem Hakeem Khatra-e-jaan”
    Unfortunately people not qualified enough, start lecturing on scientific matters. Genetic side effects of a cousin marriage are not visible in first generation. The problems start becoming visible after continuous cousin marriages (inbreeding) generation after generation within a family or a community. Cousin marriage should be avoided however cousin marriage is harmless in a family that does not have any history of continuous marriages within the family.
    Its good that all your family is healthy but if you want the same for your coming generations, I shall advise you to discourage further cousin marriages in your family. Recommend

  • Chacha

    Looking at the comments here, two things stand out. First – most of the defence of cousin marraige has a religious basis, which strictly forbids any rational inquiry (in fact rational enquiry can tend to invite a Qadri like response).

    Secondly, all the people who support the cousin marraige, going by thier names or thier psuedonyms, are male. None of them are female.

    The evidence is here.in this coulumn – see it for yourself.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Your personal experiences and opinions regarding cousin marriages do not override the results of carefully conducted scientific studies. Once again, I know four friends who smoke and none of them have lung cancer. So I can’t just assume that cigarette smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer. That correlation has been scientifically proven…

    Same goes for the correlation between cousin marriages and genetic disorders.Recommend

  • i.n.d.i.a.

    loneliberalpk — wah wah khoob kaha …i totally agree with u …. but always remember — never argue with idiots, first they pull you down to their level and then beat u with their experience …:DRecommend


    Well if cousin marriages would have been that dangerous then Holy Quran would have addressed this issue……………….whereas the Holy Book hasnt!Recommend

  • Pagall

    Wot about not marrying ?
    Cheers guys !Recommend

  • chivas

    I agree with you Mr.Umer secondly every thing is in the hand of God. I have been married since last 7 years with my first cousin and Allahamdullilah my all kids are Healthy MashallahRecommend

  • A.

    @Rehan Aqib:

  • A.

    lol. im female and im not against cousin marriage at all. as a muslim i believe its okay. i think its a bit odd nowadays and personally i would avoid it unless by some miracle i were madly inlove with my cousin and he loved me back or something and wanted to get married :S either way, Allahu Alim, Allah knows. i believe that if my kids are meant to be handicapped in any way (Allah na karein) they will be liek that regardless of whether i marry within my family or not.b ut thats just my opinion.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    What’s so interesting about that?? Recommend

  • jaweria rehman

    @Loneliberal PK:

    lets dont get offended…advice:)
    whatever is scientifically proven overrides experiences???anyhow it will just do nuthing but will give rise to arguments..so peaceRecommend

  • Hasnain

    I totally agree.
    Thumbs up for the effort
    keep it upRecommend

  • Freeman

    I think most problems can be if marriages are in family after family and then reapeat marriages in next generations in families again. Recommend

  • Harry

    What I think, it long time now and people should understand and stop this. I totally disapprove these kind of marriages. After all relation are also precious, important and we people are making a mess out of it.Recommend

  • Asim Gillani

    This is a very sensitive and complicated discussion, and must be backed up by approved scientific evidence. Bludgeoning the slogan for non-cousin marriages due to medical anomalies seems a little overdone as if we look at the west who have abandoned this practices are not winning in the field of perfect children with no diseases. How children inherit their gifts or curses from their parents is as twisted and complex as the human DNA structure itself. All I am trying to say is that this matter needs more research and time before human race arrives at a statement, but what I understand is that if it was really harmful Islam would have forbidden it. . Recommend

  • Dr.farhan

    Well its a sort of wage article which is based on a single case and nothing relating to research is there and until you dont have a practical or research based proof your article is not just good enough and above all being Muslims if cousin marriages are not prohibited in Islam then there must be a good reason behind it,as our religion is applicable to all societies it the day of judgment………………. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Now if two cousins have the ‘hots’ for each other, do you think any of this medical mumbo-jumbo will keep them apart ?? Recommend

  • http://natashasuleman.wordpress.com Natasha Suleman

    lol @ parvez :D

    Ok..Im not pro-cousin marraiges but I believe as long as your family doesnt have a ‘history’ of cousin marriages, they are pretty okay.Recommend

  • usman

    the term “interfamily marriage” has been recurrently used but wrongly so. it shold have been “intrafamily marriages” rather.


  • amlendu

    So you still believe that children are delivered by God through fairies and the parents don’t play a role?????????????/Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/naz766 Naveed


    Maybe Dr Zakir Naik can convince you of this problem!


  • amlendu

    So when you fall sick, you’ll not go to a doctor or hospital but to a mosque and you’ll make sure that you do not take any medicine other than prayer????????????Recommend

  • Mehfooz

    @ Parvez: No certainly not… That is the reason why incest exists in the society… Therefore the moral angle is important too… Whether islam approves or not,.this is incest whichever way you look at it… Almighty gave all of us such a heavy load at the too, called brain for nothing.use it sometime… And pls stop having hots for cousins, its weakening our species…Recommend

  • http://natashasuleman.wordpress.com Natasha

    Unless theres a history of cousin marriages in the family they are okay in my opinion. Won’t like it for myself though.Recommend

  • amlendu

    According to your logic a muslim should not have any problem in going in high radiation area or even inside a nuclear reactor as the Holy Book odes not say a single thing about dangers from radiation or nuclear reactors.Recommend

  • http://none Bangash

    Agree with this….there are many great rishtas outside of family.Recommend

  • Mj

    “Fifty-five per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins and in Bradford the figure is 75 per cent. British Pakistanis represent 3 per cent of all births in Britain but one third of children with recessive disorders.”


    ““The local estimate was that 75 per cent of Bradford disabled children had cousin parents and the rate of cousin marriage in the UK Pakistani community is increasing,”


  • Mohammad

    Totally agreed with the opinion of the writer. Infact of recently, I have become quite opposed to the idea of first cousin marriages. In most of the Pakistani families like ours, it is considered a SIN marrying someone from outside the family, although not realizing that these are resulting in genetic disorders like hearing impaired and even diabetics. Educating such people is of no use, as it’s a matter of high social prestige! Recommend

  • Taha J

    Medical jargon aside… its icky! Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com Shumaila

    LOL @ the comments giving their ‘personal opinions’ on the matter, as if that made the slightest bit of difference to the evidence. Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/728/batool-ali/ Batool Ali

    For those quoting religious examples: Allah hasn’t forbidden cousin marriages but neither has he made them mandatory. Oh but He has forbidden taking lives and making someone’s life hell. Which is what we do by intentionally marrying within families. Are we not supposed to strive for ourselves rather than just saying Allah malik hai? Those who are saying we should leave everything to Allah, why don’t you guys leave your houses unlocked when you go out. Akhir Allah bachaega, will He not? People, it doesn’t work that way. You can’t just sit back and wait for Allah to do everything.Recommend

  • Rizvi

    You mean God forbid Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Fatima comitted incest? Are you seriousRecommend

  • Rizvi

    @Batool Ali:
    You are saying as if you have done all research possible regarding this matter. Many of my cousins are result of 1st cousin marraiges and most of them are very intelligent and normal humans. You should do whatever you think is right, and leave rest to God. Prophet Muhammad laid out an example of 1st cousin marraige by giving his daugther’s hand in marraige to Ali. You think he was not aware of the outcomes? Think again.Recommend

  • sania

    Cousin marriage is common in our family. My great aunt suffered from Breast cancer, her daughter my uncles wife got it and now her own two daughters have it. A lot of my cousins have psychiatric disorders.Diabetes, heart diseases brain disease is very common in our family.
    So if anyone thinks that cousin marriage does not cause any problems they should think twice.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/728/batool-ali/ Batool Ali

    Yes, I am no expert on this matter but can you deny the evidence we have today? We should not even compare ourselves with Prophet Mohammad and his family. He did something because he was aware of the outcomes. He did know that there would be no problems, whereas we do not. So why should we not avoid it rather than face them and then leave everything to God? Because of course, everything is indeed in His hands, but still that does not allow us to not do anything and just leave everything to Him.

    In simple terms for those who just don’t seem to get it:

    An albino mating with an albino will have a very high chance of having an albino kid. However, if he/she mates with a normal person the kid will have a lesser chance of being an albino.
    Same is the case with cousin marriages. A family has the genes for a particular disease even if the people are not abnormal in any way. Now if they inter mate both the mother and the father would be passing the same genes to their child and since the child would be having those genes from two sides (making them dominant) there is a higher chance of him being abnormal. Why not go outside your family when this can be avoided?

    And if people are still dying to marry your cousin we do now have the technology to match your DNAs and genes and find out the state of the child that may result.Recommend