Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, thank you very much for having confidence in us, and we hope our efforts, which are purely for Allah’s Sake, meet your expectations.

In the first place, we would like to stress that marriage is a social institution as old as the human race itself. Islam recognizes this institution and accepts it as the basis of human society.

Islam does not regard marriage as a union only for the gratification of sexual desire, but a social contract with wide and varied responsibilities and duties. In an Islamic marriage, the woman is not a plaything in the hand of the man, but she is a spiritual and a moral being who is entrusted to him on the sacred pledge to which Allah is made a witness. The wife is, therefore, not meant only to provide sensuous pleasure to the male, but to fully cooperate with him in making the life of the family and ultimately of the whole humanity significantly meaningful.

Responding to your question, Dr. Rif`at Fawzi, former head of the Department of Shari`ah at Cairo University, issues the following fatwa:


Let me first clarify what is meant byash-shigharmarriage and Islam’s stance on it.Ash-shigharmarriage means that two men (for example, two brothers) marry two women (for example, two sisters) from the other family under the condition that there is no mahr(dower paid to the woman). Such ash-shigharmarriage will only go through if the “exchange deal” goes through, and this is reason enough to invalidate the two marriages altogether.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)“has forbiddenash-shighar, which means that one man says to another: Marry me your daughter and I will marry you my daughter; or marry me your sister and I will marry you my sister.”(Reported by Muslim).

In another authentic Hadith, `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) stated that “Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) forbadeash-shighar, which means that one marries his daughter to another on condition that the other man gives him his daughter in marriage, without mentioning any dower.” (Related by Al-Bukhari).

These two Hadiths are perfectly clear in forbidding exchange marriages altogether. It is not surprising that this is forbidden in Islam, because it is an “exchange deal” that looks at women as though they were commodities that can be bought and sold.

Having stated the above, I would like to stress that if the marriage you referred to in your question contains an offer and acceptance from both parties (man and woman), and each woman is entitled to receive hermahrwithout the “exchange deal” referred to above, and no condition was attached to the first marriage that the second one will follow, then such marriage is permissible and valid according to Shari`ah.

Related Questions

Mahr(Dower): To Whom Should It Be Given?


Islamic Ruling onMut`ahMarriage

The Philosophy of Marriage in Islam

Allah Almighty knows best.




Rif`at Fawzi `Abd Al-Muttalib