Islamic status of a stepchild’s relationship

Q. Many of our elders in the family had more than one wife. When one passed away they married another woman. Some married 3 times.

What is the status of the relationships between the children born out of these marriages in Islam?

Children born from more than one marriage can be divided into two types:

  1. Children who share a parent – Siblings who share the same mother (Uterine siblings), for e.g. one’s mother married two husbands (at separate times) and she had children from both of them, or siblings who share the same father (Consanguine siblings), for e.g. one’s father married two wives and he had children from both wives. These siblings are counted as Mahrams whom you cannot marry. Accordingly, observing the laws of Hijaab between them is not necessary.
  2. Children who do not share a parent –Siblings born of two different families who have been joined by marriage (step-siblings), for e.g. one’s parent married a spouse who had children from a previous marriage. Step-siblings are not counted as Mahrams. Accordingly, observing the laws of Hijaab between them is necessary. (Badaai-us-Sanaai 2/257)

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa