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How Do I Handle My Feelings For My Wife’s Sister?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: My wife’s sister and I have developed feelings for each other, and we have been living this secrecy for 3 years. This is affecting my marriage as my wife has suspected this, but we have denied it. I need to do right by both women as I feel my love for my wife has been affected. I do not want to take steps to divorce and then marry her sister because there would be sin for us both.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I will attempt to clarify this for you, honestly and boldly.

Cut Her Off

You have absolutely no choice but to cut her sister off. You must not speak to her, you must eliminate all contact, and you must be a man. You must not get her hopes up, you must not pretend that you can make her sister happy. You must run away as though your house is on fire. There is no other way. I want to remind you that there is no way to marry her either because it is prohibited to be married to two sisters at once.

Respect Your Wife

Give your wife some respect and love. Bond with her. If your love for her has been compromised, you are mostly to blame, and I suggest that you start taking action to become close to her, communicate better, and spend more quality time together. Never tell her about your illicit feelings as this would be heartbreaking and foolish.

Please consider the effect that your behavior will have on your children. You would be a role model of cowardliness, selfishness, foolishness, and you would teach them to follow their whims instead of being loyal, faithful, and honest. Consider how you would feel if your son-in-law did this to your daughter? Would you support your son-in-law’s newfound love for your other daughter? Or would you chase him out of the house with his tail between legs?

Gender Interaction

Allah put the rules of gender interaction into this world for this very reason. The in-laws were specifically mentioned in hadith and this is exactly the pit that you have fallen into. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Beware of entering upon the ladies.“ A man from the Ansar said, ‘Allah’s Apostle! What about Al-Hamu the in-laws of the wife (the brothers of her husband or his nephews etc.)?’ The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, replied ‘The in-laws of the wife are death itself.’” [Bukhari] This hadith also applies to the in-laws of the husband.

Please see the rules of gender interaction and resolve to apply these rules with any non-mahram lady that you ever meet in the future, no matter who she is. Please see the links below:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/a-reader-on-gender-interaction/
https://seekersguidance.org/tag/falling-in-love/

May Allah reward you for looking for direction and for striving to do the right thing.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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