Ruling on a Muslim Marrying a Non-Muslim

Praise be to Allah.

As far as the interfaith marriages are concerned, Islam does not encourage them. Islam does not permit a Muslim, male or female, to marry a non-Muslim, especially in countries like the U.S., China and India where Muslims are minorities. In a fully developed Islamic state, where Islam is dominant, Muslim men are sometimes allowed to marry non-Muslim women who are chaste and follow the original teachings of Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them).

The general rule of Islam is that Muslims should marry Muslims. A Muslim male or female should not marry a non-Muslim male or female. The only exception is given to Muslim male who are allowed to marry the female from among the People of the Book. It is permissible for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman if she is Christian or Jewish, but it is not permissible for him to marry a non-Muslim woman who follows any religion other than these two. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halaal (lawful) foods, which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time when you have given their due Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girlfriends” [Surah Al Ma’idah 5:4]

Imam al-Tabari said in his commentary on this verse:

“chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture” means, free woman among those whom have been given the Scripture, namely the Jews and Christians who believe in what is in the Tawraat (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel) from among the people who came before you, O believers in Muhammad, whether from among the Arabs or other people; you are permitted to marry them “when you have given their due Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage)” which means, if you give to those whom you marry of your (Muslims’) chaste women and their (Jews’ and Christians’) chaste women their mahrs or dowries.” (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 6/104)

But it is not permissible for a Muslim man to marry a Magian (Zoroastrian) woman or a communist woman or an idol-worshipping woman, etc.

The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And do not marry Al-Mushrikaat (idolatresses) till they believe (worship Allah Alone). And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikah (idolatress), even though she pleases you…” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:221]

A mushrikah is an idol-worshipping woman who worships stones, whether from among the Arabs or others.

It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim from any other religion, whether from among the Jews or Christians, or any other kaafir religion. It is not permissible for her to marry a Jew, a Christian, a Magian, a communist, an idol-worshipper, etc.

The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“…And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikoon till they believe (in Allah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you. Those (Al-Mushrikoon) invite you to the Fire, but Allah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His Leave, and makes His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:221]

Imam al-Tabari said:

What is said concerning the interpretation of the words “And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikoon till they believe (in Allah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you” is that what Allah meant by that is that Allah has forbidden the believing women to give birth to a mushrik, no matter what kind of shirk he believes in. So, O believers, do not give your daughters in marriage to them, for that is forbidden to you. For you to give them in marriage to a believing slave who believes in Allah and His Messenger and that which he brought from Allah is better for you than to give them in marriage to a free mushrik even if he is of noble descent and honourable origins, even if you like his descent and background…

It was narrated that Qutaadah and al-Zuhri said, concerning the phrase “And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikoon”, It is not permissible for you to give them in marriage to a Jew or a Christian or a mushrik who is not a follower of your religion. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 2/379).

For the satisfaction of your heart, let me explain why Muslim men are allowed to marry women from among the People of the Book and why Muslim women are not allowed to do so.

First of all, it is not an honor or a privilege to marry a non-Muslim. It is a burden and a big responsibility. It is better to abstain from such marriages. Muslim men who are living in non-Muslim countries in particular should not marry non-Muslim women. However, man being the head of his household is more capable to handle the needs and problems of his non-Muslim (Christian or Jewish) wife. Muslims believe that Moses and Jesus, peace and blessings be upon them all, were Prophets of Allah and so they give them full honor and respect.

Jews and Christians do not consider Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, as the Prophet of Allah. Thus they are unable to give the same respect and honor to him and to his followers. A Jewish or Christian woman with a Muslim husband will be in a much better position than a Muslim woman with a Jewish or a Christian husband. Even then, there are many non-Muslim women who married outside their faith say that they wish their religion too had forbidden them, because they know how difficult and hard it is to be the wife of a husband who has a different faith.

A Muslim woman should know that Allah has really honored her and made it easy for her by not allowing her to marry a non-Muslim man.

According to the Quran, the husband is the head of the household and his wife should obey him. Allah does not put the Muslim woman in a position that a non-Muslim becomes her head in her own private life. Allah has spared her to suffer from being under the authority of a non-Muslim husband.

In other words, and in relation to the idea of natural roles given to men and women, to the husband and wife, the perfect marriage between the two is also the perfect marriage between Mercy and Justice. And in fufilling these two roles both the man and woman need to seek the atrributes of Allah to perfect those natural attributes in themselves that make them perfect as individuals, and thus provide them the requisite qualities required to withstand both the times of ease and difficulty in the marriage.

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them,and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (Surah Al Rum 30:21)

Another aspect to the perfect relationship between husband and wife, between justice and compassion is that the justice of the man helps the woman to be compassionate and the compassion of the woman helps the man to be just. Such is the perfect balance created by Allah, for as Allah says:”

“(Allah) Most Gracious! It is He Who has taught the Qur’an. He has created man: He has taught him speech (and intelligence). The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed; The stars and the trees prostrate. And the Firmament has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (of Justice), In order that ye may not transgress (due) balance. So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance.” (Surah Al Rahman 55:1-9)

Islam teaches that marriage is half the faith. Marriage is one of the most powerful means for the spread of Islam. It turns hostile communities into friends. Men should also altogether not marry a non-Muslim women from the ‘People of the Books’ as they associates others with Allah. All interpretations must end when there is a clear Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) on the issue. He never recommended marriage with non-Muslim women. Addressing men, he makes it quite clear that Islamic integrity and faith is the requirement for marriage:

“The messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said: Women are married for 4 reasons: for wealth, for family nobility, for beauty and for Deen: You should marry for Deen, otherwise may your hands be rubbed in the dirt.” [Narrated by Abu Huraira (RA), in the Sahih of Bukhari and the Sahih of Muslim]

Muslims who are thinking or planning to get married to a non-Muslim, should abandon the idea of marrying a non-Muslim, unless the non-Muslim truly accepts Islam. If a Muslim women marries a non-Muslim, this will be a major sin. She would be living in sin and your relationship with that non-Muslim will be illegitimate (Fornication) in the eyes of Allah. May Allah protect us all from sins, Ameen!

Also Extracted from : http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/21380

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