Can I Marry a Catholic Woman Who Respects My Lifestyle?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad 

Question

Is it wrong to marry a woman of the Catholic faith? She agrees to let go of certain habits such as eating swine, consuming alcohol, dressing immodestly, and socializing with strange men. She believes in God, but she follows the trinity theology. I’ve been trying to make her understand tawhid and the oneness of Allah. She appreciates the respect that Islam has given women, especially with the story of Sayyidah Maryam. I would like to know the fiqh perspective on this issue.

Answer

Thank you for your question.

Ruling

See the details about Muslim men marrying Christian girls here; please read this excellent article in full:
Marrying non-Muslims. The Legal Ruling

Marriage

Marriage is a solemn covenant, and it is referred to as such in Allah’s book. This is a serious commitment that will affect your lifestyle and your children’s lives. I can guarantee you that you will face challenges and that it will not be easy. The truth is that over the years, she will either lean further away from Islam or get closer to it and want to convert. Are you willing to take that risk and stick with her even if she ends up hating Islam?

Convert

I advise you to pray istikhara on this and to take this prophetic advice: “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious; may you be blessed!” [Bukhari & Muslim] I pray that she takes steps to convert and learn Islam. She will find peace and eternal happiness by the grace of Allah, and she will be able to pass this down to her kids. Tell her to study Islam for a year and then make her decision.

Honesty

Honestly, I can never advise you to marry a non-Muslim. I can’t tell you to marry someone who will tell your children about her belief in the trinity, not instill the oneness of God in their hearts, cannot teach them how to pray, and cannot teach them how to read the Qur’an. They will be confused, and their religion will be at stake. Her respecting your religion is simply not enough. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[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 master’s 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.