Is There Any Leeway for a Muslim Woman to Marry a Non-Muslim Man?

Answered by Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question:  I am currently interested in marrying a man that is not Muslim. Growing up, I have barely liked a Muslim man due to their lack of courtesy, disrespect, and lack of concern for social justice. I convinced myself that I would marry a Muslim man just because it is haram to marry a non-Muslim, but I am not excited about it at all and would rather never get married in my life.  Currently, I know a non-Muslim man who constantly wants me to consider him, but he isn’t thinking of converting. I am madly in love with him.  This isn’t the first time I’ve liked a non-Muslim and even though I am fully practicing and wear hijab. Is there any room in the religion for the permissibility of my marriage to a non-Muslim man?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and all who follow them.

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for your question. I pray you are in good health and iman.

Allah Most High says, “Is then the man who believes no better than the man who is rebellious and wicked? Not equal are they. For those who believe and do righteous deeds are Gardens as hospitable homes, for their (good) deeds.As to those who are rebellious and wicked, their abode will be the Fire: every time they wish to get away therefrom, they will be forced thereinto, and it will be said to them: “Taste ye the Penalty of the Fire, the which ye were wont to reject as false.” (32:18-20)

Allah is telling us that we cannot compare people of faith to those of none. Our faith is a guiding light. If we extinguish that to pursue some worldly gain at the expense of our heavenly abode, what are we left with?

Woman to woman, I think you should ask yourself what you have internalized about your Islam that you find yourself attracted to men outside the faith? This might be more about you than these men. You should focus on shoring up your faith. Remember our actions (include wearing hijab and outward rituals of worship) are all empty without a firm conviction in Allah’ s truth that He knows what is best for us.

If you feel that you have some future with this man, you should ask Allah to guide him to Islam and grant him to you as a spouse if it will be good for your deen and dunya.

But you must be firm with this person that your faith is above all else.

Finally, you must take yourself out of it. Emotions cloud judgment. Introduce him to the Muslim community and then leave it alone.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq
June 10, 2011/Rajab 9, 1432