Does Islam Allow Muslims to Get Married to a Christian Man or Woman?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

Does Islam allow to get married with to a Christian man or woman?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

It is permitted for a Muslim man to marry a woman from the People of the Book but not permitted for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man.

The permissibility of a Muslim man marrying a woman from the ahl al-kitab (‘People of the Book’) is understood from the Qur’anic verse, “It is lawful for you to marry chaste Muslim women and chaste women of the People of the Book when you have given them their dowries.” (5:5)

According to most scholars, this verse specifies or abrogates a previous verse of the Qur’an (2:221) that prohibited men and women from marrying non-Muslim polytheists. The exception in Qur’an 5:5 was only extended to men and not to women as is clear from the verse. As such, the permission to marry the ahl al-kitab only extends to men. [al-Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur’an (2:15-20); al-Qurtubi, Jami li-ahkam al-Qur’an (2:453-57)]

There is scholarly consensus that it is neither valid nor permitted for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man. The simple reason for this is that the divine command in the primary texts does not extend such an allowance to women. While scholars mention certain wisdoms underlying this rule, such as the fact that the religious identity of one’s progeny is less likely to be preserved in a marriage between a Muslim woman and non-Muslim man, the ruling ultimately is not subject to context nor whether such a wisdom is actually realized in a given situation.

For more see:

Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man if Their Children Are Raised as Muslims?

Sikhism and Interfaith Marriage

Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man Who Believes in God?

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.