Why Can’t Muslim Women Marry Non-Muslim Men?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Why isn’t a Muslim woman allowed to marry a Christian or Jewish man? In a stereotypical household, a woman raises the kid while the man works and can easily teach the kid about Islam at home since the father is busy at work. On the contrary, if a Christian woman marries a Muslim man, how is the Christan woman even suitable to teach the kids Islam?

The man being Muslim does not guarantee that the kids will follow Islam. Religion isn’t passed down genetically. A Muslim man cannot force a Christian woman to convert, so the kid she is raising is most likely to learn more about Christianity. If a marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim is haram, then why do other Imams allow such marriages and use the same verse to support the unions?

Answer

Your question is answered in full detail in the following link by Sheikh Salman Younas: Does Islam Allow Muslims to Get Married to a Christian Man or Woman?

Your question is based on the assumption that the commandment is given in the Quran for the upbringing of children. However, we cannot presume the reasons behind any of Allah’s commandments; instead, we have a total submission that what He has ordained for us is to our benefit. Suppositions can be made but in no way should impact our beliefs on the subject.

I agree that a child raised by a Muslim mother doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be a better Muslim than a child raised by a Christian mother, but these are secondary to what matters most. What matters most is obeying Allah’s commands and trusting in Him fully, choosing His desires over ours.

In short, consider the Prophet’s advice (Allah bless him and give him peace) “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty, and for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!” [Bukhari; Muslim] Please see the following links that discuss more on the matter:

Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man if Their Children Are Raised as Muslims?
What is Islam’s Stance on Muslim Men and Women Marrying Non-Muslims?

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, 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 later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.