Is Interfaith Marriage Permissible in Islam?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Muslim men and women are strongly advised to marry Muslim partners [Quran 2:221]. However, it is accepted that men are permitted to marry the People of the Book. This can be understood from the Quran 5:5. This verse, or any other verse, does not mention Muslim women marrying the People of the Book.

Despite this, the prohibition of marriage between a Muslim woman and a Christian or Jew seems to be agreed upon by all scholars. I want to understand why. Some may allude to women’s ‘natural weakness’ and the risk of being led astray, but I would challenge this as also applicable to men marrying non-Muslim women. Perceiving women as weak is archaic and suited to previous eras, whereby the role of women in society was different. I struggle to understand how in today’s day and age, women are not given the same rights as men on this matter, especially when there is no explicit mention in the Quran that prohibits it.

Answer

Thank you for your question. The full answer to your question is here:
Why Is a Muslim Woman Not Allowed to Marry a Non-Muslim Man?

Please be advised that one cannot extract rulings directly from the Quran from one’s research. Traditional Sunni scholars are qualified to do this because they understand how it should be done. They look at Tafseer, the sunnah of the Prophet, about the topic, reasons for the revelation of verses, and many other things that we common folk cannot grasp.

For example, according to most scholars, the second verse you mention abrogated the first verse you say. I advise you to increase your worship as this increases faith. To increase your worship, increase your knowledge. There are several free courses at your disposal here at Seekers.

May Allah give you the best in 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 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.