Can I Marry an Atheist?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat


I like this girl, but she is an atheist. Can I still marry her, or will the marriage be invalid?


I pray you are well.

No, it’s not permissible to marry an atheist. A Muslim is only allowed to marry other Muslims, or Jewish or Christian ladies. Marrying the latter two is highly discouraged in our times – as it has been for the past several hundred years – due to the detrimental effect it has on the belief and practice of the husband and any children they may have. (Ibn al-Humam, Fath al-Qadir; Laknawi, ‘Umdat al-Ri‘aya)

This is likely to be compounded with an atheist who rejects the notion of God’s existence. As Muslims, we affirm that Allah (God) created us, and gave us the blessings we have in our lives – such as health, loved ones, material goods, guidance, etc.- and saying He does not exist is tantamount to the worst form of ingratitude. Therefore, such a marriage is not permitted due to the effect it will have on you.

Ask Allah to turn your heart away from here and to connect it to someone who will help you draw closer to Him.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital, and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.