What is the Wisdom behind the Prohibition Between a Non-Muslim Man and Muslim Woman?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I know marriage between a Muslim man and a woman of the book is permissible, but what happens when the opposite happens, some hotels for example, only allow married couples with a valid marriage to book a room together if a Christian man and a Muslim woman walked in with a valid certificate from the church, should they be allowed to book a room together? If not, then why. We allow Christian couples to do that, even though we believe Christianity is a false religion and that their marriage is invalid because it is not in the name of Allah. Would it be kufr on my part if I thought that as long as a marriage certificate is provided? I just find myself uncomfortable with taking away the right of two consenting adults to marry.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

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

Firstly, it is not disbelief (kufr) on your part to think in this way.

Every country has its rules and laws to govern. Similarly, Allah Most High has made us human beings and ordained specific laws and regulations for our benefit through His wisdom and knowledge. If any type of liberal consent is allowed, we can imagine where it will lead society. We can see it happening now.

Marriage between Christian Couples

The marriage between Christian couples is valid according to their religion, and we will also deem it valid. Also, if a Christian man and a Muslim woman walked in with a valid certificate from the church, they would be allowed to book a room together. It is a different matter. She has turned away from Islam.

Wisdom Behind the Prohibition of Marriage between Non-Muslim Men and Muslim Women

The wisdom behind why Muslim men can marry non-Muslim/Jewish/Christian women is that Islam respects all revealed religions, and Islam is a final continuation of all of them. Believing Jewish and Christian women are part of the Abrahamic faith.

Islam has come as a final message and authority for all of humanity, men have been made responsible caretakers and of authority over women and the family system, as mentioned in the Quran, Allah says in the Quran, ‘Men are caretakers (qawwamuna) of women, because of that through which Allah has favored one over another, and because of what they spend of their property’ [Quran 4:34].

A man will have more of an influence on the children and family, generally, and not vice versa, if a woman was to marry a Jewish/Christian man. In Islam, men are the caretaker and authority over matters; they will be able to influence the Jewish/Christian spouse more so than if it was allowed vice-versa, too.

So, in the case when a Muslim woman marries a non-Muslim, the element of respect for the wife’s religion will be less. This will affect the marital and family relationship. Children will end up believing in another faith.

Thus, Allah’s wisdom in allowing inter-faith marriage between a Muslim man and a Non-Muslim woman is so the message of Islam can be presented most effectively by someone who has the responsibility of care and authority.

[Waliyu ‘l-Allah Dehlawi, Hujjat al-Allah-al-Baligha]

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[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.