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Muslim Woman to Marry Christian Man

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil makes it clear that a Muslim woman cannot marry a Christian man.

If a Muslim woman wants to marry a Christian man on the condition that he will allow their children to be practicing Muslims, and their life and all matters will be handled as per Islamic teaching, then is there an issue in getting married?

The Qur’an doesn’t mention clearly that Muslim women are prohibited from marrying Christian men. It seems to be just a matter of scholars thoughts or considerations.

Best regards

Marriage Validity

“Do not marry polytheistic women until they believe; for a believing slave-woman is better than a free polytheist, even though she may look pleasant to you. And do not marry your women to polytheistic men until they believe, for a believing slave-man is better than a free polytheist, even though he may look pleasant to you. They invite you to the Fire while Allah invites you to Paradise and forgiveness by His grace. He makes His revelations clear to the people so perhaps they will be mindful.” (Sura al-Baqara 2:221)

Dear sister, it is not permissible for you to marry a Christian man.

There is no scholarly difference on this very clear matter. Please refer to these previous answers for further clarification: Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man if Their Children Are Raised as Muslims? and Why Is a Muslim Woman Not Allowed to Marry a Non-Muslim Man?

The only way for your relationship to be made halal is this – he must embrace Islam, and you must do a valid nikah with him.

Future Children

Your marriage contract to a non-Muslim man is invalid, causing your children to be born out of wedlock. Your unborn children will be innocent of your sin of zina, but they deserve a better start to life. Please read: Can I Claim a Child from an Illicit Relationship?

Reality of Your Situation

You are both already in love, want to marry, live by Islam and raise your children as Muslims. As a courtesy to you, your Muslim family, his own soul, and most of all, to Allah Most High, please encourage your partner to embrace Islam.

Even if he does not fast a single day in his life or complete a single prayer, it is better for him to die on belief, so the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, can intercede for him on the Day of Judgement. Death, Hellfire and Heaven are real. Would you not want the man you love to be with you and your children in Paradise?

I encourage you to share this with your partner: Advice to a Christian Man Who Wants to Marry a Muslim Woman.

I pray that Allah opens his heart to Islam, and blesses you with a loving marriage and pious children.

Please also see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Can I Marry a Hindu Woman?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I am in a relationship with a Hindu girl. I feel it is necessary to tell her about Islam, but she is not convinced. She wants to stay Hindu even after marriage. Is it right for me to marry her and continue to convince her about Islam?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah soften her heart to Islam, and grant you the strength to do what is best for both of you.

Marriage

“Do not marry unbelieving women until they believe […] And do not marry (your women) to unbelievers until they believe.” [Quran 2:221]

Your marriage contract with a Hindu woman will be invalid. It is impermissible for you to marry her.

Although it must be hard for you to hear this, love is not enough to make a marriage successful. Please complete this online course to help you understand the spirit and law behind marriage in Islam. Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life

Hope in Allah

Remember the Prophetic promise that if you leave something for Allah’s sake, then He will replace it with something better.

No matter how stuck you feel right now, trust that Allah has the power to make a way out for you. You just need to do your part. Please listen to this podcast: Positive Spiritual Thinking: Choosing Mindfulness (taqwa) and Embracing Trust (tawakkul) by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Guidance

“Verily! You guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.” [Qur’an, 28:56]

Nobody can be convinced to become Muslim. Only those who are sincere will be guided by Allah. That being said, Allah is the Turner of hearts, and anything is possible with His help.

Solutions

Please perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to help guide the woman you wish to marry.

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance up til seven times about what to do. If Allah inspires her to embrace Islam, then that is a sign that marriage to her is good for you. If she remains opposed to Islam, then this is a clear sign that marriage to her is unwise.

Future children

It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Beware! Every one of you is a shepherd and every one is answerable with regard to his flock. The Caliph is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned about his subjects (as to how he conducted their affairs). A man is a guardian over the members of his family and shall be questioned about them (as to how he looked after their physical and moral well-being). A woman is a guardian over the household of her husband and his children, and shall be questioned about them (as to how she managed the household and brought up the children). A slave is a guardian over the property of his master and shall be questioned about it (as to how he safeguarded his trust). Beware! Every one of you is a guardian and every one of you shall be questioned with regard to his trust.” [Sahih Muslim]

Mothers are often the primary caregivers of children. What religion do you want your children to be raised on?

I pray that Allah grants you the strength to do what pleases Him, and what will ultimately benefit you in both worlds.

Please refer to the following links:

Can a Muslim Man Marry a Sikh or a Hindu?
Marriage in Islam: A Reader
Rights of Children in Detail

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Danumurthi Mahendra

Is a Marriage to a Non-Muslim Woman Valid? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

If a Muslim man is in a relationship with a non-Muslim woman and she falls pregnant and then they get married, but she is not a person of the book, is the marriage valid islamically? If a child is conceived out of wedlock but the parents marry by the time he/she is born is the child classed as illegitimate or legitimate?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is not legally permissible for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman who does not fall within the category of ‘people of the book’.
If a Muslim man were to nevertheless do so, that marriage contract would be invalid; that is, it would not be legally recognized.

When is a Child Considered Illegitimate?

Legitimacy or illegitimacy has to do primarily with attribution of the child to the father, and includes derivative rules related to inheritance, guardianship and marriage.

If a child is born to a validly married couple in a period in which the child could have been conceived in this valid marriage, it would be attributed to the father.

The lower limit for the duration of a pregnancy for legal purposes is six months. Therefore, if a man were to marry a woman and she were then to give birth three months later, the child would not be attributed to the father. If she were to give birth shortly after six months, the child would be.

Please see also: Can a Muslim Man Marry a Sikh or a Hindu?

Shuaib Ally

I’m in Love With a Hindu Man

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I’m in love with a Hindu guy. I didn’t plan this, it just happened. Our love is very strong.  Is there anyway I can be with him, or a du’a to make this happen?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.

Dear Sister,

Allah Most High says, “Lo! thou (O Muhammad) guidest not whom thou lovest, but Allah guideth whom He will. And He is best aware of those who walk aright.”

It is up to Allah if this young man enters the fold of Islam or not. As difficult as this is, it is best to separate yourself from the situation so you can look at it with a clear head. You want to choose a husband who can be the head of your household and help you raise Muslim children. You have to also consider the family dynamics, how his family would handle a marriage, how your family would react, etc.

If you feel strongly this is the person for you, then you should ask him to visit the local masjid and say his shahada and learn about Islam. Perhaps at that point, he can meet your family.

Please keep in mind that I can’t tell you exactly what to do given the fact that I am not from your cultural context. However, I have seen many examples of successful marriage where a Muslim woman gave a non-Muslim man da’wah and he accepted Islam.

Ask Allah to give you what is best for your deen and dunya and try to accept His decree.

Regards,

Zaynab Ansari

Can a Muslim Man Marry a Sikh or a Hindu?

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: Can a Muslim man marry a sikh or hindu girl?…If not, what are the reasons and consequences of it…..if that couple really wants to marry each other then what should they do?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope this message reaches you in the best of iman and health.

Allah Most High says, “Do not marry unbelieving women until they believe […] And do not marry (your women) to unbelievers until they believe.” [Quran 2:221]

It is clear that Allah has not made it permissible for Muslims to marry non-Muslims, though there is an exception for Muslim men to marry women from the People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians).  Hanafi scholars have pointed out that even this exception is in many cases disliked or even sinful if one cannot be sure that it will not influence one’s religious devotion or beliefs, or that of one’s children.

Among the many wisdoms of this ruling is the preservation of the religion of Islam and prevention of harm to one’s religious foundation. This ruling is an insight into the importance of the sacred trust one undertakes by marrying, having children, and raising them to be obedient God-conscious servants.

In terms of consequence, one’s marriage would not be valid if they married one other than whom Allah has permitted for them, and therefore the man and woman would be considered to be living outside of wedlock.

Muslims should guard their personal interactions according to the teachings of Islam. If a Muslim gets himself or herself in a situation where they desperately want to marry one with whom marriage is not permissible, they should immediately pull away and  speak to a scholar.

The scholar should be able to evaluate the situation and determine which of the two options is more suitable: (1) proposing the idea to the non-Muslim to study Islam and adopt the faith so that there can be a valid marriage or (2) asking the couple to leave the relationship altogether.

It will no doubt take one time to heal if strong feelings had developed, but no one leaves something for the sake of Allah except that He rewards them and replaces their loss with something better for them. Allah Most High says, “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Quran 29:69]

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
Sulma

Marrying a Potential Convert: Supplication, the Prayer of Guidance, and Following Allah’s Guidance

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: I was working with a Catholic man and he has expressed an interest in becoming a Muslim, and wanting to marry me. He used to go to the mosque and was very close to becoming Muslim but his strict Catholic family didnt allow him to. Even when he said he accepted all the Islamic tenets, he couldnt deny Jesus dying on the cross. The last few months he again expressed an interest in becoming a Muslim and marrying me. I made a lot of supplication and prayed istikhara many times as I feel he would make an excellent Muslim and husband.  He is very pious, chaste, and charitable, and unfortunately I have allowed myself to form an attachment to this man. He has now moved abroad for a new job. To me this seems like a clear sign from Allah in answer to my istikhara that this man wasn’t for me. But how does one really know for sure if there istikhara has been answered?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope this message reaches you in the best of states inshaAllah. May Allah reward you for being concerned and seeking understanding in these matters of your life and may He guide you to that which is best for you in your religion, life, and hereafter.

It is not clear from your question whether the man has actually become Muslim or not. In either case, it is important to know that while you can make du`a that Allah guides him to Islam and brings you both together in marriage, you should not form an emotional attachment to him. Since this has unfortunately already happened, you need to realize that Allah does not want this of you and He only dislikes for His servants that which is harmful for them. Having conviction in this will help you to ease the pain in your heart and release your attachment to this man inshaAllah.

You should discontinue contact with the man in a polite manner suitable to the situation, since remaining in contact with him is not benefiting you. Please consider asking a Muslim male you trust, such as your brother or an Imam in the community, to keep contact with him in order that he has access to answers about Islam. Perhaps an Imam can explain to him the appropriate understanding of the Prophet Jesus (may Allah grant him peace) in Islam. Accepting that Jesus (may Allah grant him peace) did not die on the cross is something that is known by necessity to be a part of the religion. Allah says in unequivocal terms in the Qur’an:

“…and they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but so it was made to appear to them. And those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no knowledge, but only conjecture to follow. Of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Exalted in Power and Wise.” [Al-Nisā’, 156-157]

Since his embracing of Islam and its tenets is a prerequisite to him being a potential husband for you, and it not clear that he is Muslim, it would not be proper to pray istikhara regarding marrying him, as you cannot supplicate for or seek guidance in something that is unlawful. Give the situation some time in order to allow yourself to pull out of the situation, physically (by involving someone you trust to sort out the man’s beliefs) and emotionally. Continue during this time to ask Allah for what is good for you. Then reevaluate the situation and move from there.

Regarding istikhara: The istikhara is a prayer in which one seeks guidance and good from Allah in a particular matter. This guidance and good as unfold on the plane of worldly causes and effects, not merely dreams and feelings – meaning that Allah facilitates what is best for one if one genuinely supplicates for the good and strives to do what is best. As Shaykh Faraz Rabbani describes,

“the sunna regarding actions is two-fold: (a) one takes the best and most effective of means; and (b) one places one’s trust and reliance on Allah. The istikhara is primarily related to the latter. It in no way negates one’s duty to take the proper steps in choosing a marriage partner of finding out the relevant details related to their worldly and religious life, their character, conduct, and personality.”

The hadith that you mentioned contains the Prophetic guidance to not despair in Allah’s mercy and to have conviction in His wishing well for us and His ultimate wisdom. If the slave truly understands their slavehood to Allah, they will never abandon supplicating to Him, because it is a manifestation of the realization of their poverty-stricken state and Allah’s supreme Richness, Completeness and Generosity. Supplication is furthermore an answer to Allah’s request, “…and call upon Me, I will answer you…” [Surat Ghafir, 60]. However, one has to know that Allah’s answering of a prayer comes in different forms.  Likewise the answer of our istikhara can be in a form that we do not anticipate. Allah may respond to one’s supplications by giving one what was supplicated for, or by withholding it in order to store up good for them in the Hereafter, or by withholding evil from one in his life. In a similar hadith the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) says,

“There is not upon the face of this earth a Muslim who calls upon Allah with a supplication except that Allah gives it to them or withholds from him a harm commensurate in measure [the the good he was seeking], as long as does not ask for the sinful or severing of kinship.” [Al-Tirmidhi]

May Allah guide you and us to that in which His pleasure lies.

Wassalam,
Sulma Badrudduja

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Love for a Non-Muslim Man & Inviting Him to Islam

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question: What are the rules on marriage with a non-Muslim man? Is it permissible for a Muslim lady to even speak to a non-Muslim man (from her past life) and to introduce Islam to him? And is it wrong to have love for this person after accepting Islam? Is there something she can do to cure her heart? Also, what should one do if they want to get married but cant, due to reasons like parents not stressing it or not giving it attention? Does this mean marriage isnt for her?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who follow them.

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for your question. I pray you are in better spirits these days.

I wasn’t quite clear on what obstacles to marriage you are facing, but let me try to address the points you have raised.

First, it sounds like you are still in love with someone you knew before you became Muslim. While you certainly cannot control your feelings, you can control what you do with them. It may be difficult to be rational about this, but what is the basis for the attraction you feel? If you are meant to be with this person, then Allah will guide him to Islam. No amount of da’wah you give is going to make a difference. And given how emotional you are about this, it is best not to speak to this person. Why put yourself through that kind of heartache? If he’s genuinely interested in Islam, there are a number of resources he could seek out.

Second, ask Allah to give you what is best. Ask Allah to guide this person to Islam and let you marry him if it is best for your deen and dunya. And ask Allah to remove this attachment from your heart if this person is not the best for your deen and dunya. It was reported that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, used to say, “O Allah, o controller of hearts and eyes, make my heart firm upon your religion.” You should make this dua, keep constant with your prayers, and always strive to be in a state of remembrance of Allah.

Third, it’s very premature to conclude that marriage is not for you. And while lack of a Muslim community or Muslim family members poses a problem, there are ways around this. However, before you even consider trying to find a Muslim husband, you need to resolve your feelings for this individual. You can’t seriously discuss marriage with a Muslim brother when you have these feelings about someone from your past.

I hope this is helpful.

May Allah reward you,
Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq
March 22, 2010/Rabi’ al-Thani 7, 1431

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani