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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.

A Catholic Man is My Soulmate

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I am a American born and raised Muslim woman. There are many Muslim men available in America, but I’ve never found myself attracted to men of my race. I’m a proud Muslim, but I’m not very strict. I follow most of the basic rules such as charity, I don’t eat pork, I believe in one God, etc. I’m not only a Muslim by name, I actually read Quran verses and I’m proud to be Muslim.

Here’s the tricky part. A couple of years ago I met a Mexican man. We started off as friends in the very beginning.

We began developing deep feelings for each other.  I truly believe that he’s my soul mate, and I know he believes the same thing.

My father is very strict. He was born in Iran and was raised as a Muslim. So of course, when my dad found out he was very angry. When I asked my dad why he didn’t like him, he told me it was because of his race. I didn’t listen to my dad and continued seeing him.

We are 100% sure we want to get married.  The man I want to marry and his entire family is Catholic.  But other than that, we are pretty much made for each other.  I truly believe we are soul mates.

I know for a fact that I will always be Muslim. Nothing will change that.

I want to know why doesn’t God consider it a valid marriage if they are from different religions? It’s only the label that is the difference. His family loves me as well and has no problem, because they are all very open minded and kind.

I’m a very strong advocate of interracial marriages. It brings people closer together and reduces racism, using my father as an example. Please advise me.

Answer: In the Name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum.

Thank you for your question.

I appreciate the complexity of your situation and would like to offer a few reflections.

As people from Muslim-majority nations immigrate to the West in mass numbers, they would do well to consider the well-being of their children and grandchildren and the challenges they will face as they attempt to hold onto their faith in a society that is multiracial and pluralistic. It’s not realistic to assume that our children will naturally incline toward prospective spouses who are from “back home” or share our particular ethnic affiliation.

Moreover, we have to consider that our children will even move beyond the family’s religious affiliation to consider prospective spouses from other faith traditions, your case in point.

I believe that it’s vital the Muslim community in North America take stock of this situation as it directly affects the future of Islam in this part of the world.

Now, on a more personal level, woman to woman, I advise you to think very carefully about the decision you are making. I understand that you share much in common with the Mexican man. However, you have to balance your feelings with the requirements of your faith, which stipulate that your husband be a Muslim. Islamically, your marriage will only be valid if he takes his shahadah (declaration of faith that God is one and Muhammad is His messenger). You should also consider your father’s feelings on the matter. In a Muslim marriage, the father acts as the daughter’s guardian, which is another requirement for the marriage’s validity, so you would need your father’s blessings.

Finally, please understand that there is a lot of wisdom in requiring Muslim women to marry Muslim men and much of it goes back to the way Islam views gender and the complementary roles of men and women. A man is expected to lead his household and establish the religion of the children. This would be difficult if the head of the household were not Muslim.

Please view a related question here as Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja counsels a Muslim woman who is considering marrying a Catholic man.

May God Most High guide you to the decision that is best for your eternal life,

Zaynab Ansari

Advice to a Christian Man Who Wants to Marry a Muslim Woman

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I am a Christian man who is deeply in love with a Muslim woman. I encourage her daily to practice her faith in the way that she has been taught. I wish to marry her but fear the consequences on her soul. Much of what I have researched says that this is not permissible because of the way the children will be raised and/or the non-Muslim (as being head of the household) may discourage her in her beliefs and practices. This is not the case in our situation because of the following: 1. I would never allow or encourage her to come away from her beliefs. 2. It is impossible for us to have children.

Because of the aforementioned facts, would it then make it permissible for us to wed?

Answer:In the Name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful

Dear Questioner,

I pray this message finds you well.

Thank you for writing to SeekersGuidance; your question is very important to us.

I can only answer your question on the basis of what I have understood of the Islamic tradition while doing my best to consider the circumstances of your relationship.

Traditionally, Islamic law makes allowances for interfaith marriages only in the case of a Muslim man marrying a Christian or Jewish woman. A Qur’anic reference is Chapter 5, Verse 5: “This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when ye give them their marriage portions and live with them in honor, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whoso denieth the faith, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter.”

No similar allowance exists for Muslim women as we see in the Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 221: “Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But God beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise.”

You mentioned that you are already familiar with the above verses of the Qur’an and are concerned about the salvation of the woman you love.

You also stated that you would never interfere with her beliefs and that children would not be a consideration because you can’t have children.

I would like to respond by commending you for respecting your friend’s right to practice her religion. This commitment on your part demonstrates a lot of sensitivity. I would caution you, however, against being so sure you will never have children. Only God knows what blessings lie ahead for every couple in terms of having children.

Given that you’ve clearly thought this situation through, I would now offer that the onus is on the woman whom you wish to marry. After all, your religious beliefs may not prevent you from marrying outside of your faith but hers do and it is her responsibility to consider the implications — whether spiritual, social, or legal (were she to travel to a Muslim-majority country) — of marrying outside of her faith.

My suggestion is that it would behoove you to learn more about Islam and consider accepting this way of life, which has, at its heart, recognition of the Oneness of God and the finality of the message of Prophet Muhammad (God bless him and give him peace) and is, according to the Islamic tradition, the culmination of every monotheistic tradition that came before.

At the very least, embracing Islam would certainly assist in facilitating your family life and make your path smoother as you seek to share your life with the woman you love.

May God guide us all to the Straight Path,

Zaynab Ansari
April 5, 2012
Jumada I 13, 1433

Marrying a Christian Man With Good Character

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question: I’ve a friend who is Christian and we like each other a lot and he asked me to marry him. Since he is a very good human being, I would love to accept his proposal.He does not follow anything from his religion but he is a strong believer of Allah, and he also encourages me to pray Salat and follow my religion. How can I encourage him to convert and learn about Islam and help him to practice it.

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 all who follow them.

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

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

Allah Most High says, “Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise.” (2:221)

You should ask Allah to guide this person to Him and grant him to you as a spouse if it will be good for your deen and dunya.

But you must be firm with this person that your faith is above all else.

There are a number of resources he can access in order to learn about Islam, starting right here with SeekersGuidance.

However, you must take yourself out of it. Emotions cloud judgment. Introduce him to some Muslim brothers and leave it alone.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq
June 10, 2011/Rajab 9, 1432