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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 Non-Muslim Man Who Loves Me Deeply?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Can I marry a non-Muslim man who loves me deeply, but who is not ready to convert to Islam? He believes in Allah, and never asked me to change my religion. I am stressed and very depressed about this matter.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well.

Marriage to a non-Muslim man

“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.” [Al-Qur’an, 2:221]

Dear sister, you cannot marry a non-Muslim man, no matter how much you love each other. Your marriage contract with him would be invalid, on the basis of him being an unsuitable marriage partner.

Practical Steps

It is difficult to think clearly when deep feelings are involved, so I encourage you to take a break from your relationship and think over these few points:

1) Make it clear that if he wants to marry you, then he must convert to Islam. If you waver on this point, then he will not consider conversion a priority. Alhamdulilah, you say that he already believes in Allah. This is a wonderful first step towards his embracing of Islam. It is only natural to want good for those whom we love, and there is no greater good than the gift of belief in Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).

2) If he refuses to convert, then reflect upon the long-term ramifications of your situation. You are both in love, but your marriage contract will be invalid. Sexual intercourse with him will be zina. Your children will be illegitimate in the eyes of the Shari’ah.These are harsh truths, but important for you to consider for your sake, and that of your unborn children. Contrast this harsh reality to one much more pleasing to Allah: a loving marriage to a Muslim man who loves you, and who will help you raise your children on Islam. If he chooses to embrace Islam, then this man whom you love can be your husband.

3) Marriage takes more than love. It takes a life-long commitment to shared values, on a bedrock of strong faith in Allah and the truth of the Akhirah. If the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with is not Muslim, then how will you successfully weather the storms of the dunya? How will you teach your children about Islam when their father is not Muslim? Please consider doing this course, Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life, and encourage him to do the same.

4) Know that heartbreak, like all things in this world, is temporary. Right now, you may feel that you cannot live without him, and vice-versa. Please turn to Allah during this time of pain and distress, and ask Him to give you the strength to do what is right by Him. Please pray Salatul Istikhara to help guide you to what you need to do next, and please pray Salatul Hajat for the strength to remain steadfast.

5) Reflect on how you got yourself into this relationship to begin with. What is the state of your faith? Were you lonely? Are you longing for the companionship of a husband? Wanting to marry is natural and healthy. Choosing to marry a Muslim man of good character will give you happiness in both worlds, inshaAllah. Only a Muslim man can be your helpmate towards attaining Allah’s pleasure.

I pray that Allah grants you the wisdom and courage to do what is pleasing to Him. May Allah replace what you give up for His sake, with something far, far greater.

Wassalam,
Raidah

Please refer to the following links

Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man if Their Children Are Raised as Muslims?
Is There Any Leeway for a Muslim Woman to Marry a Non-Muslim Man?
Why Has Allah Allowed Me to Fall in Love With Someone I Can’t Marry?

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Simply Disliked For a Muslim Woman to Marry a Christian Man?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
Is it forbidden in Islam for a Muslim woman to marry a Christian man or is it only disliked?
In my country muslim men are not serious and I have met a christian man with a good character. Is it better for me to marry this christian man?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
It is decisively established that it is unlawful for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man.
Allah Most High says, “Do not marry idolatresses until they believe: a believing slave woman is certainly better than an idolatress, even though she may please you. And do not give your women in marriage to idolaters until they believe: a believing slave is certainly better than an idolater, even though he may please you. Such people call [you] to the Fire, while God calls [you] to the Garden and forgiveness by His leave. He makes His messages clear to people, so that they may bear them in mind.” [2.221]
Pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah) regularly [How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?], and ask Allah for a righteous, Muslim spouse who will help you get to Paradise. Take the means yourself and become the spouse you would want to marry.
Consider taking: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life
Please see: Marrying a Christian Man With Good Character and: Advice to a Christian Man Who Wants to Marry a Muslim Woman and: Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man if Their Children Are Raised as Muslims?
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

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

Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man if Their Children Are Raised as Muslims?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question:   salam alykom wa rahmatu Allah..

I am Muslim woman and I want to marry a Catholic man.  He is not willing to convert to Islam because he doesn’t want to practice any religion.  We are really in love.  I didn’t meet a Muslim man so far who I can spend the rest of my life with and this guy is perfect for me.  Can I marry him in a civil marriage?  If we have children, he doesn’t mind if they are raised Muslim.  Any advice would be appreciated.

Answer: Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray you are well and enjoying the blessings of Dhul-Hijjah as women and men gather in the Sacred Precincts for pilgrimage to Allah’s House.

From an Islamic legal standpoint, your civil marriage to a non-Muslim man is not valid. The invalidity of this marriage is not based on its being a civil contract. In fact, in Islam, marriage is a civil contract with sacred aspects. The invalidity of this marriage is due to the unsuitability of the marriage partner. Muslim women are required to marry Muslim men, on the basis of what Allah revealed:

“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.”  (Al-Qur’an, 2:221)

In this Qur’anic verse, we see that faith (in Allah and His Messenger) trump other considerations, including social status. Muslim men are given qualified permission to marry non-Muslim women, however, in another verse:

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. (Al-Qur’an, 5:5)

No similar permission is given to Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men. In fact, when we examine the hadith (traditions) of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, for biographical information about women in the early Muslim community, we discover that some of them had non-Muslim men who were interested in marrying them; however, these women insisted that these men become Muslim first.

I urge you to consider, in addition to the cautions I have stated above, the difficulty that will be entailed in having children with someone who is not Muslim, yet trying to raise those children as Muslims. It will be possible, yes, but what will you do when you need a positive Muslim male role model for your children, particularly your boys? These are important questions.

Last, but not least, please read the details of the Guidance Prayer at SeekersGuidance.org.

May Allah give you clarity,

Zaynab Ansari
Dhul-Hijjah 6, 1432

Is There Any Leeway for a Muslim Woman to Marry a Non-Muslim Man?

Answered by Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question:  I am currently interested in marrying a man that is not Muslim. Growing up, I have barely liked a Muslim man due to their lack of courtesy, disrespect, and lack of concern for social justice. I convinced myself that I would marry a Muslim man just because it is haram to marry a non-Muslim, but I am not excited about it at all and would rather never get married in my life.  Currently, I know a non-Muslim man who constantly wants me to consider him, but he isn’t thinking of converting. I am madly in love with him.  This isn’t the first time I’ve liked a non-Muslim and even though I am fully practicing and wear hijab. Is there any room in the religion for the permissibility of my marriage to a non-Muslim man?

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, “Is then the man who believes no better than the man who is rebellious and wicked? Not equal are they. For those who believe and do righteous deeds are Gardens as hospitable homes, for their (good) deeds.As to those who are rebellious and wicked, their abode will be the Fire: every time they wish to get away therefrom, they will be forced thereinto, and it will be said to them: “Taste ye the Penalty of the Fire, the which ye were wont to reject as false.” (32:18-20)

Allah is telling us that we cannot compare people of faith to those of none. Our faith is a guiding light. If we extinguish that to pursue some worldly gain at the expense of our heavenly abode, what are we left with?

Woman to woman, I think you should ask yourself what you have internalized about your Islam that you find yourself attracted to men outside the faith? This might be more about you than these men. You should focus on shoring up your faith. Remember our actions (include wearing hijab and outward rituals of worship) are all empty without a firm conviction in Allah’ s truth that He knows what is best for us.

If you feel that you have some future with this man, you should ask Allah to guide him to Islam 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.

Finally, you must take yourself out of it. Emotions cloud judgment. Introduce him to the Muslim community and then leave it alone.

May Allah reward you,

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

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

What is Islam’s Stance on Muslim Men and Women Marrying Non-Muslims?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: My friend has become attracted to a non Muslim, she seems to have lost her way in terms of religion. It does not matter to her if this person converts or not. She does not understand why Islam has some rules against women marrying or having intimate relations with the opposite sex who are not Muslims. I would just like a way to reconnect her with who she was and what she believed in. If you could just answer her question of why we cannot be intimate with those of opposite religions and opposite sex, unless they are willing to convert.

Answer: Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray this message finds you well.

I do not know your friend, and, consequently, I’m not sure to which authority I should appeal to convince her that she is wrong.

The Qur’an is quite clear on the unlawfulness of Muslims marrying non-Muslims, with the exception of the unique permission given to Muslim men to marry believing, chaste women from the People of the Book.

This prohibition should not be misinterpreted as religious chauvinism, patriarchy, or misogyny. This rule is in place to preserve the lineage and identity of the future Muslim community. The assumptions behind allowing Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women from the Ahl al-Kitab are:

1. These marriages would be taking place in a Muslim milieu.
2. The children would be raised as Muslims.
3. Muslim women would still be able to find Muslim husbands.

Today, the above factors simply don’t exist, and, for this reason, many mainstream scholars highly discourage or consider it not permissible for Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women.

Likewise, should a Muslim woman marry a non-Muslim man, not only are the aforementioned mitigating factors not in place, such a marriage would go directly against what the Qur’an and Sunna say.

Matters of the heart are very hard to govern, and I daresay your friend will do what she wants to do. However, she needs to understand that she is choosing dunya over deen. If she would exercise patience, have more trust in Allah, and give this person da’wah, Allah willing, she could have the best of deen and dunya.

And Allah knows best,

Zaynab Ansari