Shia-Sunni marriages.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net
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Q. Please elaborate on the issue of a Shia-Sunni marriage. As far as I know it is permissible but not advised because of the complications. However, what if all these complications have been decided between both the families? For example even the parents of the boy have assured in clear words that the girl will be at full liberty to follow her own practices as she did before marriage and the children will follow the father’s practices since they are going to take the family tree further? What is your suggestion in the case where all of these issues are decided and agreed upon? Also, what is your stance on an extended family member who simply refuses for the relationship because of the “what will people say” issue if parents of both boy and girl are willing for the marriage? It is pertinent to mention that both the boy and girl are eligible for marriage as per islamic requirements of money health and character issues.

A. The issue of the Shia-Sunni marriage is one that many of the great scholars of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah have spoken against. Although there may be compatibility between the both parties with respect to health, wealth and character, and although certain assurances have been given with respect to the way of conduct of both spouses after marriage, yet, there are a great amount of complications which come after both parties begin to live together as husband and wife. Experience has shown over the period of years, that problems do arise after such marriages.

The complications in this sort of marriage are much deeper than what can be seen at present. At this time, probably, due to the fact that both parties may have developed a likeness for each other, it seems that everything may work out well. This however, is not what happens. Instead, many unforeseen problems come about which become difficult to handle and as a result, divorce takes place.

With respect to the allowance itself for such marriages (as mentioned before), many scholars have stated that this sort of marriage is not permissible. They have clearly stated that the dogmas and ideologies of the Shias are very different from that of the Sunni Muslims, and hence, result in the denial of certain basic truths which have been established in the Holy Quran. Due to the beliefs of some of their sects, many scholars have stated that they are apostates and marriage with them is not permissible.

In this regard, the great scholar Shaikul Hadith, Mufti Abdul Haqq has written, ‘The Shias whose beliefs are opposed to the well established teachings of Islam are out of the religion of Islam. For example, some ascribe divinity to Ali (R.A), others lay false allegations against Aisha (R.A), the mother of the believers. Some say that a mistake has occurred on the part of Jibraeel (A.S), and they deny the companionship of Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A). One must refrain and safeguard oneself from marrying those with such deviated beliefs. The law regarding these people is the same as that of the apostates and marriage with the apostates is not permissible. (Fatawa Haqqaaniyah vol.4 pg. 343)

My advice to you therefore, is that you should refrain from such mix marriages.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.