Question: 1. Is it permissible to marry a Christian or a Jew in today’s times? 2. Is there a difference between today’s Ahle Kitaab and the Ahle Kitaab of the Prophet (S.A.W.)’s time?
1. Is it permissible to marry a Christian or a Jew in today’s times?
2. Is there a difference between today’s Ahle Kitaab and the Ahle Kitaab of the Prophet (S.A.W.)’s time?
It is reported from Huzaifah bin Yamaan (R.A.) that he married a Jewish woman on reaching Madaain (a town near Iraq). Umar (R.A.) on coming to know about this marriage wrote to him and ordered him to divorce her. (Kitaabul Aathaar, Page 258)
A similar incident has been narrated to have happened to Talha (R.A.) and Kaab bin Malik (R.A.), both of whom married women from the Ahle Kitaab. Umar (R.A.) on hearing of this showed a great amount of displeasure and ordered them to divorce them. (Maaariful Quran, Vol. 3, Page 63 with reference to Fathul Qadeer)
Although in light of verse 5 of Surah Maedah it is permissible to marry the women of the Ahle Kitaab but the Fuqahaa have not merely discouraged and disliked it, but have further stated that it is Waajib to refrain from such marriages for the following reasons: Firstly, the present day Jews and Christians are not Jews and Christians in the true sense. It can be clearly noted from their beliefs that the majority of them are atheists and infidels with whom marriage is totally prohibited. They are Jews and Christians just by name, neither do they believe in the Tauraat nor Injeel nor do they believe in the respective prophets.
Secondly, marrying a Jew or Christian and admitting her into the family can only become detrimental to ones own Imaan and the Imaan of his offspring who will most likely follow the faith of the mother.
If Umar (R.A.) prevented the Sahabah from marrying the women of the Ahle Kitaab ±1410 years ago, we can well imagine what his reaction would be if the present day situation was put forward to him. (Ahsanul Fataawaa, Vol. 5, Page 89-90, Imdaadul Ahkaam, Vol. 2, Page 254-255, Maaariful Quran, Vol. 3, Page 62-64)
Note: The concession which was given to marry the Ahle Kitaab during the time of the Prophet (S.A.W.) were those females who were living in Darul Islam (Islamic state) and were forced to abide to the Islamic Laws. In this case the offspring of such a marriage would be taken to be Muslims as the Islamic Law demands that the children should be made to follow the better of the two religions, which in this case is Islam.
Conditions are not the same anymore in the present day and age. Living in a non-Islamic state, the mother (wife) would try her utmost to make the children follow her religion through the support of the state laws which demands that the children should be given the freedom to choose between the two religions and this can easily turn against the husband as the children are naturally much more inclined to the mother through her motherly love and affected.
And Allah Taala knows best
Qasim bin Hashim Limbada
Attested to as correct by:
Mufti Muhammad Ashraf
11 May 2004
20 Rabeeul Awwal 1425