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Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man Who Believes in God?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu’alaykum

What does Islam say about a female marrying someone who isn’t a believer in Islam but nonetheless believes in God?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

No, it is not permitted for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man. [Qadri Pasha, al-Ahwal al-Shakhsiyya]

Can A Muslim Man Marry a Non-Muslim Woman?

In and of itself, it is permitted for a Muslim man to marry a woman from the People of the Book, namely Jews and Christians, yet not women of other faiths. [ibid.]

This is based upon the Words of Allah Most High, “The food of the People of the Book is lawful for you as your food is lawful for them. So are chaste, believing, women as well as chaste women of the people who were given the Scripture before you.” [5.5]

However, the jurists consider this to be operationally impermissible for practical reasons, even though the basis of permission is textually established. In this case, the primary consideration is the faith and upbringing of the children.

Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man?

On the other hand, the marriage of a Muslim woman to a non-Muslim man is unlawful by the text of the Qur’an.

Allah Most High says, “And do not give your women in marriage to idolaters until they believe.” [2.221]

The scholars note many wisdoms in this. Of the most pertinent is the fear of losing one’s faith by being married to such a man due to the husband’s natural influence over the wife– namely, the possibility that she would incline and then opt for his way of life due to her love of him, and because disbelief and idolatry would no longer seem so serious.

This, by the standards of the Sacred Law, is dangerous and impermissible, as preservation of faith is of its primary aims and concerns.

[Abu al-Su`ud, Irshad al-`Aql al-Salim; Sabuni, Rawa`i al-Bayan]

Please also see: A Christian Woman Who Loves a Muslim Man and: Is It Simply Disliked For a Muslim Woman to Marry a Christian Man?

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.