A Christian Woman Who Loves a Muslim Man

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I am a Christian woman in love with a Muslim man. I love him so much but my parents are against our courtship because of our faiths. I can never accept Islam as my beliefs are not consistent with it.   I told him he can take the children to the mosque but I wont. What advice can you give me?

My second question is i have read books of people who left Islam to embrace Christianity but those in deeply rooted Islamic countries are killed or threatened by their own family members.  Why is this?

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

Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question. I pray this message finds you well.

First, a Muslim man is permitted to marry a Christian woman because Islam extends special status to communities that have received divine revelation. Even though the Islamic view is that Islam completes the Abrahamic tradition and abrogates all previous religions, including Christianity and Judaism, a Muslim man married to a woman of the “People of the Book” is required to allow her to practice according to the dictates of her faith.

What this means is that your parents should be reassured that you will have freedom of religion in your marriage and your husband cannot require you to accept Islam.

However, I am puzzled at your insistence on marrying someone with whom you believe you have little in common. Faith is foundational to a marriage and you and your husband don’t share the same spiritual foundation. Moreover, how can you expect to build a sound, strong marriage when you’ve already closed yourself off to understanding your husband’s religion?

There is also the critically important issue of starting a family and raising children together. Islamically, your husband is required to make sure his children are raised as Muslims. If you can’t, in good faith, raise your children as Muslims, then I would urge you to rethink your marriage plans. Why set yourselves up for future marital problems?

As to your question regarding people who leave Islam to become Christians, this is a complicated discussion. Ultimately, each person should be free to choose their spiritual path. The Qu’ran says there is no compulsion in religion. Faith cannot be imposed. Faith is a gift that God places directly in hearts. He has decreed that some will be guided and some won’t. Persecution of non-Muslims has no place in Muslim societies. Islamic law does have certain stipulations about those who leave the faith and become open enemies to their community; however, these stipulations do not apply to someone who decides at a personal level that they want to take another path in life. After all, God gives humans free will and He will judge us on the basis of our intentions and decisions. If someone leaves Islam for Christianity, this, in no way diminishes the glory of God.

Finally, if you sincerely love this man, you should learn about his religion from reliable sources. Reliable sources do not include former Muslims, many of whom have unabashedly and unashamedly cashed in on the Islamophobia industry and have done nothing but tell outright lies about Islam. Be critical about what you read.

May God Most High guide you and your intended spouse to what is pleasing to Him,

Zaynab Ansari

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