A Christian Woman Is Saying: Why Is It Not Permissible For A Muslim Woman To Marry A Kitaabi Man When The Opposite Is Permitted?

Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts

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My Christian wife is asking: Why is it not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry someone from among the people of the Book – Christians and Jews – whilst that is permitted to Muslim men?.

Praise be to Allaah.

One of the names of Allaah in which we believe – and we do not think that anyone who believes that he has a Lord will doubt that – is al-Hakeem (the All-Wise). In this manner the noble angels praised Him, because they understood His wisdom in His command to them to prostrate to Adam:

"They (angels) said: ‘Glory is to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise'"

[al-Baqarah 2:32]

He has also testified to this, as have His angels and the people of knowledge:

"Allaah bears witness that Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He always) maintains His creation in justice. Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All-Mighty, the All-Wise"

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:18]

Thus He has established proof against His creation, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Say: ‘With Allaah is the perfect proof and argument, (i.e. the Oneness of Allaah, the sending of His Messengers and His Holy Books, to mankind); had He so willed, He would indeed have guided you all'"

[al-An'aam 6:149]

Thus it is known that the All-Wise does not do anything in vain, and He does not do anything that is inappropriate. He does not issue any command but that which is better for His creation than any other, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Allaah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book (this Qur'aan), its parts resembling each other (in goodness and truth) (and) oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allaah. That is the Guidance of Allaah. He guides therewith whom He wills; and whomever Allaah sends astray, for him there is no guide"

[al-Zumar 39:23]

Just as this is implied by His being All-Wise, it is also implied by His being the only Creator. The one who makes a thing knows best what is suited for it, so how about the All-Knowing Creator?

"Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves), All-Aware (of everything)"

[al-Mulk 67:14]

With regard to the wisdom behind the matter that you are asking about, perhaps you know that Islam is the last religion that was revealed from Allaah, hence it abrogates all other religions, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) hate (it)"

[al-Tawbah 9:33]

"And never will Allaah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers"

[al-Nisa' 4:141]

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said; "Islam prevails and is not prevailed over." Narrated by al-Daaraqutni and others; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami' (2778).

It is well known that the husband is in charge of his wife (qawaamah) and his status within the family is higher than that of his wife. Perhaps this higher position may make him force his wife to leave her religion and follow his, or it may influence her to do that, and this is something that Islam cannot accept.

The higher status held by the husband may also cause the children of this woman to follow their father's religion, which is a great error, if these offspring grow up and do not follow the final religion of Allaah.

This is the important reason which Allaah mentioned when He forbade Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikoon till they believe (in Allaah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you. Those (Al-Mushrikoon) invite you to the Fire, but Allaah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His Leave, and makes His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember"

[al-Baqarah 2:221]

Moreover, if a kitaabi woman (a Jewish or Christian woman) marries a Muslim man, she is marrying someone who believes in her Prophet and all the Prophets of Allaah, because he cannot be a Muslim otherwise, and it is not permissible for him to differentiate between them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) ‘We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers'"

[al-Baqarah 2:285]

Whereas the kitaabi – whether Jewish or Christian – does not believe in Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or that he is the Seal of the Prophets, so how can the two matters be equal, and how can Muslim women marry men who do not believe in their Prophet?

But we should point out here that although it is permissible for a Muslim man to marry a kitaabi woman, because of the interests that it is hoped may be served by that, and to avoid burdening people with too many restrictions, it is blameworthy, as Imam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) said. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 3/67).

This permission serves as a hint to the people of the Book, so that they might realize that Islam has made exceptions for the people of the Book in some rulings that it has not made for other kuffaar. Allaah has permitted us to eat meat slaughtered by the people of the Book, and He has permitted us to marry their women out of respect for the origin of their religions which were based on Tawheed, and out of respect for the Messengers of those religions in whom we are commanded to believe and respect, and to demonstrate the difference between the attitude of the followers of Judaism and Christianity towards our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the attitude of our religion towards their Prophets.

Finally, this ruling should not be strange for other religions, and it is not something odd that is applied by Islam alone. Why should some of those who attack our religion find it strange that Islam forbids our women to marry non-Muslim men, when they do not marry one another even though they are followers of one religion? A Catholic cannot marry a Protestant woman and if he does so he is punished by the church, and vice versa.

According to the canon of the Egyptian Orthodox Coptic Church published in 1938 CE, article 6 states that "difference in religion is an impediment to marriage."

And Allaah knows best.

A Muslim woman wants to marry a kaafir

I was asked by a Muslim girl who is an american but had been divorced a few times and is off with the Muslim community. She wants to marry a non Muslim but who believes in God. How can I stop her as I know it is not permitted. She says if it is permitted for men, why is it not permitted for women.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permitted for a Muslim man to marry a mushrik woman, or for a Muslim woman to marry a mushrik man. There are no exceptions to this except for marriage to women of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), if they are chaste. This is what is indicated by the evidence of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and this is what the ummah is unanimously agreed upon. It is not permissible for us to oppose the ruling of Allaah with our reasoning. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error"

[al-Ahzaab 33:36]

This woman has to fear Allaah. Whoever fears Allaah, Allaah will make a way out for him. She should also know that if she marries a non-Muslim man, even if he is one of the People of the Book, this marriage in unacceptable in Islam, rather it comes under the rulings on zinaa (fornication, adultery), because this is an invalid marriage contract.

A Christian woman who has fallen victim to a mut'ah marriage

Hi, I'm a Christian and I am in a muta marrige with a muslim right now and when we discuss muta marriges he says he's allowed to have sex if it was put in the "contract" I was just wondering is that true? If the female are unable to be touched then how is it that a guy can have sex. I guess I just don't understand. What are the other things you can and can not do while in a muta marrige?

Praise be to Allaah.

We are very upset to hear about this incident in which you have been deceived and lied to, or have fallen victim to the ignorance of this evil man. The final ruling with regard to mut'ah marriage is that it is forbidden according to Islamic sharee'ah. This prohibition is the final ruling of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with regard to this matter.

Imaam Muslim said in his Saheeh:

Baab Nikaah al-Mut'ah wa bayaan annahu ubeeha thumma nusikha thumma ubeeha thumma nusikha wastaqarra tahreemuhu ilaa Yawn il-Qiyaamah (Chapter on Mut'ah marriage and the statement that it was permitted, then abrogated, then permitted, then abrogated, and this prohibition remains in effect until the Day of Resurrection).

From Iyaas ibn Salamah from his father, who said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave sanction for contracting temporary marriage (mut'ah) for three nights in the year of Awtaas [after the Battle of Humayn in 8 AH], then he forbade it." (2499)

From al-Rabee' ibn Sabrah from his father: on the day of the Conquest (of Makkah) the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade temporary marriage (mut'ah) with women. (Saheeh Muslim, 2506)

And also from him (may Allaah be pleased with him): that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade mut'ah and said: "It is forbidden from this day of yours until the Day of Resurrection, and whoever has given anything [as a dowry] should not take it back." (Saheeh Muslim, 2509).

From ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib: that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade temporary marriage to women and the flesh of donkeys at the time of Khaybar. This was narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who said: the hadeeth of ‘Ali is hasan saheeh and this is what was followed by the scholars among the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and others… this is also the view of al-Thawri, Ibn al-Mubaarak, al-Shaafa'i, Ahmad and Ishaaq. Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 1040.

Either this man who has deceived you is an evil Raafidi who is following the religion of his community, who permit mut'ah marriages which are forbidden in Islam, or he is a corrupt Muslim who is taking advantage of the matter to fulfil his own desires, or he is ignorant and needs to be educated and advised.

We thank you for sending this question to us and we would like to take this opportunity to invite you to Islam, the religion of truth, which came to protect people's life, honour and wealth. You will find information on embracing Islam in the first sections on our web-page. We pray to Allaah to help you to do that which is good and to protect you from evil things and evil people. May Allaah bless the Chosen Prophet.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid


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