A Christian Lady Marrying a Muslim
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Jhangeer Hanif

I am a westerner who was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith but also brought up in a middle eastern country and adapted to the Arabic and Muslim culture. My partner and I are in love and considering marriage. He is a Muslim and I am not sure what the ‘rules’ are for a Muslim man to marry  outside his faith. Does the Qur’ān say that Christian women have to convert to Islam and gain knowledge about it to marry Muslim men? And as both are from different religions, would the wedding have to comply with the Muslim man’s culture and be strictly Islamic?


It is really appreciated that you have tried to seek out advice regarding as important matter as one’s marriage is a commitment which lasts for life.

The Holy Qur’ān has placed no restriction if a Muslim man wants to marry a Christian lady. It however has commanded the believers not to marry anyone who associates other partners or deities with God (polytheists) as He is one and alone nor should the believers marry any convicted criminal of adultery. Apart from these two restrictions, the Sharī‘ah (Law of God) has placed no restriction on marriage contracts of the believers.

However, this does not mean that we should not use our sense and reason to choose the person we intend to marry. Indeed, there are many things involved that must be considered before a couple decides to get married. The foremost factor is that there should be harmony between both in terms of their financial status and religious set up. Religion is not a trivial matter to be ignored while choosing your prospective husband. Marriage means that two persons are going to live together for the rest of their lives. Do you think that there would be no conflict on religious issues? What about the children that God will bless you with? What religion would they be taught? You may think that such matters are of less importance to modern minds. But I assure you that these matters will of be concern to you both once you come out of the euphoria that people experience before marriage.

As for your saying ‘Does the Qur'ān say that the Christian women have to convert to Islam and gain knowledge about it to marry the Muslim men?’, I would like to tell you that the Holy Qur’ān does not hold religion as a matter of petty importance. Why would Qur’ān ask a lady to renounce her religion for some mortal man? Religion is something very personal in nature. It is a deep relationship — a connection more strong than the one which is established between a man and his wife. It is about God and His servants; it is about God and you. There is no man between you and Him. You accept Him on a very personal basis; you surrender before Him of your own accord. Did you know that Islam gives so much respect to Christians because of the fact that they believe in one God? The bitterest thing is however that they have devised ‘Three’ for the One that is alone and devoid of any partner whosoever. He is One and is the Creator and Master of all humans. Islam calls all the Christians to accept the fact that was also propagated by Jesus (sws) as the Lord is One. What I wish to say is that religion is something that should be chosen with a serious mind and after appreciating the value of the specific teachings that this religion promotes. Islam does not force people to convert. It is the truth that every willing person is welcome to embrace.

Culminating a marital arrangement is very simple. Islam wants that elders from both sides be involved in this matter. Marriages that are contracted without involving the families from both sides often end up in failure. Therefore, I very humbly advise you both to bring the matter to the attention of your families. Marriage is indeed a public announcement that this couple, from now on, would live as a wedded husband and wife—an arrangement which needs to be registered with the relevant government body as well.

The last thing that I want to address is that you have written ‘My partner and I are in love’. I do not know what specific connotation you have in mind when you say this. I however would like you to know that Islam does not like that any intimate relationship should be created between a lady and a gentlemen before marriage. We—the servants of God are supposed to live a pure and good life in order to attain inner purification. Islam repels the very idea of having an intimate relationship before marriage because it divests you of your purity of heart. We must know that this life is transitory in nature. It is a prelude to that life which is eternal and lasting. We must be well conscious of what we do in this life. Anything which is against morality will strictly be dealt with in the Hereafter. The only thing we need to keep in mind is that while marriage is a sacred bond, extramarital relationship is filth, which is abhorrent and intolerable.

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