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Marrying a Non-Muslim

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Correspondence of Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahimahullah)

Letter: 

Assalaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

Respected Moulana

I am in my 20s and still not married. The Muslim boys I know are of dubious and doubtful character, womanisers or into drugs, drink and other haraam. Their character also leaves little to be liked.

I am working with a man who is very good-natured and very kind-hearted. He also respects me and is very keen on marrying me, but he is a Christian. I consider him better than hundreds of Muslim men, so I would like to know if it is permissible for me to marry him? He will not force me to give up my faith.

I am worried about what the community will say and I think that this decision will hurt my parents. I also want to form an Islamic home and bring up my children in a religious environment. However, he is offering me what I want in a husband also. Please advise me.

Reply:

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Respected Sister 

Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

1. Whilst the character of many Muslims is far from being described as “admirable” or “noble”, their acknowledgment, recognition and belief in the Oneness of Allah Ta‘ala and the Prophethood of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is evidence of them being better in the Sight of Allah Ta‘ala. In the Hereafter, there will be salvation for even that Muslim who may have lived a sinful life.

As an example: A person steals a car or is involved in fraud. The government will punish him according to his crime. However, if he betrays his government and is found guilty of high treason, this will incur a punishment which will be, by far, much more severe – because of the magnitude of his crime.

The same applies to the Muslim and non-Muslim: The Muslim who is sinful will be punished according to his sins, but inevitably, his imaan will be a means of securing him salvation. He will enter Jannah. The non-Muslim, on the other hand, can seemingly have the most noble character and deeds, but because he is committing high treason against his Creator and Nourisher, by rejecting Him (even though Allah Ta‘ala’s signs are evident everywhere), or by associating partners to Him, then no matter how good a character he has or how much of service he renders to others, it will not be valid in the Court of Allah Ta‘ala– because the “High Treason” – the kufr and shirk, by far, exceed all limits of disobedience, for which there can be no bail or parole (that is, if the person dies in that condition of disbelief).

The condition of the believer and that of the disbeliever can also be likened to money. We have money which is genuine and money which is counterfeit. If someone has a R100 note which is old, crumpled and even torn, but it is genuine, it will be valid for use. If a person has a brand-new, clean, crisp, R100 note but it is counterfeit, the government will reject it.

Similarly, the Muslim can be ‘torn and crumpled’ in his character, even in deeds, but due to his imaan, he is accepted by Allah Ta‘ala. The non-Muslim can have good character and can be engaged in good deeds, but he is like that counterfeit note, and will not be accepted by Allah Ta‘ala.

2. No one is saying that this man will not accept Islam. We make du‘aa that Allah Ta‘ala guide him to Islam, but presently, he has no intention to do so. As such, marriage will NOT be valid to him.

3. Allah Ta‘ala advises us with that which is in our best interests. Allah Ta‘ala mentions in the Quraan Majeed:

وَلَا تَنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنَّ ۚ وَلَأَمَةٌ مُّؤْمِنَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكَةٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ ۗ وَلَا تُنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنُوا ۚ وَلَعَبْدٌ مُّؤْمِنٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكُمْ ۗ أُولَـٰئِكَ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ ۖ وَاللَّـهُ يَدْعُو إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ بِإِذْنِهِ ۖ وَيُبَيِّنُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ 

Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe. A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she is pleasing to you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he is pleasing to you. The disbelievers beckon you to the Fire, but Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His signs clear to mankind that they may take heed. (Surah Baqarah v221)

4. You mention his level of respect for you, but he has no respect for Allah Ta‘ala. Which is more important? Would you prefer to live with a man who does not recognise Allah Ta‘ala, does not respect Allah Ta‘ala, does not love Allah Ta‘ala?

5. It is not a matter of worrying about society. It is matter of worrying about what Allah Ta‘ala likes and dislikes for us and whether our actions will please Him or displease Him. You should also worry about the consequences that will inevitably follow in respect to living together; different religions, different cultures, living in a relationship that will not be valid, bringing up children in confusion of beliefs, influenced by different families, etc. You have to think long term.

6. Yes, you should also consider your parents. You would cause them tremendous hurt. Consider the disgrace and embarrassment they will feel. Then you will be deprived of their du‘aas and blessings. How then will you enjoy any kind of happiness?

7. If he is sincerely interested in accepting Islam – that is, he believes with all his heart that this is the true religion, and not so that he can marry you, it would be a different matter altogether, and also rewarding for you.

8. Make du‘aa for his hidaayah (guidance). Send him suitable literature on Islam, and terminate contact with him. Do not communicate with him. If he wishes to find out more about Islam, refer him to an ‘Aalim.

9. You say that you want to “form an Islamic home”. How do you expect to do this by living with a Christian man?

10. Trust in Allah Ta‘ala. Insha-Allah, He will open doors for you to fulfil your desire to settle, form an Islamic home and please your parents. There is a time and place for everything and everyone.

11. May Allah Ta‘ala grant you a most suitable Muslim husband, with noble character; a husband who will offer you happiness and contentment and steadfastness on Deen.

12. For a marriage proposal, read 111 times “Ya Jaami‘u” daily before sleeping. Your mother can read “Ya Lateefu” 111 times. Durood Shareef should be read 11 times before and after. Make du‘aa. You can also read Surah Dahr every night (Juz 29, Surah 76).

Was salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

Yunus Patel (Moulana)