We receive a lot of email from Muslims asking about marriage.
But this time it is coming from a sister asking very important questions . .
Sir, I have two Questions re:
"Marriage to non-Muslim men"
1. First question:
Can a Muslim woman marry a non-Muslim guy? If not, why?
There is a real nice guy who says he believes God is One and he is a Catholic.
He said, "When I get married, I don't want a problem about Islam"
2. Second question:
Do I have to force my kids to be Moslems? Do they have to pray, fast & read Quran and stuff?
By the way, I think is OK in Islam for me to marry anyone and then let my kids choose what they like, because Quran says, "There is no compulsion in Religion" Right?
Answer #1 & #2: "Believers marry only believers, but . . ."
Thank you for writing to us with your question and for asking about what Islam teaches regarding marriage to those outside of our faith.
First and foremost, we must explain "ISLAM" is more than a man-made religion comprised of human philosophy and guess work. Islam presents a true balance for the entire life of the humanbeings.
There are "rights" but there are also very clear "limits" for everyone and everything.
While it is true, Allah does in some instances allow Muslim men to marry from the believers that are chaste from the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) we must include all conditions involved.
However, this must be understood in the light and content of revelation and not be misconstrued to mean, "anyboy can marry anybody - if they say they are believers."
There can be no mistake, mixed marriages frequently have serious consequences.
This is true even amongst Christian groups, and moreso the Catholics than the Protestants.
I recall the Catholic Church forbidding marriage outside of their faith, even to other Christian groups. They even provided forms to be signed prior to "mixed" marriages wherein it was agreed that any children resulting from the marriage would only be raised as Catholic.
Once a particular faith affiliation is established in the heart and mind of an individual, it is often difficult for them to concede on matters of religious upbringing and lifestyles contradicting their particular choice of belief. This is especially true of those who choose to follow Islam.
One very important thing Islam has brought for those who would give consideration to obeying their Lord and drawing closer to Him in the Next Life, is the important subject of "Rights and Limitations".
A simple statement regarding what Allah has established for us humans is found in these words - "Rights & Limits".
Allah dictates to believers what has the most rights, who has the highest rights and the level of rights everything has in our universe. Even our bodies have rights according to Islam. Obviously, we have to know limitations are there as well, and we have to stay within those limits.
Islam commands marriages "only to believers" and this relates to the concept of Islam itself. "Islam" means, total surrender to God, submission (to commandments), obey (God above anything He created), sincere with God and peace with Almighty God, no matter what He may cause to happen in our lives.
A true Muslim totally commits themselves to Almighty God Allah, on His terms and obeys His commandments. The word "Muslim" is from the word "Islam". The one who does the action of surrender, submit, obey, sincerity and peace with Almighty God - is a "MU-Islam".
Many people are just not ready to make that kind of life commitment. Doing the Will of God on earth as it is in Heaven, is actually a part of the teaching we find in two Gospels in the Holy Bible, wherein Jesus, peace be upon him, taught his followers how to pray.
There are many "dos" and "don'ts" in the religion of monotheism based on the teachings of the "God of Abraham" (Judaism, Christianity and Islam).
The Old Testament is lined with so many commandments that I cannot count them all. The New Testament doesn't really add anything new.
However the Bible does clearly call for an adherence to the "Law" (Torah) of the Old Testament.
This is still existing in today's version of the Bible, Matthew, 5:17-20; wherein Jesus, peace be upon him, tells his audience, not even one dot shall be dropped out of the Law (commandments):
17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled.
19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Bible Matthew 5:17-20)
The commandments of Allah in the Quran are very similar and the concept of obedience to them is the same as in Judaism and Christianity. Allah tells us in the Qur'an about the people before us (Jews and Christians) and what they were ordered to do:
98. Surah Al Baiyinah (The Clear Evidence)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Lam yakuni allatheena kafaroo min ahl alkitabi waalmushrikeena munfakkeena hatta ta/tiyahumu albayyinatu
98:1 "Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and among Al-Mushrikun, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence."
Rasoolun mina Allahi yatloo suhufan mutahharatan
98:2 "A Messenger (Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) from Allah, reciting (the Qur'an) purified pages [purified from Al-Batil (falsehood, etc.)].
Feeha kutubun qayyimatun
98:3 "Containing correct and straight laws from Allah.
Wama tafarraqa allatheena ootoo alkitaba illa min baAAdi ma jaat-humu albayyinatu
98:4 "And the people of the Scripture differed not until after there came to them clear evidence. (i.e. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and whatever was revealed to him).
Wama omiroo illa liyaAAbudoo Allaha mukhliseena lahu alddeena hunafaa wayuqeemoo alssalata wayu/too alzzakata wathalika deenu alqayyimati
98:5 "And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat: and that is the right religion.
Inna allatheena kafaroo min ahli alkitabi waalmushrikeena fee nari jahannama khalideena feeha ola-ika hum sharru albariyyati
98:6 "Verily, those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture and Al-Mushrikun will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures.
Inna allatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati ola-ika hum khayru albariyyati
98:7 "Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures.
Jazaohum AAinda rabbihim jannatu AAadnin tajree min tahtiha al-anharu khalideena feeha abadan radiya Allahu AAanhum waradoo AAanhu thalika liman khashiya rabbahu
98:8 "Their reward with their Lord is 'Adn (Eden) Paradise (Gardens of Eternity), underneath which rivers flow, they will abide therein forever, Allah Well-Pleased with them, and they with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord.
There is a verse in Quran, often referred to by those interested in the subject of Muslims marrying from the "People of the Book":
Alyawma ohilla lakumu alttayyibatu wataAAamu allatheena ootoo alkitaba hillun lakum wataAAamukum hillun lahum
5:5 "Made lawful to you this day are AtTayyibat [all kinds of Halal (lawful) foods, which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, etc., milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.). The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals, etc.) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them."
Sometimes Muslims without knowledge of meaning of Quran have taken this verse to mean they can eat anything at all if it is coming from Christians or Jews.
Obviously this is not correct, for instance, what if they had products containing alcohol or pork in them? This would of course, be totally unaccectable.
It means you could eat their food as long as it is in compliance with their "Law", meaning the Old Bible.
The emphasis is always on the subject of not eating that which has been sacrificed in the name of gods other than Allah, but that is not the only restriction.
The Name of Allah (or Jehovah, Yahweh or Father) is preferred to be mentioned at the time of slaughter. Regardless, every believer is required to say "Bismillah" before eating and he/she forgets, then as soon as they remember while eating, to say, "Bismillahi Awalahu wal Akhirahu" (In the Name of Allah, (from) The Beginning and the End)
However, the main point is to follow basic rules for slaughter, i.e.; proper selection of animal, health, allow blood to flow out, and dead prior to butchering, etc.
Let us continue reading the verse:
Waalmuhsanatu mina almu/minati waalmuhsanatu mina allatheena ootoo alkitaba min qablikum itha ataytumoohunna ojoorahunna muhsineena ghayra musafiheena wala muttakhithee akhdanin waman yakfur bial-eemani faqad habita AAamaluhu wahuwa fee al-akhirati mina alkhasireena
"(Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers (Muslims) and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time, when you have given their due Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girl-friends.
And whosoever disbelieves in the Oneness of Allah and in all the other Articles of Faith [i.e. His (Allah's), Angels, His Holy Books, His Messengers, the Day of Resurrection and AlQadar (Divine Preordainments)], then fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.
(Surah Ma'idah, 5:5)
A very important verse regarding marriage for Muslim men and the rights and limitations prescribed by Allah. The limitations here include "chaste" women from the believers and the ahl kitab (Jews and Christians) but then the phrase "before your time" and the phrase "desiring chastity" and not committing illegal sexual intercourse, not girl-friends. And then the subject of "belief" comes up again.
It now becomes clear, even the Muslim men are not permitted to marry from other than the "believers" and they have to be virgins. The Muslim women could not be permitted to marry from any except believers, due to the serious problem of raising the children without the correct beliefs.
Wala tankihoo almushrikati hatta yu/minna walaamatun mu/minatun khayrun min mushrikatin walaw aAAjabatkum wala tunkihoo almushrikeena hatta yu/minoo walaAAabdun mu/minun khayrun min mushrikin walaw aAAjabakum ola-ika yadAAoona ila alnnari waAllahu yadAAoo ila aljannati waalmaghfirati bi-ithnihi wayubayyinu ayatihi lilnnasi laAAallahum yatathakkaroona
2:221 "And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (idolatresses, etc.) till they believe (worship Allah Alone).
And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikah (idolatress, etc.), even though she pleases you.
And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikun till they believe (in Allah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater, etc.), even though he pleases you.
Those (Al-Mushrikun) invite you to the Fire, but Allah invites (you) to Paradise and Forgiveness by His Leave, and makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember."
We notice that the correct belief in Allah (He is uniquely One without any partners) is the most important subject before anything else. Those who commit shirk (partners with Allah) are by far, the worst in the Sight of Allah. The clear message is they are going to be inviting you to the Hell Fire.
Conclusion: Marriage for believers, is only to other believers.
Virginity is very important in Islam. The correct position is for Muslim men and Muslim women to be married to true believers, submitting to the Will of Allah (Quran and Sunnah) and raise a family and to work together to achieve a life in the Jennah (Paradise).
Now ask yourself the question: "How could this be achieved without the correct belief on the part of both?"
Advice: Pray to Allah. Ask Him for His Forgiveness and for His Guidance. Then be ready for Him to make some very serious changes in your life. He always tests the believers.
He says in Quran:
AHasiba-nnasu a-yutrakoo a-yaqooloo amanna, wahum la yuftanoon?
29:2 "Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe," and will not be tested?"
Wa laqad fatanna allatheena min qablihim fala ya'alaman-Allahu allathina sadaqu wala ya'alamannal-kathibin.
29:3 "And We (Royal "We" does not imply plural) certainly did test those who were before them, and certainly Allah will make known the truthful and certainly will make known the liars."
Allah loves the believers and will never let them down.