What do the scholars of religion say regarding a Sunni man who has married a Shiah woman. Is their marriage valid?
Questioner: A brother from UK
All praises belong to Allāh, the Creator Most Sublime Who is Uncreated. The One and only worthy of worship. Everlasting peace and ceaseless blessings be upon our Master, Muhammad Mustafa ﷺ, upon his purified family, his esteemed companions who are a delight for the Prophet ﷺ and a means of anger for the disbelievers. Peace and blessings be upon whomsoever follows in his blessed footsteps until the last day.
As-Salāmu ‘Alaykum wa-Raḥmatu’Llāh
One must remember, by an individual taking a label through a lack of knowledge, we do not instantly and categorically say that that individual is outside the fold of Islām. It must be noted, until one does not display any contradiction to the doctrine presented by the scholars of Ahlu l-Sunnah in light of the Qūr’ān and the Sunnah, one is classified as a Muslim. If the individual has not merely taken up the label, but also descended into the beliefs of any misguided sect, then that individual is misguided at the least and a disbeliever at the most.
The question asked is, ‘what is the ruling if “a Sunni man has married a Shiah woman”’, primarily, it is necessary to assess if the beliefs of the spouse contradict the doctrine of Islām as highlighted by the authorities in the religion, if it is the case then it is obligatory for the husband and wife to be separated instantly as such a marriage is null and void. If the beliefs do not fall outside the boundaries of faith, then the marriage is valid and it is necessary the husband ensures that the wife remains within the threshold of permissible belief and develops these successfully.
That being said, marriage is not merely between two individuals, the question arises, would the man be able to fight the influence of the entire family that is related to the shiah woman? What is to happen to the beliefs of any children produced as a result of this marriage? It is very likely they will be left confused as a result of being pulled by both maternal and paternal families. So it understood to be safer to avoid marrying anyone who has attributed a name albeit not the belief of a misguided sect due to the potential problems in belief that can arise at any stage.
And Allāh knows best
Answered by Ustadh Abu Dihh’ya Asid Shafait
Checked by Shaykh Naveed Jameel ash-Shaami