What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: How is it for a female Muslim to marry a non-Muslim? My sister has married a non-Muslim and she also knows that it’s not allowed, but she is still with him. If I take my children to her home, they may think that it’s ok to marry a non-Muslim, and thus would result in them being brought up incorrectly. So, on such occasions, should they go to her home or are they to stay away?

Questioner: A brother from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

Other than marrying a Muslim man, a Muslim woman cannot marry anyone from any another religion; neither a Christian nor a Jew; even if they are amongst the People of the Book. If a Muslim woman has married a non-Muslim, then such a marriage is invalid, harām [unlawful], an act which leads to Hellfire and is solely regarded as fornication. Just as Allāh Almighty states,

{وَ لَا تُنۡکِحُوا الْمُشْرِکِیۡنَ حَتّٰی یُؤْمِنُوۡاؕ}

{And do not give (Muslim women) in marriage to polytheist men until they accept Islām}

[Sūrah al-Baqarah, v 221]

The awliyā’ [guardians] of women are being addressed in this blessed verse, that do not give your women to non-Muslims in marriage, as the marriage of a Muslim woman with a polytheist and non-Muslim is void and unlawful, just as it is mentioned in Tafsīr Khazā’in al-‘Irfān.

O Muslim sister! Do you not fear as to how you have went ahead with such a dreadful act for a mere 20-30 years of so-called enjoyment, and which sort of non-Muslim you have placed your mouth on by kissing him. When you will be over forty years of age, as your beauty will decrease, likewise the level of his faithfulness and loyalty will also start to appear. This will afflict you to the extent that he will leave you and start hanging around with someone else, and then will start making so-called promises of loyalty.

If there are children [from this relationship], then they will be disobedient in a similar manner, in the sense that they will suffice as a punishment in this life. Your old age will merely be spent in a care home or hospital, there won’t even be anyone by your side during your last moments. This is because when one has been disobedient to the True Creator ﷻ, how can offspring be obedient to the one who only physically created them in terms of giving birth i.e. the mother? I have come across 20 or so cases, in which people have violated the rights of Allāh Almighty, and had such audacity to turn away from the Qur’ān and Islām, that they are now suffering from such dreadful consequences, problems and illnesses, that they have become a painful lesson in life for them.

O Muslim sister! Look as to how you have rejected the command of your Lord, the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful, and taken yourself out of the bounds of Sharī’ah. That Generous Lord who commands many times in the Qur’ān to show mercy and generosity to women and to treat them in a well manner. The rights of women who are in the following three stages have been mentioned. Meaning, when a woman was a young girl, so He ﷻ did not allow her to be killed. Let alone not being kill, it has in fact been prohibited to regard her as a burden. Allāh Almighty has promised paradise for bringing up girls upright, and when this girl grows up to become someone’s wife, that she be treated in a well manner, and even if she annoys her husband, Allāh Almighty has still commanded for him to stay with her, remaining loyal to her and to fulfil her rights. Your Lord Almighty states,

{وَعَاشِرُوۡہُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوۡفِ ۚ فَاِنۡ کَرِہۡتُمُوۡہُنَّ فَعَسٰۤی اَنۡ تَکْرَہُوۡا شَیْـًٔا وَّیَجْعَلَ اللہُ فِیۡہِ خَیۡرًا کَثِیۡرًا}

{And deal with them kindly, and if you do not like them, so it is likely that you dislike a thing in which Allāh has placed much good}

[Sūrah al-Nisā’, v 19]

O women! Look as to how your Generous Lord has clearly placed your importance in the hearts of husbands, that regardless of you being ill mannered, He ﷻ still commands as it being Mustahabb for them to be patient, remain loyal & fulfil your rights and to treat you in a well manner.

Likewise, there are some more beautiful statements;  O husbands! It is imminent that Allāh Almighty has placed a lot of goodness in this wife of yours. Therefore, your job is to patiently remain with her, changing her dry mood with the freshness of love, joining what relations are severed with her, if she makes a mistake, then you forgiving her. Then see how the vast goodness from Allāh Almighty presents itself; it will be in the form of virtuous and pious offspring who will remove all of your difficulties.

When the final stage reaches a woman, in other words, old age, as soon as old age starts to appear, and her relatives and non-relatives start to move away, it is only Islām which supports a woman. Even during this period of time, Allāh Almighty has commanded for offspring to serve such women [i.e. their mothers] and to always stay by their side serving them with respect. He ﷻ also stated never to harm them, in fact, not to even utter such a word which could do so. He ﷻ states,

{وَ بِالْوٰلِدَیۡنِ اِحْسٰنًا ؕ اِمَّا یَبْلُغَنَّ عِنۡدَکَ الْکِبَرَ اَحَدُہُمَاۤ اَوْکِلَاہُمَا فَلَا تَقُلۡ لَّہُمَاۤ اُفٍّ وَّلَا تَنْہَرْہُمَا وَقُلۡ لَّہُمَا قَوْلًاکَرِیۡمًا}

{and treat parents with goodness; if one of them or both reach old age in front of you, so do not say (even) ‘Ugh’ to them and do not scold them, and speak to them with words of respect}

[Banī Isrā’īl, v 23]

O Muslim sisters! Look as to how Allāh Almighty mentions the rights of women and has made men to serve you in every stage [be they your child or husband], He ﷻ has made it essential for them to respect you, He ﷻ made you deserving of the inheritance of your husbands, and now it is your right to be obedient to this Generous Lord and to spend your lives according to how He ﷻ has stated. This is better for you in this life and even better in the Hereafter.

If this is explained to the Islamic sister for whom this question was asked and understands, and thus breaks all ties and connections with this particular non-Muslim, then it will be good for her; she will be treated just as the other brothers and sisters are treated. However, if after explaining, she carries on, then one must sever all ties from her. Just as the Imām of the Ahl al-Sunnah, Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān, may Allāh shower mercy upon him, was asked regarding a similar woman, so he stated that, ‘Zayd [the questioner], the third person [the non-Muslim] and this woman; whosoever amongst these people does not abide by the commands and rulings [of Sharī’ah with regards to the aforementioned situation], then Muslims are not to be in their company and not to associate with them. Allāh Almighty states,

{وَ اِمَّا یُنۡسِیَنَّکَ الشَّیۡطٰنُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّکْرٰی مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ}

{And if the devil causes you to forget (this), then do not sit with the unjust after remembering}

[al-An’ām, v 68]

[Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol 11, pg 316]

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0570] What is the ruling on a woman marrying a non-Muslim man?

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