Can My Daughter Marry a Christian?

18 August, 2016
Q My daughter wants to marry a man who has two daughters from a previous relationship, is Christian, from a different culture, uses drugs, and is much lower in status. I do not like him please help me to get my daughter out of this relationship. Please answer.

Answer

Salam Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

It is normal that you worry about the validity of your daughter’s marriage because you, as a father, have a great role to play in this regard.

We would like to stress that interfaith marriages are not recommended in Islam except the marriage of a Muslim man to a Christian or Jewish woman. A Muslim man is not allowed to get married to a Hindi, Buddhist, atheist or agonistic woman.

A Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man even Christian or Jewish. A Muslim woman is allowed to marry a Muslim man only.

Allah the Almighty tells us in the Quran what means:

{… And do not give your women in marriage to idolaters until they believe: a believing slave is certainly better than an idolater, even though he may please you. Such people call [you] to the Fire, while God calls [you] to the Garden and forgiveness by His leave. He makes His messages clear to people, so that they may bear them in mind.} (Al-Baqarah 2:221)

The italic part of the verse explains the reason of the prohibition of not marrying a non-Muslim man by a Muslim woman. Non-Muslim husbands will not allow their wives to practice their religion freely.

About the immigrant Muslim women we read in the Quran what means:  

{Then if you know them to be Believers, do not send them back to the unbelievers. They are not lawful for them (as wives), nor are they lawful for them (as husbands).} (Al-Mumtahanah 60:10)

This might seem unfair, but when you know the reasons you will appreciate the wisdom of prohibiting a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim man. Muslims believe that God is All-Wise. God knows things that we do not know.

When God ordered the angels to prostrate to Adam as a sign of respect, they did not recognize the wisdom of their prostration. Later, when they understood His wisdom, they declared:

{They (angels) said: ‘Glory is to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise’} (Al-Baqarah 2:32)

The natural position is that Islam prevails and is not prevailed over. And this position will be applicable if the husband is Muslim because the children will be attributed to him and he will be very keen on raising them according to the teachings of Islam. If the husband is not Muslim, the children from the Muslim wife will be attributed to him and will not be raised according to the teachings of the religion of Islam.

By now the Islamic ruling on your daughter’s marriage is clear. Your role now is to convince her to forget about that man. While doing so, you have to approach your daughter gently and kindly. Do not forget that you are a father and you are a source of support and love for your daughter. Do not underestimate her feelings. Love is a natural feeling and there is nothing wrong with it.

Your refusal of the marriage should not be because of the fact that the man has two daughters from a previous marriage or that he takes drugs or he is from a middle class or lower class family. All these things can be handled and treated as long as he is willing to improve and be a better man.Can My Daughter Marry a Christian 03

You should make it clear to your daughter that she cannot marry that man because he is Christian. Remind her of the fact that she cannot practice her religion freely under the guardianship of a Christian man because he does not believe in Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) unlike a Muslim husband who will not mind practicing Christian rituals by his Christian wife because he believes in Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him).

The different faiths in the case of a Muslim wife and Christian husband will create problems between the spouses and the very purpose of marriage which is love and tranquility will be missing.

Remind your daughter of the future of her kids if she gets married to this Christian man. In what religion will they be brought up?

Make a lot of dua (supplication) to the Almighty Allah to help your daughter change her mind and look for a Muslim husband.

We hope this answers your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

About Dr. Mohsen Haredy
Dr. Mohsen Haredy holds a PhD in Hadith literature from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is the former Executive Manager and Editor-in-Chief of E-Da`wah Committee in Kuwait, and a contributing writer and counselor of Reading Islam. He graduated from Al-Azhar University and earned his MA in Hadith literature from Leiden University.