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Can I Marry a Shiite Girl?

03 September, 2018
Q I am a Muslim and I do not believe in sectarianism. Most of my beliefs tend to side with the Sunni school of thought while some also side with Shiism. I will, insha'Allah, marry a wonderful girl soon who is a Shiite. But I discussed religion with her and found that she has a little different approach than many hardliners. She and her family believe that the family of the Prophet were mistreated and were martyred in a very cruel fashion and they deserve to be remembered for the sacrifices in the cause of Islam. They do not believe in a chain ma'tam or any ma'tam which hurts the human body since there is a hadith against it but they believe only a symbolic tapping should be done, only for symbolic purposes. She believes that at Ghadeer, the Holy Prophet claimed to have said that Hazrat Ali RA would be his successor. She does not believe in the infallibility of the Imams (the current ones) but does believe in the 1st 12 ones. Please help me in this situation.


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

It is permissible for you to marry this girl as you mentioned she is good. However, we advise you to do your best in your choice for marriage taking all possible means to know well the girl you are going to take as your spouse. 

In his response to your question, Sheikh `Abdul Majeed Subh, a prominent Azharite scholar, states:

Shiites are a group of Muslims. It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The one who performs our Prayers, turns to our qiblah, and eats our meat (dhabihah); this is the Muslim who enjoys the inviolability (dhimah) of Allah and his Messenger. So, never violate Allah’s inviolability.” (Al-Bukhari)

As the Shiites do all this, they are considered Muslims. So, it is a big sin to consider them disbelievers (kuffar).

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If a man said to his brother, ‘Oh you, disbeliever (Ya kafir),’ then it must fall on either one of them.” (Al-Bukhari)

In another hadith he said, “…whoever accused a Muslim of disbelief (al-kufr), it is like killing him…” (Al-Bukhari)

We can take a clear evidence for this from Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) in his dealing with the group of Khawarij who severely opposed him to the extent that some of them accused him of disbelief (kufr).

He was never narrated to call them disbelievers or even hypocrites. He was asked, “Are they disbelievers?” he said “They have escaped from disbelief.” He was asked “Are they hypocrites?” he said, “The hypocrites seldom invoke Allah’s name.” Then he was asked, “What are they? (i.e. what is their reality?) He said, “They sought the truth (Al-Haq) but missed it and oppressed us, so we fought them.” (Ibn Battal, Sharh Al-Bukhari)

Some Sunni Muslims may accuse the Shiites of disbelief due to their abuse of some of the Prophet’s Companions, especially `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her).

Indeed, abusing any one in general is a crime and impudence whilst it is a major sin concerning the Companions.

But, is any committer of a major sin considered a disbeliever? This is not the dogma of Sunni Muslims (Ahl As-Sunnah wa Al-Jama`ah). No Muslim scholar said that the committer of a major sin is a disbeliever.

Islam pays high attention to choosing a wife. It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A woman gets married for four (reasons): her wealth, her position, her beauty, and her faith (deen). So, win that of faith, or your will be dusty (i.e. you will be poor and needy.)” (Al-Bukahri and Muslim)

Therefore, as for you, brother, you can marry the girl you think is good.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.