Q 4: What is the ruling of Shari`ah (Islamic law) on marrying Christian and Jewish women in this age and in such a society, (Part No. 18; Page No. 316) especially that a Muslim man may take one as his lover and then marry her? Can they be regarded as chaste women at the time when there are many Muslim women waiting to be asked for marriage?
What is the ruling on a Muslim man who marries a non-Muslim woman, namely
a Christian or Jew? What is the ruling on a Muslim man who marries a woman who is not from the People of the Book, that is, a
or any believer in non-divine religions?
It is permissible for a Muslim man to marry chaste Christian and Jewish women, because of the general meaning of the following Ayah (Qur'anic verse) in which Allah (Exalted be He) says:
Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibât [all kinds of Halâl (lawful) foods, which Allâh has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers 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)
A chaste woman refers to the woman who does not commit Zina (sexual intercourse outside marriage). Regarding the women who embrace non-divine religions, such as
Sikh, and other atheists and polytheists, a Muslim man is not permitted to marry any of them. This is because of the general meaning of the following Ayah:
And do not marry Al-Mushrikât (idolatresses, etc.) till they believe (worship Allâh Alone).
On the other hand, a Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man, because Allah (Exalted be He) says:
And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikûn till they believe (in Allâh Alone)
Allah (Part No. 18; Page No. 317) (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says:
They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them.
If a Muslim woman marries a non-Muslim, she will not be regarded as non-Muslim unless she believes in the lawfulness of her marriage. It should be noted that marrying chaste Muslim women is better than marrying chaste women from the People of the Book. It also keeps Muslims away from Fitnah (temptation) and protects them and their children from harmful consequences. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.