Marrying Muslim Women Into Non-Muslims

Question

I am a Hindu and legally married a Muslim girl under the provisions of Indian Special Marriage Act. However, my wife's family says that Islam doesn't allow a Muslim girl to marry a non-Muslim. My question is:

1) Does the Quran specifically prohibit the marriage between a non-Muslim man and a Muslim woman?

2) What are the verses in Quran which suggests this prohibition? How do you interpret them?

3) If Allah is One and it is He who he has created the entire mankind, how can He prohibit two persons to live ever in peace and love?

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Answer

I am copying below the relevant portion from Javed Ahmad Ghamidi's treatise: Islam - A Comprehensive Introduction as an answer to all your questions:

The second requisite of marriage stated in the verse is chastity. No adulterer has the right to marry a chaste woman and no adulteress has the right to marry a chaste man, except if the matter has not gone to court and the two purify themselves of this sin by sincere repentance. The words "muhsineen ghayr musafiheen" point to this pre-requisite. At another place, the Qur'ān says:

The man guilty of fornication may only marry a woman similarly guilty or an idolatress and the woman guilty of fornication may only marry such a man or an idolater. The believers are forbidden such marriages.[1] (24:3)

It is obvious from this verse and also evident from divine scriptures that fornication and polytheism are exactly similar to one another. Just as it cannot be acceptable in any way that a husband or wife commit marital unfaithfulness, similarly, it is totally unacceptable for a Muslim that someone else besides the Almighty be worshipped in his house. In fact, this is more detestable a sin than sleeping with some other woman. This similarity between fornication and polytheism could have been deduced; however, the following Qur'ānic verse explicitly states it:

And wed not idolatrous women, unless they embrace faith, and [remember] a believing slave-girl is better than an idolatrous woman, although you may fancy her. And wed not your women to the Idolaters, unless they embrace faith. And [remember] a believing slave is better than an idolater, although you may fancy him.[2] (2:221)

The Jews and Christians of the Prophet's times were also deeply incriminated with the filth of polytheism both in their beliefs and in their deeds. However, since they were basically monotheists, the Almighty was lenient enough to Muslims to allow marriage with their chaste women:

And [lawful to you in marriage] are also chaste women from among these People of the Book before you when you give them their dowers with the condition that you desire chastity not lewdness nor becoming secret paramours. (5:5)

It is evident from the context of the above verse that this permission was granted when no confusion remained regarding tawhīd (monotheism) and it prevailed over the polytheistic Arab society in every manner. It should be kept in mind that the verse quoted above begins with the word اَلْيَوْم (this day). This word shows that the permission given was also very much dependent on the circumstances of those times: It was expected that if Muslim men would marry among the People of the Book these women would be positively influenced by Islam. In this way, not only would there be no clash between monotheism and polytheism, but also there was a great chance that most of them would accept Islam.

Consequently, Muslims today must necessarily take this aspect into consideration if they want to benefit from this permission.

[1]. CertainAhādīthalso clearly mention this aspect. See for example:Abū Dā'ūd, Sunan, vol. 2, 227, (nos. 2051-2052).

[2]. In 60:10, Muslims have been prohibited to marry the disbelievers (kuffār) because of their polytheism. It is evident from the verse that the kuffār it mentions signify the Idolaters of Arabia of the Prophet's times.

About the Author

Dr. Shehzad Saleem


Born in 1966 Shehzad Saleem has been under the tutelage of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi since 1988 and is currently a Research Fellow and one of the Vice Presidents of Al-Mawrid. He has a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from UET Lahore, Pakistan and holds a PhD in the History of the Qur’an from the University of Wales, UK.

Special Area of Interest
  He recently (2014) completed a fifteen year research work on the History of the Qur’an, a part of which constituted his doctoral thesis (the thesis portion is available at: http://www.al-mawrid.org/index.php/books/view/collection-of-the-quran-a-critical-and-historical-study-of-al-farahis-view).  The work addresses some nagging questions related to the revelation, collection and transmission of the Qur’an. These questions include narratives found in our legacy on the alleged incompleteness of the Qur’an, scribal errors found in it,  its variant readings, chronology of its compilation, order of the surahs, and manuscript studies.

Books Authored
  1. Common Misconceptions about Islam
  2. Playing God: Misreading a Divine Practice
  3. Islam and Women: Misconceptions and Misperceptions
  4. Essays on Character Building, Lessons on Character Building
  5. Qur’an Workshops on Character Building (including a separate Teacher’s Guide)
  6. Lessons on Character Building
  7. Selections from the Qur’an
  8. Selections from the Bible
  9. Selections from the Hadith

He has also compiled a modular textbook on Qur’anic Studies, which was taught by him to graduate students (1999-2001). The textbook is available in course format at
  www.studying-islam.org. It comprises course topics as: Revelation of the Qur’an, Theme of the Qur’an, History of the Qur’an, Arrangement of the Qur’an, Language of the Qur’an, Interpreting the Qur’an.

Translations
  He has translated some works of Amin Ahsan Islahi (d. 1997) and Javed Ahmad Ghamidi into English. These include:

1. Volumes 6, 7,  8 and 9 of Tadabbur Qur’an 
  2. Mizan (Islam: A Comprehensive Introduction)
  3. Al-Islam (Islam: A Concise Introduction)
  4. Selected Essays of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
  5. Volumes 1 and 5 of Al-Bayan 

QnAs
His answers to various questions received about Islam can also be accessed at the Renaissance website at: http://monthly-renaissance.com/issue/writers.aspx?option=queries&id=1

Websites
He is the Founding Editor of the monthly research journal, Renaissance which was initiated in 1991. In 1999, its website www.monthly-renaissance.com was launched.

He launched the Studying Islam www.studying-islam.org website in 2003, which offers online courses on Islam. Through technical help, he has developed an online software (Qur’an for All) at the Studying Islam website to teach the translation of the Qur’an to those who can read the Arabic text but cannot comprehend its meaning.

He also set up websites about the life and works of the Qur’anic scholars Hamid Uddin Farahi (www.hamid-uddin-farahi.org)  and Amin Ahsan Islahi (www.amin-ahsan-islahi.org)  in 2010 and 2013 respectively

He has also built a text based website on the exegesis Tadabbur i Qur’an (www.tadabbur-i-quran.org)  in 2013.

He also founded a website on the life and works of the biblical scholar Abdus Sattar Ghauri (www.abdus-sattar-ghauri.org)  in 2014

He uses his personal facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=562019607)  to write on personality development issues.

Lectures
  He is a guest speaker at various public forums. Some of the topics he regularly speaks on include:

1. Misconceptions about Women in Islam
  2. Pardah and Gender Interaction
  3. Non-Muslims and the Qur’an
  4. Question on the Qur’an by Serious
  5. Misconceptions about Islam
  6. Muhammad (sws): The Misunderstood Prophet of Islam
  7. Marriage and Married Life
  8. Fast and Fasting
  9. Basic Morality
  10. Islam and Islamic Welfare State
  11. Misconceptions about Divorce in Islam
  12. Misconceptions regarding Jihad of the Companions of the Prophet (sws)
  13 Imbalanced Religious Attitudes

He conducts activity-based Qur’anic Workshops for adults and sessions on Character Building and Personality Development for teenagers. Topics include:

1. Spending in the Way of God 
  2. Pride and Arrogance
  3. Remembering God  
  4. Civic Sense
  5. Kindness to Parents
  6. Gratitude
  7. Forgiveness
  8. Moral Courage
  9. Truthfulness 
  10. Showing Off
  11. Humility
  12. Sympathy
  13. Sinful Speech 
  14. Honesty
  15. Justice

Some of his talks and lectures on or about Islam can be viewed at:
  www.youtube.com/shehzadsaleem         www.dailymotion.com/drshehzadsaleem
  www.youtube.com/shehzadsaleemurdu, www.dailymotion.com/drshehzadsaleemurdu

A facebook page, Dr Shehzad Saleem’s Video Talks (https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Shehzad-Saleems-Video-Talks-309627932402929/?ref=br_rs)  also displays his talks

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