Can a Sunni Marry a Shi'ah?
By Ayub A. Hamid
A sister has asked: Assalamu Alaykum. I want help in a very
serious matter. Can you tell me if a Sunni can marry a Shiya?
If a girl is Sunni and a boy is Shiya. Please tell me about this.
I shall be very thankful to you. Thanks, Allah Hafiz.
According to the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, a person
should decide about marrying another person on the basis of his
or her Deen. Using Deen as the criterion of marriage means that
the person should have the correct Islamic aqeedah and
the right Islamic paradigm. In addition, his or her actions and
lifestyle should reflect that aqeedah and paradigm. For
that purpose, appellations such as Sunni, Shia, Salafi, Sufi,
etc. are useless. Our decisions should not be based upon the
names people have given to groups but on an individuals
personal faith in, attitude towards and practice of the deen.
(Zawaj.com Editor's Note: To elaborate on this point,
it's important to look beyond the person's sectarian label or
social background, because within any sectarian group beliefs
can vary widely. In addition, a person may hold personal beliefs
that are not consistent with his family's or region's sect. A
person might call himself Shi'ah but his personal beliefs and
practice might be quite correct and good; while a person might
call himself Sunni but his personal beliefs could be completely
heretical. That is why you must talk to the person in order to
find out just what he believes and how he practices Islam.)
From the perspective mentioned above, one should marry a person
who believes in the following:
- Allaah Subhaanahu Wa Taaala as the One and Only Lord,
Master, Creator, Worthy of worship, Ruler, Sovereign, Protector
and Provider -- Who is Infinite and Absolute in every attribute
He has mentioned about Himself; to Whom we must submit readily
and willingly in slave-like obedience in all aspects and matters
of life, throughout our life; Who is the only One that can listen
to and respond to our duaas (adiyah) and provide
us help in supernatural ways; and Who is so Majestic and Exalted
that even those who are closest to Him from His creations can
never demand something from Him or intercede for someone without
His permission and pleasure. Hence we must rely only on Him,
repose our trust in Him and seek only His pleasure.
- Muhammad Sall-Allaahu 'Alayhi Wa Sallam is His last Prophet
and the last Messenger who taught us and demonstrated for us
the proper and balanced way of obeying Allaah SAAWS in our life
and whose Sunnah is the perfect model for us to emulate in obedience
to our Lord Allaah SWT. Other than the Prophet himself, there
is absolutely no one who is perfect enough to be right all the
time and whose words or actions could be followed on his own
authority, without strong support form the Qur-aan and Sunnah.
- The Holy Qur-aan is the final guidance from Allaah and is
perfectly preserved in its complete and total form and perfectly
relevant to all matters of human life in all ages until the Day
of Judgment. All the personal and collective matters of our life
must be conducted according to the guidance of the Qur-aan.
- Angels are real creatures of Allaah SWT who are assigned
different roles by Him. They carry out their assignments precisely,
exactly and without compromising or making any mistake.
- We will be raised and held accountable for our worldly life
on the Day of Judgment and rewarded and punished according to
our performance in this world. Only the personal faith that exists
in the depths of our psyche (heart), and the right actions performed
with sincerity and pure intentions for Allaah.
The potential partner's religious paradigm should be the following:
- Islam is a complete way of life that is designed to develop
personal excellence and superb behaviour, ethics and dealings
in individuals and to establish the most superb global community
that is characterized by peace, justice, graciousness, care and
- The five pillars of Islam provide us the structure and foundations
to help us attain our individual and collective excellence, which
is built upon that structure and foundations by practising the
rest of the deen.
- We must continuously work hard on a daily basis in an organized
and planned manner for attaining personal excellence and as well
as establishing the Islamic society of excellence for the pleasure
of Allaah and the success in the Hereafter.
If a person testifies to have the above mentioned faith and
his religious outlook corresponds to the above mentioned paradigm,
and his lifestyle testifies to the truth of these assertions,
that is the person with deen and that is the best person to get
married to. Although I have used 'his', the same applies to 'her'