Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Should I marry this non-practising Shia girl?

"]shia sunni unity

As for those who divide their religion and break up Into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least: Their affair is with Allah: He will in the end Tell them the truth Of all that they did. [Al-Qur'an 6:159


I have a great concern and I am in need of knowledge on this subject. I am 26 years old practicing Sunni Muslim and of the age of marriage alhumdolillah and I am considering marrying a girl whose parents and grandparents are some of Sunni sect and some are Shite sect. The girl is not very highly practicing one in either Shite or Sunni faith though she says it does not matter as she is "just Muslim" and wants to marry someone who is also "just Muslim". My understanding is that a Sunni boy may marry with a Shite girl as long as the girl agrees to allow the offspring to be raised as Sunni and not Shite. Is this true? And what about the conditions of the marriage - nikkah process? The girls parents will allow her to marry a Sunni so then should I request that the marriage process be according to Sunni nikkah and not include anything of the Shite teachings?

What else should I request from her and her parents to make this work? Also since the girl tells me she is just a Muslim but not a highly practicing one - is it then a good act on my behalf as a Sunni Muslim that I am going to marry her and basically end the Shite line in her family as the offspring will now all be Sunni (inshallah)? My understanding is that I also need to check and see what her exact beliefs are before anything else in respect to what Sunni beliefs are to see if they are the same or match with Sunni beliefs. What exactly do I need to check if you can tell me? I also understand that if the girl adopts any of the Shia actions and beliefs that go against the Sunni beliefs (such as acts of shirk, condemning our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and placing Hazrat Ali (R.A) in his place, that I will not be able to marry her if she wishes to continue this after marriage. Is this true?

Should I just ask her to leave the Shite faith in place of Sunni faith so that this will be less complicated though she claims already she is not even a practicing Shite but rather just a muslim? She has already agreed to allow the offspring to be Sunni (that of what the father believes basically - me). I also asked her if she would convert at some point later on in the marriage if she did not do it now as I am planning to live in a country where there is little to no Shia population anyways and instead all Sunni population. I will be very thankful to your kind help and clarification in this matter. My intention is that if I do marry her through the proper channels and processes, that it will basically contribute in helping stop the divisions amongst the Muslim population in general. Is this not a good action in that respect?  (please kindly provide evidences or references so that I may better understand what I must do inshallah)


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5 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    There should be no difference in the way a nikkah is done simply because one calls themselves shiite or sunni. There should be no difference in the way a child is raised just because one parent is sunni and the other shiite. The reason why there should be no difference is because nikkahs and childrearing should be the same under all of Islam, regardless of which points some of us may differ on.

    There have been several posts made already to this site which address the sunni/shiite marriage issue. The bottom line is that being a shiite isn't wrong, but some who are under shiaism have wrong beliefs and practices. I wouldn't get tripped up on that because in truth, there are those who have wrong beliefs and practices who are sunni, sufi, salafi, madhabi, etc. What matters is trying to bring your understanding of Islam (regardless of where it starts or how you box it up) under what's correct, under Truth.

    So there again, you have to find out what she believes as "just a Muslim", and see if it jives with what you understand to be true...not as a "sunni" but as a true Muslim. My bigger concern about your post is that you said "she is just a Muslim but not a highly practicing one", because I would imagine as a man you would want a wife who is trying to be pious and keeping the common tenets of the faith. For instance, she should be practicing hijab, making her salat, avoiding what's haraam, etc. If she meets that criteria and is not doing what you mentioned ( committing shirk or defaming the Prophet (saws)and his companions) then there would be no reason why she can't be marriageable to you. On the other side of the spectrum, anyone who is committing shirk would be off limits, no?

    Part of the reason we have these divisions and sects is because we are so caught up in identifying ourselves under labels. Forgive me if I'm misperceiving this, but it seems like you are just as attached to being a Sunni as you are concerned about her being Shia. If you really want to marry her and become part of the force to unite Islam under one banner, then you have to let all the categorizing go. If you marry her, make the intention that you both will practice Islam based on modeling your lives after the Prophet (saws). Doing that will never lead anyone to error.

    -Amy Editor

    • Walaikum salaam,

      s Sister Amy has stated, there isn't a difference in the nikkah to make it invalid. And Shi'ite scholars also believe that a divorce under Sunni fiqh, provided the man was a Sunni, is valid and effective for the Shia wife.

      Alhamdulillah, I was doing research into this subject just the other day by chance. So Brother Happy12, a lot of what you stated in your concerns about Shias isn't so concerning the 12'ers, but falls into the sect of Ismailis and it's more a political divergence that caused the sect which then involved shirk by this sect. If she is not an Ismaili, then a lot of your stated issues are not a case to worry over. Furthermore, the highest ranking Shi'ite scholars, Ayatollah Sistani and Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, have issued fatwas, and were repeated by Syyed Nasarallah on live television, that any person who curses the Sunni personalities is not of the 12'er Shia. This video is available in Arabic and with English subtitles on the internet.

      I totally agree with Sister Amy, however, that the main concern is whether or not the young woman is practicing the tenets of her faith at all. That if her deeds and life are not Islamic, then she is not marriage material at all. Both Sunni and Shia scholars have stated that a non-practicing Muslim is off limits to be considered as a spouse for any respective practicing Muslim.

  2. Praises are for Allah, Peace and Blessings be upon His Messenger

    Salamualaikum brother,

    Your concern in correct and insha Allah, from what I know, I will advise you.

    First of all, read what the 'Aqeedah of Shiites is about the Qur'aan, the Messenger Sallallahu 'Alaihi wasallam, the Sahabah (they say all Sahabah became Kaafir after death of Rasoolallah except 4 or 5 - Na'oodhubillah), about the mothers of the believers - the wives of the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam (may Allah be Pleased with them). Read fataawaa regarding Rafidis/Rawaafid/Shia on websites such as, or (I'm not sure), and on islamqa.comThese will insha Allah give you a fair idea about what a person should not have as his/her 'Aqeedah (Creed). What you need to check in the girl is her 'Aqeedah. If she says Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthmaan (Radiyallahu 'Anhum) were evil and enemies of 'Ali, if she says 'Aaishah Radiyallahu 'Anha was an evil woman (May Allah forgive me for writing such things but these are the beliefs of mainstream Shia), if she says Qur'aan is incomplete and 10 more Juz will be brought by Imam Mahdi, if she says all the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum Ajma'een) became apostate except four or five after the death of the Messenger Sallallahu 'Alaihi wasallam (May Allah increase their levels in Paradise and make us follow in their footsteps - Aameen). If she says all of this and believes this, then you have your answer. But if she is open to follow the Sunnah of Rasoollallah Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam and does not have the evil beliefs mentioned above, and some more that you will come to know if you research from the websites I mentioned above, then insha Allah, you can proceed.

    Secondly, I'd like to tell about a friend. He is a practicing Sunni and he married a girl who was 'just Muslim' but later realized that she had influence of Shia beliefs and he felt bad about it. He used to speak to this 'Aalim about the issue. One day I asked the same 'Aalim a question about my relative who had married a Shi'i girl, not for deen but out of the feeling of love, if this was valid. He replied 'Not all Shi'is would have the unacceptable 'Aqeedah, but it is better to choose a practicing Sunni girl'. My analogy is 'if you can eat barbeque near near your home, but you get barbeque of better quality a little away, while you have all the time and money in World, would you still choose to eat low quality barbeque or would you go to the other place?'

    Lastly, see if you can get her on the correct path. insha Allah calling oneself 'Just Muslim' is not wrong. That does not matter. What matters is the 'Aqeedah. The Aakhirah is based on ones A'maal which are a resuld of one's Niyyah/Intention which is based on the 'Aqeedah (And Allah Knows Best). Labelling onself Sunni or Shia is not the issue, the issue is if you are Pleasing Allah or Displeasing Him. The issue is not whether the marriage is conduted in Sunni way or the Shia way, but the issue is if it is done upon the ways of the Prophet Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam.

    I hope I have provided some answer to your question. You can additionally read a book about the Shia' and Sunnis by Al Allama Ehsaan Ilahi Zaheer (Rahimahullah)

    May Allah increase our Love for Him, His Prophet, the Sahaabah of His Prophet and those who follow them until the Last Day (May Allah increase their levels in Paradise)
    May Allah make us follow in their footstepsAameenPeace and Blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam
    Muhammad Waseem Saifullah

  3. Brother,

    You can find the book I mentioned above, here:

  4. hi. dear bro.

    i am also a sunni boy age of 25 and i m n love with a girl who is shiya. dear brother first of all. all the sunni and shiya scholars allow the marriage of shiya and sunni. brother i have simply told her that i have no problem with ur regilion beacuse your a muslim but our offspring will be sunni.

    if we think marrying a shiya is not a big deal but what if a non muslim girl waz written in ur qismat(faith). i will just advice you one thing which i have gone through do istikhara it will show u the right way.

    and it is true all the shiyas are not of the same thinking some are very wrong thinker and some are good but bro as i have seen the girl s raised in shiya house so as she spends the time and u tell her each and everything about sunni so it will take time but she will respect sunni. for a husband it is great honor that wife respected has belives and teach the offsprings as she s directed my husband

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