Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Want to marry a Christian woman, will this be unlawful?

Salam Alaikum,

I'm a muslim man and I'm in love with a Roman Catholic Christian woman and we both want to get married. I know that this is permissible given that she is a practicing christian and that she is chaste.

She is a practicing christian but she informed me that she's not a virgin. Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but I knew this I told her that the only way for us to be together is that if she converts!

She started reading books on Islam and she says she has no problems with it and she agrees that our children will be raised as Muslims however she says that at this point she will be doing it for me. She has no problem adhering to the values of Islam like fasting, not eating pork, not drinking etc. But the only thing she says she can't do at the moment is pray. She's not at that stage and says she's still not convinced that she should pray the way we pray.

I'm lost as to what to do as I do not want to commit an unlawful act especially that a marriage lasts a life-time...Please help

Jazakom Allah Khairan


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11 Responses »

  1. Asalaam alaikum Muslimuser,

    Brother, you did not mention if you are in a country in where there are no Muslim women and instead only Christian women. For Muslims who fear of falling into sin and living in those areas bereft of good Muslim women, then it permissible to marry Christians of Jews with good intentions, if all other avenues of finding a Muslim wife fails. Yet, even the scholars of Islam say that it is not preferable to have a child with a non-Muslim wife. There are many reasons for this, of course.

    So then, if you are living in a place with no Muslim women to marry, then you are free to marry a Christian. However, as you can see, you are already encountering problems beforehand and this may escalate in the future. The proper thing to do would be to give her some literature on prayer which also explains the significance of the Ka'bah, pilgrimage and the like. Since she seems open to some ideas, perhaps she just needs a push in the right direction. However, you can no longer engage in a romantic relationship with her as this is forbidden, so you must back away from the "love talk" for now.

    If you live in an area with other Muslim however, then I believe your duty would be to direct this Christian woman to them as she can seek guidance, friendship and kindness from them. Perhaps she only needs to see other women who have accepted the faith so as to help her do the same. Yet once again, your romantic relationship with her must stop regardless.

    This will also give you time to reassess what you find will be the most important qualities in wife, her level of accepting and adhering to Islam and the like. This is especially important since there are some deviated so-called Muslim women, as well, who are not modest or chaste, drink alcohol, eat and drink haraam, etc. So take this time to truly ponder what a wife and the future mother of your child will mean to you.

    Most of all, be honest with this woman. Do not lead her on and honor her properly. She sounds like she may become Muslim one day, so perhaps you just may need to be patient for right now and adhere to the boundaries of Islam concerning men and women.

    Ramadhan is soon approaching and many people revert/convert at this time, so maybe this will be the step for her, too. As I said, find people to help her and Insha'allah, what will be done will be for the best.

    • Asalaam alaikum,

      When the verses were revealed, Christians at that time already had developed some of the views which are still present today that you mention, but Allah (swt) still allowed the marriages. If you read this post carefully, this brother is saying that the potential Christian wife is open to Islam. What her view is exactly remains to be seen, but marriage is still permissible to her. It's not in the same category that you mention as an example, because accepting a prophet after the Last Messenger makes the distorted person a non-Muslim, similar to a Mormon. Whereas the Christian here accepts the prophets up to Isa (as). In this post, this woman has the potential and promising capability to become Muslim. From a selective process, in this regard, she is permissible.

      It's not similar to marrying a disbeliever, because that person rejects Allah (swt) outright. These two respective people, disbeliever and Christian, are in separate categories.

      The way people practice Catholicism seems to be a point also raised and I have to say that several of the posters here either do not know many Catholics or any at all. If they did, they would understand that the Catholic Church is currently alienating their base, and these people are thus trying to find other religions or denominations. Do your research and you'll see that their numbers are dwindling significantly in areas which were their stronghold. Women in particular of this church are a large group that are leaving this denomination of Christianity

      As such, these women are going away from the dogma and are looking for more just and fair mates. Since this woman is prepared to marry a Muslim, agrees with many of the points of Islam and her 'potential' is there to become a Muslim, I am not sure why the basis for objection are being raised so vehemently.

      The fact of the matter is that some Muslim men may be in an area or situation where they cannot find Muslim wives or in the case on reverts/converts are being denied Muslim brides due to prejudicial issues. So if they find a Christian wife who is open to the teachings of Islam, why should they not take her as a wife when other avenues are exhausted or closed off? The danger of advocating against the marriage is that you are disallowing what Allah (swt) made halal.

    • salam alaykum brother I have a very important question that I can't find the answer to anywhere.
      I know that a muslim man can marry a christian woman if the conditions are met now how would he do that what is the procedure? who will be her wali ? is he allowed to talk to the girl before marriage ? what can he do ?

  2. Salaam.

    I cannot comment with surety on whether or not she would be halal for you as a Christian or not (due to the fact she has lost her virginity.) What I can say is although it is permissible for a Muslim man to marry a Christian woman it is not recommended. It is far better for a Muslim man to marry a Muslim woman.

    I would think very carefully about marrying her if I were you. Interfaith marriages can often be 'compatability time bombs' just waiting to go off. It creates a divide between you both and when children come into the equation it can often create A LOT of problems. Despite the woman agreeing sometimes what happens is she changes her mind once she has the kids. She wants to raise them Christian. While you want to raise them Muslim. People also tend to get more religious as they get older. This creates distance if you both have different faiths. So please consider very carefully. Some couples teach the children both religions, which causes the child to get confused. This is a real tragedy that they are not growing up with the gift of Islam.

    I have attached a comment I found from a Christian guy married to a woman of another faith who has given his perspective on interfaith marriages to a Christian woman considering marriage with a Muslim guy
    It is from a Christian perspective but still is useful:

    "I'm sure this is not what you want to hear...but honestly, it is the truth....
    As a Catholic married to a Baptist women. I do not recommend inter-faith marriages. PERIOD.

    This may sound hypocritical, but it is not. It is born out of personal experience, the experience of countless others, and statistics.

    With over 50% of all marriages ending in Divorce, and one of the Primary reasons cited is: Religious Differences -- Do you really want to start off your marriage with such a huge knock against it?
    Divorce rates amongst Christians are actually exceeding those of the non-religious. Most of these are between Christians and non-Christians. (see above reason)

    The bible warns that Marriage is hard, it is not for everyone, and specifically it warns being "unequally yoked" with a non-believer. I have great respect for devout Muslims, but that does not mean I advocate either of them to marry outside of their faith. There will be cultural differences in the way one views things. There will be cultural and social pressure from Family for the 2 of you to worship and celebrate TOGETHER.

    There will be complications on how you raise your children. They will grow up with an unreconcilable conflict. That is: Mommy is good, Daddy is good, and yet NEITHER of them can agree on God.

    There are only 3 possible outcomes to this, none of which are really great....
    1) God must not exist, since even the smartest people...Mommy and Daddy, don't agree, it must all be made up or imaginary.
    2) They will adopt a laize faire mentality and have a very vague sense of God, which is fairly close to simply having no faith at all.
    3) They will end up with a very confused merger of both faiths, believing or agreeing with whomever is in the room or which ever person seems the strongest at the time.

    Very rarely do they emerge from an inter-faith marriage with a strong faith.
    Again, I base this on 2 Family members who married Jewish people. Catholics marrying non-believers.

    So I would advise you to only marry her if she becomes a sincere Muslim. Of course you would need to give her time and seperate yourself from her in this time.

    Sara Editor

  3. Another point: The fact that she is no more a Virgin, she is unchaste and you should NOT AT ALL consider her in marriage. And I found the following Fatwa concerning a similar situation:

    However, we do not advise you to marry a non-Muslim woman, nor do we advise you to marry just any Muslim woman. For married life is not based only on beauty and attraction, rather the wise Muslim must look with insight at what is beyond that, because he needs to be sure that his house will be looked after in his absence, and he needs to bring up his children, and he will not be able to find that or other things which every wise husband seeks, except with a religious Muslim woman. This is the advice of our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

    It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A woman may be married for four reasons: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her religious commitment. Choose the one who is religious, may your hands be rubbed with dust [i.e., may you prosper].”

    (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4802; Muslim, 1466).

    Al-Nawawi said:

    The correct meaning of this hadeeth is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was describing what people usually do, for they seek these four characteristics, the last of which in their view is religious commitment, but you, the one who is seeking guidance, should look for a wife who is religious. But this is not an absolute command.

    This hadeeth encourages keeping company with people who are religiously committed in all things, because the one who keeps company with them will benefit from their good attitude and morals, their blessing and their good ways, and he will be safe from mischief at their hands.

    Sharh Muslim, 10/52

    But marriage to women of the People of the Book leads to a great deal of mischief and trouble, such as:

    1. He may have to be courteous to this wife of his at the expense of his religion, especially if she is “very committed” to her own religion. This may mean that she will hang up crosses and go to the church, and the children will not be safe in this environment.

    2. She is not going to wash properly after finishing her period, or tell him not to have intercourse with her when she is menstruating; she is going to make him do something that is wrong according to sharee’ah and cause him physical harm.

    3. He is going to be put in an embarrassing situation because of her careless attitude concerning dress and her mixing with men and speaking to them.

    4. The states and governments of these women of the Book will be on their side and will give them custody of the children if differences arise and divorce takes place. This will cause these children to be lost and to fall into kufr. Such cases are too well known to need mentioning here and too many to count.

    One of the poets said:

    “Marriage to a Christian is an abhorrent action which leads to the kufr of the children for sure.

    Whoever accepts for a child of his to be a kaafir is himself a kaafir, even if he claims to be a Muslim.

    A man may become a kaafir, following his wife, and enter the Fire of Hell forever.

    You must look for one who is religiously committed, if you want a sound marriage.

    Forget about the people of kufr and beware of marrying them, for that will lead to a lot of evil.

    The children of such a marriage will not be guided; they will swell the ranks of evildoers.


    It is not permissible for you to force your Christian wife – if you do marry her – to become Muslim. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taaghoot [falsehood, false gods] and believes in Allaah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allaah is All-Hearer, All-Knower”

    [al-Baqarah 2:256]

    Ibn Katheer said:

    Allaah says: “There is no compulsion in religion” meaning: do not force anyone to enter Islam, for it is obvious and clear, and its proof and evidence are apparent. There is no need to force anyone to enter it, rather whomever Allaah guides to Islam and opens his heart to it and illuminates his insight will enter it with conviction; but whoever Allaah makes blind in his heart and seals his hearing and insight will not benefit from being compelled to enter the religion by force. They said that the reason for the revelation of this verse was concerning some people among the Ansaar, even though this ruling is general.

    Tasfeer Ibn Katheer, 1/311

    We advise you – once again – to leave this woman and to pray to Allaah to guide your heart to that which is in the best interests of your religion. So long as you give her up for the sake of Allaah, then you should be certain that Allaah will replace her for you with someone better, for whoever gives up something for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something better.

    And Allaah knows best.


    • Asalaam alaikum,

      The problem that I have this issue is that who is to say that the past issue of losing virginity wasn't under a specific scenario? Do we know if she was raped, previously married or irreligious? Perhaps she has made a past mistake and has repented, for all we know. Why would the issue hinge on this then, without knowing if she has repented?

      Again, this reveals what is not evidently common knowledge here: Catholics believe in confession. They confess sins to their priests and this woman may have seen it as a virtue to confess to her potential suitor as a part of courtship. Should she then be held in contempt for what she was taught to do when she sins, i.e. confess? It may not be liked, but with her current viewpoint of accepting certain tenets of Islam, why is there such an objection to her as a potential bride? If anything, she seems more capable of accepting Islam in the future. She seems to need just more guidance, but nevertheless, she seems to be suitable from what we know.

      I will address the points outlined above:

      1. This issue does not seem to be present, as the original poster mentioned that this woman is open to the ideas of Islam. She has also agreed to have the children raised as Muslims, so the danger of attending church is quite lessened.

      2. The Muslim husband can show the Christian wife to wash properly and most women do find this to be preferable and will adopt it. Everyone likes to be clean and many women, regardless of religion also find it more refreshing to follow the practices of Islam, in this regard. Many Europeans do use bidets as do others in the West, too. Many women find it uncomfortable to have sex during menstruation and several denominations of Christians do not allow it, while some do. This issue can be remedied quite reasonably.

      3. Again, this is supposing that the man chooses a woman blindly. Of course, the Muslim husband should find a modest wife, as that goes without saying. Why would it be relevant to this issue in the original post when the Muslim brother does not bring this issue up?

      4. While it is known that women do get custody of the children in many countries, the supposition in this point is that the father will somehow lose all his rights. If he keeps his role in tact, this is less likely to happen. Yet, since we have no idea where the original poster is residing, this is another supposition.

      In the latter part, this issue is not present in the original question posted here, as this woman is currently learning about Islam.

      • Asalaam alaikum,

        The West doesn't follow Christianity within their government law basis. Most are secular governments, so your claim here for punishment is flawed. And since the people changed the Bible, they do not believe in the name of "Ahmad" being revealed. In the same way that Jews do not accept Prophet Isa (as), which ironically enough, Muslim men are also allowed to marry. This is how your logic has numerous flaws, because Jewish women, who do not even accept the prophethood of Isa (as) are marriage eligible to Muslim men. So how do you undermine Christians, then? You cannot. You're in danger of denying revelation, so you should be more careful.

        It's quite evident that you have little understanding of Catholics or Christianity. Many of them believe that Isa (as) abrogated the Old Testament canonical law meting out the punishment of flogging that you describe. Therefore, for Christians they would not have to undergo this punishment as they believe in this way. As the say, "let he is who without sin cast the first stone." This is from the Bible when Isa (as) confronted the accusers of a woman who committed adultery/fornication wanted her to be stoned per OT law. He gave them this challenge because their claims were without merit. If you knew anything about Christianity, you would see that you do not meet this standard either, let alone the Islamic standard for this type of punishment.

        By your standard, every Jewish and Christian revert/convert to Islam would have to undergo physical punishment instead of just asking forgiveness, repenting and performing good actions in order to reform their lives. You need to be careful that you are trying to inflict punishment without wisdom, logic, reasoning and without Islamic basis.

        Also, just as in Islam, those punishments are conditional for their respective followers. What is worse is that you draw a supposition pretending to know exactly how she lost her virginity while dismissing any other notion. Since when did you gather this intimate knowledge of her life of a woman who you do not know, but wish her to undergo physical punishment? Your reasoning is beyond flawed. You set your standards low, but setup everyone else's to be high.

        Furthermore, you sit there and judge her level of repentance as being inadequate. Since when were you allowed access to the unseen between her heart and Allah (swt)? The original poster clearly states that she is currently chaste. How is it then with her good morality now and her openness to Islam that you have decided that she needs physical punishment from an Old Testament law that you fail to understand the condition of it being carried out?

        If you want to talk about Biblical scripture, then you are debating faiths, but stop using it to refuse this woman's possible and potential ability to love Islam and a Muslim man as his wife. You know nothing about her religious conceptions other than what was stated and if you read the original post, then you'll see that her obstacle was the prayer Muslims perform while accepting many of it's laws and tenets. The biggest of which is agreeing to raise the future children as Muslim.

        The second caliph may have detested the marriages, but guess what, they are still allowed in the Qur'an. Even the caliph could not go against Qur'anic revelations, which is something that you failed to mention.

        As far as traveling to another country: once again you make a supposition that this brother can travel or has the means to travel to another country. Will you be flying him over, establishing a place for him to live, provide employment for him when he arrives in your designated country and have a Muslim bride waiting for him? Think this is ridiculous to say? Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) provided the means when a Muslim man did not have a Muslim bride. The first caliph did a similar act when he purchased Ali's (as) shield so that he could have financial means to marry Fatima Zahra (sa). Until you are ready to do so, then please refrain from telling people to leave their homeland because you dislike your own made-up suspicions about a woman whom you have no idea about.

        It's denying the apparent when you make the statement that early Muslims were equipped with full knowledge to have unshakable commitment to Islam. Do you really believe this? Then you haven't read hadiths or Islamic history at all. They are full of Muslims who were either sinning, making mistakes, seeking knowledge or were uncertain about what to do. It's one of the fundamental basis for hadith to exist. There's also verses that were revealed because these early Muslim were messing up, one of which had to with them abandoning prayer out of all things. Your contention in this regard shows little knowledge of revelation context or Islamic History and this shows how your reasoning is completely flawed.

        Until more is known about this woman, per Islamic law, you should stop slandering her.

  4. Yes you can marry her if she is a practicing revert and completely changing her ways and wills with faith and also NOT CONVERTING FOR YOU BUT FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH. I'm a revert and im from a catholic background too and now i am a practicing muslimah Alhamdulilah. Whatever she has done in her past is with no knowledge and its your duty to teach whats wrong and right and brush her up with the true religion and the differences in both religions as for why she should be a muslim. I think all Christians should be given a chance to learn Islam and not be underestimated just because one or two Christians give up and go back to Christianity. I have a cousin and a best friend who's reverted Masha Allah and inquisitive to learn more on the religion and another cousin who is hoping to revert inshaAllah. Ask dua to give her hidiath if you really love her. Allah knows best brother.

    Jezakallah brother.

  5. I have deleted half the comments on this post. What is the matter with you people? Astaghfirullah. Some people are saying that the Christians and Jews of today are not Ahl al-Kitab, which is ridiculous - their beliefs today are exactly what they were in the time of the Prophet (sws). Doesn't the Quran mention their belief in the Trinity and their saying that Isa (as) is the son of Allah (astaghfirullah)? They had the same beliefs in that time, and yet Allah allowed Muslim men to marry their women. So do not try to prohibit what Allah has allowed, as that is a great sin.

    Others were saying all kinds of nasty things, for example that if she becomes Muslim her testimony of faith would not be accepted because she is not sincere - Laa ilaha il-Allah! Are you judges now of people's hearts? Are you mediators between her and Allah, to decide if her shahadah is accepted? What kind of arrogance is this?

    One sister was saying that this is not love, that the woman feels no true love. What? Because a woman is not Muslim, she cannot feel love?

    Look, I favor marriage of Muslims to Muslims. I believe a Muslim man should seek a Muslim wife first of all. But I am not going to prohibit what Allah has allowed, nor judge what is in people's hearts, nor condemn others with harsh words.

    Have some humility. Approach people with kindness and love. Offer your advice with sincerity. And if you don't have knowledge about something, then don't make it up as you go, because that is truly the path to the fire.

    Wael Editor

  6. I want to know if I marry a christian lady than mirage will be done by Nikkah or christian method?

    • Fazal, for a Muslim the only religiously legal marriage is the Islamic nikah. If you need further advice, please log in and write your question as a separate post, thank you.

      Wael Editor

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