Can a Muslim get married to a Non-Muslim?

One of the important factors in marriage is religion. Marriages are usually held among those who have the same belief. Yet, there are marriages among those who have different religions. Muslims are allowed to marry a non-Muslim under few conditions.

However, the question is can Muslims hold interfaith marriages? Yes, Muslims can hold such marriages yet there are conditions to it. The verse 5 of Surah Maidah is briefed about the matter.

01-Can a Muslim man marry a Jew or Christian Woman?

Imam al-Tabari has pointed out the Muslim men can marry a Non-Muslim woman who is either Jew or Christian. The Jews and Christians are among those who have been given scriptures and who believe in Torah and Enjeel respectively.

Muslim men have been allowed to marry a non-Muslim believing woman or women who are Jew or Christian. However, marrying a Muslim, Jew or a Christian, requires the man to first pay their Mahr. A Mahr is a money that is given to the bride by the groom at the time of marriage.

Even if you marry a non-Muslim (referring to Jew or Christian here), you will have to pay off the Mahr first. Muslims are not allowed to hold illegal relations with believing women, Jews, and Christians. They cannot have illegal sexual intercourse with them or make them their girlfriends.

“(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, desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girlfriends” – Quran 5:5

02-Can a Muslim man marry a Mushrik Woman?

An idol (stone) worshipper, a communist or a person who does not believes in a religion which the Prophets of Allah came with is called a Mushrik. Allah SWT has forbidden Muslim men from marrying Mushrik women. The verse 221 of Surah Al Baqarah states:

“And do not marry Al-Mushrikaat (idolatresses) till they believe (worship Allaah Alone). And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikah (idolatress), even though she pleases you”

This means that if you ought to marry a mushrik woman, she will first have to convert her religion to Islam otherwise the marriage cannot take place. If she does not convert her religion to Islam, you cannot marry her even if she highly pleases you.

A slave woman who is a believer is better than a Mushrik woman. A believing slave in such a case is better than a free yet a Mushrik woman.

03-Can a Muslim woman marry a Mushrik man?

Muslim women cannot marry Mushrik men. This has been made clear in the Quran. Allah Almighty says in Surah Baqarah verse 221 that:

“And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al Mushrikoon till they believe (in Allaah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you.

Those (Al-Mushrikoon) invite you to the Fire, but Allaah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His Leave, and makes His Ayaat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember”

If a believing woman ought to marry a mushrik man, then the man has to convert his religion to Islam first. Allah has declared that in such a case a believing slave is better than a free-Mushrik man. Allah Almighty had forbidden marriage between mushrik man and a believing woman.

04-Can a Muslim woman marry a Jew or a Christian man?

A Muslim woman cannot marry anyone but a Muslim. She cannot even marry a Non-Muslim who is Christian or a Jew until he converts to Islam. The scholars believe that Al Mushrikoon here refers to all non-believers including Jews and Christians.