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The Permissibly of a Muslim Man Marrying a Woman Who is a Jew or Christian

Question: Is it permissible for the Muslim to marry a woman who is a Jew or Christian?

Answer: If the woman is a Jew or Christian it is lawful (Halaal) according to the text of the Qur’aan,

“Today I have made lawful for you all the good things, and the food of those who were given the Scripture (i.e. Jews and Christians) is lawful for you all (Muslims) and your (Muslims) food is lawful for them (Jews and Christians), and the chaste women from the believing women (for marriage) and the chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before you all.”

However, the Muslim should be careful when he wants to marry a Christian woman, for verily if he marries a Christian woman in a land, and the power and influence in that land is with the Christians, it is feared for his children that they will be made Christians. Likewise, if he marries a Jewish woman, it is feared that she will invite her children to Judaism. And the child is born upon the natural inclination of Islam (Al-Fitrah), but his parents make him a Jew or a Christian or a Magian (fire worshipers, Majoos). And if the woman is a polytheist (i.e. a pagan woman, non-Muslim not even following Christianity or Judaism), then marrying a polytheist woman is not permissible and the marriage contract with a polytheist woman is not permissible.

However, if the woman is a slave, verily the Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), when the Muslims took captives of war on the Day of Awtaas (a battle), the Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said,

"Do not have sex with a pregnant (captive) woman until she delivers nor the woman who is not pregnant until she has a menses"

Meaning, she has one menstrual cycle. The Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) did not say, "until she bears witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allaah." So in this matter there is a difference between the slave woman who is owned, whom you can deal with however you please, and between the wife. In reference to the wife, it is forbidden for you to marry a woman who is a polytheist (Mushrikah, disbeliever who is not a Jew or Christian), but in reference to the slave woman, then that is permissible for you to buy a slave woman for yourself, even if she is a polytheist woman, and to have sexual intercourse with her. Likewise, if Allaah aids the Muslims, giving them victory over a land that is Communist or a land that is Christian or other than that, it is permissible (to take their woman captives as slaves and have intercourse with them). Also, this even applies if it is a land wherein there is polytheism (idolatry, paganism, etc.), for verily the communists have the same ruling as the polytheists. And the number (of slave girls) is permissible even if it is a hundred slave girls, it is permissible for him (the Muslim man). It is not something restricted (by number) like marriage, for marriage is restricted to four (wives).

(Translator's Note: Of course, this Fatwaa is regarding situations of war when the Muslim army takes captives from the enemy's people who are disbelievers. This by no means implies Muslim men in the West taking girlfriends and saying, "she's my slave girl". It only applies to REAL situations of slavery and captives of war.)


Source: Ijaabatus-Saa'il, pp.530-531


This is a free Publication from Tarbiyyah Bookstore Publishing & Distribution. Permission is given to reproduce and distribute electronically or otherwise for Da’wah purposes only. But, no part of this publication may be changed by any means possible without the explicit written approval of Tarbiyyah Bookstore Publishing & Distribution.

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