Praise be to Allaah.
We praise Allah, may He be exalted, and thank Him for guiding
this girl to enter Islam, and we ask Him to make her steadfast in adhering
to truth and guidance, and to increase her in guidance and steadfastness.
Marriage of a Muslim woman to a kaafir man is undoubtedly
haraam and it is an invalid contract, but it is not kufr if a Muslim woman
does that and marries a kaafir man, even though it is haraam for her. Allah
says (interpretation of the meaning): “then if you ascertain that they
[Muslim women] are true believers send them not back to the disbelievers”
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
This verse is the one that made it haraam for Muslim women to
marry mushrik men. It was permissible at the beginning of Islam for a
mushrik to marry a believing woman. Hence Abu’l-‘Aas ibn al-Rabee‘ married
the daughter of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)
Zaynab (may Allah be pleased with her), when she was a Muslim and he was a
follower of his people’s religion.
Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/93
In al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (7/133) it says:
It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a
non-Muslim man, even if he is a dhimmi or a kitaabi (one of the people of
the Book, i.e. a Jew or a Christian). This is according to the consensus of
the fuqaha’, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And
give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al‑Mushrikoon till they believe (in
Allaah Alone)” [al-Baqarah 2:221] and “send them not back to the
disbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the
disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them” [al-Mumtahanah 60:10].
If the family of this girl insist on marrying her to that
kaafir, we think that she should state openly that she is a Muslim and seek
help with one of the trustworthy Islamic centres or a trustworthy Muslim
family, until she finds a Muslim husband to marry her, then she can live
with him. The timing of showing her Islam openly and leaving her family,
whichever comes first, depends on her evaluation of her own circumstances.
If she is afraid that if her family find out about her being Muslim they
will detain her or prevent her from running away for the sake of her
religion, or they will force her to go back to kufr or to marry a kaafir,
then in this case we advise her to leave them first and go to another place
where she will be safe, either under the protection of the government in her
country if they offer protection in such cases, or under the care of one of
the Islamic centres in her country.
Muslims are excused for staying among the kuffaar and not
practising their religion openly if they are weak and oppressed among them
and cannot leave and flee from them. But the one who finds a way out no
longer has this excuse, so it is not permissible for him to stay among the
kuffaar, not in their house or in their country. If he can find a safe
refuge in the same country, he should move there from his house, but if the
country itself is not safe, he should move from his house to another country
where his life will be safe and he will be able to practice his religion
With regard to mere fear about the family's reputation, this
is not a valid excuse unless her religious commitment and her life are in
danger because of it.
Who knows? Perhaps showing her religion openly will bring a
great deal of good to her and her family, and some of her family members may
become Muslim. This is what has happened with other sisters who showed their
Islam openly. And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“it may be that you dislike a thing and Allaah brings through
it a great deal of good” [al-Nisa’ 4:19].
Whatever the case, we know that the situation is difficult
for this girl, but her religion requires her to do whatever she can in order
to adhere to it and practice it openly, and not fall into haraam.
We ask Allah to relieve her distress and take away the
calamity and to guide her family to Islam. And we ask Him, may He be
exalted, to bless her with a righteous husband and good offspring.
See also the answers to questions no.
We should point out a number of things:
If a Muslim man marries her, it is essential for her to have
a wali (guardian) who will do the marriage contract for her, because there
is no wilaayah (guardianship) for a kaafir - even if he is a kitaabi (Jew or
Christian) - over a Muslim woman. If there is a Muslim man among her family,
then he is her wali. If there is no Muslim man among her family, then the
Muslim qaadi (judge) or mufti or official in charge of Muslim affairs, or
the director of the Islamic centre to which she goes or gets married in, may
act as her wali.
For more information on that please see the answers to
We should point out to you that it is not permissible for you
to have a relationship with this girl, as she is a stranger (non-mahram) to
you. If you want to help her - which is obligatory for you if you are able
to - then help her to find some Muslim sisters who can take care of her, or
a trustworthy Muslim family with whom she could live, or offer her your help
and advice through your wife, if you are married, or through your sister or
Do not remain in a relationship with her, because you are a
stranger (non-mahram) to her, and Islam forbids such relationships.
We have drawn attention to this matter in a number of
answers. See the answers to questions no.
And Allah knows best.