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Unbelievers in the Quranic Context Signifies a Description
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* CE QUE DIEU VEUT *
Ahmed Subhy Mansour in The Clarion Project
My interview in BBC Radio Completely
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Quranic Terminology: (Ilhad – Root: l/h/d)
my speech in Medical Conference at Norwich University (UEA
Fatwas: Part Thirty-Nine
Multiculturalism Run Amok
Answering many fatwas
The right of Muslim woman to marry non- Muslim man

 

   The right of Muslim woman to marry non- Muslim man

Answering many fatwas

 

Could Muslim woman marry Christians or Jews.

 

 Question: What is the ruling of Islamic Sharia in regards of women marrying someone from the People of scripture (Jews or Christians)?

It is halal by Islamic Sharia for Muslim women to marry Christians or Jews according to the Quranic verse “This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the people of the book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (lawful) unto in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the people of the book, revealed before your time, when you give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues. if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).” (5:5).

 The holy Quran uses the term “Those who believe” to describe Muslims, Christians, and Jews, as they all received messages from God. For example, the Quran told Mohamed “How can they judge you and they have the Old Testament which has God’s words.” The New Testament also speaks of the Quran.

We understand Quran through the Quran itself because the Arabic language has evolved since the Quran was revealed and have new meanings and vocabulary. Even the Turath has its own vocabularies that reflect the time it was written in, like the Shia or Sufi Turath. It makes no sense to try to understand the holy Quran using vocabulary that was invented or changed after the Quran was revealed. This is why Quran should only be understood through its’ own vocabulary. For example, Sunna in Quran means law or methodology and it is attributed to Allah (SWT), as he says:  There can be no difficulty to the Prophet in what God has indicated to him as a duty. It was the practice [Sunna] (approved) of God amongst those of old that have passed away, and the command of God is a decree determined.” (33:38) Here, Sunna is used in the verse context just like if it is duty, and they both mean God’s Sharia. As for the prophet Mohamed (PBUH), Muslims should follow his good deeds only, and not his personal life choices.

When we research the holy Quran using its’ terminology, we must accept what the verses say, even if it is against what we initially thought. Hence, before discussing the marriage of Muslim women to Non-Muslims, we need to define first what it means to be a Muslim.

According to the Quran, the word Islam has two meanings: the first is a behavioral definition and it means to be peaceful, and the second is a faith-based definition, and that is to worship no one but Allah and to submit to him fully. The faith-based meaning of Islam is left for Allah’s judgement in the other life, but the behavioral meaning is for humans to use, regardless of faith, as long as that person is peaceful. This means that any peaceful individual is considered a Muslim and can marry any Muslim believer.

When the Quran prohibits marrying the Moshrkien (infidels) till they start believing, it means not to marry any aggressor. The Quran also says that infidels are aggressors, hence here the verse prohibit marrying aggressors. In the last verse of Albaqrah chapter, Allah says “Oh Allah, help us win the infidels,” meaning the aggressors, since in the second verse of the same chapter Allah say “And fight those who fight you and do not transgress, as Allah does not like aggressors.”

Infidel here means people with aggressive and violent behavior, and hence suicide bombers who kill without distinction are infidels.

 Question: Regardless of their religion?

The verse is clear: fight those who fight you, so you fight as a last resort, not to transgress. This kind of infidel cannot marry a Muslim, regardless of his/her faith. What we should care about here is peaceful behavior whether they are Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhist, etc. Some may argue that interfaith marriage will make children not be Muslims, but this gives them the freedom to choose, just like all Muslims should.

Date: November, 7th, 2007

Question:

I have a question regarding this verse, Sheikh Mansour. This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. the food of the people of the book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (lawful) unto in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the people of the book, revealed before your time, when you give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues. if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).” If all things good are already halal, why does the verse say that “This day” they are halal? Were the people of the book prohibited from eating our food? Same thing goes for chaste women, isn’t it halal  to begin with? And what is the point of talking about faith in the middle of food and women?

Dear Brother:

Allah SWT says “This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the people of the book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (lawful) unto in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the people of the book, revealed before your time, when you give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues. if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)” (5:5).

Chapter 5 (Alma’eda) is one of the last revealed verses in Quran, and before it, there were plenty of wars between Muslims and Jewish and Christian transgressors and Allah prohibited Muslims of making alliances with them at that time. There were many Muslims who secretively allied with the enemies, “- O ye who believe take not the Jews and the Christians allies ( while they are attacking you) : they are but allies for each other, and he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. verily God guideth not a people unjust.” (5:51). Hence this law was limited to its time and place, Allah (SWT) described such agents “Those in whose hearts is a disease thou seest how eagerly they run about amongst them, saying: we do fear lest a change of fortune bring us disaster. ah perhaps God will give (thee) victory, or a decision according to his will. then will they repent of the thoughts which they secretly harbored in their hearts” (5:52). These Jews that the Quran speaks of are Arab tribes who worshiped Uzair and Talih, and are not the current Jews who worship different Gods. Allah says: “The Jews call Uzair a son of God, and the Christians call Christ the son of God. that is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. God's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the truth.” (9:30).

Because of such alliance and similarity of faith, they united against Muslims. Allah says: “And they say: none shall enter paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. those are their (vain) desires. say: produce your proof if ye are truthful” (2:111). Meaning they considered themselves the only believers and want the Muslims to follow their path. “Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. say: the guidance of God, that is the (only) guidance. wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither protector nor helper against God” (2:120). They even wished for Muslims to return to their religion before Islam “Quite a number of the people of the book wish they could turn you (people) back to infidelity after ye have believed, from selfish envy, after the truth hath become manifest unto them: but forgive and overlook, till God accomplish his purpose; for God hath power over all things.” (2:109).

Despite having similar faiths and a political alliance, such enemies were in constant internal arguments, just like all people who choose earthly religions “The Jews say: the Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: the Jews have naught (to stand) upon. yet they (profess to) study the (same) book. like unto their word is what those say who know not; but God will judge be tween them in their quarrel on the day of judgment” (2:113).These transgressing Jews and Christians did not represent all Jews or all Christians, as the Quran divides the people of the book into three categories: The previous, the just, and the transgressors.

This introduction explains why Allah (SWT) made it halal, after securing the safety of the Islamic state, to have interfaith marriages. The Quran first explained what it means in the case to be peaceful, hence, a Muslim through behavior. So indeed when Allah (SWT) says “today,” this means that interfaith marriage was not allowed before because of the ongoing wars between Muslims and the transgressors among the people of the book.

It is worth noting that these Arabs whom the Quran called Jews were later exiled from the Arabian Peninsula, especially in Yemen. They tried to act as if they became Muslims, and they caused troubles for Muslims in the battle of Algamal and Safieen. Later, they established the Shia and Sunni Sects under the leadership of Abdallah Ben Saba’ and Ka’ab AlAhbar, respectively.

Finally, any peaceful human is a Muslim, and it is Halal to marry him/her regardless of their faith, as this is up to Allah (SWT) only. It is also halal to eat their food and offer them our food. In all cases, the condition for marriage is modesty and paying dowry.

  


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