Q: Can a Muslim man marry a non-Muslim woman (Jewish), and then she becomes Muslim in the future?
A: It is not permissible for a Muslim male to marry a non-Muslim female of any religious following. This is the Fatwa of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (Radhiyallaahu anhu). When he was asked about the permissibility of a Muslim male marrying a Jewish or Christian female, he responded by saying: “The Statement of Almighty Allah in the Holy Qur'aan is quite clear: ‘And do not marry Mushrik women until they become Muslims;’ (Surah Baqarah, verse 221) And I do not know of a greater form of shirk (polytheism) than to proclaim Eesa the son of Maryam or any servant of Allah as one's Lord and God.” (Ahkamul-Quran of Jassas). This is the statement of a Sahaabi of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) who was among the Fuqahaa of his times and a man very strict upon the Sunnah of Nabi Mohammed (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). According to most of the scholars such a Nikah or marriage is abominable due to the threat that faces the Imaan of Muslims.
The basis of their ruling is that when Hadhrat Umar bin Khattaab (Radhiyallaahu anhu) heard that Hadhrat Huzhaifa bin Yamaan (Radhiyallaahu anhu) had married a Jewish woman in Madaa-in, he commanded him in a letter to divorce her immediately. He wrote: “There is no chastity and honour among their (Jews and Christians) women. So I fear this may be the cause of lewdness and immorality developing within your homes.” Imam Mohammed bin Hasan Shaybaani narrates this incident from Imam Abu Hanifa in his Kitabul-Aathaar (page 156) and states that the exact words of Hadhrat Umar’s reply to Hadhrat Huzhaifa bin Yaman were: “I make it obligatory upon you that you shall not put down this letter of mine until you have released that woman from your Nikah, for I fear that other Muslims may follow you in this act and give preference in marriage to women of the Ahl-e-Kitab because of their beauty. And this in itself is a great Fitnah for Muslim women.”
Mufti Siraj Desai
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