I understand Allah has made it permissible for Muslim men to marry women of the book (al kitaab) who is chaste. Mashallah.

What if the woman is not chaste? Is it possible for her to become chaste? What are the requirements for her to become chaste?

This is for the sunni school of thought.

  • What do you mean by Chaste. Chaste means virgin. I googled it. How can a non-virgin become virgin? sorry if i am wrong. I dont know the meaning of chaste.
    – Hell Hater
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 17:23
  • OK, so that is true I suppose. But at one time or another, the person may not be Chaste so how can a Muslim marry a non-chaste woman? is it permissible? Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 18:40
  • This is an interesting question; I wonder whether whatever the ruling is, if the same applies to muslim women who were convicted of zina before.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 21:18

2 Answers 2


Chaste in the context of 5:5 and ahl-al-kitab may mean: A virgin, a woman who was legally married to a man before according an other shari'a and legally separated. So in first place this would mean a widow and maybe even a divorced lady, as as far as I know divorce isn't allowed for catholic Christians this wouldn't apply for many Christians.

So ladies of this kind would be considered halal for marriage.
Non-chaste would therefore mean they have an unlawful relationship or used to have affairs.

What if the woman is not chaste? Is it possible for her to become chaste? What are the requirements for her to become chaste?

A solution for this is sincere repentance according scholars (see for example this fatwa), and i couldn't find any fatwa restricting this for Muslims only. However in this fatwa (Arabic) it is said if a non-cahste woman among the people of the book converted a Muslim is allowed to marry her:

فإذا أسلمت الكتابية ، والتزمت العفاف : جاز للمسلم أن يتزوجها ، ولو سبق منها الزنا ، ما دامت قد تابت منه ، وعزمت على تركه وعدم العودة إليه .
--- (My own translation take it with care) ---
If a woman of the poeple of the book converted, and became chaste it would be allowed for a Muslim to marry her, even if she committed zina in her earlier life, as long as she repented sincerly and intended to keep away from it and never turn back to it.

This fatwa is based on the verse (8:38) which says that Islam practically washes away former sins. This could be understood as a clear statement that repentance is the key and it doesn't matter whether the person was a Muslim or among the poeple of the book.

So this is the first step anyhow, as we on the other side are prohibited from marrying a woman who commits zina (24:3). Once she she repents sincerely and stopped committing this sin (of zina) she would be considered chaste again.

The other solution would be for her to convert as:

Islam wipes out all the previous (misdeeds) (From sahih Muslim)

And this is the answer for your former question Modern world and marriage from the people of the book so please consider deleting it!

Of course scholars always recommend you to marry a Muslim girl, so one should go ahead trying to invite her to Islam

Then, invite them to Islam, and inform them what is enjoined upon them, for, by Allah, if Allah gives guidance to somebody through you, it is better for you than possessing red camels. (From sahih al-Bukhari)

The reasons quoted for the recommendation of a Muslima for marriage are:

  • the offspring being educated in an Islamic manner only when the mother is a Muslima. Else one doesn't know what will happen (this is what I often see in practice)
  • most of the nowadays living woman of ahl-al-kitab have no relation to their religion and are far away from it, so they are named Christians or Jews but in reality kufar as they don't follow the rules of their shari'a, are atheists or reject religion in the whole etc..
  • and back to the children, they could instead of growing up Muslims grow up Christians or Jews!
  • Mashallah - thank you for this brother. One quick question: What if the woman prior committed Zina before meeting a Muslim man and then decided that they both want to get married. Would it be made halal if she repents and make Taubah or is it haram to marry her? (As we know, ALOT of westerners commit zina, day in day out! But some do want to change for the better. Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 14:41
  • "so they are named Christians or Jews but in reality kufar or anything else" I thought ahl al-kitab are kuffar? But I understand the sentiment that other kuffar are farther from islam than ahl al-kitab.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 18:33
  • @G.Bach Quran made a distinction between ahl-al-kitab and named some of them those who disbelieve among the people of the book. So I follow this opinion and don't consider ahl-al kitab per se as kufar. I edited my answer to make clear what I meant.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 5:06
  • @Ahmedilyas I've already covered this in my answer, but now added a sentence to make it clear.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 6:48
  • 1
    @Medi1Saif Hm, al-Ghazali explicitly calls Jews and Christians kuffar, saying there are explicit texts about this as well as their rejection of Muhammad attesting to their status as kuffar (which makes their kufr the greater kind, not the lesser kind). Of course this does not apply to Jews and Christians before Muhammad, and in any text I read on this, the scholars of islam always say the Jews and Christians that will be rewarded for their faith are those before Muhammad. I was under the impression all this is not only uncontested, but the very dominant doctrinal position in this regard.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 9:05

And How the girl got non-chaste. is she a widow? or was she into a bad relationship? or was she a prostitute?.

If she is a widow, you should definitely marry her. because according to one Hadith Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) said one who support Widow or an orphan gets the benefit of Hijrath with Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) (Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) and some shahaabahs migrated from Makkah to Madina) or the benefit of fasting in day and praying in night for life time.

Here Benefit=Benefit in Afterlife, opposite to sin.

But if she was into a bad-relationship or in a prostitute. You can't marry her until she change to a good woman for Allah and Jannah.

  • She could be a revert for example.... or has had a divorce. or maybe she wants to remain a Christian but believes in 1 God (but not willing to convert to Muslim) Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 8:43
  • @Ahmedilyas You should not marry her if she doesn't believe in Islam.
    – Hell Hater
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 15:03
  • @Ahmedilyas You should not marry her if she doesn't believe in Islam. Eemaan means believe in 6 things whole-heartedly 1) One God. 2) Angels. 3) Four Holy Books(Injil, Thoura, Zaboor, Qur'aan). 4) Prophets. 5) After life(Heaven and Hell). 6) Fate. If anyone doesn't believe even one thing, She or He is not a Muslim. And a Muslim should not marry a non-Muslim.
    – Hell Hater
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 15:17
  • 3
    I understand what you are saying however Allah has given us permission to Marry someone of the people of the book. Please don't get confused with your personal opinion and what Allah has given us permission with. Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 17:07

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