Allah says in the Qu'ran:

الزَّانِي لَا يَنكِحُ إِلَّا زَانِيَةً أَوْ مُشْرِكَةً وَالزَّانِيَةُ لَا يَنكِحُهَا إِلَّا زَانٍ أَوْ مُشْرِكٌ ۚ وَحُرِّمَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
The fornicator does not marry except a [female] fornicator or polytheist, and none marries her except a fornicator or a polytheist, and that has been made unlawful to the believers.

[Verse 24:3]

In this answer, user 2350 stated (based on the above verse):

Basically Muslim are not permitted to marry a polytheist nor an adulterer, otherwise he/she will be considered as the same.

That means that you cannot get married to a polytheist.

Nowadays, most Christians believe in Trinity, which we say is polytheism. Does that mean marrying Christians is haram even though the Quran allows marriage to Christians?

This is not a duplicate of this because the question is about marrying non-chaste people of the book while my question is about marrying any Christian, be she chaste or not.


1 Answer 1


Verse 5:5 permits marriage with people who have been " given the book before you ":

والمحصنات من المؤمنات والمحصنات من الذين أوتوا الكتاب من قبلكم

And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you ...

Quran 5:5

And it is understood by the majority of the scholars that it includes Christians: trinitatians or otherwise.

This is because the Christians had similar beliefs in the time of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the Quran itself mentioned that Christians consider Jesus to be divine [5:72], and that they believe in trinity [5:73] and having that in mind it still did not exclude them in 5:5.

A group has opposed the above, because of the following verse:

And do not marry mushrikati (polytheistic women) until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry mushrikeena ( polytheistic men) [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you. Those invite [you] to the Fire, but Allah invites to Paradise and to forgiveness, by His permission. And He makes clear His verses to the people that perhaps they may remember.

Quran 2:221

They claim that 2:221 abrogates 5:5 and cited the view of Ibn Umar:

Whenever Ibn `Umar was asked about marrying a Christian lady or a Jewess, he would say: "Allah has made it unlawful for the believers to marry ladies who ascribe partners in worship to Allah, and I do not know of a greater thing, as regards to ascribing partners in worship, etc. to Allah, than that a lady should say that Jesus is her Lord although he is just one of Allah's slaves."


The majority however disagrees and their arguments include:

  • 2:221 is only about polytheist idolators and does not extend to Christians, since the Quran normally uses mushriqeen to only refer to the idolaters and the Christians are usually separately mentioned as Nasara or as Ahle Kitab (people of the book) ... for example consider:

    إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالصَّابِئِينَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ وَالْمَجُوسَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

    Indeed, those who have believed and those who were Jews and the Sabeans and the Christians and the Magians and those who associated with Allah - Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed Allah is, over all things, Witness.

    Quran 22:17

    مَّا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَلَا الْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

    Neither those who disbelieve from the People of the Scripture nor the polytheists wish that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord. But Allah selects for His mercy whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.

    Quran 2:105

    لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ مُنفَكِّينَ حَتَّىٰ تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ

    Those who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists were not to be parted [from misbelief] until there came to them clear evidence -

    Quran 98:1

  • The scope of the words is different. ahl al-kitab is more specific than mushrikeen which is general, so 5:5 makes an exception in the general ruling of 2:221. The complete command is to not marry polytheists except people of the book. This is an example of تخصيص in عموم and there are several other examples of this.

  • 5:5 abrogated 2:221 it in their regard, since al-Maidah was revealed after al-Baqarah.

  • Marriage with people of the book is cited from some of the Sahaba including the caliph Uthman ibn Affan who married Na'ila bint al-Furafisa while she was a Christian.

There is a detailed discussion of this and the arguments and counter-arguments in:

Tafsir Al Jassas on 2:221 and 5:5
Tafsir Al Qurtubi on 2:221 and 5:5

  • 1
    As verse 5:5 is a clear continuation of verse 5:4 which declars that the religion (shari'a) is complete anybody pretending it is abrogated is saying the quran is self-contradoctory. As there can't be any verse including a new ruling after the revelation of 5:4! Quran also quotes the different types if christians so i clearly disagree with this opinion as it disagrees with the quran.
    – Medi1Saif
    May 27, 2017 at 13:36
  • @Medi1Saif verse 5:4 doesn't seem to talk about the fact as u mentioned: "the religion (shari'a) is complete." And also if you don't mind explaining which opinion you clearly disagree with that contradicts the Quran? Jun 8, 2020 at 7:07
  • @UmH Would you say, Muslims women can marry male people of the book? From what I know ( I might be wrong) that there's no clear ruling against Muslim women not being able to marry non-muslim men, who are the people of the book? What ure opinion on that? Jun 8, 2020 at 7:08
  • @EPICTubeHD I originally mentioned my personal opinion in the answer that Christians should not be married, Medi1Saif was referring to that, I've retracted my opinion from the answer. Also the verse he is referring to is 5:3. As for your question, Muslim women can not marry any Kafir because of e.g. 60:10 فلا ترجعوهن إلى الكفار لا هن حل لهم ولا هم يحلون لهن is general and there is no evidence of an exception being made for them for the people of the book.
    – UmH
    Jun 8, 2020 at 7:12
  • @UmH I wasn't referring to Kafirs...but rather the people of the book, for example the jews and the Christians. Are Muslims women allowed to marry say Christians or jews? If no, are u saying it's unlawful only becuz there's no evidence for it in the Quran or sunnah? Jun 8, 2020 at 7:16

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