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.


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

Quran 5:5 ... And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you ...

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 (p.b.u.h) and the Quran itself mentioned that Christians consider Jesus to be divine [5:72], and that they believe in trinity [5:73] and knowing that, it did not specifically exclude them in 5:5.

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

Quran 2:221 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.

And cited the view of Ibn Umar:

Saheeh Bukhari 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, argues that 2:221 is 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 (meaning Christians) or as Ahle Kitab (people of the book) ... for example consider:

Quran 22:17

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 2:105

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 98:1

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 -

Another group holds that if 2:221 included the People of the Book then 5:5 abrogated it in their regard, since Maidah was revealed after Baqarah.

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

I'll add in my personal opinion (against the majority view): I believe that Christians shouldn't be included in 5:5 and should be excluded because of the spirit (if not the literal meaning) of 2:221, and that 5:5 should only be limited to practicing Jews and those among the Christians who are Unitarian and observe the laws of the Torah.

  • 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 '17 at 13:36

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