Muslim women are not allowed under any circumstances to get married to a non-Muslims including Christians and Jews (Ahlul Kitab). While Muslim men are allowed to marry non-Muslim women if they were Christians or Jews. Why the difference?

God said in Quran:

الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَكُمْ وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلٌّ لَهُمْ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ إِذَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ وَلا مُتَّخِذِي أَخْدَانٍ وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالْأِيمَانِ فَقَدْ حَبِطَ عَمَلُهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. And whoever denies the faith - his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. [5:5]

"who were given the Scripture before" are (Ahlul Kitab).

  • There is no rule in Islam that says such thing, nor proof from the Quran and Sunnah, please take a look at my answer here: islam.stackexchange.com/q/25721/12537
    – user12537
    Jul 25, 2015 at 14:40

4 Answers 4


Muslim women should be married to Muslim men to make sure that her kids will grow up in an Islamic Environment.

And also because the non-Muslim husband could prevent his kids from being Muslims.


It was allowed for a while. If you read Ayahs chronologically you see that after a while Ahlul Kitab changed their way and became Mushrik:

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ ابْنُ اللَّهِ وَقَالَتِ النَّصَارَى الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ اللَّهِ ذَٰلِكَ قَوْلُهُم بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ يُضَاهِئُونَ قَوْلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن قَبْلُ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ ﴿التوبة: ٣٠﴾

The Jews say, 'Ezra is the Son of God'; the Christians say, 'The Messiah is the Son of God.' That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them. God assail them! How they are perverted!


وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُم بَلْ أَنتُم بَشَرٌ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ يَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ ﴿المائدة: ١٨﴾

Say the Jews and Christians, 'We are the sons of God, and His beloved ones.' Say: 'Why then does He chastise you for your sins? No; you are mortals, of His creating; He forgives whom He will, and He chastises whom He will.' For to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them; to Him is the homecoming.


وَقَالُوا كُونُوا هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَىٰ تَهْتَدُوا قُلْ بَلْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴿البقرة: ١٣٥﴾

And they say, 'Be Jews or Christians and you shall be guided.' Say thou: 'Nay, rather the creed of Abraham, a man of pure faith; he was no Mushrik.'

After it Muslims are not allowed to marry with them:

وَلَا تَنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنَّ ۚ وَلَأَمَةٌ مُّؤْمِنَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكَةٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ ۗ وَلَا تُنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنُوا ۚ وَلَعَبْدٌ مُّؤْمِنٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكُمْ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ ۖ وَاللَّهُ يَدْعُو إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ بِإِذْنِهِ ۖ وَيُبَيِّنُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ

Do not marry Mushrik women, until they believe; a believing servant is better than an Mushrik women, though you may admire her. And do not marry Mushrik men, until they believe. A believing servant is better than an Mushrik, though you may admire him. Those call unto the Fire; and God calls unto Paradise, and pardon, by His leave, and He makes clear His signs to the people; haply they will remember.

  • 2
    Is this reading of the ayahs supported by scholarly opinion? Could you label the Ayahs please? Aug 7, 2012 at 18:01
  • 1
    What about one of the last revealed Verse in the Quran who refute your whole answer legacy.quran.com/5/5 and which have been mentioned by OP?
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 15, 2016 at 10:33
  • @Medi1Saif You see that nowaday Christians refer to Jeseus as God. According to Quran they are mushrik. So the ayah you mentioned can not be recent ayah. You should find out order of revelation through Quran not fake histories. Otherwise your view will be distorted by those who deliberately fabricated histoy.
    – Bhribayli
    Apr 16, 2016 at 12:32
  • This is nothing new as the Quran already states this. In your opinion whst should the final verse of the Quran be. If not a verse telling us that the message have been termimated?
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 17, 2016 at 18:47
  • This is nothing new as the Quran already states this. In your opinion what should the final verse of the Quran be. If not a verse telling us that the message have been terminated? And it's this Verse whom scholars used to build on the shari'a rule about marrying (only, because of verse 4:24) free chaste women from the people of the book (see for example tafsir al-Qurtubi library.islamweb.net/newlibrary/…)!
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 21, 2016 at 9:41

The question is a bit faulty. Let me clarify some points before answering it:

Muslim women can marry non-Muslims in non-Muslim countries if they want. However, such marriages are not recognized in Islam. Islam does not allow Muslim women to marry non-Muslims. The Quran says:

Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise. - Quran 2:221

Muslim man are not allowed to marry all non-Muslim women. Only chaste women of people of the book are allowed. The Quran 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 you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye 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). - Quran 5:5

It is important to note that lawful are not all the women of the People of the Book but only the chaste ones (chaste in this context means, the girls who desire chastity and refrain from illegal sexual intercourse). Both Muslim women and men are prohibited to marry polytheists, Buddhists and atheists.

Why are Muslim women prohibited from marrying non-Muslims?

The primary reason is because the Quran prohibits it. The Quran says in chapter 60 verse 10:

O ye who believe! When there come to you believing women refugees, examine (and test) them: Allah knows best as to their Faith: if ye ascertain that they are Believers, then send them not back to the Unbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the Unbelievers, nor are the (Unbelievers) lawful (husbands) for them. But pay the Unbelievers what they have spent (on their dower), and there will be no blame on you if ye marry them on payment of their dower to them. But hold not to the guardianship of unbelieving women: ask for what ye have spent on their dowers, and let the (Unbelievers) ask for what they have spent (on the dowers of women who come over to you). Such is the command of Allah. He judges (with justice) between you. And Allah is Full of Knowledge and Wisdom. -- 60:10

If women were allowed to marry non-Muslim men, then her children would grow up in a environment where he is more likely to fall into disbelief. Naturally men are stronger and generally they have a dominant position in the house. Allowing a non-Muslim authority over a believer is not acceptable in Islam.

  • But many non-Muslims are believers. Most of the proclaim to be monotheistic too. In fact, for many, there is just on God, regardless of the name you call it. This is the position among many Christians. That the God is the same. In fact, they cannot be different, as there is only one God! So these verses do not seem to apply to monotheistic non-Muslim men.
    – luchonacho
    Nov 22, 2018 at 14:35

the reason of rules of Islam are not said in Islam. only in some cases is said by prophet and Ahl Bayt. but in many cases the reasons is not said. in some cases the reason is said by prophet and Ahl Bayt that can be considered the opinion of Islam. but in other cases it is only the personal opinion of the writer or the scholar who have said that reason and can be considered only as an possibility. when some one do research and ensure God exist and Islam is the truth and accepted religion by God and is the path to enter Paradise and meet God then should accept all its rules even if do nor know the reason of rules of Islam.

but as a possibility this can be the reason: because usually women are follower of their husband and Naturally man is the boss of family in topics like religion and politics and this is for nature of man and woman so if a Muslim woman marry a non Muslim man most probably after times the woman will leave his religion and this causes the decrease of population of Muslims and also the children will follow the religion of father most probably. and finally this will be a harm to Islam in long term and will decrease growth of Muslims population.

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