What are the reasons or justifications provided in the holy book of the Quran for not having interfaith marriage?
If two humans from different religions (one Muslim and one non-Muslim) like/love each other and want to get married, then why Islam prohibits this given that both are the creations of the same superior almighty Allah?

3 Answers 3


Allah does not need to provide a reason or justification for His commands. The primary purpose of commandments is to test compliance, and it is not necessary to give any reason or benefit behind it.

إنما كان قول المؤمنين إذا دعوا إلى الله ورسوله ليحكم بينهم أن يقولوا سمعنا وأطعنا وأولئك هم المفلحون

The only statement of the [true] believers when they are called to Allah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, "We hear and we obey." And those are the successful.

Quran 24:51 also see 4:65

However, many scholars have held that a reason for not allowing interfaith marriage is stated within the Quran:

ولا تنكحوا المشركات حتى يؤمن ولأمة مؤمنة خير من مشركة ولو أعجبتكم ولا تنكحوا المشركين حتى يؤمنوا ولعبد مؤمن خير من مشرك ولو أعجبكم أولئك يدعون إلى النار والله يدعو إلى الجنة والمغفرة بإذنه ويبين آياته للناس لعلهم يتذكرون

And do not marry 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 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

Meaning that the non-muslim will influence the Muslim spouse and their children towards the false religion and towards other sins which are considered lawful in their religion - which if successful would lead the Muslim spouse and the children to Hellfire in the Hereafter. Whatever can lead to Haram must be avoided.

Especially parents are the ones who educate their children, and children are inclined to imitate their parents and to share their beliefs. Hence a Muslim must choose a spouse who is going to be better their own Iman and for the Iman of their children. A non-muslim is not a good choice.

Further, Islam generally teaches disapproval towards non-Muslims because of their Kufr:

لا تجد قوما يؤمنون بالله واليوم الآخر يوادون من حاد الله ورسوله ولو كانوا آباءهم أو أبناءهم أو إخوانهم أو عشيرتهم

You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred.

Quran 58:22

قد كانت لكم أسوة حسنة في إبراهيم والذين معه إذ قالوا لقومهم إنا برآء منكم ومما تعبدون من دون الله كفرنا بكم وبدا بيننا وبينكم العداوة والبغضاء أبدا حتى تؤمنوا بالله وحده

There has already been for you an excellent pattern in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, "Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone"

Quran 60:4

Whereas marriage is a method of forming new bonds of kinship and can lead to affection and love for the disbelievers. A Muslim is meant to be fervently loyal to Islam and does not love those who have negative opinions about Allah and the Prophet ﷺ and those on whom Allah is angry. Also see Love towards non believers

  • Quran 5:5, which is also one of the last ayahs to be revealed, allows interfaith marriage for Muslim men and women from the people of the book, Christians and Jews. This is unanimously agreed upon.
    – YoMango
    Mar 31, 2023 at 21:47
  • @YoMango That is an exception not the rule, the question is not asking about that exception, rather it is about interfaith marriage in general. If a question asks "why can't you eat pork?" I am not going to answer that a starving person can eat pork during famine. Please read the question carfully: What are the reasons or justifications provided in the holy book of the Quran for not having interfaith marriage?
    – UmH
    Apr 1, 2023 at 5:06
  • Also keep in mind that while marriage to Jews and Christians is permissible, it it is also widely held that it is makruh.
    – UmH
    Apr 1, 2023 at 5:10
  • Some scholars view it as makruh, but there is no ijma regarding this. It is 100% agreed upon, so ijma, that interfaith marriage between Muslim male and People of the book females is allowed. While it is a exception to the rule, it's also a modification, an update to it. This is not a 1 time thing for a certain time period or historically localized, it applies all time. Your answer is misleading, you didn't mention this crucial point that matters significantly, based off your answer alone, one would think that Muslims can only marry Muslims. You need to update your answer.
    – YoMango
    Apr 1, 2023 at 6:38
  • 2
    @YoMango I don't need to answer something which is not asked in the question. But I might mention it if I feel like it. Further it is not some but most scholars who view it as makruh, some sources even claim agreement. And your claim of Ijma' also has nuances e.g. Ibn Umar considered it haram, and some differentiated between a Harbi and a Dhimmi (such as the Hanafis and Ibn Abbas), and some (such as the Shafi'is) differentiated between the Israelites and those who converted to Judeo-Christanity from a different religion, and some differentiated between the free and the slaves.
    – UmH
    Apr 1, 2023 at 7:15

Quick Answer: Interfaith marriage is only allowed between Muslim men and women from the People of the Book, meaning Christians and Jews.

There are particularly two ayahs in the Quran, 2:221 and 60:10, that explicitly mention that a Muslim cannot marry a non-believer.

Do not marry polytheistic women until they believe; for a believing slave-woman is better than a free polytheist, even though she may look pleasant to you. And do not marry your women to polytheistic men until they believe, for a believing slave-man is better than a free polytheist, even though he may look pleasant to you. They invite ˹you˺ to the Fire while Allah invites ˹you˺ to Paradise and forgiveness by His grace. He makes His revelations clear to the people so perhaps they will be mindful.

Quran 2:221

O believers! When the believing women come to you as emigrants, test their intentions—their faith is best known to Allah—and if you find them to be believers, then do not send them back to the disbelievers. These ˹women˺ are not lawful ˹wives˺ for the disbelievers, nor are the disbelievers lawful ˹husbands˺ for them. ˹But˺ repay the disbelievers whatever ˹dowries˺ they had paid. And there is no blame on you if you marry these ˹women˺ as long as you pay them their dowries. And do not hold on to marriage with polytheistic women. ˹But˺ demand ˹repayment of˺ whatever ˹dowries˺ you had paid, and let the disbelievers do the same. That is the judgment of Allah—He judges between you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

Quran 60:10

But Quran 5:5, one of the last ayahs to be revealed for the Quran, has made an exception for Muslim males allowing them to marry women from the People of the Book meaning Christians and Jews. Ibn Kathir has made this claim as well.

Today all good, pure foods have been made lawful for you. Similarly, the food of the People of the Book is permissible for you and yours is permissible for them. And ˹permissible for you in marriage˺ are chaste believing women as well as chaste women of those given the Scripture before you—as long as you pay them their dowries in wedlock, neither fornicating nor taking them as mistresses. And whoever rejects the faith, all their good deeds will be void ˹in this life˺ and in the Hereafter they will be among the losers.

Quran 5:5

((Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from those who were given the Scripture before your time) Therefore, they made this Ayah an exception to the Ayah in Surat Al-Baqarah,

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Quran 5:5

Ibn Kathir also mentions that the Sahaba, companions of the Prophet, have married Christian women and saw nothing wrong with it.

((Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture before your time) they married women from the People of the Book. " Some of the Companions married Christian women and did not see any problem in this, relying on the honorable Ayah,

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Quran 5:5

Reasoning behind the Ruling

The primary objective of limiting interfaith marriages is to preserve Islamic values and religious practices within the family unit, including the husband, wife, and children.

For perspective, the Christian and Jewish faiths prohibit interfaith marriage entirely for this same purpose of preserving their religion:

You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.

Deuteronomy 7:3-4, ESV

I'd also like to make clear that the reasons why interfaith marriage is limited for Muslim men and not allowed for Muslim women are not because of anything rooted in hatred or misogyny.

Islamic scholars have provided several reasonings for why a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man. One of the primary reasons is to protect the Muslim wife's right to practice her religion, as there is no guarantee that a non-Muslim husband would respect or facilitate her religious observances. In addition, it is often argued that the father is traditionally seen as the head of the household, and as such, may have significant influence that could be contrary to Islamic values. By prohibiting Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men, this rule aims to safeguard their religious beliefs and practices, as well as maintain the integrity of the family unit according to Islamic principles.

Read more here:

  • Thanks for this well-explained answer.
    – Ganit
    Apr 1, 2023 at 8:27
  • I just want to understand more about why marriages with People of the Book allowed. Can you please help me understand this?
    – Ganit
    Apr 1, 2023 at 8:46
  • This exception was made because Islam and People of the Book share a common heritage (Abraham) and beliefs. Islam is a successor to these religions. There are multiple reasons speculated. Some Muslim men, throughout history and today, live in non-Muslim majority countries so their options could be or are limited. Especially in the early days of Islam where Islam was new and was spreading across the world and unsurprisingly many Muslim male converts who were already married to a POB woman didn't have to divorce and could maintain their marriages. And also influence their families to Islam.
    – YoMango
    Apr 1, 2023 at 21:39
  • Some other reasons argued is that this was allowed to encourage good relations and promote peaceful coexistence between Muslims and POB, that this exception was made to prevent Muslim men from engaging in illicit relationships with POB women (especially if there aren't many Muslims in their environment), and/or that the exception was made due to the similarities between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, which share a common belief in one God, albeit differently, and have similar values and ethics.
    – YoMango
    Apr 1, 2023 at 21:50
  • Abdullah Ibn Umar used to say it is not allowed to marry christians either. I think he believed the verse permitting that was abrogated
    – Hisham
    Apr 1, 2023 at 22:26

It causes a prioritization of worldly states over hereafterly states. Everyone in the Paradise will love each other, because they all shared something common: Monotheism.

No two people in hell will love each other, because they distracted each other from remembrance of Allah and deluded each other.

In the Noble Qur'an, we learn that on the day of judgment people will be running from each other. This is because, when the topic of worldly benefit is ended, there's absolutely nothing left between Muslims and Non-Muslims.

The worldly requirement for us is like that in the hereafter, that we love all those and only those who we will love eternally. Otherwise it's a delusion that will be ended by death, so we prepare for that day in advance.

Secondly the love for each other not for Allah's sake is fuelled by the carnal soul. I can think of two consequences:

  • It causes reliance on pretending. Few will ever tell his partner that (s)he loves him/her for his/her money. Or maybe for another silly reason. Maybe he just loves one for green eyes? These are things that partners hide during marriage because their marriage is based on flawed assumptions.
  • It is unlikely to form a stable family. A family involves well-raised children, but if one relies on his carnal soul for love, the future is bleak, at any point (s)he can find someone more superior than him/her in anything, then the family is over. Moreover, a love marriage is the opposite of marriage of compatibility, so before marriage, everything will be fine, but after marriage, they will find out that they disagree on too many things.
  • It normalizes working for the carnal soul. Islam teaches us to be rational in everything. We don't eat to fill the stomach. We don't get married to satisfy our lusts.

Thirdly, everything one has around him has an effect on his heart. So if a heart opens itself to someone who disagrees with him at a low level, he's opening himself to all kinds of influences, and this is prioritization of the world over religion and if he reminded himself that it was Allah who moved everyone's hearts however He wills, he wouldn't have acted for his carnal soul.

  • I think your response to my question, answers marriage in general in and not interfaith marriage in specific.<br> 1. It causes a prioritization of worldly states over hereafterly states. ==> This can happen in any type of marriage.<br> 2. Secondly the love for each other not for Allah's sake is fuelled by the carnal soul. ==> Again this carnal desire can be there in any type of marriage whether it's between Muslim-Muslim, Muslim-Christian/Jews and Muslim-Non-Muslim.
    – Ganit
    Apr 1, 2023 at 8:35

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