This question has come up many times before.
MARRIAGE WITH WOMEN AMONG PEOPLE OF THE BOOK
Q: Is it allowed? – Taseer Cheema, M.D.
Answer: Let us begin with verse 5:5.
5:5 This Day, all good things of your choice are made lawful for you. The food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous, chaste women of the believers and the virtuous, chaste women of those who were given the Scripture before you (provided they do not associate anyone with God 2:221). But you must give them their marriage portions, wealth and property, and live with them in honor, not in fornication, nor as secret lovers. (It must be an honest wedlock 4:24.) Anyone who rejects belief, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter.
[This verse, in addition to some others, excludes Muslim women from marrying men among People of the Book. The reason seems obvious. Jews deny the last two Prophets of God, Jesus and Muhammad. Christians deny Muhammad (S). A Muslim woman would have to hear insults against two of her revered Prophets, Jesus and Muhammad, in a Jewish environments, and against Prophet Muhammad in a Christian milieu. 3:118 (Qur’anic Ideology will always be the basis of an Islamic state.) O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not take as confidant intimates any but your own people. The rejecters leave no stone unturned in order to disrupt the harmony in your social fabric, and love to see you in distress. Their malice has already become manifest by their utterances, and what their hearts conceal is far greater yet. We have made plain the revelations for you so that you may use your intellect.
Among People of the Book, the permission applies only to women who are Unitarian Christians. Muslim women are allowed to marry Muslim men only and so are the Muslim men allowed to marry Muslim women alone. Reason: Except for the Unitarian Christians (Only about five million in the world today), Jews and Christians are most certainly Mushriks, and hence the permission applies to Unitarian Christian women only. During the revelation of the Qur'an, at least 40 percent of Christians were Unitarian. In the forthcoming centuries, numerous Christian Councils on the line of Nicea and Trent made interpolations in the Bible and declared Jesus as THE SON OF GOD and one of the "Godhead" in Trinity]
9:30 The Jews say, “Uzayr is God’s son,” while the Christians say, “The Messiah is God’s son.” They only utter baseless themes with their mouths, following the assertions made in earlier times by people who denied the truth. God condemns them. They are deluded.
[Many Jews in the Arabian Peninsula used to believe that Osiris, the Egyptian idol, was God’s Son while others thought of Ezra, who restored the Torah after it had been lost in the Babylonian Exile, as God’s Son. Uzayr applies to Ezra as well as Osiris. See 20:88]
9:31 They take their rabbis, priests and monks to be their Lords* besides God. And they take as their Lord, the Messiah son of Mary. Yet they were commanded to worship but One God. There is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him, He is far too Glorious for what they ascribe to Him.
[*Talmud shows the Jewish belief in the divinity to Ezra, rabbis, saints, doctors of law and learned men. And the doctrine of Papal infallibility, divinity of saints and praying to them are common in the Roman Catholic Church. Hence, their SHIRK is obvious.]
Can a Muslim woman marry a Christian man?
Can I, a Muslim woman, marry a Christian man? (Wafa Nadir)
Can a Muslim woman marry a Christian man without both of them converting to each others religion? What is the take of our holy book, the Quran, on this? (Wafa Nadir and Mahmud Sultan, Palestine)
A. “Converting” for the sake of marriage is an oxymoron.
“Iman” is not like the Christian “Faith” such that you utter a few words and lo and behold! You are a Muslim. IMAN is an action and state of mind: Believing in the truth with total conviction of heart and mind only after due study and reflection.
You have requested the explanation of the Divine commands about Muslim men marrying women from People of the Book and Muslim women marrying men from People of the Book.
Can I, a Muslim man, marry a Christian woman?
You can marry any girl. The question is whether you should marry ‘any’ girl. Restricting ourselves to your question, please know that Muslim men frequently think that the Qur’an allows them to marry women from People of the Book. But they often forget the other most important criterion mentioned in the same verse (5:5) in the Qur’an. And that criterion is virtue and chastity. At the risk of being critical, I must say the well-known truth that, with the dating practice accepted as the norm in the West, chastity is a rare entity among men and women in the Western society. In fact, this has been an ancient deplorable phenomenon among them.
Hazrat Umar, the second Caliph of Islam, had prohibited Muslims from marrying women from among the People of the Book on the same grounds. He used to stress on the word ‘Muhsanaat’ (chaste, virtuous women). He also said that if Muslim men started marrying these women, Muslim women would face problems finding a reasonable match.
Additionally, we observe that such mixed marriages seldom have a happy ending due to religious and cultural differences. Moreover, any children born out of such marriages live a confused life in religious and cultural areas.
Shabbir, a life-long student