Interfaith marriage

marriage between spouses professing different religions

Interfaith marriage, traditionally called "mixed marriage", is marriage between spouses professing different religions. Although interfaith marriages are most often contracted as civil marriages, in some instances they may be contracted as a religious marriage. This depends on religious prohibitions against the marriage by the religion of one (or both) spouses, based on religious doctrine or tradition.


  • 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.
    • (Surah 60:10)
  • Today the good things are made lawful for you, and the food of the ones to whom the Book was brought is lawful to you, and your food is made lawful to them. And (so) are believing women in wedlock, and in wedlock women of (the ones) to whom the Book was brought even before you when you have brought them their rewards in wedlock, other than in fornication, neither taking them to yourselves as mates (i.e., girl-friends). And whoever disbelieves in belief, (i.e., the religion) then his deed has been frustrated and in the Hereafter, he is among the losers.
    • (Surah 5:5)
  • "And do not marry Polytheist women until they believe, And a believing slave woman is better than a Polytheist women, even though she might please you. And do not marry Polytheist men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a Polytheist men, 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)
  • According to Mahommedan law, a man mat lawfully marry a kitabeeah, but marriage with a Pagan or polytheist is unlawful. But the principle in Mahommedan law is, that when one of the parties turns to a state of religion that would render the marriage contract illegal if it were still to be entered into, what was legal before is made void. A Mahommedan woman, becoming a kitabeah, does not render the marriage void, for there is nothing to render the marriage contract illegal if it were still to be entered into; but if the Mahommedan woman becomes an idolatress, the marriage is void, for the woman has turned to a state of religion that would render the marriage contract illegal if it were still to be entered into; a Mahommedan woman, becoming a Christian, consequently, would not be separated from her husband, because she belongs to the religion of the book, that is a kitabee faith. If a kitabeeah becomes an idolatress, the marriage is dissolved, but if she change from one religion to another, and still remain a kitabeeah, the marriage is not vitiated..."So far as regards a woman's apostatizing to a kitabee faith, this holds good; but if a woman turns to Paganism ipso facto the marriage is void, and does not depend upon the volition of the husband (having regard to the principle we have adverted to above), so that the husband under such circumstances could not maintain a suit for conjugal rights, ... By Mahommedan law, a marriage by a female Moslem with a man not of the Mahommedan faith is unlawful; applying the principle quoted before, the man having turned to a state of religion that would render the contract illegal if it were still to be entered into, the marriage is void. The apostasy of the husband dissolves the marriage tie; consequently there does exist an essential difference between apostasy of a man and of a woman, of the apostasy of the husband or the wife; also between apostasy to a faith in a book, that is, a revealed religion having a book of faith, and apostasy to the idol worship Mahommed and his followers renounce.
    • Hughes, T. P. (1986). Dictionary of Islam: : being a cyclopaedia of the doctrines, rites, ceremonies, and customs together with the technical and theological terms, of the Muhammadan religion. Entry DIVORCE.
  • In one respect alone Jahangir deviated from the policy of his father: he did not permit people to embrace Hinduism even of their own free will. He severely punished Kaukab, Sharif and Abdul Latif who, under the influence of a Sanyasi, showed inclination for Hinduism. This policy would have stopped any erosion of Muslim numbers. Besides, while on a visit to Kashmir, when he learnt that the Hindus and Muslims intermarried freely, “and both give and take girls (he ordered that) taking them is good but giving them, God Forbid”. And any violation of this order was to be visited with capital punishment. This indeed was in accordance with the Islamic law. As per the Shariat law a Muslim may marry a Jewess, or a Christian, or a Sabean, but “a marriage between a Musalman and... a Hindu is invalid”. Similarly, it “a female Muslim cannot under any circumstances marry a non-Muslim”. May be it was because of this that Akbar discouraged all kinds of intercommunal marriages. ...
    • Lal, K. S. (2012). Indian Muslims: Who are they.

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