Questions & Answers

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  Why can Muslim Men Marry non-Muslim Women when non-Muslim Men can not Marry Muslim Women?
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Questions such as why human beings were created, and why certain events occur as opposed to others, and why someone had to die and not another, can not be answered by the human mind in and of itself. A simple reason is the fact that human beings are not even able to uncover the mysteries of their own brain! The human mind is only able to identify existing rules, which Allah has put in nature, and use them to come up with new connections. That is why Allah,

  the One and Only Perfect Creator of the universe, has sent messengers, Prophets (peace be upon them all) since the beginning of time, from among the best of human beings, to guide human beings…

Why can Muslim Men Marry non-Muslim Women when non-Muslim Men can not Marry Muslim Women?


In general, the Muslim man is allowed to marry a Christian or a Jewish wife ( ONLY : Unbelievers are not allowed) since he believes in Jesus and Moses and he is the one responsible for spending on the family in Islam and hence has an upper hand in this respect. But if you take the opposite, if a believing Muslim woman marries a non-Muslim man, then he will not be abiding to Islam and he doesn't believe in Prophet Muhammad and hence will bother her in practicing Islam, and Islam is a total way of life. Let me explain further…


I will first have to address your implicit questioning about why men are responsible for the household and not vice versa. For this, I refer you to this article by Dr. Nabil Harun:

Men… One Degree Above Women? .

Also, while husbands are not obliged to sustain their wives in western family laws , the Muslim wife is exempted from spending her income - however big it is - on the family unless she would like to help in a voluntary way. This is while the husband is asked to sustain her fully, regardless of her wealth. If he doesn't do it, it becomes a reason for her to get a divorce. Also, in my country, as well as many Islamic countries, new mothers get fully paid long maternal leaves, which I know do not exist in western societies. Also women have their own separated sections in public transportation to avoid sexual harassment, that if they choose to use it, not obligatory (excerpt from ).

I commend you also to check the laws of family support in Islam. Here's the link: As you see, in Islam, everything is documented and it is a complete way of life with divine laws . And no one is above those laws…


Below is an excerpt from an answer by Dr. Muzammil Siddiqui on Islam Online when asked a similar question about interfaith marriages:

Here's the link: Marrying a Non-Muslim Male:

“As far as the interfaith marriages are concerned, Islam does not encourage them. The general rule of Islam is that Muslims should marry Muslims. A Muslim male or female should not marry a non-Muslim male or female. Allah Almighty says: “ Wed not idolatresses till they believe; for lo! a believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress though she please you; and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe, for lo! a believing slave is better than an idolater though he please you. These invite unto the Fire, and Allah inviteth unto the Garden, and unto forgiveness by His grace, and expoundeth thus His revelations to mankind that haply they may remember.” (Al-Baqarah: 221)

The only exception is given to Muslim men who are allowed to marry the girls from among the People of the Book . Allah Almighty says: “This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when ye give them their marriage portions and live with them in honor, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whoso denieth the faith, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter.” (Al-Ma'dah: 5)

For the satisfaction of your heart, let me explain why Muslim men are allowed to marry women from among the People of the Book and why Muslim women are not allowed to do so.

First of all, it is not an honor or a privilege to marry a non-Muslim. It is a burden and a big responsibility. It is better to abstain from such marriages. Muslim men who are living in non-Muslim countries in particular should not marry non-Muslim women. However, man being the head of his household is more capable to handle the needs and problems of his non-Muslim (Christian or Jewish) wife. Muslims believe that Moses and Jesus, peace and blessings be upon them all, were Prophets of Allah and so they give them full honor and respect.

Jews and Christians do not consider Prophet Muhammad , peace and blessings be upon him, as the Prophet of Allah. Thus they are unable to give the same respect and honor to him and to his followers. A Jewish or Christian woman with a Muslim husband will be in a much better position than a Muslim woman with a Jewish or a Christian husband. Even then, there are many non-Muslim women who married outside their faith say that they wish their religion too had forbidden them, because they know how difficult and hard it is to be the wife of a husband who has a different faith.

A Muslim woman should know that Allah has really honored her and made it easy for her by not allowing her to marry a non-Muslim man.

According to the Qur'an , the husband is the head of the household and his wife should obey him. Allah does not put the Muslim woman in a position that a non-Muslim becomes her head in her own private life. Allah has spared her to suffer from being under the authority of a non-Muslim husband.

Please abandon the idea of marrying a non-Muslim, unless he truly accepts Islam. If you marry a non-Muslim, this will be a major sin. You will be living in sin and your relationship with that non-Muslim will be illegitimate in the eyes of Allah. May Allah protect you from all sins, Amen.”

If you have any further comments, please don't hesitate to write back!”


These articles below should also answer your question:

Article (1) (Does the Non-Muslim Wife have to Convert?)

Article (2) (Monotheism as Prerequisite for Marriage):

Article (3) (Qualities to Look for in a Spouse):

Article (4) (Did the Prophet Marry 18 Slaves?)