He questions the marriage of a Muslim to a Christian woman
Fatwa No: 90235

  • Fatwa Date:23-6-2005 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 17, 1426
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I was amazed when I came across a situation in Sydney, Australia where a Muslim man has married a Christian lady. They have two children who are Muslim but the lady is still Christian. I have seen the Fatwa in this site where (correct me if I am wrong) you are allowed to do that with a woman from the people of the book. But then in this case, the man does his prayers inside his room while the woman has the statue of Jesus in her home and the cross on the walls. His children are not religious (which is understandable since they might not have a clue as to what's going on with mom and dad) but they have Muslim names. My question is, Is this allowed in Islam? Isn't he committing a sin by sleeping with a non-Muslim woman everyday? And what about his children is there any point in praying within his room when the children are left astray?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.


Allaah says (which means): {Lawful to you in marriage are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the scripture (Jews and Christians)}[Quran 5:5] The above verse is evidence that it is permissible to marry a woman from the people of the book provided she is chaste, so if a person marries a chaste woman from the people of the book he does not contradict the Islamic legislation and he is not sinful for having sexual intercourse with her (as his wife). As regards his children, they are considered Muslims as they follow their father; however, it is an obligation on him to nurture them in a way that they fulfill the religious obligations like the prayer, fasting and to have a good moral conduct which Islam advocates. If he fails to teach his children these moral principles while they are still young, he is sinful as he will be the reason for their deviation when they grew older. Therefore, the person you are talking about is neglectful about the right of his children as he left them wandering in the dark, as you mentioned, if he did not do his best to nurture them according to Islamic principles.

With regard to him praying in his room, it is an obligation on him to perform congregational prayers in the mosque unless he has a sound excuse in which case he is not sinful. For instance, if he does not hear the call to the prayer because the mosque is far from him or that there is no mosque in his area or if he lives in a non-Muslim country where mosques and Islamic centres are very scarce.

Furthermore, it is not permissible for him to allow a statue of 'Eesaa (Jesus)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention in his home, rather he is ordered to destroy it. Imaam Muslim may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reported that Abu Al-Hiyaaj Al-Asadi  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that 'Ali Ibn Abi Taalib sent him as an envoy and advised him saying: "I am going to send you exactly like the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sent me, to destroy all statutes and level all raised tombs."

Besides, it is not permissible for this man to allow the hanging of the cross in his home. Imaam Al-Bukhari may Allaah have mercy on him, reported that 'Aa'ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) destroyed anything which had a cross in his home.

Allaah Knows best.

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