Being married to a Christian wife
Fatwa No: 90298

  • Fatwa Date:12-7-2005 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 6, 1426
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Question

I am a Muslim, I am married to my wife for 26 years, she remain Christian, and she will never change to Islam but my children became true Muslim, and my wife happy with that (they decide to be Muslim by themselves). Now how is the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, Mohammed situation with his wife Mary Al-Koptia did she became a Muslim after he married her, am I living in sin with my Christian wife?

Answer

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  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

A Muslim is allowed to get married to a woman from the People of the Book whether she is a Christian or a Jew though it is preferable to marry a Muslim woman.

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 88451.

Regarding the mutual rights between a husband and a wife, the rights of a Christian wife are the same as for the Muslim wife. Moreover, the husband should not object to his wife adhering to Christianity, nor should he prevent her from practicing what is considered to be compulsory in her religion such as fasting even if it deprives him from some of his rights. In addition, he cannot force her to do what is forbidden in her religion even if it denies some of his rights.

Apart from the abovementioned cases, the husband has the right to prevent his Christian wife from doing other things that contradict his rights. For example, he has the right to force her to perform Ghusl (a ritual bath) after her menses stops.

He can also prevent her from doing lawful things. On her part, she has to be as obedient to her husband as the Muslim wife as long as she will not be harmed.

The Muslim husband should treat his Christian or Jewish wife kindly, and one of the acts that reflect kindness the most is to call her to Islam and clarify the grandeur of this religion so that she might be guided to the Straight Path of Allaah. The most important task of the husband is to raise his children according to Muslim manners and creed.

As for Maria Al-Qibtiyya, she was not one of the Prophet's wives. Yet, he used to have sex with her as an owned woman slave. According to the historians and authors of Seerah (the Prophet's biography), Hateb Ibn Abu Balta'ah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him succeeded in making her embrace Islam before she went to meet the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) in Madeenah.

Allaah Knows best.

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