Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
First of all, i would like to thank you for this wonderful Q&A forum that has so much of information to guide us. I have always wondered about legality or acceptance of inter-religious marriage, especially of those who are ahlul kitab. Is a Man or a Woman allowed to marry someone outside their sect, say for the sake of example, a shia or a sunni? Are there any special rules for such marriages? Thanking you for your help.
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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 221:Do not marry mushrik women unless they believeLikewise, do not wed your women to mushrik men unless they believe..The mushrik people invite you to the Fire, while Allah by His grace invites you to the Garden and His Pardon, and He makes His revelations plain to the people so that they should learn a lesson and follow the admonition.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 5:Likewise you are permitted to marry believing chaste women, and chaste women from among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), provided that you give them their due mahr and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues.
Thus according to Islam in light of the above and other aayahs of the Holy Quran, and the traditions of the Prophet (saws), the following guidance should be followed in marriage:
For a man:
Allowed to marry any chaste muslim women.
Allowed to marry chaste women of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians).
Not allowed to marry any mushrik women (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhist, etc), unless they believe.
For a woman:
Allowed to marry any muslim man.
Not allowed to marry men from the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), unless they believe.
Not allowed to marry mushrik men, unless they believe.
Ref: Shia Sunni Marriage:
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 5:Likewise you are permitted to marry believing chaste women, and chaste women from among the people of the Book (Jews and Christians), provided that you give them their due mahr and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues.
As long as the person believes in Allah as his/her Lord and Creator, believes in Mohamed (saws) as the Last Messenger, believes in the Divine Message of the Holy Quran, and declares the testification of Islam: Laa Ilaaha illallaah, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah they will be deemed as muslims; and Allah has permitted the believers to marry amongst each other.
Allah has allowed a believing man to marry a non-mehram believing woman; thus a marriage between a Shia and Sunni is absolutely legal and permitted in Islam. They should be married in the same way as taught in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws); and there are no special rules for this marriage.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,