Ruling on marrying from the Ahlul Kitaab of our era.

Ruling on marrying from the Ahlul Kitaab of our era.
Question no. 1421

In the name of Allah, peace and blessings on the messenger of Allah.
It is allowed to  marry ahlul-kitaab but haram to marry idol worshippers. However some are of the opinion that today’s christians and jews are also idol worshippers since they claim that Allah is the third of three and also similar thing applies to the jews of today.
Can we still regard them as people of the book? This is my question may Allah bless you and reward you the best of rewards.

Questioner Mujahid fee Sabeelilah

In the name of Allah peace and blessings on the messenger of Allah. The ruling can be established on two points:
one: the principal ruling
two: advantages and disadvantages attached


the foundation is that marrying the people of the book is Mubah and this is the position of the early scholars.
Due to the saying of Allah:

“This day are all sure things made lawful unto you. The food of the people of the book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (And also lawful in marriage) are (muhsanaat) chaste women who are believers and chaste women who are among the people of the book revealed before your time when you have given them their dowers…..”

[Suratul Maaidah Aayah 6]

Muhammad Tahir said in his Tafseer:

“this is why the majority of scholars have permitted a muslim man to marry a woman from the Ahlul Kitaab apart from the Mushrikah and the Magians and this is the position of the four Imams, Awzaai and Athawri.
[Tahreer wa Tanweer]

Qurtubi said in his Tafseer: “it was reported from Ibn Abbas on the word of Allah :

“…and the muhsanaat (chaste) women among the people of the book…” -this refers to the people of convencou and not the people of war (daarulharb)”

and others have said:
it is allowed to marry both a Dhimi and an harbi due to the generality of the aayah.

It is also reported from Ibn Abbas that he said “al-muhsanaat” meanss “chaste, virtueous and rational”

The people of knowledge have stated  condition for marrying people of the book like : chastity, purity, guaranty of security for one’s self and children and that he should not arbitrarily reject muslim women and it must be established that the woman is truly ahlul kitaab.

As regards their saying that Allah is  three in one (or one of three) this does not prevent us from marrying their women for Allah has permitted this just as he permitted their slaughtered meats, and peace contracts despite this statement of theirs (which they have been saying from the time of the prophet).

Advantages and Disadvantages Attached.

What is known is that some rulings change with place and time. Therefore the Mufti who has access to the text must apply it to the current situation for that reason, before establishing the ruling, some points need to be noted:-

~one: Umar bn Khattab in his time -and that was when Islam had power and Strength of mobility and the laws of Islam prevailed-ordered the sahaabah who married a woman of ahlul kitaab to divorce her. Ibn Katheer reported in his Tafseer:

“from Shaqeeq he said: Huzayfah married a Jewish woman so, Umar wrote to him: ‘divorce her’ and he wrote back: ‘ do you claim that it is haram so I can divorce her?’ Umar replied : “I do not claim she is haram but I’m afraid that you practise Muumisaat”
[Ibn Katheer said : the chain is authentic]

Abdurazzaq reported in Al-Musanaf:

from Aamir bn Abdullah bn Nustas:  that Talhah bn Ubaydullah married the daughter of a Jewish leader, he said: Umar pressured him until he divorced her.

And Umar may Allah be pleased with him did not make haraam the marrying of those people just as it was reported -I do not claim she is haram- but his point was “but I’m afraid you practise Muumisaat”.

So what do you think of Umar if he were to witness the current situation of ours and this is the point we wish to establish secondly.

~two: weakness of muslims, their defeat and control of Kuffar over them also, the absence of an Islamis state, the rule of mammade laws which permits apostasy and protects Kufr and this has led several times to dangers during divorce which might lead to the seizure of the children, transfer to the land of Kufr and possible christianization.

~thirdly: most of those who want to marry christians are youths who are lackey in their deen and their desires and western civilization has overwhelmed. So, how will this youth who is weak in Eeman be able to train his children on Islam while the wife has the right to drink alcohol, wear the cross witnut any prevention, Imam Maalik said in Al-Mudaawanah:

“It is her right to eat pork, drink alcohol and go to her church without being prevented”

what is apparent to me considering the fiqh of Ma’aalat, Sad dharaa’i and the principle of  dar’i al Mafaasid is more important  than gathering benefits (Jalb al-Masaalih). Therefore it is haram to marry the ahlul kitaab of this era except under extreme circumstances. And Allah knows best.

Answered by Sheikh Abu Usaamah Ash-Shaami.


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