Fatwa: # 18518
Category: Marriage
Country: Canada
Date: 25th February 2010


I am a Canadian Muslim. I have two sons and one daughter. My son who is 28 years old would like to marry a 20 year old Christian girl. I know Islam permits marriage with Ahl-e-Kitab. The question is that I live in a remote place where there is no Muslim around.


I am a Canadian Muslim. I have two sons and one daughter. My son who is 28 years old would like to marry a 20 year old Christian girl. I know Islam permits marriage with Ahl-e-Kitab. The question is that I live in a remote place where there is no Muslim around. My wife, my 29 year old daughter and my 24 year old son will be the only witness. Is it allowed to have two ladies and one 24 yeal old boy as witness. Moroever I will be the one who will perform Nikah. Please send me the ruling and the procedure how to perform Nikah. It will be in Arabic, but it would be difficult for the girl to pronounce in Arabic. My son knows Arabic and reads Quran and prays five times a day, observesd fasting and pays zakat.

Aftre the Nikah marraigeb will also be done in the Church. That's what the girls parents insist. We wil not participate in their mariage ceremony i.e. drinks and dancing, and in the dinner party we will eat only fish, no chicken or mutton.



In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalāmu ῾alaykum wa Rahmatullāhi Wabarakātuh


Mashallah! It is wonderful to note your concern in wanting to execute the noble act of Nikah in the rightful Islamic procedure. One should, at all times, adopt such an approach for all religious matters.

In principle, the Quran has permitted a Muslim boy to marry a Christian or Jewish girl, i.e. since they belong to the Ahle Kitab. However, there are two important aspects to bear in mind:

1) Nowadays, many of those who claim to be “The People of the Book” are in reality atheists. They are only Christian or Jew by name. They claim to follow a religion but in fact do not believe in it. At times, they may practice on a few isolated aspects of Christianity but this also only when and if it suits them. This is the plight of many in western countries also.

2) The Shariah has only permitted the nikah of a Muslim boy to a Jewish or Christian girl where there is no apprehension of the husband or his children being influenced by the women’s religious matters. In the early days of Islam, every Muslim was duly equipped with adequate knowledge of his religion and had an unshaken commitment to Islamic principles. There was no fear of the Muslim man being misled by any foreign influence. Rather, he was supposed to convince his wife in religious issues. Therefore, if a Muslim is fully confident that his marriage with a Christian or Jewish girl will never affect his religious life or that of his kids, then there is no bar against such a marriage. However, in the case where he is not confident, he must avoid marrying a non-Muslim girl. In fact, even in the early pristine era of the Sahabah radiallahu anhum, where dedication and loyalty for Din was at its pinnacle, then too Sayyiduna Umar radiallahu anhu discouraged nikah with the Ahle Kitab. What can be said of the corrupt, immoral, and spiritually tainted era we live in today?

Nonetheless, in a situation such as the one you are faced with, there being no other Muslim women to marry, nikah with such a woman will be valid provided that the lady claims to follow Christianity in the true sense. The boy should now adopt even greater caution guarding his religious values. As stated, he should continue with his dedication in practicing on Din; performing salah, discharging zakat, etc. At the same time, he should maximize this opportunity to demonstrate the splendid manners, courtesy and consideration of Islam thereby eventually drawing the wife into Islam also.

Yes, it would be permissible to have the two women and man to witness the nikah.


After the girl consents her nikah to be performed, in the presence of the witnesses, you should conduct the nikah in the following manner:

1) It is sunnat to commence the performance of nikah with a khutbah. An easy khutbah such as this one could be recited:

اَلْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ نَسْتَعِيْنُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنَعُوْذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شُرُوْرِ أَنْفُسِنَا ,مَنْ يَهْدِى اللَّهُ فَلاَ مُضِلَّ لَهُ , وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ , وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا

عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ .

 2) The following three verses of the Quran will be recited thereafter:

                     يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُوْلُوا قَوْلاً سَدِيْدًا , يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوْبَكُمْ , وَمَنْ يُّطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيْمًا.


يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَّفْسٍ وَّاحِدَةٍ وَّخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثََّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَّنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِيْ تَسَاءَلُوْنَ بِهِ وَاْلأَرْحَامَ , إِنَّ

                                                                                  اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا.


                                                          يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاََّ وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ.

3) You will now address your son and say:

“I propose to marry A, daughter of B, to you in lieu of $… as dower, do you accept?”

Your son in turn will say, “Yes, I do accept.”

Once these steps are carried out, the nikah will be valid. There is no need to mention the third step in Arabic.

4) Immediately after the nikah is performed, it is sunnah to recite the following dua:

بَارَكَ الله ُ لَكَ وَ بَارَكَ عَلَيْكَ وَ جَمَعَ بَيْنَكُمَا فِىْ خَيْرٍ

May Allah bless you and your counterpart and may he secure you with virtue.[1]

As for performing the nikah in the Church, this is totally unacceptable in the Shariah. This would be tantamount to revering the sacred features of another religion and hence putting ones Iman at stake. This is a general ruling and applies at all times irrespective of whether you participate in the feast after the nikah or not. If the laws of Allah Ta’ala are flouted in the beginning of the marriage, what is subsequent to this will only be worse? After the nikah, we humbly implore Allah Ta’ala to shower His mercy and blessing on this , yet at the same time we carry out such practices which earn his wrath? Such paradoxical practices do not behove a Muslim! Nikah is means of creating a turning point in the couple’s lives to become better Muslims. In this case, the boy ought to draw the girl into religious practices but here; the opposite is coming into effect.

Nevertheless, our advice to you is that you earnestly try and convince the parents to reconsider their decision. You may suggest having the nikah in a neutral venue but in accordance to the procedure mentioned above i.e. suggest having it in a private venue, not in the Musjid and at the same time not in the Church. In this manner, the nikah will be in conformance to Shariah yet, not offend them in the least way also.

Do not propose the issue in an aggressive manner nor be too soft and feel intimidated in any way. Diplomacy is always a key ingredient for a positive result. Most importantly, together with proposing these options, remember that the controller of hearts and decisions is only Allah Ta’ala. Allah ever awaits His servants to beseech Him.

With regards to participating in the drinks, dancing, etc. we suggest you also tactfully excuse yourself from these un-Islamic customs.

Also, with regards to partaking of meat and meals prepared by the Ahle Kitab, the principle here is that, the permissibility or non permissibility of the meat will be classified according to the belief of the slaughterer. If the slaughterer is an atheist, then in no way will his meat be lawful. However, if it is slaughtered by the Ahle Kitab, then it will only be permissible if they recite His name at the time of slaughter. If these two conditions are absent, the meat will not be permissible. In this case, when preparing meals, the utensils of one dish is generally mixed with the other. If this happens, then the same haram meat utensils will be used for the fish, contaminating it and eventually making the fish also impermissible to consume.

It is also common nowadays that when cooking and preparing fish, wine is used as a seasoning and sprinkled over it. Any amount of wine, whether it is a drop or more is not lawful for a Muslim. You may suggest that the meals be prepared by an independent person. In this way you can assume the responsibility over this and ensure that the meat and all other ingredients are halal.

And Allāh Ta῾āla Knows Best

Wassalāmu ῾alaykum 


Ml. Zeyad Danka,
Student Dārul Iftā


Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Dārul Iftā

[1] Sahih Bukhari

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