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Sunday, March 05, 2017

Marrying Ahlé Kitaab …

Many times I have heard that Muslim men can marry Ahlé Kitaab women who can remain under their Jewish or Christian religions, but Muslim women cannot marry Ahlé Kitaab men who want to continue to be Jews or Christians.

Not only has this been repeatedly told by mullaas as well as their non-mullaa ilks, like Zakir Naik, but it is also referred to in most Muslim families by parents and grandparents.

I have looked over the net and found several pieces supporting this attitude … but almost everyone says that the idea comes from Hadees. Considering that not every sub-sect believes in Ahaadees, and some sectors believe in a different section of Ahaadees, this cannot be the final ruling. I really wanted a Quranic ruling that can be applied to all Muslims.

Discovering that many people mentioned above also quoted the Quran as the source, I asked them for the relative passages and this is what I got:

First: I was told that it was in Surah 2 Aayah 221 which is quoted here:

This is talking about polytheists and not the Ahlé Kitaab who believed in one God. And it says so for 'your women' (and in a couple of translation as 'your daughters'). That makes it clear that it did not prevent women from marrying an Ahlé Kitaab, nor did it say she must force the man to convert.

Second: Other friends and their friends also quoted a more pertinent item, Chapter 5 Verse 5

Here it says in the second part that one can marry a chaste woman from among the believers but also from those who were given the Scripture before the Muslims. The people say that the Ayat is meant for man … and not for women.

Rather strange, I thought, because we often talk of Mankind (and other similar phrases in other languages) — but always refer to Men and Women. When I said this to them, I was told, "This is your poor interpretation". — Ok, then! But lets read the first part of the Ayat again:

Does that mean that since its in the same Ayat that - according to them - applies to Men, the food restriction is not for Women and she can, if she wants, have a different type of food from Men? Obviously not!!!

I shall be really obliged if some of you with a better understanding of the Qur'an than myself would please advise me about two things:

(1) The Qur'an offers advice fairly often to Men, but Women are - inclusively - supposed to follow the Ayat (we can find instances all over the Qur'an of this). Is this a linguistic problem, as I think, and not a gender-based one. That in most cases (unless specifically stated in the verse) the Qur'an is for all genders.

(2) Is there a verse in the Qur'an that says — differently from the two quoted above — Ahlé Kitaab men must convert to Islam before they marry a Muslim women? Or is that a Sünnah (which all Muslims must follow). Or is it based only on a Hadees.

Perhaps under the Comment section here you could respond. Thank you.


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