First of all, we’d like to state that Islam does not encourage the interfaith marriages. The general rule of Islam is that Muslims should marry Muslims. A Muslim male or female should not marry a non-Muslim male or female. The only exception is given to Muslim men who are allowed to marry the girls from among the People of the Book. However, a Muslim woman is better suited to a Muslim man than a woman of Christian or Jewish faith, regardless of her merits.

The eminent Muslim scholar and renowned Da`iyah, Sheikh `Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, states: “The procedures of getting married to a Catholic woman do not differ from the procedures of getting married to a Muslim woman. This nikah (marriage contract) should have all pillars and conditions of valid marriage including the consent of both parties, the testimony of two witnesses, mahr (dowry) and the announcement for marriage (not keeping it secret). You are not supposed to have two types of marriage. You have to stick to the teachings of your religion and to marry her according to the teachings of your religion.

Having said this, it should be stressed that getting married to a kitabi woman (Christian or Jewish) is discouraged in Islam especially if one lives in a non-Muslim country bearing into consideration that such marriage has many problems and grave effects on the children.

Many cultural problems arise from such marriages and children who are supposed to be brought up as Muslims become non-Muslims in many cases.

The European Council for Fatwa and Research discouraged this kind of marriage and so did many Muslim scholars.

So, it is our advice for everyone to choose a Muslim woman based on the advice of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who is reported to have said, “You should marry the religious woman; (otherwise) you will be a loser.”

In case a Muslim man decided to marry a Catholic woman and to have children, he should be assured that she is a chaste woman and to agree with her that their children should be brought up as Muslims, i.e. she should not try to affect them in any way to follow her religion. Thus, the children in such marriage should follow the religion of the father and the couple should agree on this prior to marriage in order to avoid any future problem on this.

May Allah help us to see truth as truth and to follow it and to see evil as evil and to shun it, amen!”