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.
In this regard, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following:
“Although religiously speaking, there is a permission granted for Muslims to marry women belonging to the People of the Book (i.e. the Christians and Jews), this permission cannot be generalized. Even during the time of the second Caliph, `Umar ibn al-Khattab, we read in the sources that he had forbidden some of the eminent Companions of the Prophet from marrying women of the People of the Book. He asked those Companions: “If everyone were to make use of this provision who would marry Muslim girls?”
For Caliph `Umar then it was only a question of Muslim women remaining unmarried. For us today, there are other complications arising out of such marriages.
Our experience with such marriages in North America compels us to conclude that after the initial phase of honey-moon, problems, often intractable, may arise when the couples settle down to start the business of living together and founding a family: Such nagging issues include: Which religious festivals to celebrate; what type of foods should we eat, how the children are to be brought up—issues that pose serious challenges in marriage. It is not uncommon to see that sometimes a father is even prevented from praying in front of his own children, while they are regularly taken to churches on a weekly basis. It is therefore not at all surprising when we see that vast majority of such marriages do end up in court.
the heavy toll of such marriages on children need not be over-emphasized: The absence of a unified spiritual vision is bound to produce a generation of confused people who are totally deprived of any religious vision or ideals. Thus in the final analysis: Such marriages cost dearly spiritually, financially and emotionally.”
In addition, there is nothing wrong, as far as Islam is concerned, in holding the marriage ceremony in a Church as long as the conditions of Islamic marriage are met and one avoids participating in the Church rites.
At the same time, we must realize that the scholars have put stipulations and conditions to this pr
oposed marriage. The main ones are as follows:
1. That it occurs in a Muslim country.
2. That there is no fear that the children, or the husband, will be negatively affected by the non-Muslim wife and or mother.
thus, it is permissible to hold wedding ceremonies in a Church, for example if the wife-to-be stipulated doing so, then there is nothing wrong in that, as long as the marriage conditions and prerequisites are fulfilled according to the Islamic Shari`ah. We have to keep in mind that such conditions have to be met before going to the Church.
On the other hand, if it is not necessary to go to the Church, then there is no need to hold any ceremonies there.