Fatwa ID: 04475
Answered by: Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
If a non-Muslim woman, who is married and has a child, wants to marry a Muslim man after divorce from her non-Muslim husband, what are the consequences? Please advise.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
Marriage is the foundation of creating a family. Children are extremely dependent upon their parents and a two-parent family is an ideal situation for a stable childhood. It is not advised to cause the breakup of a marriage in any circumstance. This non-Muslim woman should be encouraged to work on the problems in her marriage.
The Muslim man who is interested in marrying a married woman should never be in a situation to even wish to marry her. If he has interfered then he is committing a great sin, if he is not interfering in any way then he must lower his gaze and not interact with this woman any longer.
With regard to the question of marrying a non-Muslim woman, then it is not permitted.
Allah (swt) says:
“Do not marry unbelieving women until they believe. A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though if she attracts you. And do not marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe. A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though if he attracts you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the fire, but Allah beckons by His grace to the garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His signs clear to mankind; that they may receive admonition.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Verse 221)
However, the exception is that a man can marry a woman of the book i.e. a Christian or Jewish woman. Nevertheless, the condition to this is that she is an actual believer in Christianity/Judaism, not only by name.
“Lawful unto you in marriage are chaste women who are believers and chaste women among the people of the book.” (Surah al-Ma’idah, Verse 5)
Even though it is permissible to marry a woman of the Book it is not a recommended practice, due to the hadith of the Prophet (PBUH):
"A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty, and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith Number 5090)
A believer should always seek to follow the correct manner in all actions, especially in seeking a life partner. A marriage built on breaking another marriage and one which will be detrimental to the innocent children involved is not the best start.
Only Allah knows best
Answered by Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham