Do Muslims have to marry only Muslims

Marriage in Islam is the uniting, or creating a bond between a man and a woman, who will gradually develop into a deep spiritual, sentimental and socio-economic relationship. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said: “No institution of Islam is liked by God more than that of marriage.” When one marries in Islam, he/she has saved half of his religion.


The basic object of marriage is to secure a comfortable atmosphere for a man and a woman, and also to produce a new generation of healthy, faithful and virtuous children. A Muslim husband and wife should always be a source of comfort for each other, and their relationship should be far above mere sexual enjoyment.

When one is looking to get married, he/she should at best, try to consider the following qualities in a spouse. Faith, Morals, Knowledge, and Compatibility; Faith obviously being the most important factor to consider.

A Muslim man or woman cannot marry a Mahram. Mahram relationships on the grounds of blood-relationship include that of:

– Mother/Father (includes grandparents)
– Daughter/Son (includes descendants)
– Sister/Brother (includes descendants)
– Paternal aunts/uncles
– Maternal aunts/uncles

One can also not marry those with whom he/she had relationship on the grounds of nursing, which is established on the requirements of some special conditions (which we will not get too much into)
One can also not marry those people who are declared Mahram on the account of affinity, relationships created by marriage. They are the following:

– Mother/Father in law
– Daughter/Son in law
– Stepmother/father
– Stepdaughter/son
– A man can not marry his wife’s sister
– A woman can not marry her sister’s husband

A man can marry an woman of the book: Muslim/Christian/Jew, however women can only marry Muslim men and can only have one spouse at any given time. In Islam marriage with one’s cousin is permissible.


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