It is really
appreciated that you have tried to seek out advice regarding as important
matter as one’s marriage is a commitment which lasts for life.
The Holy Qur’ān has placed
no restriction if a Muslim man wants to marry a Christian lady. It however
has commanded the believers not to marry anyone who associates other
partners or deities with God (polytheists) as He is one and alone nor should
the believers marry any convicted criminal of adultery. Apart from these two
restrictions, the Sharī‘ah (Law of God) has placed no restriction on
marriage contracts of the believers.
However, this does not mean
that we should not use our sense and reason to choose the person we intend
to marry. Indeed, there are many things involved that must be considered
before a couple decides to get married. The foremost factor is that there
should be harmony between both in terms of their financial status and
religious set up. Religion is not a trivial matter to be ignored while
choosing your prospective husband. Marriage means that two persons are going
to live together for the rest of their lives. Do you think that there would
be no conflict on religious issues? What about the children that God will
bless you with? What religion would they be taught? You may think that such
matters are of less importance to modern minds. But I assure you that these
matters will of be concern to you both once you come out of the euphoria
that people experience before marriage.
As for your saying ‘Does
the Qur'ān say that the Christian women have to convert to Islam and gain
knowledge about it to marry the Muslim men?’, I would like to tell you that
the Holy Qur’ān does not hold religion as a matter of petty importance. Why
would Qur’ān ask a lady to renounce her religion for some mortal man?
Religion is something very personal in nature. It is a deep relationship — a
connection more strong than the one which is established between a man and
his wife. It is about God and His servants; it is about God and you. There
is no man between you and Him. You accept Him on a very personal basis; you
surrender before Him of your own accord. Did you know that Islam gives so
much respect to Christians because of the fact that they believe in one God?
The bitterest thing is however that they have devised ‘Three’ for the One
that is alone and devoid of any partner whosoever. He is One and is the
Creator and Master of all humans. Islam calls all the Christians to accept
the fact that was also propagated by Jesus (sws) as the Lord is One. What I
wish to say is that religion is something that should be chosen with a
serious mind and after appreciating the value of the specific teachings that
this religion promotes. Islam does not force people to convert. It is the
truth that every willing person is welcome to embrace.
Culminating a marital
arrangement is very simple. Islam wants that elders from both sides be
involved in this matter. Marriages that are contracted without involving the
families from both sides often end up in failure. Therefore, I very humbly
advise you both to bring the matter to the attention of your families.
Marriage is indeed a public announcement that this couple, from now on,
would live as a wedded husband and wife—an arrangement which needs to be
registered with the relevant government body as well.
The last thing that I want
to address is that you have written ‘My partner and I are in love’. I do not
know what specific connotation you have in mind when you say this. I however
would like you to know that Islam does not like that any intimate
relationship should be created between a lady and a gentlemen before
marriage. We—the servants of God are supposed to live a pure and good life
in order to attain inner purification. Islam repels the very idea of having
an intimate relationship before marriage because it divests you of your
purity of heart. We must know that this life is transitory in nature. It is
a prelude to that life which is eternal and lasting. We must be well
conscious of what we do in this life. Anything which is against morality
will strictly be dealt with in the Hereafter. The only thing we need to keep
in mind is that while marriage is a sacred bond, extramarital relationship
is filth, which is abhorrent and intolerable.