I recently read your article regarding interfaith marriages in which you stated that there was nothing stated in the Quran that forbids women from marrying a christian or jew. I have a friend who has decided to marry a christian and she is rather confused about how the marriage can take place. Can they get married in a mosque if he is a non muslim? Or if they get married in a registry office will that marriage be valid in islam? Can you please explain how they can get married according to islam.
My friend is also in danger of being disowned by her family due to her decision to marry a non muslim. In Islam, do parents have a right to disown their children for such acts?
In view of the fact that my opinion on the matter is not the one that most Muslims generally ascribe to, as they do not consider marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man to be permitted, therefore it seems unlikely that you find a mosque that would administer the marriage of your Muslim friend with a non-Muslim man. However, for a marriage to be valid, it is not a necessary condition that it be administered in a mosque. Any method which is considered to be socially acceptable, including marriage through a registry office, may be adopted (for the necessary conditions for the validity of a marriage, please refer to: http://www.understanding-islam.org/related/questionsarticles.asp?sscatid=244). As for the parents disowning their children, obviously, if the parents feel that their daughter is doing something that is prohibited by the Islamic Shari`ah or even something that, even though is not expressly prohibited by the Islamic Shari`ah but is in contrast to the Muslim tradition of old, they are not likely to take the situation lightly. Their attachment and adherence to their religion may prompt them to sever ties with their daughter, whom, according to their understanding, has committed an act that was not allowable in the Shari`ah.
I hope this helps.
September 28, 2004