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Family and Children | Hadith | Health | Hijab | Islam and Christianity | Islam and Medicine | Islamic Personalities | Other | Personal Growth | Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) | Qur'an | Ramadan | Science | Social Issues | Women in Islam | Muslim men are permitted to marry pious women from the "People of the Book." Can a Muslim woman marry a man outside the faith of Islam?
If not, what are the reasons for this apparent disparity, and what is done about the nikah ceremony between a Muslim and non-Muslim?
Before we get into this question proper, a fiqh rule should be explained.
If Allah (s.w.t) wishes, He can forbid something generally, and then from it allow something specific.
Any change to this rule then, must be specifically stated, and we can only act on the basis of that specification. This means that a Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a man outside of Islam (unless he believes).
Allah (s.w.t) in Sura Al Ma'ida (5:6) grants a concession: "This day all innately good things are lawful for you Lawful to you are the chaste women from among those who have been given the Book before you. In addition, the scholars are unanimous in this verdict.
So the ijma' (concensus of the jurists) is binding.This is exactly what a registrar marriage does, as opposed to a nikah, which in the USA does not do this according to the letter of the law.In fact, the nikah is used by some people to step on women, where a man marries solely by nikah, and then when they have a problem, the woman has no recourse, since she is not legally married according to the State.Regarding the nikah ceremony, the whole aspect of what we know as the nikah is not obligatory -not that it is useless; it is a legal formation by the jurists.In the Prophet's day, as far as we can see from the Qur'an, there is no ceremony stipulated.