Category: Psychological and Social
Fatwa#: 38472
Asked Country: Pakistan

Answered Date: Oct 04,2017

Title: Can a Sunni marry a Shia?


Assalamua Alaikum! I am a 23 year old sunni girl and my question is related to Shia Sunni Marriage possibility. I love a guy who studies with me in my university and belongs to the Shia sect. We were not in a Haram relationship or anything because I didn’t want to break my Parent's trust in me. 2 months back this guy proposed me for marriage but i told him that my father will be a bit reluctant, so you will have to answer regarding all your shia practices and aqeeda to clear all the misunderstandings or reservations he has and he said he is ready to tell everything about his practices and Aqeeda.The guy was not reluctant or hesitant to discuss his aqeeda at all. He was even ready to go to Mufti Sahab with my father but my father denied. I am hurt because of that. When told my parents about it, my father said that i will consult to a mufti regarding this. The first question that Mufti Sahab asked, “Is this marriage a matter of life and death for your daughter?" to which my father replied, "No.". Obviously I will not kill myself over this as this is haram but we really love each other and really wanted to get married. Anyway I personally asked the guy about his practices and Aqeeda and he told me this: 1) KALMA: I asked him if his kalma is different. He said no we recite the same kalma. La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasoolullah. 2) Namaz: He offers his prayers five times a day instead of three times and he is very punctual about his namaz. Never misses it and that’s what matters I guess. 3) Then I asked him if you disrespect Hazrat Aisha (R.A), Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddique (R.A) or Hazrat Umar (R.A). He said, “No I don’t disrespect any of the Sahabas any other respectable personality but yes we do believe that Hazrat Ali (R.A) should have been the first Caliph but I don’t disrespect anybody and I am not lying because there is no point in lying before creating this Relationship because eventually after marriage you will know if I am lied and this will deteriorate our relationship” 4) He goes to Majlis because he believes that one should know about the sacrifices that Hazrat Muhammad (Saw) family made. He doesn’t beat himself but put his hand on the chest to show grief. 5) He daily reads Quran. Surah Waqiya after maghrib, surah Yaseen after fajr. That’s all I could ask him on my behalf and as per my knowledge. As my father was not ready to take him with him to Mufti Sahab. Please tell me if this marriage is jaiz (possible) or not? Should my father meet him and give him one fair chance to clear misunderstandings? Because I believe that is my right. He should give him a chance once but he is not giving it beacuse also he is afraid of the fact that what will our relatives say about this marriage. Another point that i would like to highlight is that his mother is also sunni and father is Shia. He promised that he will not force me to follow his beliefs or anything. I can follow my Sunnah practices just like his mother.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Respected Sister in Islam,

Marriage is one of the most important decisions of your life. This decision not only affects your life, but it affects the lives of your family and your progeny.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance to choose a life partner who will be a suitable addition to your family, along with being a suitable father for your children.

Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) showed us how to pick the most suitable life partner. He said, 

تنكح المرأة لأربع: لمالها ولحسبها وجمالها ولدينها، فاظفر بذات الدين، تربت يداك

“A woman is married for four reasons; her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, and her religiousness. Choose the wife (based on) her religiousness; otherwise you will be at loss.”[1]

Just like a woman should be married primarily based on her Deen, similarly a husband should also be chosen based on his Deen.

Generally, the beliefs of the Shia are contrary to the Quran, Sunnah, and Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jama’ah.

Some of these beliefs are;

1)    Belief that Jibraeel (عليه السلام) erred in sending revelation to Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم).[2]

2)    Belief that Aisha (رضي الله عنها) committed adultery.[3]

3)    Denying the Khilafah of Abu Bakr or Umar (رضي الله عنهما).[4]

Those Shias who have these beliefs or other such beliefs are considered disbelievers. It is not permissible to marry them or pray behind them.

Although a Shia might not have these beliefs, they may have other incorrect beliefs.

For example, the Scholars have classified a person who merely believes Ali (رضي الله عنه) to be better than Abu Bakr or Umar (رضي الله عنهما) (without cursing them) as an innovator (mubtadi’) and a sinner (fasiq).[5]

It is not possible for one who is uneducated in the Islamic sciences to determine whether someone holds incorrect views or not due to the intricacies involved in the issuing of Aqaaid.

Therefore, we advise you to consult senior members of your family including your father and with their permission, take this prospective husband to your local scholars.

If he is willing to change his views and accept the beliefs of the Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, then you may marry him. Otherwise, we advise avoiding marrying someone who has views contrary to the teachings of the Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah.

Furthermore, his upbringing and close association with his Shia family and friends will have an effect on him, his marriage, and his children.[6]

Sister in Islam, do not limit yourself to this one person. Your feelings towards him should not lead you to make a rash decision which may put your faith and the faith of your progeny in jeopardy. It may also put your family in an uncomfortable position and people may begin doubting the Aqeedah and faith of your family due to marrying a Shia.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Saad Haque

Student Darul Iftaa
New Jersey, USA 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] صحيح البخاري ٥٠٩٠

[2] فتاوي هندية (٢/٢٦٤)

وبقولهم ان جبريل عليه السلام غلط في الوحي الي محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم دون علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه وهؤلاء القوم خارجون عن ملة الاسلام واحكامهم احكام المرتدين كذا في الظهيرية

[3] Ibid

ولو قذف عائشة رضي الله عنها بالزنا كفر بالله

[4] Ibid

من انكر امامة ابي بكر رضي الله عنه فهو كافر وعلى قول بعضهم هو مبتدع وليس بكافر والصحيح انه كافر وكذلك من انكر خلافة عمر رضي الله عنه في اصح الاقوال كذا في الظهيرية

[5] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (4/ 70)

مبتدع إن فضل عليا عليهما من غير سب كما في الخلاصة

لسان الحكام (ص: 414)

وَإِن كَانَ يفضل عليا على أبي بكر وَعمر رَضِي الله عَنْهُمَا أَجْمَعِينَ لَا يكون كَافِرًا لكنه يكون مبتدعا

البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق ومنحة الخالق وتكملة الطوري (5/ 151)

أما من يفضل عليا فحسب فهو مبتدع من المبتدعة الذين يجوز الاقتداء بهم مع الكراهة

لوامع الأنوار البهية (2/ 355)

قَالَ الْإِمَامُ أَحْمَدُ - رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ -: عَلِيٌّ - رِضْوَانُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ - رَابِعُهُمْ فِي الْخِلَافَةِ وَالتَّفْضِيلِ. وَقَالَ: مَنْ فَضَّلَ عَلِيًّا عَلَى أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ أَوْ قَدَّمَهُ عَلَيْهِمَا فِي الْأَفْضَلِيَّةِ وَالْإِمَامَةِ دُونَ النَّسَبِ فَهُوَ رَافِضِيٌّ مُبْتَدِعٌ فَاسِقٌ.

[6] إمداد الفتاوى (٢/٢٥٣)

فتاوى رحيمية (٦/١٨٧و٢٠٣)

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