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- Interfaith marriage - Wikipedia
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- The permissibility of Muslim men marrying Christian and Jewish women
This depends on religious prohibitions against the marriage by the religion of one or both spouses, based on religious doctrine or tradition.
In an interfaith marriage, each partner typically adheres to their own religion; this excludes a marriage of a spouse belonging to religion X to a spouse who has undergone religious conversion from religion Y to religion X. Interfaith marriage is also distinct from the concepts of religious assimilation , cultural assimilation , religious disaffiliation , and apostasy. Despite the distinction, these issues are associated with aspects of interfaith marriage.
Interfaith marriage is also distinct from interracial and inter-ethnic marriage also known as "mixed marriage" , since spouses in an interfaith marriage may share the same race or ethnicity. In some religions, religious doctrine prohibits interfaith marriage.
Muslim-Jewish marriages herald a brave new world
In others, religious tradition opposes interfaith marriage but may allow it in limited circumstances. Several major religions are mute on the issue, and still others allow it with requirements for ceremony and custom. For ethno-religious groups, resistance to interfaith marriage may be a form of self-segregation. According to Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , men and women who have attained the age of majority have the right to marry "without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion".
Interfaith marriage in Judaism was historically viewed with disfavor by Jewish leaders, and it remains controversial. The Talmud and poskim prohibit non-Jews to marry Jews, and discuss when the prohibition is from the Torah and when it is rabbinical. Traditional Judaism does not consider marriage between a Jew by birth and a convert as intermarriage;    Biblical passages which apparently support intermarriage, such as that of Joseph to Asenath and Ruth to Boaz , were regarded by classical rabbis as having occurred after the non-Jewish spouse had converted.
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Orthodox Judaism refuses to accept intermarriage, and tries to avoid facilitating them. Conservative Judaism does not sanction intermarriage, but encourages acceptance of the non-Jewish spouse by the family in the hope that such acceptance will lead to the spouse's conversion to Judaism. Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism do not generally regard the authority of classical rabbis; many rabbis from these denominations are willing to officiate at interfaith marriages,   although they try to persuade intermarried couples to raise their children as Jews.
In , some Reform Jews published the opinion that intermarriage is prohibited. In the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College voted to accept rabbinical students in interfaith relationships, making Reconstructionist Judaism the first movement within Judaism to allow rabbis to have relationships with non-Jewish partners. The Society for Humanistic Judaism answers the question, "Is intermarriage contributing to the demise of Judaism?
If the Jewish community is open, welcoming, embracing, and pluralistic, we will encourage more people to identify with the Jewish people rather than fewer. Intermarriage could contribute to the continuity of the Jewish people. During the early 19th century, intermarriage was relatively rare; less than one-tenth of one percent of the Jews of Algeria, for example, practiced exogamy. In the United States from to , nearly half 47 percent of marriages involving Jews were intermarriages with non-Jewish partners  a similar proportion—44 percent—as in the early 20th century in New South Wales.
In Hinduism, spiritual texts like Vedas and Gita do not speak of caste and related marriages. However, law books like Manusmriti , Yajnavalkya smriti, Parashara etc. According to the varna system, marriage is normally between two individuals of the same varna. Ancient Hindu literature identified four varnas: Brahmins , Kshatriyas , Vaishyas and Shudras.
Interfaith marriage - Wikipedia
In ancient days, this varna system was strictly professional division based on one's profession. With time, it became a birthright. According to Manusmriti , partners in an inter-gotra marriage should be shunned. Rural India which is mainly conservative follows this rule, while Hindus living in the cities and foreign countries often accept inter-caste marriage. Some gurdwaras allow weddings between a Sikh and a non-Sikh , but others oppose it. In the Sikh Council in UK developed a consistent approach towards marriages in Gurdwaras where one partner is not of Sikh origin, following a two-year consultation with Gurdwara Sahib Committees, Sikh Organisations and individuals.
The resulting guidelines were approved by the General Assembly of Sikh Council UK on 11 October , and state that Gurdwaras are encouraged to ensure that both parties to an Anand Karaj wedding are Sikhs, but that where a couple chooses to undertake a civil marriage they should be offered the opportunity to hold an Ardas , Sukhmani Sahib Path , Akhand Path , or other service to celebrate their marriage in the presence of family and friends. Some traditional Zoroastrians in India disapprove of and discourage interfaith marriages, and female adherents who marry outside the faith are often considered to be excommunicated.
When a female adherent marries a partner from another religion, they go through the risk of not being able to enter the Agyaris and Atash Behrams. In the past, their partner and children were forbidden from entering Zoroastrian religious buildings; this is often still observed. A loophole was found to avoid such expulsion: Alternatively in a few cases such as that of Suzanne RD Tata , the non-Zoroastrian spouse has been allowed to convert Zoroastrianism by undergoing the navjote ritual  Interfaith marriages may skew Zoroastrian demographics, since the number of adherents is low.
According to Indian law where most Parsis live , only the father of the child must be a Zoroastrian for the child or children to be accepted into the faith. This has been debated, since the religion promotes gender equality which the law violates. Zoroastrians in North America and Europe defy the rule, and children of a non-Zoroastrian father are accepted as Zoroastrians. A Samaritan man is allowed to marry outside his community if his wife accepts Samaritan practices.
Since no conversion is involved, this may be considered an interfaith marriage. The decision to allow intermarriage has been made in modern times for genetic reasons.
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According to the Samaritan interpretation of their Torah , Israelite status is determined by the father; children of Samaritan men are considered Israelites, and children of non-Samaritan men are considered non-Israelite. Some Christian denominations forbid interfaith marriage, citing 2 Corinthians 6: In the Catholic Church , canon law deals with mixed marriages a marriage between a Catholic and a baptized person outside the Church and marriages in disparity of cult marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person.
Distinction is made between inter-denominational and interfaith marriage, and some denominations extend their own rules and practices to other Christian denominations. A primary Islamic legal concern is that the offspring of an interfaith marriage between a Muslim a non-Muslim are to be Muslim offspring, and raised as such. Sharia , thus, has differing regulations on interfaith marriage, depending on, firstly, what is the gender of the prospective intermarrying Muslim, and secondly, what non-Muslim religion is adhered to by the person that a Muslim is seeking to intermarry with.
While Islamic Law permits a Muslim man to marry up to four women, the preference is that one or all of his wives be Muslim. If he intermarried with a non-Muslim, one or more of the four allowed wives may be non-Muslim women provided that they are from among the People of the Book i. Additionally, they must have been chaste , and all children must be brought up Muslim.
The permissibility of Muslim men marrying Christian and Jewish women
Beyond this exemption, a Muslim man may not intermarry with females who are not from among the People of the Book unless they convert to Islam which is not required of Christian females and Jewish females. Thus, Muslim men are prohibited from intermarrying, for instance, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc. If they did, however, convert, it would no longer be considered intermarriage, but a marriage between Muslims, and thus not prohibited.
Muslim women, on the contrary, are forbidden from intermarrying as they are prohibited by Islamic law from marrying outside Islam. A Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man, and intermarriage is always forbidden to Muslim women. This would not apply if the non-Muslim man converted to Islam, as the Muslim woman would no longer be considered to be intermarrying, but marrying a Muslim man.
Or does it imply the act of believing in its broad meaning, believing in One God and a monotheistic Revelation, which includes obviously believers of other monotheistic religions? Obviously, the said verse is open to interpretation. Yet, none of the different Islamic exegeses allude to this.
Besides, all of the classical interpretations focused on the first part of the verse which is addressed to Muslim men. Most of the classical and contemporary exegetes carried out an in-depth analysis of the first part of this verse addressed to Muslim men, while they gave less importance to the second part that concerns Muslim women on the same issue. Christian or Jewish women who are considered by the majority of the same commentators as believers. Most of the exegetes defend their opinion by referring to another verse that legitimates the first verse and proves that Muslim men are allowed to marry Christian or Jewish women who are not included in the concept of disbelief or Kufr  as stated by other scholars.
He added that the concept of polytheist is not clearly defined though he agrees with other scholars in giving authorization to Muslim men to marry Christian and Jewish women . For the second part of the said verse that seems to be addressed to both Muslim men and women and to grant both of them the same authorization, we can affirm that Muslim scholars and jurists unanimously agree on the fact that marriage of a Muslim woman to a non-Muslim man, whether he is polytheist, Christian or Jew, is strongly prohibited.
Ibn Achour assumed the inexistence of a religious text that allows or forbids the marriage of Muslim women to Christian or Jewish men. Yet, other commentators tried to justify this prohibition by providing another verse that assumes the following: Allah is best aware of their faith. They are not lawful for them the disbelievers , nor are they the disbelievers lawful for them. The revelation context and the general meaning of this verse are not, however, associated with the case of marriage to non-Muslims.
The classical interpretation states that this verse was actually revealed when two polytheist men from Quraish asked for their sisters to be back, Oum Kelthoum and Bint Aqabah, after they had converted to Islam and migrated to Medina in order to join the Muslim community . It is worth reminding that the Prophet signed at that time an agreement called Al-Hudaybya Treaty with the opposing tribe of Quraish to stop the war for ten years. This agreement stipulated, among others, that any Quraychit woman who would join the Prophet in Medina without the permission of her legal tutor should be sent back to Mecca.
Oum Kelthoum, who was the only one to convert to Islam in her family, and who escaped from one of the most hostile environments, begged the Prophet not to repatriate her to her tribe so as not to be exposed once more to their unfair treatment . The verse above mentioned was then revealed to prevent the extradition of women who converted to Islam and avoid the vengeance of their respective families.
For this reason, the Prophet refused to send back the exiled women to the enemies, while the agreement was maintained for men. How can we consider, in the same Christian or Jewish community, that men are disbelievers while women of the same communities are believers? In fact, the argument is not convincing because if the said verse forbids the marriage between a Muslim woman and a Christian or Jewish man as it is unanimously interpreted today, so such marriage is also forbidden for the Muslim man.
The question raised in this regard is how can we today, in the current conceptual, cultural and globalized situation, categorize people according to their faith, religious or cultural backgrounds?