Could I get married to a Shi'te man...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Could I get married to a Shi'te man? Are they disbelievers?


Could I get married to a Shi'te man? Are they disbelievers?


The Shi'a is an acknowledged Islamic sect. They are Muslims and many of them are moderate and therefore there is no legal objection to marrying from them. However, anyone who denies that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) is the seal of all Prophets is not considered a Muslim in the first place and the Shi'a disassociate themselves from him.

The disagreements between the Shi'a and Sunna are just over some issues which the scholars of al-Azhar have been trying to bridge for a long time and these endeavors have appealed to many moderate scholars of the Shi'a. Generally speaking, it is not advisable to raise such issues. This is because these disagreements are close to being political than ideological. We endeavor to reconcile between the two sects [Shi'a and Sunna]—we do not endeavor to make members of one sect embrace the thoughts of the other

Any person who claims that all the Shi'a are disbelievers [kufar], his words are erroneous. Such sweeping generalizations are not from the methodology of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al- Jama'a in any way. It is not correct to judge every Shiite based on what is mentioned in some of their classical books that could be misunderstood to be heretical since not all the Shiites believe in it. Rather, most of them either reinterpret or repudiate them.

There is a great difference between judging a person based on his doctrine and between judging him based on what is mentioned in some books of the sect he follows without knowing his stance; the principle is to think well of Muslims. A person who is incontrovertibly known to be a Muslim cannot be accused of disbelief based on doubts and suspicions.

Such conduct from a person who is responsible for calling others to the way of Allah is not appropriate especially in non-Muslim countries. Muslims must maintain brotherhood for the sake of Allah Almighty—they must unify their word to correct their methodology and for the benefit of Islam. Hence, they must not set themselves up as a barrier between the people and their Lord through acts that cause disunity. A Muslim must call to the teachings of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'a without accusing the other sects of disbelief in the absence of any evidence or benefit from doing so.

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