From the Archive
My Testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary
Aspects of their war of ideas in rejecting the Quran
The Third Jihad
Who Are the Thieves among the Arabs Today: The Rikaz (Ore) Zakat Ignored Deliberately by the Thieves
To define its missions: Mission 3: Reform Muslims
Imran Khan: Why The East Sticks To Religion
Quranic Terminology: The Quranic Verb (to Stop) Means To Cease Adhering to Certain Deeds and Beliefs Forever and Not Momentarily
Fatwas: Part Seventeen
Spying and Islamic Society
Fatwas: Part Thirty-Seven
A Message from a Low-Rank Police Officer
En quête d'un sourire
The Spirit, rituals and politics of Ramadan
PART V: The Messenger/Prophet Muhammad Was a Mortal Human Being; Why Could not Polytheistic Disbelievers Accept This Fact?
No River Runs Backwards
What Did the Big Criminals Do during the Plague of 841 A.H.?:
Interview: Zainah Anwar on Muslim Feminism
Surviving Work
La véritable source de danger concernant le massacre dans deux mosquées néo-zélandaises
Pondering on this Quranic Verse Which Is Mostly Misunderstood "Muhammad the Messenger of God And Those with him..." (48:29)
Polytheists and Disbelievers in the Quranic Sharia Legislations of Marriage in Islam

Polytheists and Disbelievers in the Quranic Sharia Legislations of Marriage in Islam


Published in August 23, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy



1- We have received this question from one of our fellow Quranists: (...God says in the Quran: "Do not marry female polytheists, unless they have believed..." (2:221); how could I prove to others among non-Quranists (and using the Quranic verses) that polytheism here refers to aggression and persecution, NOT to polytheistic beliefs, in other deities beside God, embraced by peaceful ones?).

2- Answering this question needs lots of Quranic details; in fact, we intend, God willing, to write a new lengthy article about all Quranic verses that include terminology such as ''disbelief'', ''polytheism'', ''criminals'', ''the unjust ones'', "aggression", "transgressors", ''immorality'', and "disobedience", and how disbelief and polytheism are two exact synonyms in the Quranic tongue, denoting two levels of meanings: in terms of behavior (i.e., aggression and violations that can be judged, resisted, and dealt with as per Quranic sharia) and in terms of beliefs (i.e., in acts of worship and tenets, within adherence to peace, and monotheists must deal peacefully with them as per Quranic sharia).  

3- Before we write such a lengthy article later on, we provide in this article a brief answer to the above-mentioned question, and this article you are reading now is a kind of foreword to the lengthy one to be published soon on our website.


Firstly: Islam in terms of behavior is adopting peaceful demeanor while dealing with others: Islam literally in Arabic means (peace):

1- Applying God's religion in dealing with other human beings is adherence to peace; this is the literal meaning of the Arabic word ''Islam''. When God describes in the Quran that Arabs in Arabia shortly before the death of Muhammad converted to God's religion, this means that they embraced peace and stopped aggression and persecution against early believers; this does NOT mean conversion in terms of belief in one's heart/mind: "When there comes God's victory and triumph. And you see the people entering God's religion in multitudes." (110:1-2). Of course, Muhammad was never a mind reader nor did he know what was inside hearts of those around him; i.e., he could not possibly know if their hearts contains real Islam or not, in the sense of real submission and devotion only to God, within monotheism. Thus, like all human beings, Muhammad saw only what is perceived by the senses; as per 110:1-2, he witnessed Arabs enter into peace, and this is what is meant in 110:2 by the term "God's religion", which is peaceful behavior, or the literal meaning of the word "Islam". Polytheists/disbelievers in terms of aggressive behavior who stop their aggression and repent while (overtly) pay zakat and perform prayers are our brethren in the religion of peace: "But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and give charity, then they are your brethren in faith..." (9:11), as all acts of worship and one's religious beliefs inside ones' mind/heart are judged only by God the Omniscient.       

2- Accordingly, any peaceful person is a Muslim in terms of adherence to peaceful behavior, regardless of his/her faith/beliefs, never to be judged by mortals, as God is the Only Judge in this respect on the Last Day. Hypocrites in the Yathreb city-state led by Muhammad were polytheists/disbelievers only in terms of faith/belief, but they were peaceful, non-violent persons, and they lived as equal citizens with full rights to express and indulge in religious and political protest (while adhering to peaceful demeanor) as per Quranic sharia laws of absolute religious freedom.    

3- Within the context of dealing peacefully with people, the greetings of Islam is the word "peace!" or "peace be with you!" (or pax vobiscum in Latin). Muhammad used to greet his contemporaries in that manner: "When those who believe in Our revelations come to you, say, "Peace be with you..." (6:54). The same greeting of peace is used to address those who differ from monotheists in faith/belief and religion; e.g., Abraham said the following before leaving his polytheistic father for good: "...Peace be with you. I will ask my Lord to forgive you; He has been Kind to me." (19:47). Within Islamic sharia legislations in the Quran, real Muslims must utter the word of peace when the ignorant ones address them unkindly: "The servants of the Dominant are those who walk on Earth in humility, and when the ignorant ones address them, they say, "Peace."" (25:63). The same utterance of peace must be said by real Muslims when they hear nonsensical talk in religion, while respecting religious freedom of others and leaving them in peace so as not to hear blasphemies and insults to God's religion: "And when they hear vain talk, they avoid it, and say, "We have our deeds, and you have your deeds; peace be with you; we do not desire the ignorant."" (28:55), and this utterance of peace is linked to pardoning them as well: "As for his statement: "My Lord, these are a people who do not believe." Pardon them, and say, "Peace." They will come to know." (43:88-89).

4- Within the sharia legislations of self-defense in the Quran, if a soldier of the enemy troops in the battlefield utters the word of peace, he is to be spared and be safe because he is that way a Muslim in terms of peaceful behavior as he stopped his aggression: "O you who believe! When you journey in the way of God, investigate, and do not say to him who offers you peace, "You are not a believer,"..." (4:94). This is why persecutors and aggressors must never be fought if they stop their evil deeds and adhere to peaceful demeanor: "...If they withdraw from you, and do not fight you, and offer you peace, then God assigns no excuse for you against them." (4:90). Hence, peaceful behavior is Islam in terms of demeanor, and this is overtly shown and can be perceived easily in the deeds and words of peaceful persons; as a result, all peaceful persons who have different religious beliefs can marry: a peaceful Muslim man can marry a peaceful non-Muslim woman, and likewise, a peaceful Muslim woman can marry a peaceful non-Muslim man.   


Secondly: polytheism/disbelief in terms of behavior means aggression, attacking, and committing violence:

1- In contrast to peace/Islam, transgression and aggression are deemed as polytheism/disbelief in terms of demeanor, whether it is an individual behavior of one criminal person who violates rights of others or aggression/violence committed by groups. There are Quranic sharia laws regarding how to deal with aggressors who attack peaceful, innocent ones; e.g., when a country attacks a peaceful (i.e., literally a Muslim) one, the aggressive country is described as a disbelieving one, as it violates peace/Islam. Thus, aggressive, violent behavior (i.e., polytheism/disbelief) is the antonym of peaceful behavior (i.e., Islam). Thus, if an aggressive country attacks a peaceful country, the aggressive one is deemed a disbelieving country and its violent attacks can be judged overtly by people as evil and wrong. For instance, this applies to the aggressive KSA which attacks the peaceful, non-aggressive Yemen, to the ISIS terrorists who commit violence and heinous crimes in Syria and Iraq, to suicide bombers and terrorists worldwide, and to those helping and supporting aggressors with words, stances, arms, money, people, and central intelligence information.         

2- True Muslims (i.e., peaceful ones) must not marry terrorists and aggressive persons, as this marriage is prohibited in the Quran, as the evil, aggressive deeds (and inciting words) of such terrorists make them call others to enter into Hell with them: "Do not marry female polytheists, unless they have believed. A believing maid is better than a female polytheist, even if you like her. And do not marry male polytheists, unless they have believed. A believing servant is better than a male polytheist, even if you like him. These call to Hell-Fire, but God calls to Paradise and to forgiveness, by His leave. He makes clear His verses to the people that they may be mindful." (2:221). The term "polytheists" in 2:221 refers to aggressors and violent persons who attack innocent ones. 


Thirdly: God calls human beings to Paradise, and Satan and his followers call human beings to Hell:

1- God calls human beings to Paradise on the Day of Resurrection, which is called in the Quran the House of Peace, as the greetings in it will be the word "peace!"; besides, God commands the believers to enter into peace wholeheartedly and not to follow the steps of Satan: "O you who believe! Enter into peace, wholeheartedly, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan; he is to you an outright enemy." (2:208). In contrast, Satan (or Iblis, the Devil) and his followers call human beings to join him in Hell on the Last Day; thus human beings have two calls: one by the Dominant Lord to enter into Paradise, and one by the Devil to enter into Paradise.      

2- The call by Satan makes fighting dedicated to gaining wealth and authority, whereas fighting for God's sake means to engage into self-defense and stop religious persecution: "Those who believe fight in the cause of God, while those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Taghut. So fight the allies of the Devil. Surely the strategy of the Devil is weak." (4:76).

3- God prohibits military aggression and asserts in the Quran that He hates aggressors. Fighting is confined by God to believers only in cases of self-defense against an attacking enemy: "And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors." (2:190). Thus, when peaceful believers are attacked by aggressors, they implore the Almighty to grant them victory over these aggressive polytheists/disbelievers: "...You are our Lord and Master, so help us against the disbelieving people." (2:286). Hence, the term "disbelieving people" in 2:286 refers to aggressors as per their aggressive behavior.  

4- God describes polytheists/disbelievers, who committed aggression against peaceful early believers in Mecca, as ''aggressors": "Towards a believer they respect neither kinship nor treaty. These are the transgressors." (9:10).  


Fourthly: polytheists/disbelievers are of two types: (1) peaceful ones who can be allowed to marry believers/monotheists, and (2) aggressive ones who, as per God's commands in the Quran, cannot be befriended by peaceful believers and marrying them is prohibited:  

1- Aggressive polytheists/disbelievers call to Hell by their deeds and words: "...These call to Hell-Fire..." (2:221), and they are of two types: (A) those who commit aggression/violence/violations themselves and (B) those who support and incite such transgression. We mean by the type (B) those who do not participate in physical aggression or violence (e.g., by soldiers and arms), but they incite and legalize aggression and thus calling to Hell-Fire by words, and this applies to Wahabi Sunnite imams and clergy who endorse and incite terrorism worldwide and deceive the gullible youths to turn them into suicide bombers. Thus, this type (B) of inciters shares the same sin like the type (A) of aggressive persons.  

2- Peaceful polytheists/disbelievers who in their hearts/minds deify and sanctify items and mortals constitute the vast majority of human beings on Earth, such as Christians, Muhammadans, Buddhists, Hindus, etc., but since they are peaceful ones, they are deemed Muslims in terms of behavior; besides, God says the following within the Quranic sharia legislations about dealing peacefully with them: "As for those who have not fought against you for your religion, nor expelled you from your homes, God does not prohibit you from dealing with them kindly and equitably. God loves the equitable." (60:8). Thus, within dealing peacefully with them, monotheistic peaceful female Muslims can marry these peaceful male non-Muslim polytheists, and likewise, monotheistic peaceful male Muslims can marry these peaceful female non-Muslim polytheists. This is based on justice, the higher value repeated so often within the Quranic text.    

3- Hence, there are those polytheists/disbelievers who commit aggression against peaceful believers and drive them out of their homelands and there are those polytheists/disbelievers who incite and help in such aggression in deed and in words; true monotheistic believers (i.e., peaceful Muslims) must never befriend or ally themselves to such aggressors or marry them: "But God prohibits you from befriending those who fought against you over your religion, and expelled you from your homes, and aided in your expulsion. Whoever takes them for friends-these are the unjust ones." (60:9).  

4- This is the same context of the Quranic phrase "and do not hold on to ties with unbelieving women " in this verse: "O you who believe! When believing women come to you emigrating, test them. God is Aware of their faith. And if you find them to be faithful, do not send them back to the unbelievers. They are not lawful for them, nor are they lawful for them. But give them what they have spent. You are not at fault if you marry them, provided you give them their compensation. And do not hold on to ties with unbelieving women, but demand what you have spent, and let them demand what they have spent. This is the rule of God; He rules among you. God is Knowing and Wise." (60:10). This verse is about the believing women who immigrated to Yathreb, as they were tested in terms of security to make sure they were not spies sent to the Yathreb city-state. Within this verse, we read about the command of divorcing unbelieving women who insisted on not to follow their husbands to Yathreb as the supported the Qorayish Meccan aggression against early believers. This state of war and cutting all ties between Yathreb dwellers and the Mecca dwellers entailed the divorce that occurred as believing husbands immigrated to Yathreb and their unbelieving wives remained behind in Mecca and rejected the idea of conversion to Islam. True believers must never ally themselves or befriend aggressive polytheists/disbelievers, nor marry them of course.  

5- We must bear in minds that the Quranic Chapter 60  describes the Meccan aggressors of Qorayish as disbelievers/polytheists as per their aggression and violence in terms of behavior, as they drove our early believers out of their homes and possessions, and God has rebuked some immigrants in Yathreb who allied themselves to these aggressors: "O you who believe! Do not take My enemies and your enemies for supporters, offering them affection, when they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the Truth. They have expelled the messenger, and you, because you believed in God, your Lord. If you have mobilized to strive for My cause, seeking My approval, how can you secretly love them? I know what you conceal and what you reveal. Whoever among you does that has strayed from the right way." (60:1). Thus, those aggressive disbelievers/polytheists are described as enemies of God and of peaceful believers, because they committed the crimes of violence and persecution against Muhammad and the early believers – not just because they rejected the Quranic message.  

6- Their aggression, transgression, and violence make allying oneself to them or befriending them a sin and an act/stance prohibited by our Lord God, whereas kind and fair treatment is ordained by Him when dealing with peaceful ones who do not believe in the Quran and adopt other faiths. Within peaceful dealings, marrying peaceful non-Muslims is allowed and permissible; thus, within dealing peacefully with them, peaceful female Muslims can marry peaceful male non-Muslims, and likewise, peaceful male Muslims can marry peaceful female non-Muslims.     


Fifthly: justice, equity, and fairness in dealing with peaceful people who have other faiths and do not believe in the Quran:

1- Justice is the reason, higher value, and also higher purpose of sending all messengers/prophets by God with scriptures in all eras: "We sent Our messengers with the clear proofs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance, that humanity may uphold justice. And We sent down iron, in which is violent force, and benefits for humanity. That God may know who supports Him and His messengers invisibly. God is Strong and Powerful." (57:25). This means that people must adhere to justice within peaceful societies of Muslims and non-Muslims. We are to deal peacefully with peaceful persons who do not believe in the Quran, because they are Muslims in terms of peaceful demeanor, regardless of their faiths in their hearts or even their lack of faith (i.e., atheists).   

2- Even when peaceful Muslims engage into self-defense fighting, they should NEVER transgress any limits and to adhere to justice and piety: "...Whoever commits aggression against you, retaliate against him in the same measure as he has committed against you. And be conscious of God, and know that God is with the pious ones." (2:194).

3- God commands us to adhere to equity and fairness as well as charity in all dealings during our lifetimes on Earth: "God commands justice, and goodness, and generosity towards relatives. And He forbids immorality, and injustice, and oppression. He advises you, so that you may take heed." (16:90).

4- In addition, God warns us against bias (against foes and for relatives and friends) and following whims and desires within arbitration or judging situations, as most people do not apply justice in such cases: "O you who believe! Be upright to God, witnessing with justice; and let not the hatred of a certain people prevent you from acting justly. Adhere to justice, for that is nearer to piety; and fear God. God is informed of what you do." (5:8); "O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, God takes care of both. So do not follow your desires, lest you swerve. If you deviate, or turn away-then God is Aware of what you do." (4:135). This is also part of the Quranic Ten Commandments: "...And when you speak, be fair, even if it concerns a close relative..." (6:152).

5- In light of justice in the divine Quranic sharia legislations, we assert that peaceful female Muslims can marry peaceful male non-Muslims, and likewise, peaceful male Muslims can marry peaceful female non-Muslims; thus, intermarriages or mixed marriages between Muslims and People of the Book (i.e., the Quranic terms of Jews + Christians) are permissible and they can eat food items cooked by each of them as per this verse: "Today all good things are made lawful for you. And the food of those given the Book is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them, so are chaste believing women and chaste women from the people who were given the Book before you, provided you give them their dowries, and take them in marriage, not in adultery, nor as mistresses. But whoever rejects faith, his work will be in vain, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers." (5:5).  

6- Justice in Islam is the highest or supreme purpose of Quranic sharia legislations and it controls all Quranic commands, prohibitions, and rules by which we abide within fairness and equity. Sadly, the Muhammadans have lost and wasted justice and legalized injustices in their hadiths and fiqh books; they have forgotten that God does not love the unjust ones nor the aggressors.  

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