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Is marriage between Shia and Sunni is permissible in Islam?


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A Brief Description of the Question: 
Is marriage between Shia and Sunni is permissible in Islam?
The Answer: 

The First answer: Since a Muslim woman can only marry a Muslim man, we should define “Muslim” first. A Muslim is a person who accepts all definite rulings of  the religion of Islam and does not reject any of them. That is, he is the person who believes in and accepts the orders such as salat (prayer), zakat (obligatory alms), hajj (pilgrimage), wudu (ablution), ghusl (full ablution), etc. and prohibitions such as fornication, alcoholic drinks, interest and so on. However, a person who does not accept all or some of the things specified above is not regarded as a Muslim and marrying him is not permissible. If a marriage has taken place, then that marriage life is illicit. It does not matter whether he is Sunni or Shi’a.

Then, the criterion in marrying is Islam. Unfortunately, many Muslim women within the country or abroad marry non-Muslim men without asking the circumstances and learning Islam’s decision and make themselves deserving of Allah’s curse till doomsday. (Halil GÜNENÇ, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar (Fatwas For the Current Matters) II. 119)

The Second answer: Questions about that issue have been asked and answers have been expected for some time. First of all, I want to specify a particular point.

I will try to answer the question within that concept.

Firstly, we should specify what Alawism (adherence to Shi’a beliefs and practices) is so that we would be successful in making a decision. What is Alawism, really? Well, that is the question we seek an answer for. If we can specify what Alawism is, then the matter is solved and we can answer whether marrying a Shi’a is permissible or not. However, the Alawism concept in our country is not single and clear.

- Alawism cannot be out of the bounds of the Qur’an. It cannot be comprehended in contrast to sunnah. It cannot be interpreted in opposition to the Prophet’s way of living. All religious orders such as salat, sawm (fasting), hajj, zakat take place in Alawism. People claiming the opposite are those who want to use Alawism as a tool to realize their aims. One should not be up to their tricks and should not show respect to people who want to show Alawism outside Islam.

If Alawism is like that, there is no problem. We regard them as our brothers of religion; we even ignore some of their mistakes and deficiencies since we all can have defects and imperfections in our deeds…    
However, if Alawism is not like that but like some people claim it to be… Namely: If salat, sawm and zakat are lacking; and if they regard their worship only as a matter of heart and they deny five daily prayers; and if they fundamentally show disrespect to rightly-guided caliphs of Allah’s Messenger and have the idea of keeping enmity alive by carrying some historical events to present time; especially if they do not accept fard ghusl and they do not consider it right to have full ablution after janabah (the state of a person after sexual intercourse)… then it is not religiously permissible for people who accept those mentioned above and who do not to come together and it is not logically possible for them to set a peaceful marriage and live happily in a lovely manner together. Nowadays, some difficulties occur in getting along with even for people who share the same culture, then to what extent it can be realistic to consider that people from different cultures can carry on a happy family life in peace. Therefore,  I say: “We should first detect how parties consider Alawism!”

If they consider the Qur’an as the holy book fundamentally, if they accept the Qur’an’s meaning is explained in sunnah and if they take Allah’s Messenger’s and his family’s way of living as an example, then there is no difference between us fundamentally. It can be possible to tolerate other differences.

A person who accepts fards is a believer and a person who does not accept them is a denier. Determining it can be possible by meeting and talking. To give judgment before meeting and talking is having prejudice.
I want to indicate another important point:

One who interprets Alawism as within Islam is our coreligionist and who regards it outside Islam is our citizen. We want to live in mutual peace with our citizens. This is a necessity of Islam.

Alawism can not be outside the Qur’an. It cannot be comprehended in contrast to sunnah. It can not be interpreted in opposition to the Prophet’s way of living. All religious orders such as salah, sawm, hajj, zakat take place in Alawism. People claiming the opposite are those who want to use Alawism as a tool to realize their aims. One should not be up to their tricks and should not show respect to people who want to show Alawism outside Islam... It is our duty to love and esteem people whom the Prophet deems worthy to be his son-in-love and father-in-love.

Ahmet Şahin, Aile İlmihali, Cihan Yayınları (Catechism for Family, Cihan Publications)



21-03-2009 09:38:06

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