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ARBNDEENIDTRUR
وَلَا
And (do) not
تَنكِحُوا۟
[you] marry
ٱلْمُشْرِكَٰتِ
[the] polytheistic women
حَتَّىٰ
until
يُؤْمِنَّۚ
they believe.
وَلَأَمَةٌ
And a bondwoman
مُّؤْمِنَةٌ
(who is) believing
خَيْرٌ
(is) better
مِّن
than
مُّشْرِكَةٍ
a polytheistic woman
وَلَوْ
[and] even if
أَعْجَبَتْكُمْۗ
she pleases you.
وَلَا
And (do) not
تُنكِحُوا۟
give in marriage (your women)
ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ
(to) [the] polytheistic men
حَتَّىٰ
until
يُؤْمِنُوا۟ۚ
they believe,
وَلَعَبْدٌ
and a bondman
مُّؤْمِنٌ
(who is) believing
خَيْرٌ
(is) better
مِّن
than
مُّشْرِكٍ
a polytheistic man
وَلَوْ
[and] even if
أَعْجَبَكُمْۗ
he pleases you.
أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ
[Those]
يَدْعُونَ
they invite
إِلَى
to
ٱلنَّارِۖ
the Fire,
وَٱللَّهُ
and Allah
يَدْعُوٓا۟
invites
إِلَى
to
ٱلْجَنَّةِ
Paradise
وَٱلْمَغْفِرَةِ
and [the] forgiveness
بِإِذْنِهِۦۖ
by His permission.
وَيُبَيِّنُ
And He makes clear
ءَايَٰتِهِۦ
His Verses
لِلنَّاسِ
for the people
لَعَلَّهُمْ
so that they may
يَتَذَكَّرُونَ
take heed.

Wa laatankihul mushrikaati hattaa yu'minn; wa la amatum mu'minatun khairum mim mushrikatinw wa law a'jabatkum; wa laa tunkihul mushrikeena hattaa yu'minoo; wa la'abdummu'minun khairum mimmushrikinw wa law 'ajabakum; ulaaa'ika yad'oona ilan Naari wallaahu yad'ooo ilal Jannati walmaghfirati biiznihee wa yubaiyinu Aayaatihee linnaasi la'allahum yatazakkaroon

Sahih International:

And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you. Those invite [you] to the Fire, but Allah invites to Paradise and to forgiveness, by His permission. And He makes clear His verses to the people that perhaps they may remember.

Ahmed Ali

Do not marry idolatrous women unless they join the faith. A maid servant who is a believer is better than an idolatress even though you may like her. And do not marry your daughters to idolaters until they accept the faith. A servant who is a believer is better than an idolater even though you may like him. They invite you to Hell, but God calls you to Paradise and pardon by His grace. And He makes His signs manifest that men may haply take heed.

Ahmed Raza Khan

And do not marry polytheist women until they become Muslims; for undoubtedly a Muslim bondwoman is better than a polytheist woman, although you may like her; and do not give your women in marriage to polytheist men until they accept faith; for undoubtedly a Muslim slave is better than a polytheist, although you may like him; they invite you towards the fire; and Allah invites towards Paradise and forgiveness by His command; and explains His verses to mankind so that they may accept guidance.

Ali Ünal

Do not marry the women who associate partners with God until they believe. A believing slave-girl is better than a (free) woman who associates partners with God, even though she pleases and attracts you (with her beauty, wealth, status, or family). Nor marry (your believing women) to the men who associate partners with God until they believe. A believing slave is better than a (free) man who associates partners with God, even though he pleases and attracts you. Those call to the Fire, while God calls to Paradise and forgiveness (of your sins) by His leave. He makes clear His Revelations for people, that they may reflect and be mindful (of their duty to God).

Amatul Rahman Omar

And marry not an idolatress until she believe; while a believing maid is certainly better than an idolatress even though she may highly please you. And do not give (believing women) in marriage to an idolaters until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a (free) idolater even though he may highly please you. It is they who invite to the Fire, but Allâh calls to the Paradise and to the protection by His command. He makes His Messages clear for the people so that they may take heed.

A. J. Arberry

Do not marry idolatresses, until they believe; a believing slavegirl is better than an idolatress, though you may admire her. And do not marry idolaters, until they believe. A believing slave is better than an idolater, though you may admire him. Those call unto the Fire; and God calls unto Paradise, and pardon, by His leave, and He makes clear His signs to the people; haply they will remember.

Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And wed not infidel women until they believe; of a surety a believing bondwoman is better than an infidel Woman, albeit she please you. And wed not your women to infidel men until they believe; of a surety a believing bondman is better than an infidel, albeit the please you. These Call you unto the Fire, and Allah calleth you unto the Garden and unto forgiveness, by His leave; and He expoundeth His commandments unto mankind that haply they may be admonished.

Faridul Haque

And do not marry polytheist women until they become Muslims; for undoubtedly a Muslim bondwoman is better than a polytheist woman, although you may like her; and do not give your women in marriage to polytheist men until they accept faith; for undoubtedly a Muslim slave is better than a polytheist, although you may like him; they invite you towards the fire; and Allah invites towards Paradise and forgiveness by His command; and explains His verses to mankind so that they may accept guidance.

Hamid S. Aziz

Wed not with idolatrous women until they believe, for surely a believing handmaid is better than an idolatrous woman, even though she please you. And wed not (your girls) to idolatrous men until they believe, for a believing slave is better than an idolater, even though he please you. These invite you to the fire, but Allah invites you to paradise and to pardon by His Grace, and makes clear His signs to mankind; per chance (or possibly) they may remember.

Hilali & Khan

And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (idolatresses, etc.) till they believe (worship Allah Alone). And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikah (idolatress, etc.), even though she pleases you. And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikun till they believe (in Allah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater, etc.), even though he pleases you. Those (Al-Mushrikun) invite you to the Fire, but Allah invites (you) to Paradise and Forgiveness by His Leave, and makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember.

Talal Itani

Do not marry idolatresses, unless they have believed. A believing maid is better than an idolatress, even if you like her. And do not marry idolaters, unless they have believed. A believing servant is better than an idolater, even if you like him. These call to the Fire, but God calls to the Garden and to forgiveness, by His leave. He makes clear His communications to the people, that they may be mindful.

English Literal

And do not marry the takers of partners (with God) (F) until they believe, and an owned believing female slave (E) (is) better from (than) a taker of partners (with God) (F), and (even) if she pleased/marveled you. And do not marry the takers of partners (with God) (M) until they believe, and a believing slave (M/E) (is) better from a taker of partners (with God) (M), and (even) if he pleased/marveled you, those call to the fire, and God calls to the Paradise, and the forgiveness with His will, and He clarifies His signs/verses/evidences to the people, maybe they mention/remember .

Abul Ala Maududi

Do not marry mushrik women unless they believe; a slave woman who believes is better than a free woman who does not believe, even though the latter may appear very attractive to you. (Likewise) do not wed your women to mushrik men unless they believe; a slave man who believes is better than a free man who does not, even though he may be very pleasing to you. These mushrik people invite you to the Fire while Allah by His grace invites you to the Garden and His pardon, and He makes His revelations plain to the people so that they should learn a lesson and follow the admonition.

Maulana Mohammad Ali

And marry not the idolatresses until they believe; and certainly a believing maid is better than an idolatress even though she please you. Nor give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe, and certainly a believing slave is better than an idolater, even though he please you. These invite to the Fire and Allah invited to the Garden and to forgiveness by His will and He makes clear His messages to men that they may be mindful.

Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (idolatresses) till they believe (worship Allah Alone). And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikah (idolatress), even though she pleases you. And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikin till they believe (in Allah Alone) and verily, a believing servant is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolator), even though he pleases you. Those (Mushrikin) invite you to the Fire, but Allah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His leave, and makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember.

Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Wed not idolatresses till they believe; for lo! a believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress though she please you; and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe, for lo! a believing slave is better than an idolater though he please you. These invite unto the Fire, and Allah inviteth unto the Garden, and unto forgiveness by His grace, and expoundeth His revelations to mankind that haply they may remember.

Ali Quli Qarai

Do not marry idolatresses until they embrace faith. A faithful slave girl is better than an idolatress, though she should impress you. And do not marry [your daughters] to idolaters until they embrace faith. A faithful slave is better than an idolater, though he should impress you. Those invite [others] to the Fire, but Allah invites to paradise and pardon, by His will, and He clarifies His signs for the people so that they may take admonition.

Qaribullah & Darwish

Do not wed idolatresses, until they believe. A believing slavegirl is better than a (free) idolatress, even if she pleases you. And do not wed idolaters, until they believe. A believing slave is better than a (free) idolater, even though he pleases you. Those call to the Fire; but Allah calls to Paradise and pardon by His permission. He makes plain His verses to the people, in order that they will remember.

Muhammad Sarwar

Do not marry pagan women unless they believe in God. A believing slave girl is better than an idolater, even though the idolaters may attract you. Do not marry pagan men unless they believe in God. A believing slave is better than an idolater, even though the idolater may attract you. The pagans invite you to the fire, but God invites you to Paradise and forgiveness through His will. God shows His evidence to people so that they may take heed.

Mohammad Habib Shakir

And do not marry the idolatresses until they believe, and certainly a believing maid is better than an idolatress woman, even though she should please you; and do not give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe, and certainly a believing servant is better than an idolater, even though he should please you; these invite to the fire, and Allah invites to the garden and to forgiveness by His will, and makes clear His communications to men, that they may be mindful.

Wahiduddin Khan

Do not marry women who associate partners with God until they believe. A believing bondwoman is better than a woman who associates partners with God, however pleasing she may appear to you. Nor give believing women in marriage to men who associate partners with God, till they have believed; a believing bondman is certainly better than a man who associates partners with God, even though he may please you. Such people call you to Hell-fire; but God calls you to Paradise and to forgiveness. He makes His messages clear to people, so that they might bear them in mind.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe; A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe; A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind; That they may celebrate His praise.

Tafsir jalalayn

O Muslims, Do not marry idolatresses, disbelievers, until they believe; a believing slavegirl is better than an idolatress, who may be a free woman; this was revealed as a rebuttal of the idea that it was shameful to marry a slavegirl and that it was better to marry an idolatress free woman; though you may admire her, because of her beauty and wealth; this provision excludes the womenfolk of the People of the Scripture (as indicated by the verse [Q. 5;5], [lawful to you] are the chaste women among those who were given the Scripture). And do not marry, off believing women to, idolaters, until they believe. A believing slave is better than an idolater, though you may admire him, for his wealth and good looks. Those, the people of idolatry, call to the Fire, because they invite one to perform deeds that merit this, and for this reason one should not marry with them; and God calls, through the voice of His prophets, to Paradise and pardon, that is, to the deeds that merit these two, by His leave, by His will, so that His call may be heeded by marrying with His friends; and He makes clear His signs to the people so that they might remember, [that] they [might] be admonished.

Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Prohibition of marrying Mushrik Men and Women

Allah says;

وَلَا تَنكِحُواْ الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّى يُوْمِنَّ

And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (idolatresses) till they believe (worship Allah Alone).

Allah prohibited the believers from marrying Mushrik women who worship idols.

Although the meaning is general and includes every Mushrik woman from among the idol worshippers and the People of the Scripture, Allah excluded the People of the Scripture from this ruling.

Allah stated;

مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ إِذَا ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ

(Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time when you have given their due dowry, desiring chastity (i.e., taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse. (5;5)

Ali bin Abu Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said about what Allah said;
وَلَا تَنكِحُواْ الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّى يُوْمِنَّ
(And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (female idolators) till they believe (worship Allah Alone).

"Allah has excluded the women of the People of the Scripture." This is also the explanation of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Makhul, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Zayd bin Aslam and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and others.

Some scholars said that;

the Ayah is exclusively talking about idol worshippers and not the People of the Scripture, and this meaning is similar to the first meaning we mentioned.

Allah knows best.

Abu Jafar bin Jarir (At-Tabari) said, after mentioning that there is Ijma that marrying women from the People of the Scripture is allowed,

"Umar disliked this practice so that the Muslims do not refrain from marrying Muslim women, or for similar reasons."

An authentic chain of narrators stated that Shaqiq said;

Once Hudhayfah married a Jewish woman and Umar wrote to him, "Divorce her."

He wrote back, "Do you claim that she is not allowed for me so that I divorce her?"

He said, "No. But, I fear that you might marry the whores from among them."

Ibn Jarir related that Zayd bin Wahb said that;

Umar bin Khattab said, "The Muslim man marries the Christian woman, but the Christian man does not marry the Muslim woman."

This Hadith has a stronger, authentic chain of narrators than the previous Hadith.

Ibn Abu Hatim said that;

Ibn Umar disliked marrying the women from the People of the Scripture. He relied on his own explanation for the Ayah;
وَلَا تَنكِحُواْ الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّى يُوْمِنَّ
(And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (female idolators) till they believe (worship Allah Alone).

Al-Bukhari also reported that Ibn Umar said,

"I do not know of a bigger Shirk than her saying that Jesus is her Lord!"

Allah said;

وَلَامَةٌ مُّوْمِنَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكَةٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ

And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikah (female idolators), even though she pleases you.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said;

تُنْـكَحُ الْمَرْأَةُ لاَِرْبَعٍ

لِمَالِهَا

وَلِحَسَبِهَا

وَلِجَمَالِهَا

وَلِدِينِهَا

فَاظْفَرْ بِذَاتِ الدِّينِ تَرِبَتْ يَدَاك

A woman is chosen for marriage for four reasons;

her wealth,

social status,

beauty, and

religion.

So, marry the religious woman, may your hands be filled with sand (a statement of encouragement).

Muslim reported this Hadith from Jabir.

Muslim also reported that Ibn Amr said that Allah's Messenger said;

الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَخَيْرُ مَتَاعِ الدُّنْيَا الْمَرْأَةُ الصَّالِحَة

The life of this world is but a delight, and the best of the delights of this earthly life is the righteous wife.

Allah then said;

وَلَا تُنكِحُواْ الْمُشِرِكِينَ حَتَّى يُوْمِنُواْ

And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikin till they believe (in Allah Alone).

meaning, do not marry Mushrik men to believing women.

This statement is similar to Allah's statement;

لَا هُنَّ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحِلُّونَ لَهُنَّ

They are not lawful (wives) for them, nor are they lawful (husbands) for them. (60;10)

Next, Allah said;

وَلَعَبْدٌ مُّوْمِنٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكُمْ
and verily, a believing servant is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolator), even though he pleases you.

This Ayah indicates that a believing man, even an Abyssinian servant, is better than a Mushrik man, even if he was a rich master.

أُوْلَـيِكَ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ

Those (Al-Mushrikun) invite you to the Fire,

meaning, associating and mingling with the disbelievers makes one love this life and prefer it over the Hereafter, leading to the severest repercussions.

Allah said;

وَاللّهُ يَدْعُوَ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ بِإِذْنِهِ
but Allah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His leave,

meaning, by His Law, commandments and prohibitions.

Allah said;
and makes His Ayat clear to mankind that they may remember