I am a Catholic female single parent can I marry a Muslim man?

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Hi, I am an Irish Female Catholic. I have a daughter under ten from a previous relationship. I have met a great muslim man & hope to marry him. I dont know if I can considering I have a child out of wedlock & for another person? Looking forward to a reply. Yours sincerely, Liz

-- Elizabeth Feane (liz.feane@indocom.ie), July 07, 2003


Response to I am a catholic female sinlge parent can I marry a muslim man?


Hello, Elizabeth.
The Catholic Church allows you to marry this man, if your bishop grants permission. One question remaining is whether it is prudent for you to marry him. I recommend that you discuss it with your parents and your pastor, and try to trust their judgment. Pray for wisdom.

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (jfgecik@Hotmail.com), July 07, 2003.

Response to I am a catholic female sinlge parent can I marry a muslim man?

Dear Sweet Elizabeth,

As a mom myself, and at one time finding myself single again, I can understand your wanting to be a family...to be happy. One thing I've learned is that without following God, I tend to mess up my life. Instead of asking if things are allowed, perhaps you may want to go deeper...to find out what God wants of your life first. That way, you'll be able to tell which plan He has in mind for you and your daughter.

Rest assured, whatever His plan for you two is...it will bring you inner peace and happiness. Seek that first, the rest will fall into place. God Bless You!!!

-- Victoria (tecdork99@pvfnet.com), July 07, 2003.

If you truly love the Lord, we would keep His commandments. If this man doesn't believe in the Bible as the only word of God and doesn't know Christ as Lord and saviour 9God Himself), then your answer is

2 Corinthians: 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? "

May God give you wisdom..

-- C.S (ebasador333@yahoo.com), July 12, 2003.

Well, CS (Christian Soldier = Paolo) ...

You forgot to let Elizabeth Feane, an Irish Catholic, know that, when she hears from you, she is hearing from a protestant (and possibly a fallen-away Catholic) -- so that she can know that your comments may not be trustworthy.

What you told her was not good, CS. You can't be trusted to interpret the Bible reliably. In the passage you quoted, St. Paul was speaking to the Corinthian Catholics and was referring to their specific situation -- the danger of their intermarrying with some of the most vile, false-god-worshipping pagans ["unbelievers"] in the Mediterranean world. As the founder of their local church, he was advising them not to wed these people, though he did not command them under pain of sin or excommunication.

Elizabeth's situation is not the same as that faced by St. Paul and the Corinthians, because she is not planning to marry a pagan who worships false gods, but rather a "believer" in the one true God (though unfortunately not a Christian). Moreover, the bishops of the Church (with their power to bind and loose) have the power to give Catholics special permission to marry non-Catholics, even non-Christians.

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (jfgecik@hotmail.com), July 12, 2003.

There's something else just as false in Chris.Sol's post, not to be believed.

''If this man doesn't believe in the Bible as the only word of God,''

Makes the false statement that only in the Bible has God ever revealed His truth. Nothing we see, in the Bible itself, supports this view.

There is no doubt for the followers of Jesus Christ that we have the complete truth from His Church as well as the Holy Bible.l With no interpretation of and by the Church, the Bible is sometimes a misleading source. Many non-Catholics just like Chr. Soldier are in total darkness, despite reading the Bible. This was never the intention of God the Holy Spirit, for Christ's followers. His divine Will insists ALL must consult the Catholic Church only; if any Bible truth is to be known for certain. In that way no Christian can ever fall into error by reading the Bible. This is a far-reaching statement. But it's the truth, since God's Word must always be beyond question, not open to false interpretations.

Christian Soldier and most other non- Catholics have no standard like the Holy Spirit to obey. This is because they abandoned Christ's holy Church. They interpret the Bible according to the teachings of self- ordained ministers (the blind leading the blind,) or as their personal whim dictates. Chr. Soldier is a glaring example of this latter practice. He thinks his whims are the Holy Spirit. We all must pray for him/her to receive the truth.

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), July 12, 2003.

Elizabeth: I hope he isn't already married :-) If not, you should be fine. Good luck.

-- Stephen (StephenLynn999@msn.com), July 12, 2003.

The soldier should read 1 Cor 7:14. "For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband." The verse is cited in the CCC #1637.

-- Stephen (StephenLynn999@msn.com), July 13, 2003.

Hello, Stephen.

When I was responding to Elizabeth and "CS," above, I thought of that verse, and I almost used it. But I decided to check its context first. I decided not to use it, because I thought that CS (legitimately) would reject it as not applying to Elizabeth's situation.

You see, in 1 Cor 7:14, St. Paul is referring to cases in which two pagans marry each other, but one later becomes a Christian convert. St. Paul tells them: "For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband." [We can hope that the same will be true for Elizabeth and her Muslim husband, though.]

Liz, before you take this very serious step, please do as much reading as you can about how Catholic/Christian women are treated by Muslim husbands. Try to find such women whom you can "interview" in great detail. I need to caution you that the anecdotal evidence posted at this forum through the years has usually been quite negative. (For example, I don't think that you will have any hope of persuading a Muslim husband to let you raise your children as Christians.)

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (jfgecik@hotmail.com), July 13, 2003.

Sally Field starred in the film "Not Without My Daughter", based on a true story, which addressed this exact situation. One cannot necessarily assume that one woman's experience is in every way typical of women who enter into such marriages, but the film does reveal a lot about the thinking of Muslims regarding marriage and women in general. It is probably available at video rental stores.

-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), July 13, 2003.

John you're right about the context of 1 Cor. 7:14. The CCC too does not cite it to directly justify mixed marriages, but only as a guide for the Christian spouse in such a marriage. I quote:

1637 In marriages with disparity of cult the Catholic spouse has a particular task: "For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband." (1 Cor 7:14) It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this "consecration" should lead to the free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith. (1 Cor 7:16) Sincere married love, the humble and patient practice of the family virtues, and perseverance in prayer can prepare the non-believing spouse to accept the grace of conversion.

-- Stephen (StephenLynn999@msn.com), July 13, 2003.

The true colors come right out! So I guess we can mix the Muslim religion into the Christian religion and get one scrumptous mess.

If this Muslim man is not Christian, then she will be involved in spiritual fornication. Now I heard it all! Is this what all catholics believe? Oh Dear Jesus help these people!

She will have a difficult marriage especially if she is following what the Bible teaches. If he has his own religion, then he may push her away from her faith and truth. Well you guys give such good advice why should she listen to the Bible?

Elizabeth you pray for God's wisdom. Peace!!!!

-- C.S (Embasador333@yahoo.com), July 13, 2003.

Well, Muslims have different views about things like polygamy and divorce, which could become a potential source of problems. What if Liz's husband decided after a few years that he wanted to marry her daughter too? :-)

Just kidding. Hope it works out, Liz. Get married in the Church. Going through the process of getting an express dispensation should help you both know better what you're getting into, and also reduce any risks involved. Also children tend to have minds of their own. Especially girls may not find Islam too attractive.

-- Stephen (StephenLynn999@msn.com), July 13, 2003.

I should add that it can be extremely misleading to stereotype Muslims as the fundamentalist baboons of popular imagination. That would be a bit like thinking of C.S. as the typical Christian. :-) He is not. We are.

-- Stephen (StephenLynn999@msn.com), July 13, 2003.


I guess you can place your complaints to GOD. I only say what the Bible says.

God Bless

-- C.S (embasador333@yahoo.com), July 13, 2003.

...And where did you get the Bible again, CS? Just wondering?

-- Victoria (tecdork99@pvfnet.com), July 13, 2003.

C.S. comments: "If this Muslim man is not Christian, then she will be involved in spiritual fornication.". Really? What about the couple in 1 Cor. 7:14 ? Spiritual fornicators ?

-- Stephen (StephenLynn999@msn.com), July 13, 2003.


We must first read this to understand your verse, we read in verse 10: "And unto the married I command...., 7:14: "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy."

God is talking about people who already became married. Then again if the two are not saved, I guess it wouldn't matter because it's just one more sin on top of thousand other,,,,

This is a beautiful verse which proves that at any time one of the married couples (in this case, the wife) can become saved; and God tells us the spouse is sactified by the saved spouse.

Sounds pretty clear to me.

-- C.S (embasador333@yahoo.com), July 14, 2003.

C.S.: You are correct. John earlier pointed out the same thing. However, everything you said about Elizabeth's mixed marriage would also be true of the couple in 1 Cor. 7:14.
She will have a difficult marriage especially if she is following what the Bible teaches. If he has his own religion, then he may push her away from her faith and truth.

St. Paul does not call such a problem "spiritual fornication". Rather he talks about the opposite, that she may pull him toward her faith.

You are also right about the other text you quoted (2 Cor. 6:14). See John's earlier comment about its context. However, the text does not provide a binding command, but only advice, like the text in Proverbs 13:24 advising a father to beat his children.

Notice too that mixed marriages happen in the Bible (e.g., Rahab, Tamar, Ruth and Bathsheba, all of whom get special mention in Matthew's genealogy).

-- Stephen (StephenLynn999@msn.com), July 15, 2003.


You are right, spiritual fornication is when we follow false doctrine or have idols. In the Old testement the term "high places" is used.

-- C.S (Embasador333@yahoo.com), July 16, 2003.

I corinthians 7:39 makes it final

the roman church is committing adultery herself by allowing her ppl to intermarry

morover, the man is the head of the woman like Christ is to the church good for a christian woman to have a non christian christ

Lord have mercy

-- alerrrrtttttt (godhavemercy@heaven.com), July 18, 2003.

There is no Roman church. Only One Church was ever founded by Jesus Christ, the Holy Catholic Church. You know nothing about 1 Cor. because you have no help from the Holy Spirit from which to draw conclusions.

One of God's holiest saints, Saint Augustine, was the son of a pagan, Patricius, and the Catholic Saint Monica. She brought her husband at last to conversion, as well as her son, who led a sinful life for many years. Monica prayed for her husband and for her son constantly; before the altar of God. Any Catholic wife can do the same, married to an unbeliever. But she is dependent on the grace of God to lead her husband to the truth.

In faith we must see that in His infinite love and wisdom God chooses a good woman for the pagan or atheist to marry, in order to save him. But almost always, the woman must be a true saint. Of which there are very few.

-- eugene c. chavez (loschavez@pacbell.net), July 18, 2003.


I am not skilled enough to answer your question like John or Paul but I will say this..


...and don't let him steal your children into believing Islam.

-- Ian Wicketts (nosuchaddress@noemail.com), July 22, 2003.

A Muslim may believe in God "the Father", but not believing in Christ as the Son of God bring with it a lot of issues that must be addressed.

-- J (guy_22_74@yahoo.com), July 29, 2003.

I, myself, am a catholic and have strong feelings for a muslim. Believe me, I wish we had the same beliefs, because he is an amazing person, and I'd love to marry him.. but I don't think I ever will.. I have read that a marriage between a catholic and a muslim is allowed, but beyond the "permission" issue, there's also a lot to consider... because sharing the same beliefs is one of the main things, if not the main, that a couple should have in common, at least that is what I think. That is because the most important thing that makes a marriage last and puts things in the right order, is a shared spirituality. when the couple shares one same faith, it becomes something that helps to bring them even closer. If you are still determined to marry this man, then all I have to say is that I admire your courage and that I hope with all of my heart that God gives you both the wisdom and the kid of love required to make things work out. God bless you :)

-- E. (totally_into_orlando@yahoo.com.mx), July 30, 2003.

Im actually a coptic orthodox who is very in love with a muslim man... as most of you know the orthodox church does not allow marriages outside of the orthodox denomination so I am considering becoming a catholic so that I can marry him in the church in front of God, as any other marriage would not be considered holy or valid to me... Im on my way to learning about the catholic faith and reading all of your responses here was quite encouraging because they were positive for the most part. You guys were able to shoot 2 birds with one stone ;) Pray for me in my struggle to win my family over.. My situation didnt get better when I found out that my father is considering becoming an orthodox priest.. but thats another story! Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for their reponses and comments although they weren't directed at me..

As for Liz... I wish u nothing but happiness with your man.. please consider learning more about the religion before you decide to marry him so at least you are educated in case of any disputes.. I was raised in the middle east so im quite familiar with the culture and the expectations a muslim man has of his wife... make sure you are too... education will be your sword and shield.. focus particularly on the rights of women in islam and in an islamic marriage... make sure u have your back covered, just in case...

Although im am completely for this marriage my largest concern is the children... i dont want them raised as muslims and accepting mohammed as the last prophet and bearer of the complete and final word from God... and ill do what i can to raise them to accept Jesus as their Lord in their hearts... I know that living in the middle east where most of the population is muslim will be quite an ordeal but Jesus will light our paths..

Good luck liz with your decision... dont believe everything you hear about muslims and Islam.. read and find out for yourself!

Pray for me and may the grace of God be with us all..

-- Carry (carina@yahoo.com), June 05, 2004.

My understanding of Islam pretty much negates a Catholic marrying a Muslem. My understanding is that in Islam the Children are automatically Muslem (doesn't matter how one 'brings them up'). If you teach them to be Catholic, I think they would be considered heretics in Islam. My understanding is that this is a very serious crime in Islamic Law (carrying extreme penalties). I don't see how such a marriage would work.


-- Bill Nelson (bnelson45-nospam@hotmail.com), June 06, 2004.

Please be very careful. The Koran says :

(Sura 4:34) "Men are the managers of the affairs of women....Those women who are rebellious-admonish them, banish them to their couches, and beat them."

The Koran in (5:51) commands Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as friends.

I don't think this marriage could stand a chance after two years. You need God in your marriage and you would be making it very tough from the start with a follower of Islam which is a relegion started by a man.

Realy you shouldn't even waste your time dating men that don't worship the holy Trinity. You are going to make a tough life for yourself and your children if you marry this guy. Its only normal for a liitle boy to be interested in what his Dad is doing.

May God bless you

-- - (David@excite.com), June 06, 2004.

Dear Carry,

I hope and pray that you seek God's will in this. Perhaps God is using this situation to bring you into the Catholic Church.

However, I must caution you that marriage between two people of such different faiths will be extremely difficult. You might be interested in this thread: Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims.

Consider the Scriptures on this matter:

2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 7:1 (KJV)
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Marrying a non-Christian is a very serious thing, especially when the religion of the other person may be hostile toward Christianity. Please commit this matter to prayer when you are alone, and seek to know God's will. Do not let your feelings for this man or the time you spend with him cause you to do anything contrary to God's will. Perhaps God will use your relationship to bring him to Christianity, but I would caution you against marrying him.

I will pray for you. God bless,

-- Emily ("jesusfollower7@yahoo.com), June 06, 2004.

My sister married a muslim from Iran. They have been married for over 20 years. She remains a Catholic. Their daughter is a Confirmed Catholic and is being raised Catholic. They lived in Iran for about a dozen years. They moved back to the US when my niece was around 7 years old, because my sister didn't want her indoctrinated by the school system in Iran. So the nightmare scenario has not materialized. However, I too have read the book Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoud, and seen the movie and I agree with many here, especially David and Paul when I say a non-muslim woman is taking a big chance in entering such a union. As Bill intimates, raising children to be non-muslim in a muslim country is very, very difficult if not nearly impossible. This is the big reason my sister moved back when her daughter was at a young age. She did fine over there by herself, and people treated her well, but when her daughter came along, she had to think about how she wanted her to be raised. Luckily my brother-in-law is a good guy. He agreed to move back to the States. But Betty Mahmoud was not so lucky. According to her, initially when they met and married her husband was not very religious and was a sweetheart, but when they moved back to Iran he began to take on a different persona, and wouldn't agree to leave, nor would he let her leave with their daughter. She and her daughter eventually escaped through the mountains into Turkey putting their lives at great risk while doing so.

-- Brian Crane (brian.crane@cranemills.com), June 07, 2004.

A group of Muslim and Catholic scholars (including priests, imams and professors) in the NY-area is currently engaged in a dialogue concerning, among other things, Catholic-Muslim marriage. In fact, the group is currently (Summer- Fall 2004) drafting guidelines for Catholic-Muslim marriages in the United States. There’s already a set of guidelines out there addressing Catholic-Muslim marriage in the Canadian context, which is helpful to anyone considering such a marriage.

-- T.A. Gonsalves (tagonsalves@juno.com), August 06, 2004.


What happened to your previous relationship/man? What are circumstances that led to a child out of wedlock? Do you consider yourself innocent before God and man? We are not animals forming relationship and bearing according to our instincts, whims or fancies? All men are great until you marry them. Please do not fall from the frying pan into the fire.

First set you life right before God from all these issues. Make a thorough life confession. May it not be that I am much worser than a pagan or unbeliever I am going to marry!

-- Leslie John (lesliemon@hotmail.com), August 06, 2004.

""Well, Muslims have different views about things like polygamy and divorce, which could become a potential source of problems.

What if Liz's husband decided after a few years that he wanted to marry her daughter too? :-)""

It is disgusting... Be carefull with your answers... or with your jokes (!)

-- Ghost (laquaner@hotmail.com), January 03, 2005.

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