Muslim and christian dating
The exegete Ibn Kathir begins his interpretation of the said verse by defining “polytheists” as people who worship idols ).
Most of the classical and contemporary exegetes carried out an in-depth analysis of the first part of this verse addressed to Muslim men, while they gave less importance to the second part that concerns Muslim women on the same issue.
The commentators, henceforth, stipulate that Muslim men are allowed to marry women belonging to “People of the Book” (), i.e.
Christian or Jewish women who are considered by the majority of the same commentators as believers.
The Qur’an urges Muslim men and women to get married to believers who had, like them, such faith awareness and were conscious of justice on earth.
The purpose was to absolutely avoid the marriage of Muslims to polytheists who made every effort to stand against a religion that was defending the most vulnerable people on earth.
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As far as this scholar is concerned, forbidding the marriage of a Muslim woman to a Christian or a Jewish man is not based on any Qur’anic text or saying of the Prophet, but rather on a mutual agreement of scholars of all eras.
It is absolutely the main verse that states a provision on marriage with a category of non-Muslims.
Allah says: “Do not marry idolatresses (al mushrikāt) till they believe; and certainly a believing maid is better than an idolatress even though she would please you; and do not marry idolaters (al Mushrikīn) till they believe (hata yūminū), and certainly a believing slave is better than an idolater, even though he would please you.
Obviously, the said verse is open to interpretation.
However, irrespective of any interpretation, it is clear that this Qur’anic order applies to Muslim men and women equally.