Marrying a Muallaf (Convert to Islam) Part 1
For those who may not be familiar with the term, a muallaf is a newly converted Muslim and is derived from the Arabic language. It has been translated to mean those who are changed from their previous religions to Islām. The Encyclopedia of Islām explains that the word muallaf comes from the Arabic Al-Muallafa Qulūbuhum which means “those whose hearts are won over” or “those hearts that need softening.
The term was applied to those former opponents of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who are said to have been reconciled to the cause of Islām by gifts of 100 or 50 camels from the Prophet Muhammad’s share of the spoils of the battle of Hunayn, after Muhammad’s forces had defeated the Hawāzin confederation, and which were divided out at the al-Dijrana. The list included the Meccan Leader Abū Sufyān and his sons Mua‟wiyya and Yazīd and various Bedouin chiefs from the tribes of western Arabia.
Within this historical context, the do’s and don’ts of marriage with a muallaf become an important part of preserving the practice of the Islamic religion. In general, Islamic Law has different regulations regarding interfaith marriages depending upon which of the two spouses is Muslim. It permits a Muslim man to marry up to four non-Muslim women from the within the people of the book, those of the Jewish or Christian faith, however, scholars generally forbid Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men from among the people of the book.
According to the Holy Quran, believing men and believing women are lawful for marriage to one another and a Muslim convert who has accepted Islam is a believer.
The Yusuf Ali translation of Surah 33:35 reads:
For Muslim men and women― for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves) for men and women who guard their chastity and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise― for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.
And continues in Surah 2:221:
Do not marry unbelieving women until they believe; a slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman even though she allure you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: a man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allure 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 receive admonition
Then in Surah 43:67-70:
My devotees! No fear shall be on you that Day nor shall ye grieve― (Being) those who have believed in Our Signs and bowed (their wills to Ours) in Islam. Enter ye the Garden, ye and your wives, in (beauty and) rejoicing.