Marriage

Details of the Question
In islam, can a sunni girl marry a shia boy?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

We should firstly introduce the Muslim since a Muslim woman is only allowed to marry with a Muslim person. Muslim is the one who accepts all of the definite orders of the religion Islam and rejects none of them. Namely he who accepts and believes in the orders like salah, fasting, zakah (alms), hajj (pilgrimage), ablution and ghusl (ablution of whole body); and the prohibitions like fornication, drinking, interest etc. But if somebody does not accept some of these orders and prohibitions he is not considered to be a Muslim and it is not appropriate to marry with him. If the marriage occurs it is considered to be illegitimate.
So the criterion of marrying is Islam. Unfortunately today many Muslim ladies marry with non-Muslims without learning the order of the Islam and deserve the curse of Allah till the doomsday. (Halil GÜNENÇ, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar(Juridical Decisions for Today’s Problems) II. 119)
Similar questions are coming on this subject for a while. Firstly I want to point out an issue.

We are not in favor of encouraging the Shia-Sunni dispute and dividing people. We support the unity and the cooperation. Flaming different views and breaking our unity does not bring good to any of us, it only harms all of us. We believe on the issue this way.
Indeed from the viewpoint of Islam there is no problem in taking Hz. Ali’s love as the base to himself for any Muslim or sect. Taking Hz. Ali and Ahl al-Bayt (family of Hz. Muhammad)’s love as a guide is ok as long as not disrespecting the other sahaba (companions of Hz. Muhammad), performing the salah in the light of the Quran and the sunnah (the way of the prophet), performing the fasting and the other responsibilities are fulfilled. Reality is that a true Shia who knows the book and the sunnah and lives as required accepts only Allah as god. He considers himself as a member of the Islam, accepts Hz. Muhammad as the last messenger and the Quran as the last holy book.

The only way to break this artificial separation is to get into the light of the Quran and to accept it as the base for criterian. Allah (swt) commands all the Muslims to gather around the Quran by saying in the Quran: “And hold fast, all together, by the Rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves”.
I will try to reply your question in this understanding.
Firstly we should know what the Shia is so that we can find the right answer. What is the Shia really? Yes, this is the question we should find the answer. If we know this we can give an answer like “marrying is appropriate” or “not”. But the understanding of the Shia in our country (Turkey) is not clear and unique. I listened some of the Shia representatives’ understanding of the Shia on the Samanyolu TV...
If the Shia is like this one, marrying is ok from the viewpoint of the Islam, and there is benefit in being kin. These representatives say that:
- Shia can not be outside of the Quran. It can not object to the sunnah. It can not be explained as opposed to Hz. Muhammad’s way of life, there are all the religious orders like salah, fasting, hajj and zakah in the Shia. Those who claim the opposite are the ones who want to make the Shia an instrument to their aims. You should not be deceived by them; you should not pay attention to those who want to show the Shia as outside of the Islam.
If the Shia is like this it is ok. We consider them as our brothers; moreover we may ignore some of their faults and shortcomings, because all of us have some sort of shortcomings and lacking in practice...
But if the Shia is not like this, and if it is like some claim... That is to say:
- If there is no salah, fasting, zakah; if they consider their worship only as a matter of heart and reject the five time prayer of salah; if they disrespect other caliphs of Hz. Muhammad, if they keep a hostility carrying some historical events to date; if they don’t accept the ghusl after being junub (ritually impure due to sexual intercourse or semen discharge) which is a must... it is not rational to think that it is possible for two people who accept and do not accept these things to establish a happy and calm home when people of the same culture also having problems in their marriage these days. Because of this I will say that: “How do the parts understand the Shia, firstly this must be well defined!”
If they take the Quran as base as our holy book, if they accept that the meaning of the Quran is explained in the sunnah, if they take the way of Hz. Muhammad and Ahl al-Bayt as a model, then it means we have no difference mainly. And it is possible to tolerate other differences.
The one who accepts the fards (religious duties) is a mu’min (believer). And the one who denies them is considered to be a kaffir (unbeliever). And determining this is possible by meeting and talking. Without talking it is prejudice.
I want to point out another important aspect too:
People who consider the Shia as inside of the Islam are our brothers, and the people who consider it as outside of the Islam are our citizens. We want to live in respect to each other with all of them too. This is a necessity of our religion too.
Shia can not be outside of the Quran. It can not object to the sunnah. It can not be explained as opposed to Hz. Muhammad’s way of life, there are all the religious orders like salah, fasting, hajj and zakah in the Shia. Those who claim the opposite are the ones who want to make the Shia an instrument to their aims. You should not be deceived by them; you should not pay attention to those who want to show the Shia as outside of the Islam... It is our duty to love and respect the people who were found worthy for the positions of bridegroom and father-in-law by Hz. Muhammad (pbuh).
Aile İlmihali (catechism of family), Cihan Yayınları

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