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Marriages between Muslims and atheists are not permissible at all. In such cases, the man or woman should accept Islam before entering into a shar'ai legal "nikah."

And do not marry Al-Mushrikats {idolatress, etc.} till they believe (worship Allah alone). And indeed a slave woman 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, even though he pleases you. Those Al-Mushrikun invite you to the Fire {Al naar}, but Allah invites you to the Paradise and Forgiveness by His Leave, and makes His Ayaat {proofs, evidences, lessons, verses, signs, etc.} clear to mankind that they may remember. [Quran  2:221] [[6]]

"...... (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book revealed before your time, when you give them their due dowries, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor sectret intrigues. If anyone rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all the spritual good)." [Quran 5:5] <<< See the following two notes >>>

# A note[7] following the above passage further describes that a Muslim man can marry a woman from their ranks on same terms as he would marry a Muslim woman, i.e. he must give her an economic and moral status, and must not actuate merely by motives of lust and physical desires. A Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim primarily because her religious affiliation and duties will be affected by the authority of her husband. A non-Muslim woman marrying a Muslim man are expected to eventually accept Islam. Any man or woman, from any race or faith, upon ACCEPTING Islam can freely marry any Muslim, man or woman, provided the objective is purity and chasteness and not lewdness.

## In the above verse, "People of Books" refers to the "followers" of the religions who received God's message in the form of teachings by Prophet Moses (AS) and Prophet Jesus (AS) before Islam. However, the term "people of Books" by no mean refers to the present Torah or Pentateuch or The Bible which were written by various authors decades and centuries after their respective Prophets. The term "Books" therefore does NOT affirm in any manner the validity of the present Bible (canonized in 325 AC) or Torah (written over an uncertain period est. 1500-1350 BCE??) as God's message as their followers vehemently argue and would like Muslims to take the term "Book" for their Bible or Torah. The following note by Abdullah Yousuf Ali is worth mentioning here:

Note #390: ...The Original Gospel (see Surah 3:48 below) was not the various stories written afterwards by disciples***, but the real message taught directly by Jesus (AS). *** St Paul, author of almost half of the New Testament and the one annuling Mosaic law, and Luke, to whom "Gospel According to Luke" is attributed, were not even among the original 12 disciples.

"And Allah will teach him (Jesus (AS)) The Book and Wisdom, The Law and the Gospel." [Surah 3:48] [This clearly indicate to THE Gospel given to Jesus (AS) and not to the Council of Nicaea which decided, in 325AC, by vote, what The Bible canon should be comprised of .]

"There is among them a section who distort the book with tongues; (As they read) you would think it is part of the Book, But it is no part of Book; and they say, "That is from Allah," But it is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it!" [Surah 3:78]

Note: Much has been already said on this topic on s.r.i.

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