Q: I am a teacher and an imam of congregational prayer in one of our local
masjids. Sometime people ask me to make a marriage contract between Muslim men
and Christian women and I do that according to shar'. Recently I had been
invited to attend a marriage contract ceremony between a Muslim man and a
religious Christian girl. He wanted the contract to be recited in the masjid.
The girl did not refuse that, but asked the man to go, after that, with her to
make their marriage rites in a church according to Christians. The man refused
that but she begged him to just attend there without doing any of their rites
along with the attendance of their two families and a representative of the
Muslims’ community (the imam).
Q1: Am I allowed after concluding the shar‘i contract in our masjid to just
attend the church as a representative of the Muslims community? Or can I deliver
a speech there about harmony among different religions?
Q2: The young man is totally against going to the church without me. In general,
are he and his family allowed to just attend the church without participating in
their worshiping rites?
A: For a Muslim man it is problematic to permanently marry a Christian or Jewish
girl, while there is no harm in marrying them temporarily provided that the
marriage contract is made in accordance with the Islamic law by the agreement of
both parties. After the marriage is concluded according to the correct Islamic
method, making it again pursuant to Christian teachings is meaningless. However,
there is no objection to going to a church and holding artificial marriage
ceremonies according to their method, in itself.