Muslim and Non-Muslim Marriage

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asked on Feb 14, 2006 at 04:50
edited on Jul 15, 2016 at 03:36
It is commonly understood that, in Malaysia, when a non-Muslim marries to a Muslim, the former must be converted to Muslim, regardless whether a husband or a wife. However, I would like to find out a little more about foreigner situations.

(1) If a husband from People's Republic of China intend to marry to a Malaysian Muslim wife, and the registration is performed in Malaysia, whether or not, he must be converted to Muslim?

(2) Expending from the above question, if the Muslim wife is not originated from Malaysia, for instance, migration from Indonesia, Arab, China, etc., whether or not the husband and wife are also bound by Malaysia Syariah Law?

(3) Whether a non-Malaysian citizen Muslim, viz. s/he is originated from countries via migration or work permit or marriage to Malaysian Muslim, or other means, is also regulated by Syariah Law, or civil law?

Your advice is greatly appreciated.
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answered on Feb 15, 2006 at 00:21
edited Jul 15, 2016 at 03:53
1. The husband has to convert to Islam.

2. You have to understand and know his or her CITIZENSHIP; Malaysian Muslim's "Future Spouse" is normally advised to convert before marriage. About Foreign Citizens' problems, it is all their individual preferences. You must NOT MIX Marriage with Religion.  

Whether you are in Malaysia or in ANY OTHER Country, you, as a responsible person MUST observe the Country's Law.

In Malaysia, BOTH the Syariah Law AND Civil Law apply to Muslim Citizens and Muslim Foreigners. Civil Law regulated for General Enforcement.
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answered on Feb 15, 2006 at 15:23
Dear LoyerBrook,

Thank you for your advice.

With regard to your 2nd answer, I am not too clear. Are you saying that, "when a non-Muslim (regardless whether a foreigner or a Malaysian citizen) marries to a foreign Muslim who resides in Malaysia (as far as s/he has not obtained Malaysian citizenship status), and registration is done in Malaysia, the conversion to Muslim of his/her spouse is not mandatory, subject to the own preference of his/her spouse"?

Please advise. Thank you.
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answered on Feb 16, 2006 at 01:13
edited Jul 15, 2016 at 04:14
The non-Muslim Foreigner who intends to marry a Muslim Spouse who is also a Foreigner, and would like to obtain Malaysian Marriage Certificate are also advised to convert to Islam in Malaysia.

There is nothing wrong with ANY True Faith of Genuine Religions that people all over the World have devoted to believe in, and for more than a thousand of years.

Of course, it is personal preference, only God knows whether you are sincere and fateful to your spouse or not.

My personal advise:

If you really love your spouse, love his or her religion too. What's wrong? It is just a matter of learning and understanding more about it and then, most importantly ACCEPT and BELIEVE IT. You'll be alright.
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answered on Jun 6, 2010 at 04:35
edited Jul 15, 2016 at 04:24
Interesting information but I am still confused.  I am a Malaysian non-Muslim and my man is a Muslim Iraqi.  Must I convert to Islam if we get married in Malaysia?  If yes, do you know any country where I do not have to convert?  His uncle married a Christian in their country and she didn't have to convert. Thanks!
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answered on Jun 23, 2010 at 13:29
We have to consider Theoretical, Practical and more Tactical Applications while implementing such conscience from the Heart.

If an Iraqi Muslim has his Muslim Name and Religion clearly stated in the ID Card and Passport, then you have no alternative, but to convert to Islam before marriage. This is to prevent future predicaments in Malaysia.

Tactically, you could get married and obtain Marriage Certificate outside Malaysia. BUT... not encouraged if you planned to have children in near future.
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answered on Mar 16, 2011 at 20:25
edited Jul 15, 2016 at 04:25
The closest most easiest place would be Singapore. It is a secular country. Even Muslim Singaporeans who choose to marry non-Muslims can do so in the civil court which is a proper, marriage court protected by charters etc. Therefore, even if you wish to have children later in any part(s) of the world, it won't pose a problem because the law is an internationally recognised law, hence, internationally recognised marriage certificate. It mirrors the British law.

I personally know of many Malaysian Malay men and women who, in their home country, have to abide by Islamic laws because being Malay is synonymous with being Muslim in Malaysia; then choose to marry their non-Muslim spouses in Singapore because nobody has to convert or revert to any particular faith.

You can check the Registry of Marriages website from Singapore. They make it so simple because the country has a very strong pro-family policy.
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answered on Mar 24, 2011 at 23:37
edited Jul 15, 2016 at 04:27
If a Malaysian Muslim man and a Malaysian Chinese lady choose to register with the Singapore Marriage registry, would the Malaysian Shariah Law recognised and validate this Certificate? If the couple choose to reside together, would they be submit to khalwat (close proximity) charges?
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answered on Apr 11, 2011 at 17:59
edited Jul 15, 2016 at 04:30

From what I know, it would not be a problem. The Singapore marriage cert does not state any religion(s), just both your names, the 2 witnesses' names and the signature of The Justice of the Peace.

As for the Malaysian Shariah Law recognising it, I personally do not think it is up to them because it is a Civil Law certificate. Why would you want the Shariah Court to see it anyway? It is just like the civil marriage certificate in Malaysia, I don't think the non-Muslims need toustify their actions to the Shariah court.

The difference is, nobody has to convert or revert to anything. Nobody has to become a Muslim to marry another Muslim. No, it legally states that both of you are legally married and as it is not under Muslim law, the khalwat thing would not apply to you.

To start with, there are so MANY MANY MANY Malaysian Malay-Muslim couples who are NOT legally (or whatever ways) married who have been living together for years who have never ever been caught for khalwat. So don't worry yourself about it. The certificate carries alot of weight. They can challenge it in court.

Basically, it states both your names. How you live, they cannot actually discern it.

Hope that helps?
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answered on Apr 21, 2011 at 23:43
edited Jul 15, 2016 at 04:32

Thanks for your information. They help but I heard to get married in Singapore both have to stay in at least 15 days. Am I right?

Would there be any problem to register baby in the future?
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answered on Jun 8, 2011 at 17:07
edited Jul 15, 2016 at 04:33
You speak as if you understand Syariah Law which I doubt that you do because you obviously don't.

Your marriage in Singapore will NOT be valid in Malaysia because marriages between Muslims and non Muslims is prohibited under Islamic law of Malaysia. However it might be valid in other countries.

In khalwat matter, if you do get caught your Muslim spouse will be charged (not you) for khalwat because you both have no valid certificate to proof your legal marriage under Islamic Law of Malaysia.

Furthermore, if you plan to have kids, issues will arise especially during registering the baby in Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN).

Easiest way to evade this is just reside in Singapore.
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