Can you briefly contrast marriage in Islam and Christianity?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Marriage in Islam Verses Christianity

Islam advocates the inferiority of women in the marriage relationship in comparison to that in Christianity. Here are some points that show that:

A- The Quran sanctions for Muslim men to beat their wives according to Surah 4:34. “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.” Mohammed Pickthall’s translation of the Quran.

The Bible never teaches that husbands have the right to beat their wives. Rather, it teaches that the marital relationship between the husband and wife should be built on love: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesian 5:25).

Further, the husband is to treat his wife with honor: “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). The husband will give himself for the salvation of his wife, ministering to her spiritual and physical needs, and she to his, in a spirit of mutual love. For both male and female were made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).

B- The Quran commands a husband to sexually banish his wife, without her consent, as punishment for displeasing him according to Surah 4:34.

In contrast, the Bible teaches a married couple is not to refrain from sexual relations except by mutual consent, and then only for a brief period. “Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:2-5).

C- The Quran sanctions for a Muslim man to marry up to four wives at one time, not including concubines according to Surah 4:3. Muslim sources such as Sahih al-Bukhari, the History of al-Tabari, etc., report that Muhammad had at least nine wives at one time. The Islamic response to this is that the Qur’an in Surah 33:50 gave only Muhammad special permission to have as many wives as he wanted.

In contrast, the Bible presents monogamy as God’s ideal for marriage. God’s original intention was for one man to be married to only one woman. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife [not wives], and they will become one flesh [not fleshes]” (Genesis 2:24).

Even kings were not allowed by God to have many wives. In Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God says, “…you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses… But he shall not … multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away…” The Scripture has always commanded monogamy (Psalms 128:3; Proverbs 5:18; 18:22; 19:14; 31:10-29; Ecclesiastes 9:9).

D- The Quran teaches that the testimony of a woman is half the testimony of a man according to Surah 2:282. “And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses.”

In Contrast, the Bible makes no partiality between females and males. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

E- The Quran sanctions having sex with female captives and slaves in Surah 23:1-6 and 70:22-30, even if the captives were married according to Surah 4:24.

In contrast, the Bible states that having sex with anyone except the lawful spouse is considered adultery (Exodus 20:14). Even looking at a woman and lusting after her is adultery in God’s eyes (Matthew 5:27-28).

F- The Quran gives the husband the right to divorce his wife for any reason according to Surah 4:34. “Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.”

In contrast, Christianity forbids divorce except in the case of adultery. “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for [a]sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:9).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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