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Back to Top There is no explicit provision in Egyptian legislation prohibiting interfaith marriage.
However, since Islam is the main source of legislation according to article 2 of the Egyptian Constitution of 2014, family matters are subject to the rules of Islamic law.
The Civil Code asserts that a Muslim male can marry a non-Muslim female who believes in one of the four books (“follower of the book”); however, a Muslim female’s marriage with a non-Muslim, even to a follower of the book, is void. In fact, one of the conditions for a marriage to be valid and enforceable is that the female should be a follower of the book. Since Afghan law permits polygamy, marrying a female who is a follower of the book while having a Muslim wife, or vice versa, is also permitted under the Civil Code. The Shiites’ Personal Status Code governs the marriage of Shiitesin Afghanistan.
This Code similarly allows the marriage of a Muslim male with a follower-of-the-book female while invalidating the marriage of a Shiite woman with a non-Muslim man. Back to Top The Law on Personal Status of 1984 does not contain provisions related to interfaith marriage.
Back to Index of Legal Reports Full Report (PDF, 301KB) This report provides information on the laws of 29 countries, plus the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, that prohibit marriages between people of two different religions.
In the majority of the countries identified for this report, the prohibition of interfaith marriage arises from the implementation of Islamic personal status laws, either in codified or uncodified form, with respect to marriages involving Muslims.
(2) The fact that either party to a marriage converts to Islam shall not by itself operate to dissolve the marriage unless confirmed by the Court. and Muslim women are not permitted to marry non-Muslims.According to a religious fatwa (decree) issued by Dar al ifta’a al Massriyah (an official Egyptian religious authority with the power to issue religious decrees), it is permissible for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman in certain circumstances.However, according to the same fatwa, marriage between a non-Muslim man and a Muslim woman is prohibited under Islamic law because the non-Muslim man will not respect his Muslim wife’s faith. Islamic law forbids Muslim men from marrying women who are atheists or do not believe in the Abrahamic religions.Non-Buddhist husbands must observe the following provisions: (a) to allow the Buddhist woman to profess her religion freely according to her faith; (b) to allow the children born from the marriage with the Buddhist woman to profess their religion freely according to their faith; (c) to allow the Buddhist woman to keep Buddha statues and images at their home; (d) to allow the Buddhist woman to donate according to her religion, to worship, to [perform recitations] to ward off evil (Payeik), to tell (one’s) beads, to listen to religious sermons, to practice religious meditation, to visit Pagodas and Monasteries, to fast, to read and study literature relating to Buddhism; (e) not to cause the Buddhist woman to relinquish the Buddhist faith by using various means, and to convert her to his religion; (f) not to destroy or damage or to defile the place of worship or [sacred things] with an intent to insult Buddhism; (g) not to insult, in words or in writing or through visible representation or gesture, with bad intention to cause bitter feeling [toward Buddhists]. The non-Buddhist husband who commits one of these acts is subject to criminal penalties. Violations of these provisions are also grounds for divorce.In such a case, the non-Buddhist husband would lose his share of jointly owned property, owe his wife compensation, and be denied custody of the children. If a non-Buddhist man divorces a Buddhist woman because his religion does not allow the marriage due to religious differences, “or forsakes, or behaves cruelly and causes mental harm, whether or not it amounts to physical violence,” the non-Buddhist husband also loses his share of jointly owned property, owes his wife compensation, and is denied custody of the children. Any professed member of the Hindu, Sikh, or Jaina religion who is married to a Buddhist woman is “deemed to effect his severance from such family.