First Muslim and Christian Marriage in South Africa

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First Muslim and Christian Marriage in South Africa
Mon 23-03-2015

An "Open Mosque" in South Africa held the first interfaith marriage for a Muslim woman and a Christian man, a bond that’s not permissible in Islam, according to Muslim scholars worldwide.

"Everybody knows that such a marriage is not permissible in Islam," Riad Fataar, a senior leader of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), an NGO that represents the Muslims of South Africa, told The Anadolu Agency over the phone on Saturday, March 21.

The marriage, the first in South Africa, was held on Saturday in Cape Town between Muslim woman Saieda Osman and Christian man Siegfried Milbert.

The couple, both over 50, said they have been trying to tie the knot, but their request was rejected by several mosques.

Their marriage, however, was registered at the "Open Mosque" in Cape Town at a ceremony attended by Milbert family and a few members of Osman’s.

"We are so happy for them," the man's daughter Natasha said.

"Our family is mixed culturally, but not religiously," Suaad Valliyah, the bride's cousin, said. "We came here in full support," she added.

The new mosque is described by its founder as South Africa’s first gender-equal, non-sectarian and interracial mosque.

The house of worshipping would welcome both Sunni and Shiite Muslims at the same service.

The marriage was widely rejected by some members of the Muslim community.

"This is not allowed in Islam," Luqmaan, a South African Muslim, said.