Are you in a relationship with a Muslim? What things should you know before you consider marrying a Muslim? In many marriages, two people from different faiths or perspectives marry each year. The most likely scenario is that the non-Muslim girl considers marrying a Muslim man. This situation is because Islam allows the man to marry a woman who is not a Muslim but believes in monotheistic ideas (commonly Christian or Jewish).
Related to the above, best if one knows that a Muslim man, according to Islamic law, can marry a non-Muslim, but a Muslim girl cannot marry a non-Muslim. The opposition may be more significant if you consider marrying a Muslim girl. Islamic law states: “It is not lawful or valid for a Muslim man to be married to any woman who is not either a Muslim, Christian, or Jew; nor is it lawful or valid for a Muslim woman to be married to anyone besides a Muslim.” Nuh Ha Mim Keller. Translated from Arabic. Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manuel of Islamic Sacred Law ‘Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368). Beltsville, MD: Amana … Continue reading. Here, Islamic law is clear; a Muslim man has more options than a Muslim woman.
The concession above for Muslim men exists because – A person who marries a Muslim ought to expect the children to be Muslim. As the head of the home, the man will determine the religious context in the home. This role may not always be the case, but a Muslim man expects to raise his children as a Muslim. In the movie Not Without My Daughter, the Islamic religious tenets overtake their mixed marriage and form the movie’s crisis. A Muslim father will usually want his children to follow his religion. If not him, then possibly his family will provide social pressure.
Even a secular Muslim has heart concerns. One day, a Saudi friend and I entered into a deep discussion concerning heart issues while enjoying the Reunion Tower view in downtown Dallas. I had a coke, and he had a beer. Since our friendship started, and when possible, I shared my faith in Christ with him. He listened and debated religious issues, but it was apparent he was secular. He did not do his prayers and was sitting across from me, drinking an alcoholic drink, which Islam forbids. Then the discussion somehow landed on heaven and hell – we often jumped into big topics like this. Finally, with much emotion and in total seriousness, he said, “I do not want you to go to hell! You need to become a Muslim!” I was quite taken aback by his words and his show of emotion. Firstly, in Christ, the promise of God for those who trust in the sacrificial death of Jesus is eternal life – I had no expectation based on this promise that God would lie and still send one to hell who asked Christ to forgive him. Yet, he saw things differently. Secondly, I was astonished that a secular man who had no actions leading to anything religious would, at this point, emotionally urge me to accept a religion that even he is not correctly following. Even a secular Muslim has heartfelt convictions that will eventually influence a relationship.
How important is washing to you? In Islam, water purifies and especially when the water flows. Daily, in preparation for prayer, a Muslim does ablutions – a ritual of washing one’s hands, feet, and face; to prepare oneself for prayer. We were in a church in Texas to share our Central Asian ministry. After, a woman came up to us and shared her story. She was married to a Muslim. He did not show any religious tendencies when they met at University. However, when they married and were on their honeymoon, she shared this incident with my wife and me. She ran a bath while her new husband ran out on an errand. She called him from the water-filled bath when he returned, inviting him to join her. Much to her dismay, he entered the area and looked with disdain at his new wife. He said, That is disgusting and walked out. She was perplexed and felt terrible. For this man, non-flowing water in a bath is not pure, and the impurities from one’s body are still in the water.
Islam allows more than one wife. Islam not only allows but, in many ways, encourages polygamy. Having multiple wives legally exists in many Islamic countries. If one’s husband goes back to his country every year without you, there is a chance he has a wife back in his homeland. A story was related to me about a lady who married an Iranian. After her death, her relatives discovered her husband had a second wife back in Iran. He visited there yearly and most likely contributed to some of their difficulties. The woman suffered this tension silently and never shared her grief with her friends or family in America. After her death, this shocking fact added to her loss for the family. One can not assume that there are no polygamists among us just because the West forbids polygamy. Possibly this scenario can happen to you if you marry a Muslim man.
Marriage is a community. The Muslim community expects religious and family obligations. They value community, which may be why you are attracted to your spouse since he relates well with others. A community takes care of those belonging and often meets many emotional and social needs. Yet, being married to a valued-based spouse will bring unaware expectations. For example, in the book I-Intimacy by Ismail Shaikh, one expects him to talk about spousal intimacy, but he ignores an exclusive focus on his wife throughout the book. His wife, mother, and extended family are often included in showing intimacy. The book uses the words mother 88 times and family 102 times as his definition of intimacy assumes a community mindset. These ideas will influence your marriage since intimacy is not necessarily exclusive in Islam.
As a Christian, one should not marry an unbeliever. However, love takes hold of our hearts, and often a believer in Christ or a non-Muslim decides to marry someone whose background is Islam. If you have a story related to this topic that you want to share, please get in touch with me. — Nakhati Jon
|↑1||Nuh Ha Mim Keller. Translated from Arabic. Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manuel of Islamic Sacred Law ‘Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368). Beltsville, MD: Amana Publishers, 1994, 529|
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