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“Muslim women should be able to marry non-Muslim men”: The Goatmilk Debates

with 618 comments


THE GOATMILK DEBATES” will be an ongoing series featuring two debaters tackling an interesting or controversial question in a unique, irreverent manner.

Each debater makes their opening argument. They can elect to post a rebuttal.

The winner will be decided by the online audience and judged according to the strength of their argument.

The motion: “Muslim Women Should Be Able to Marry Non-Muslim Men”

For the motion: Nadia S. Mohammad and May Alhassen [Read her piece here]

Against the motion:  Sister Soul [Read her piece here]

For the Motion – Nadia S. Mohammad – “Muslim women should be able to marry non-Muslim men”

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens) wed Huma Abedin Saturday in Huntinton, L.I. The bride wore a down designed by Oscar de la Renta.

When Huma Abedin, aide to Hilary Clinton, married Anthony Weiner, New York Congressman, it sent tongues wagging in the Muslim community. She did the unthinkable, the ultimate taboo for a good Muslim girl from a good Muslim family – she married a Jew… and he did not convert. O-M-G. The question that makes even the most open-minded Imams squirm was revived – Can a Muslim woman marry a non-Muslim man? The answer in all the major schools of thought has traditionally been a resounding NO. Absolutely, not. Not ever. Haraam, sister.

The response only begs the next question, but why? It is not prohibited in the Qur’an. Few modern scholars feel comfortable forbidding it for that reason. Yet, few are actually willing to articulate this in an official forum. Dr. Abou El Fadl is an example of a scholar who has openly and candidly addressed the issue of Muslim women marrying “men of the Book.” In his response he explains his dislike of the issue and his tendency to avoid answering the question. He describes the traditional thought and then goes on to mention that he, personally, finds the evidence regarding the prohibition to be weak and does not feel comfortable telling a woman she cannot marry a kitabiyya [People of the Book.]

I am not a scholar, but Dr. Fadl’s response echoes the sentiments I have heard from other scholars as well. As such, the bases for this opinion are two ayats [Qu’ran verses], the opinions of scholars I have questioned, and my own research. This opinion does not apply to marriages where one converts to another’s faith. Additionally, for the purposes of this discussion I recognize that we live in a patriarchal society and I am not contesting the traditional roles ascribed to men and women as per our cultural patriarchy.

What God Says: Qur’anic Law

The Qur’an addresses marriage to non-Muslims in two instances :

1. “And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you.” [Qur’an 2:221]

2. “And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers.” [Qur’an 5:5]

There are several absolute truths we can establish from these two ayats. The first is that a differentiation is made between non-Muslim “People of the Book” (those of the Judeo-Christian faith) and non-Muslim polytheists. This distinction determines that both men and women are not permitted to marry anyone who associates another god with God. That is pretty straightforward and not to be contested. The next point is that men are permitted to marry chaste Muslim, Jewish or Christian women when certain duties are upheld. We generally accept this at face value as our right to marry. We also accept from this that though Muslim women are not directly addressed, if Muslim men are given permission to marry Muslim women then naturally, Muslim women can marry Muslim men. The Qur’an does not provide further guidance on whether Muslim women can marry men “of the Book.”

The Issue

This leads us to the issue at hand – can we assume that the reverse is true for Muslim women marrying Judeo-Christian men?
• If not, can we forbid Muslim women from marrying a Christian or Jewish man?
• If yes, what does that mean in our patriarchal structure?

What People Say: Traditional Thought

Traditionally, the answer has been no, the reverse situation cannot be assumed for Muslim women. The argument is that if men are expressly given permission to marry women of the Book then women must also be given express permission in order to do the same. All major schools of thought accept this ruling. Many provide justifications as to why this traditional view has been upheld. The justification for this view fall primarily along these lines: 1) preservation of the Ummah [Muslim Community], 2) the father establishes religion for his children, 3) loss of certain rights as a Muslim woman, 4) implications on family law.

1) Preservation of the Ummah
Since we live in a patriarchal system there is a need to maintain a certain order under that system. The family lineage is passed through the father so if Muslim women marry outside the Muslim community this would, somehow, impede the growth of the Ummah as a whole.

2) Religion stems from the father

Children are most often recognized by their father’s name, culture, traditions, customs, beliefs, etc. In most customs, a woman marries into a family, not the other way around. In many instances the woman will even move into the husband’s family home. In such scenarios, not only is the father’s beliefs and legacy passed on in a symbolic sense, the father’s family and culture also exert a great influence over the children. This view that religion stems from the father is also used to support the notion that Muslim men may marry a kitabiyya, while Muslim women cannot.

3) Loss of rights

Islam ensures certain rights to women, which in an interfaith marriage cannot be guaranteed because the husband is under no obligation to ensure these rights are protected. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to freely practice her faith, the right to a mehr , the right to keep her name after marriage, the right to retain her earnings, the right to have her husband provide for her and their children, etc. Again, this is not thought to be an issue for Muslim men marrying outside of the faith because, the patriarchal household is accepted as the norm. Thus, as part of his duties, a Muslim husband is expected to provide for his family, uphold the rights of his wife and not prevent her from practicing her faith. He is also prohibited from forcing his wife to be Muslim. The fear, however, is that a non-Muslim husband heading a household would not be obliged to do the same, placing the woman at a disadvantage.

4) Implications on family law

Islamic law provides guidance regarding various topics within family law. This is of particular significance in regards to interfaith marriages as it includes matters of divorce, child custody, and inheritance. A concern for some scholars is that if Muslim women marry outside the faith, not only would they lose their God-given rights, but also, Islamic family law would not be able to address the issues that may arise.

Come On, Really…?

The notion that the Ummah is somehow preserved through the offspring of Muslim men is culturally archaic. The spread of Islam has been through its message, and its growth is maintained through the belief of its followers. A man’s family name, traditions and faith are passed to his children only in a symbolic sense. Their decision to follow or not follow his ways stem from a number of factors, and is ultimately governed by their personal choice. There are further inconsistencies in the reasoning given by those who purport this rule in light of patriarchal tradition. If we maintain that men are the head of households and carry on family legacy, then we also support the notion that women are the primary caretakers and nurturers. Thus, religion and culture are more likely to be passed through the mother. This is especially true of the common nuclear family in America, where the children are solely under the care and supervision of the mother, not the father’s extended family. It simply does not make sense that a practicing Muslim mother would not raise her children as Muslims. It makes even less sense that a non-Muslim mother could be expected to raise her children as Muslim.

The aforementioned justifications speak to an Islamically ideal situation – a marriage between a Muslim man and Muslim woman where both care for and respect each other and live in wedded bliss for the sake of Allah in a Muslim majority country with his upstanding Muslim family. It assumes that by marrying a kitabiyya a Muslim woman is forgoing this wedded bliss. It also assumes that if she marries a Muslim man she will be in an Islamically ideal situation. Both assumptions are just not realistic.

If a Muslim woman finds a practicing man of God who respects her better than the Muslim men around her and with whom she connects with better as well, why should anyone stop her from marrying him? Even if we are to presume that all the single available Muslim men of America are Islamically ideal men and a Muslim woman would be crazy to reject all these potential Muslim suitors – if she chooses to marry a kitabiyya, she does not lose any wifely rights in this country, at least. The beauty of Islam is that it guaranteed a minimum standard for women at a time when there was no standard. We are fortunate enough to live in a society where these basic rights and more are upheld by law.

The concern that a shift in traditional thought will have implications in Islamic law is understandable, but should not be considered a threat to our Islamic traditions. Islamic law is not divine and it is not set in stone. It is a man-made interpretation of divine doctrine and tradition. It is a living body of law and should be treated as such. Implying that the fear of readdressing Islamic family law is enough to forbid all Muslim women from marrying outside the faith is just lazy. A body of law requires constant thought and analysis in order to develop. There are many Islamic scholars who recognize the need for development in Islamic legal theory, and are uncomfortable upholding traditions that are not prescribed in the Qur’an, yet few are willing to voice that opinion. When it comes to the rights of women we need to remember that Islam provided a floor, not a ceiling, and we must be careful of twisting something into haraam that is not expressly prohibited.

Soooo…

Ideally, most of us want and expect to marry a Muslim. It simplifies a lot of complications in our minds regarding marriage and family. But the reality is that in our society we have an increased chance of meeting and marrying a non-Muslim. Huma’s choice may have made the news. But men do it all the time. We accept their decision, as it is their choice, their right. We don’t analyze all the possible outcomes it may or may not have on the future of his children and the Ummah. So why are we prohibiting women from observing the same right when it is not prohibited in the Qur’an? And why are we prohibiting it with outdated justifications?

At most, the traditional justifications provide evidence that marrying kitabiyya is discouraged, not that it is forbidden. The choice is left to the believer.

Renowned scholar Tariq Ramadan said it best. When asked how he would react if one of his children married a non-Muslim, he replied:

“I would naturally prefer someone to share the principles of being a Muslim. But it’s their choice. Look, by then, I will have done what I have had to do [as a father]. I have transmitted my principles to them. So I say to them, know who you are and your values. When you know this, then you are free. “

Allah knows best.

READ THE OPPOSITION’S POST HERE

MAY ALHASSEN’s post can be read here.


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Written by Wajahat Ali

August 24, 2010 at 11:44 am

618 Responses

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  1. I don’t like this blog anymore.

    Abdullah

    August 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    • Why you don’t like this blog anymore? Because you don’t agree with everything written here? Life is full of things you don’t always agree with. You don’t get to control everything. Life is full of agreeing to disagree. That makes you an adult.

      amazonbaby

      August 25, 2010 at 1:39 am

      • Because I don’t believe in being so open-minded that your brains fall out.

        Abdullah

        August 25, 2010 at 12:24 pm

      • Its all fine and dandy when your sparking controversy by just wagging your tongues and debating this sort of stuff online..but has anyone actully thought about it practically?Actually put two people that have been brought up and schooled by two extremely different beliefs in amarital reltionship?`Cus its easy to talk but its hell to live with.Ever considered how messed up the family can be if they have two different mutually exclusive beliefs?I know for a fact it has a severe psychological effect on the children..that just being the starters.The fights with the spouse and emergence from the comfort zone is a recipe for disaster.This im saying from a factual, practical,literal point of view…However if neither of the two in the couple are not close to their beliefs and far away from their religion then i can imagine them slogging on in life the way everyone else is.Like this couple.
        All of the above is from an open minded non-religious point of view by the way.

        TheNeighbour

        September 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      • Then why don’t you agree a Muslim man who is not rich or not professional but his virtues are good? And why don’t yo agree to marry a Muslim man who is having another wife but can love and can financially and physically handle both of you whose virtues are good? First of all why don’t you go back to your country where you came from and develop there and invest there to make your own country better so that your people don’t have to come to these racist whites countries? Why don’t you go and help the poor nations to build their economies? Why don’t criticize the racism that’s there in most of the whites, I am living in America with my family from India only and I try my best to develop and invest in my own country so that the other relatives can live better in India itself. And many Indians even Hindus do it they open companies in India train the new educated people in IT and give them Jobs, these Americans are going there to accomplish their tasks. Its win-win situation. You don’t do all the above because you have lust, lust for a white man with white skin, suite coat and tie, you want a rich man who looks rich but he is poor from inside. Most of the Middle Eastern (Muslim in particular) women are more fascinated with western culture I don’t know why, that’s the shit of the cultures. Western people are racists, morons they used their intelligence and technology to ruin other societies and countries for decades and still doing it from behind. The best thing is to go back to your country and bring change in their lives, which I am doing now so that the next generations don’t have to come to these Westerners again. Thats what you can give to Islam and the human kind. Good luck.

        Abdul Aleem Mohammad

        November 22, 2013 at 7:09 am

    • I just found this blog and absolutely adore it!

      Shereen

      October 19, 2011 at 5:24 am

      • This a nice read for sure. As a non Muslim, I would honor my wife’s beliefs. I would very much love such a wife.

        bauguaman

        March 23, 2012 at 8:46 am

    • Abdullah,

      this point of view may be shocking and unusual, but take a moment and see this picture, we are muslimsisters practicing and living in western countries, I personally live in australia all the men we meet are usually professional people we work with and they are non muslim but good christians, we do not get younger and in our archaic society they won’t even consider us i mean the muslim men who may be interested in us to get a residency and a better life but if we are over 35 we are dead to them. so what do you want us to do die bachelor? I have met muslim people who are against even when the man convert with good faith to islam they say “not good enough” so i guess we keep looking for the muslim de souche whose muslim for generations? come on Abdulla we all wish we have met the white sheep but sometimes those are not available so give me a solution for God sake.
      a muslim woman living in christian land!

      Magda

      April 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      • Magda, I think women like us, end up knowing more about our Creator and the reality of His presence. Good luck, I have been in the same situation and ended up marrying someone who used to be a good christian. He’s become muslim after getting to know me and my realistic beliefs. All I know is that be strong in ur faith and be smart. Don’t be foolish by never getting married bc u want to marry a ‘muslim born’ man who may take his faith for granted!

        peace

        April 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      • Hear! Hear!

        Precious star

        April 17, 2012 at 2:12 am

      • Sister Magda

        I don’t think it’s a wise idea to marry a non Muslim man just because it seems that he is not a mushrik/polytheist. Consider the following verse from Surah An-Nur

        The adulterer marries not but an adulteress or a Mushrikah and the adulteress none marries her except an adulterer or a Muskrik [and that means that the man who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan or idolatress) or a prostitute, then surely he is either an adulterer, or a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater, etc.) And the woman who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater) or an adulterer, then she is either a prostitute or a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan, or idolatress, etc.)]. Such a thing is forbidden to the believers (of Islamic Monotheism).24.3-

        Muhsin Khan translations http://quran.com/24

        You would probably agree with me that most non Muslim men in the west including Australia (where I live :) ) commit adultery before marriage. If you meet a Christian man with some monotheistic beliefs then you should get your male relatives to give him dawah and hopefully he will accept Islam.

        Musa

        April 18, 2012 at 6:35 am

      • A marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man is not recognized in Islam. Even those who don’t believe in hadith have to admit that there isn’t a single shred of evidence of the Prophet or the Companions ever having allowed such a thing in the first generation nor their successors having allowed it in the subsequent centuries. You can go ask non-Muslim historians in Western universities if you wish as well.

        Even if you did a nikah, it is not valid, and everytime you had relations with your husband would count as zina and your children would be considered born out of wedlock. People probably wouldn’t bother you in this world but if you want to add on a mountain of zina to your deeds on the Day of Judgment when you stand before God then that’s 100% up to you, you don’t need to ask other people about that.

        If you think it’s hard to find a Muslim man, then I don’t know what to tell you. I’m a Muslim man and there are a ton of us who are looking for spouses in Australia and other Western countries. You would not be picking a non-Muslim husband as a last resort, you would purposely be ignoring Muslim men in favor of non-Muslim men which makes the situation worse. Try those online matrimonial sites, I found someone through there (who is around your age range). Halfourdeen.com is a good one.

        There’s nothing wrong with marrying a convert. I know several sisters who married men who converted to Islam before the nikah, and some of these men turned out to be quite pious and practicing (in some cases to the wives’ chagrin).

        But dating for anyone of either sex and engaging in premarital sex is also a sin so starting off a relationship on a sin probably doesn’t bode well as an omen for the rest of it. If you’re determined to not marry existing Muslim men who surround you for your own personal reasons (because we all know they exist in Australia) then your only bet is to start meeting non-Muslim men, but not starting a sexual relationship, and informing them that you will only marry a Muslim (that they have to convert)

        desert

        September 15, 2013 at 11:57 am

      • ” I have met muslim people who are against even when the man convert with good faith to islam they say “not good enough …”

        Yes, this is really arrogant, ignorant and often racist. Similar happened to me, I am a converted muslima. The arab parents of my not-any-longer-future husband deny, that there is such a thing as “conversion” in islam, and they claim that making Shahāda does not qualify you to be muslim, they think they’re superior because they are born muslims. The joke is, that those people are even not practising islam. They’re not doing Salat, they NEVER do Zakat (but have money to buy all useless stuff), they are very self-absorbed and only go occasionally to jumu’ah prayer, to chitchat and to be seen and noticed by people. They interpret and twist quran verses to their liking. His father also slanders people that are doing Zakat, because he thinks it’s stupid. No compassion for the suffering at all, no nothing. He jokes, when he sees his youngest son doing salat. But oh, let me be frank: They’re doing Ramadan, and think everything is ok then, that’s enough to go to jannah. Don’t let yourself judge by people who are not even muslims themselves.

        AquaAir

        April 1, 2014 at 11:03 am

    • My mother is Christian, my father is Muslim. Im christian, My girlfriend is muslim. I dont see the big deal really? we follow 92% of the same thing. why spend our lives talking about the 8%

      Faheem?

      April 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

      • i love your post for this. may God make it easy on both of you :)

        Amine

        June 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm

  2. Its like arguing for alcohol; saying that its only prohibited in one place and that as long as you do it in moderate quantities, its acceptable.

    There are some things which dont change with time – and in this case are you basing everything on the Quran? did the Holy Prophet sanction any marriage of this nature during this time?

    Ray

    August 24, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    • “… and in this case are you basing everything on the Quran?” … ???????????

      Its the word of God you moron… every thing IS based on it and it is timeless… and if there is any contradiction between Hadith (word of man) and Quran (word of God) … Quran wins

      Omar

      August 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm

      • As far as I know, there is no contradictions between the Quran and hadith. Allah hu Alim.

        M.

        August 24, 2010 at 10:19 pm

      • Omar, Why call him names? Should we call you a bad name, too?

        amazonbaby

        August 25, 2010 at 1:41 am

      • Thank you!! I have been married arranged and quickly to two muslim men, difft times of course, both have had abusive qualities and I have the wonderful parents, family and friends who helped me out of the situation..now that i’m older, its ridiculous that we make up forbidden rules that are not from the word of Allah, the Quran!! People who claim they know and call this blog stupid are stupid themselves, they dont know the world, they havent gotten close to Allah and his creations..sad if we can’t be better than other people in this world..if someone is judgemental, it makes them a worse muslim than someone who is God loving who may be Christian and Jew because they also believe in the same Allah and chose to believe.

        Islam

        February 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    • The Holy Prophet was busy marrying a lot of different types of women. He was sanctioning many different types of marriages for himself. So, I’d say that there is permission for many types of marriages.

      amazonbaby

      August 25, 2010 at 2:32 am

      • nice answer amazon baby

        Akash

        June 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      • very true. he married as many times as he wanted and changed rules just to suit him!

        Javed

        February 18, 2013 at 11:33 am

      • And do you have any evidence for that?

        Ali

        December 9, 2013 at 12:19 am

    • First off, with the whole alcohol issue, you’re referring to the abrogated verses. The first few ayahs addressing alcohol have been nullified due to the latter ayahs completely prohibiting alcohol. It’s the whole process of abrogation or mansukh in Arabic. So those that argue for alcohol are completely wrong.

      This article has a point because prohibiting women to marry men of the book is something that has not specifically been prohibited in the Qur’an and not addressed in the Sunna. Prohibiting something which is not haram is another type of sin.

      And something you should definitely know is that the Qur’an is the authorative and divine source which everything else is ‘based’ on…not whatever you seem to be thinking. The Qur’an is the main and final source of Islam and if anything contradicts it then it should be considered null and void.

      Nida

      March 24, 2011 at 2:04 am

      • I have than liver from unknow cause I was not drink alcohol when young. When I get bad cought the doctor write note for alcohol base cought medine not alcohol free cought medine which will do 10 time more harm to my liver than alcohol base one will do. Muslim doctor do the same also when writeing note for medince.

        Brian C. Hoff

        September 8, 2011 at 1:49 am

      • Salam Nadia,

        Based on my own reading of the Quran the people of the book are Mushrikun/polytheist.

        They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allah), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)) to worship none but One Ilah (God – Allah) La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him, (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).” 9.31-Mushin Khan translations.

        Also verses 5.72-73 seem to describe those who believe in the trinity are practicing shirk/polytheism.

        http://quran.com/5

        Nadia , I don’t think verse 5.5 describes people of the book as being 100% monotheistic. The verse only states that we can eat their lawful food and marry chaste women. Can you think of other verses which describe the people of the book as not being polytheist?. The only verses I can think of are 2.62 and 5.69 but verse 3.85 states that

        And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.3.85.

        Some scholars say that verses 2.62, 5.69 only apply only applies to people of the book who lived during prophets Musa(as) and Jesus(as) times but Allah(swt) knows best.

        My final question is in verse 9.28 Allah(swt) has ordered Muslims to not allow Mushrikuns/polytheist to enter Al Masjid Al Haram/Mecca. So do you think people of the book should be allowed to enter Mecca since you believe that they are not polytheists.

        Musa

        April 18, 2012 at 6:04 am

      • Here is Quran verse 60:10

        “They are not lawful (wives) for the Unbelievers, nor are the (Unbelievers) lawful (husbands) for them”

        The Quran here fobids Muslim women from marrying outside their religion. Also, it is makrooh (disliked) for Muslim men to do the same.

        Ali

        December 9, 2013 at 12:18 am

    • And yet there is alcohol being distributed within the muslim world. If a union is entered into sincerely, and the union is between two different “God fearing” people whether jewish, muslim or christian, ….it’s like people putting up a stink cause someone who they normally otherwise either rejected or ignored is now defecting to another group.

      Ashi

      November 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm

  3. I absolutely agree. The notion that your religion and spirituality somehow depends on the other person’s believes and actions, including your husband is utterly unislamic. Besides people of the book like Christians and Jews are NOT polytheists.

    Sofia

    August 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    • I totally agree with you.

      Dania

      August 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    • You might not like this, and it probably depends much on upbringing, but most women I know follow the lead of the men in their lives, unconsciously or not. I know lots of women who expect the men to make the decisions and don’t want to be bothered. And guess what; the real conflicts happen when they have to decide how to raise the kids.

      OmarG

      September 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm

      • Omar G, you might not like this, but there is not only one type of women. There are actually women that think and try to do the right thing, thinking of God/Allah who they believe in strongly and stand up for justice and their faiths and uphold their faith bc it is strong. Those women who just follow the lead of men are also at risk even with muslim men. Lets use our heads, there are many problems either way. It all depends, and I’m sure that is the most reasonable answer. Best thing to do is ask Allah and pray and try with the tools he gave us. He will come closer to us if we try every step to be closer to Him..and that includes raising children and a nonmuslim in showing them and guiding them the right way.

        islam

        July 16, 2011 at 6:17 am

  4. It’s very clear that this isn’t an Islamic blog – it’s an anti-Islam attack blog run by a lunatic fringe “progressive Muslim”. Sad.

    Abdullah1

    August 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    • You miss the point totaly. I convert after 9-11 an I see that Islam needed to change some view. First one of our sister mother marry than america in Indonesia who treated her better than the local men. Her first hushand mistreated her badly when he die the america man convert to Islam to be able to marry her. I think Islam needed to look anew at some of our legal and religious belief. The america hight court at time hear cases on matter that the court decide year ago to see it than change is needed. I than 60 year old than I know less than some muslim childern about Islam, but I know the major points like you cannot breat up your wife. My father who was than christian man use to breat my mother on than regulate basely than at that time the police didnot arrest the man but stop him from further hitting the woman. At one point I was ready to kill my father durning one of his breating up my mother event. I never hit any women because of this.

      Brian C. Hoff

      August 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    • Wow. Just wow.

      Sabir Ibrahim

      August 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    • No, Abdullah1,

      It’s a conversation where posters and the author state their viewpoint whether or not you agree with it. That is called freedom of expression. All ideas and expressions. You’ve lived in a bubble for too, long.

      So, should we call you bad names now and attack you?

      Please don’t act like a child just because someone else doesn’t hold your same opinion. Adults aren’t so insecure that they can’t agree to disagree and respect someone else’s opinion.

      amazonbaby

      August 25, 2010 at 1:44 am

    • Having lived in various Muslim countries for 18 year I have come away with a sad realisation that Islam is a not a success. I think that the absence of personal responsibility by responsibility being suborned to a suposedly superior being saps the very life spark that drives others. Locked into a mindset that prohibits discussion and free thought with the penalty of death is to put it mildly rather limiting to ever moving forward.

      Simon Scarth

      November 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    • Abdullah,
      Stop judging others, it is not your place nor is it “islamic.” Allah is the most merciful and sightful. There will be a time when we are all judged on our faith, intentions, and deeds. Share your knowledge, perception, and opinion without passing negative judgement. People should just seek true, heartfelt gauidance (prayer/salah) from Allah and he will show you the way.

      Ray

      February 17, 2014 at 3:34 am

  5. There’s a lot of interfaith marriages between Muslim women and Hindu men in India. I’ve known various Indians from mixed religious families and they turned out fine.

    Whether Qur’an forbids it or not, I ain’t letting anyone deny me the right to marry a Jewish, Hindu, Christian or atheist man if I want to. if Allah looks down at me for marrying a man of a different faith because this man loves and respects me, then that’s not the Allah I want to worship.

    Jihad Punk 77

    August 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    • yeah girl, i second all that.

      Sarita

      August 30, 2010 at 11:58 pm

      • This the best comment ever. My girlfriend is muslim but does not practice it. Her dad is married to another woman and he says he wont allow me to marry this girl that i have been dating for four years. There is no reason for me to doubt her love for me.

        Why should someone who is 69 years deny me my future happiness. I will never convert and if my girl wont marry me because of that, then i guess were just not meant to be.

        Does it mean on Judgement day, God will choose one religion he sees right?

        james

        May 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      • Jame It better to change your religion to Islam to marry your muslim girl. I know muslim that donot goto the mosque expect on certain month and days.

        Brian C. Hoff

        May 6, 2011 at 1:46 am

    • @Jihad Punk 77… Asthagfurullah! That is really shameless, ignorant, and disgusting comment.

      Islam is NOT what you want it to be, Islam is the religion that God has blessed humanity with.

      Islam has clearly forbidden a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim man. God knows what is best for us and God has made it clear that marrying a Muslim woman is to marry a Muslim man.

      Islam is about submitting yourself to Almighty Allah (SWT) who knows more than anyone or anything else.

      God is beyond all physical and material things, and Muslims MUST obey the commandments of God!

      Your comment is extremely disgusting. You should change your thinking.

      Give up your material obsession and recognize that God has made truth clear.

      The Quran MUST be understood through the holy, pure, perfect, and infallible Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) who himself IS the Quran and lived the best life ever!

      Ali

      October 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      • Um, Ali, I’m sorry, but from an atheist’s point of view (i.e., my view), you’re simply wrong. But you know what, I’ll let you love and live and learn they way you wish while you remain under your (delusion) view. Now, as for a women who identifies as Muslim, I also will allow her to live and love and learn in the way she wants to, which is to do so in the arms of her atheist lover. And the reason she believes this way is because he, at least, expresses and manifests and embodies that god-quality she seeks – absolute love and respect for her and for life and for others; something she has a hard time finding in certain people who call themselves Muslim.

        J. Alexander Lloyd

        October 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      • Ok Ali,

        You told us what the Koran and “god” have to say about Moslim women marrying non Muslim man.
        ( we knew that already)
        But unfortunately “god” or “allah” simply doesn’ exist.These are human phantasies just as “appollo” “woodan” “amon re” or “ctulhu”.
        I should like to know what you personnaly as an intellectual being think about this question.

        Think for yourself! do not think secondhand, do no rely on others.

        JJ.Rousseau

        October 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      • It is not forbidden to marry nonmuslim men. You cannot find that in the Quran. It says men should not marry non believing women (idolators) and women should not marry nonbelievers because its better for them. Its true if someone doesnt believe in one God, the creator of all of us, we can sin and fall to be deceived. But the message from beginning of time has always been the same. If you say any nonmuslim is also a nonbeliever, you are definitely wrong and I actually feel sorry that your intellect hasnt been used as God has given to others. You have to read the quran in depth and the history behind why what happened. (For James) As far as JJ Rousseau, you should try reading the Quran and history and see how it would ever make sense for a man to know about the two rivers, one sweet and one salty that dont mix..or other examples in the Quran that is impossible for him to know and have that much knowledge. See if it makes sense that there is no human way possible for him to have known about the prophets that were revealed before his time and in aramaic or hebrew and not in arabic..and in the days where technology was not advanced..then u would be shocked and really accept that must be some sort of miracle or impossible. May you use your wisdom and brain as well to realize there is a power greater than you, that can save you at the times you will wish He did. May God bless you with the well rounded love and spirit in your life! As for those who think that its still haram, sorry to say I’ve just witnessed a couple of miracles and am now more stronger in faith than ever that its not haram as long as people believe and don’t associate other things or gods with One God and those that strive to be in God’s way, He is always with His creations..whether you believe it or not.

        islam

        October 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      • I would just like to say one thing…GOD is all about love and God made this entire universe and then he made humans….now are you trying to say all the muslims are goin to heaven….HUH…Im a christian..but my father is a muslim…And let me tell you..I say ISLAM is a JAIL…where once some one accepts it..their is no way out even if you want to…you are forced to believe or do what ever you dont want to…and im a CHRISTIAN…where you can only be a christian if you BELIEVE…we dont kill in the name of our GOD…for Kafir(sinners) God has made hell…so other then changing the whole meaning of GOD and doing what he has planned for the “so called kafir(sinners)” as you put it.as usual deciding for God…why dont yall shut your disgusing mouths and stop using tht horrible brains to find horrible ways to kill innocent ppl just to remove your frustrations….Im sorry to say…Islam mite be a religion but the muslims are nothing but murderers /vultures/horrible torturers and the famouse word…TERRORISTS….Youll can marry 4 times …why?? women are animals in ISLAM?? they have no respect?? …everyone has their human rights…GOD IS LOVE and if you fall in love with another human being regardless of their religion…God is present their….Everyone believes in GOD/ALLAH …..so just becoz one who does not believe in th prophets…God will hate them?? I say just look up the sky and pray to GOD…itz all about him..GOD almighty…last bust not the least…being a good human being in this generation is big thing it self…

        jazmine

        December 30, 2011 at 3:01 am

      • exactly! i have been married to two muslim men through famliy and had my life ruined! never again. now i am with a man who dont hve no religion but strongly believes in god, and loves and respects me. thats most important to me. i have asked allah to lead me in d right path and only he nos what will happen. all i no is that i love this guy and my allah will guide me! i will not force myself to be unhappy. i believe everything happens for a reason and sumtimes u cant explain the reason but in time u will.

        jade

        March 18, 2012 at 3:26 am

      • Honestly, thank you!! everything you said makes perfect sense excluding the last paragraph.

        lily

        June 5, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      • The Quran does not state that a woman cannot marry more than one husband. The Quran does not also state that a muslim woman is allowed to marry a muslim man. The Quran says that muslim woman may not marry unbelievers, so if Christian and Jews are unbelievers then why would God allow muslim men to marry them. Because God also says that muslim men may not marry unbelievers.

        Tanya

        February 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      • Thank you Tanya, you are of some that have shown how people become blind with time and we have lost the essence of the message.

        Peace

        March 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    • Dear Fakie Jihad Punk,

      You are spreading lies. Its HIndu women who marry Muslims men but not the others.
      Exception may happen but see the list. Bollywood stars, cricketers Muslims men from Amir Khan, Shaharukh Khan, Arbaz Khan, Sohail Khan, Irfan pathan, Azharuddin, Saif Ali khan all these Muslim men married Hindu women. When 100 Hindu women marry Muslim men, u will find 0.000001% Muslim woman marrying HIndu men. So, ur title also shows that u are an RSS terrorist group, a Muslim/Christian minority hater. You are lier. I am Indian too. In between I personally dont support any of these so called Muslim men to marry Hindu women.

      Azad Ali Shah

      November 30, 2011 at 12:26 am

      • Well said Azad bhai.Salams. I am asking the women who want to marry non muslim men the following things, make sense.

        Then why don’t you agree a Muslim man who is not rich or not professional but his virtues are good? And why don’t yo agree to marry a Muslim man who is having another wife but can love and can financially and physically handle both of you whose virtues are good? First of all why don’t you go back to your country where you came from and develop there and invest there to make your own country better so that your people don’t have to come to these racist whites countries? Why don’t you go and help the poor nations to build their economies? Why don’t criticize the racism that’s there in most of the whites, I am living in America with my family from India only and I try my best to develop and invest in my own country so that the other relatives can live better in India itself. And many Indians even Hindus do it they open companies in India train the new educated people in IT and give them Jobs, these Americans are going there to accomplish their tasks. Its win-win situation. You don’t do all the above because you have lust, lust for a white man with white skin, suite coat and tie, you want a rich man who looks rich but he is poor from inside. Most of the Middle Eastern (Muslim in particular) women are more fascinated with western culture I don’t know why, that’s the shit of the cultures. Western people are racists, morons they used their intelligence and technology to ruin other societies and countries for decades and still doing it from behind. The best thing is to go back to your country and bring change in their lives, which I am doing now so that the next generations don’t have to come to these Westerners again. Thats what you can give to Islam and the human kind. Good luck.

        Abdul Aleem Mohammad

        November 22, 2013 at 7:20 am

    • I second! My best friend is Muslim, and I’m afraid she won’t marry for love, but rather for faith. I’m a non-believer (Atheist, with a few exceptions) and her brother would not be allowed to marry me. Not that I want to marry him, but I think that you should be allowed to marry whomever you want.

      Simone

      August 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    • well unfortunately it is not always what you want or believe it is what GOD says. And look down on you he will for neglecting his word. and doing as you please. your faith is not that strong. and you do not believe very much.

      JUMPER

      November 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    • i agree with you, i believe a person can marry who their heart desires. for e.g. you place a non muslim man and a muslim woman (or muslim man and non muslim woman) on an island…..by themselves….i bet love would conquer despite religion. also the whole “convert ” thing is another issue. lets say you convert from christianity to islam….are you now a hypocrite to christianity? all in all , love who you wish, marry who makes you happy, and never put “boundaries” before your heart. and those who disagree should move to a country where there are only ……………….

      mo mo

      July 12, 2013 at 8:32 am

      • This is a beautiful statement.

        Bibi

        October 3, 2013 at 2:49 am

    • Yayyy!!! I have finally found the post I was looking for!! I’m married to a non Muslim. I was raised in a Pakistani Muslim home, had an arranged marriage, had two kids and then a divorce. I remarried ..fell in love with a non Muslim. If I could write a book!!! Anyways, Allah will NEVER EVER separate the human race over religion…HE CREATED love!!!!!! Please feel free to embrace me or bash me.. Zeanab1982@hotmail.com

      I would love to hear other sisters in similar situations.

      Zeanab

      March 21, 2014 at 4:30 am

  6. What I have observed, from an empirical standpoint, in the United States, is that often the children will follow the religion of the mother.

    Reshma

    August 24, 2010 at 4:51 pm

  7. Wajahat Ali here. This is simply a debate topic. Goatmilk doesn’t endorse one side over the other. This is not an “Islamic blog” or “anti-Islamic blog” or “Progressive Blog” or “Conservative blog.” So, perhaps people can simply relax and read debaters tackling a complex topic, yes? Yes…

    Wajahat Ali

    August 24, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    • This blog is virulently anti-Islamic. It promotes even-handed debate about pertinent issues for Muslims. Shame on you.

      Taufiq Rahim

      August 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm

      • hahahhah. i know right. how dare we engage in healthy discussion and promote the kind of literacy required to understand the complex social issues of our time?

        Dina

        August 24, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      • I’m wondering what the next Goatmilk Debate will be?
        “Muslims should add more bacon to their diet” or “Which wine goes best with falafel: red or white?”

        abdul-halim

        August 25, 2010 at 3:25 am

      • Seriously! How dare we have opinions and *not* follow things blindly. Astafighrullah.

        MahaMuslimah

        April 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      • so agreed with MahaMuslimah…what is the difference of following blindly something you are taught as a muslim and those we criticize for blindly following something? ridiculous. I believe its more impt to use our God given brains and hearts to realize we dont have answers and anything anyone does with God in their mind and heart and right intentions is not for anyone to question. Thats called being a believer.

        Islam

        April 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      • I do think you are wrong. Any questioning of the Koran or Islam is seen as being anti islamic, it is the standard defence. There is the Koran and that is it, I am assured that the Koran states that the world is 6,000 years old, no discussion nor debate. The Christians had a similar problem a few hundred years ago but non belief or questioning does not carry the death penalty.

        Simon Scarth

        November 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    • @ SIMON, actually, you are very wrong about the questioning of Islam and the “killing” in Islam. Allah himself TELLS us to question not only Islam, but all religions and beliefs around us. He tells us this because he knows that…

      a) We will not find anything better than Islam (if we conduct our search correctly – which you clearly have not.) and,

      b) We must be knowlegable of everything in our lives, even if its not our own religion. And,

      c) Because of issues exactly like this one. How are we supposed to know the truth if we’ve been told our whole lives something that is false?! Am I supposed to abandon my love for a christian man because I never took the initiative of searching for my real rights?

      And also, there is NO ruling whatsoever for a death penalty for questioning things! That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard. Please, please do your research before assuming things and putting out false and offensive comment.

      Yasmine

      January 7, 2012 at 12:36 am

      • I ask you only the following questions. Get answers for yourself don’t have to answer me ok.

        Then why don’t you agree a Muslim man who is not rich or not professional but his virtues are good? And why don’t yo agree to marry a Muslim man who is having another wife but can love and can financially and physically handle both of you whose virtues are good? First of all why don’t you go back to your country where you came from and develop there and invest there to make your own country better so that your people don’t have to come to these racist whites countries? Why don’t you go and help the poor nations to build their economies? Why don’t criticize the racism that’s there in most of the whites, I am living in America with my family from India only and I try my best to develop and invest in my own country so that the other relatives can live better in India itself. And many Indians even Hindus do it they open companies in India train the new educated people in IT and give them Jobs, these Americans are going there to accomplish their tasks. Its win-win situation. You don’t do all the above because you have lust, lust for a white man with white skin, suite coat and tie, you want a rich man who looks rich but he is poor from inside. Most of the Middle Eastern (Muslim in particular) women are more fascinated with western culture I don’t know why, that’s the shit of the cultures. Western people are racists, morons they used their intelligence and technology to ruin other societies and countries for decades and still doing it from behind. The best thing is to go back to your country and bring change in their lives, which I am doing now so that the next generations don’t have to come to these Westerners again. Thats what you can give to Islam and the human kind. Good luck.

        Abdul Aleem Mohammad

        November 22, 2013 at 7:23 am

  8. Ah, secular thinking seeps deep.

    It might not be scientific but of all the families I know where the father is a non muslim and did not convert, the children in that family are usually outside of the fold of Islam and more prone to atheism.

    The case is not so when the father is Muslim and the woman is not; its just the way it is – Nadia/Waj can “refudiate” all traditional way of thinking they want but these are just facts.

    In his response to the question raised here, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti, member of the North American Fiqh Council, states:

    “If Allah is the one who prohibits a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim, then we as Muslims are supposed to believe it and to take it. As a matter of faith, you cannot become a Muslim unless you accept everything when it is ordained by Allah or carried out by his Messenger. The Qur’an says, “O Ye who believe! Put not yourselves forward before Allah and His Messenger…” (Al-Hujurat: )

    If you ask about the benefits of not marrying a non-Muslim, we can count you many reasons. A man is the manager of his household. He will persecute his Muslim wife in many dos and don’ts. She can hardly guarantee that kind of operation. Moreover, marriage is an institution for elevating our levels of having a good Islamic life. Pleasing Allah is our number one goal. If a woman is married to a non-Muslim, maybe the only thing she will accomplish in her marital life is what is good for livestock.”

    Shedding more light on the question, I’d like to cite the words of the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, in his well-known book, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam:

    “It is haram for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man, regardless of whether he is of the People of the Book or not. We have already mentioned the saying of Allah, “…and do not marry (your girls) to idolaters until they believe…” (Al-Baqarah: 221)

    Ehab

    August 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    • “Persecute his wife”??? That makes me real excited to get married. How about love her?

      How about the children choose what religion they want to be after learning about different religions. Not be made to be something whether they want to or not, under the threat of punishment or banishment. Where’s the love?

      If you are made to be something you don’t want, then you will never really be it. You may fake the motions, but in your heart you aren’t really there.

      What about what the women wants for her marriage? Doesn’t she get to be happy and not just have to endure?

      Too many men making all the decisions and not walking the walk.

      amazonbaby

      August 25, 2010 at 1:51 am

      • omg dats so true.i am a muslim lady who had two arranged marriages with muslim men wich has made me suffer for a ling time. now i am going to marry a non muslim man who dont hve a religion bt strongly believes in god! and dats most important for me. dat i have sum1 who respect me repsects my religion and loves me.and i hve never been happier!!! how many muslim guys do u see doing that.

        jade

        February 27, 2012 at 12:27 am

    • Great post.

      Except your excerpts and references are taken from the word of a man.

      I believe the relevant passages regarding marriage cited during this discourse were primarily the word of Allah.

      I hate to be a stickler here, but I’m inclined to think that Allah is going to have to be given precedence.

      Moreover, most of the uneducated comments in here come from those that are either quoting others who INTERPRET the Quran or interpreting it themselves.

      As long as a topic is left ambiguous, especially when left ambiguous by Allah himself, I’m seriously not going to take an affirmative position, especially an “absolute NO” position, largely because that’s not a justification I want to explain to Allah when it comes time for my reckoning. Seriously, what’s your response going to be? “Ah, well, this guy said it in his book/speech/khutba and I figured he’s a smart guy so I should just follow along.”

      Draw the distinction between law and ideas; do not create/invent/interpret laws that weren’t expressly prescribed by Allah. Remember, you are judged for your own actions and words, and you probably don’t want to explain to our Maker why you suddenly thought you could edit Him.

      Well unless you do. Then by all means, push forward brave one. Again, I’m not going to get flack for it later…

      RSHaq

      August 25, 2010 at 6:19 pm

      • Great post! I totally agree! Why are people stating that it is strictly forbidden when it wasn’t? Absence of express permission does not mean it’s forbidden!

        Who has absolutely forbidden Muslim women from marrying Christian or Jewish men, Muslim men of course, not Allah or his prophet!

        AK

        September 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      • I agree, AK – two years or so late, but still, I’ll put in my two cents.
        God did not expressly allow us to fly in airplanes. And yet we use them anyway.
        Why should this differ?

        Perenelle

        May 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      • I totally agree, AK.
        Besides, if you think about it: God didn’t expressly allow the use of airplanes in the Coran. Or cell phones.
        Why should this be different?
        Isn’t this more of a cultural idea than anything else?

        perenelle123

        May 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    • Amazing,
      I have lived most of my life in western countries and i do not know so many families with the father non muslim and the woman is muslim in fact i dont know any, so how did you get to such huge conclusion? how many families you know in this situation? what i know is a lot of muslim men married to non muslim women and living like they have nothing to do with religion or have the minimum, you know why, because we women we rule the house and when the husband is gone all day to work the women is not gonna say oh let me be honest and teach my son his father;s religion no if she doesnt push her own then he is lucky. so stop using this ugly word HARAM which brought us to so many crimes.
      When I’m put in my grave I go there alone and not you Ehab or anybody else will go with me so can I have the right to decide what way to take; knowing fully anything i do i will have to answer for it tomorrow when i get to meet my Creator? i do not need a man to tell me what way to go then leave me hanging the day i have to answer Nekir? so give me a break and you guys take care of your families and ensure you’re the MAN and not that blond you grab at the fisrt bar when you land in western WORLD and get to be so proud of.

      God show all the right way!

      Magda

      April 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    • Yeah. An idolater is someone who doesn’t believe in the one god. Muslims, Jews and Christians all believe in the same god which is why jews and christians are referred to as “people of the book”. So technically, that statement from the Quran doesn’t say that women can’t marry People of the Book.

      H

      June 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm

  9. “And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you.”

    I think your interpretation is off. Polytheistic people believe in more than one God. For example, Hindus are polytheistic whereas Jewish, Christians and Muslims believe in one God – having a monotheistic belief system.

    Therefore, I take this to mean “Do not marry someone who worships more than ONE God unless they come to believe that there is ONE God.” Thus, conforming to a basic belief in Islam – Tawheed, which refers to the divine uniqueness and oneness of Allah. There is no other God worthy of worship but Allah.

    To become Muslim, you must pronounce with conviction:

    Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill Allah, Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill Allah.

    (English: I bear witness that there is no diety but Allah; And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)

    Again, reiterating you must believe in one God, not multiple.

    I am a former Christian who is married to a Muslim man and in the process of converting to Islam. Not once has anyone in the Muslim community looked down on our marriage – most of the time people have issue with the cultural differences – I have always been accepted by my husband’s family and other Muslims.

    Amber Khan

    August 24, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    • Mohammed was referring to the pagan worshipers in his area who still worshiped the 360 gods in Arabia. He used to be a polytheist, too, and worship all the gods, including Allah at the Kabbah before he eliminated the other 359 gods. It’s still debateful if he allowed the worship of Allah’s two daughters though some say he allowed it.

      amazonbaby

      August 25, 2010 at 1:56 am

      • What evidence do you have that Muhammad was a polythiest who worshipped 360 Gods? There is nowhere in the quran where God says to Muhammad that he was a polythiest who worshipped 360 Gods.

        “He used to be a polytheist, too, and worship all the gods, including Allah at the Kabbah before he eliminated the other 359 gods”

        Do you realize that “Allah” is the arabic word for God?

        “It’s still debateful if he allowed the worship of Allah’s two daughters though some say he allowed it.” This has NEVER been a question of debate. Muhammad was a monothiest. The entire quran is monothiestic.

        JP

        August 25, 2010 at 3:45 am

      • @amazonbaby, No! you are a disgusting LIAR and a DECEIVER.

        The holy, pure, perfect, and infallible Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) ALWAYS believed in ONE Almighty God! There is no God but Allah (SWT) and the holy, pure, perfect, and infallible Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the GREATEST Slave and Messenger of Allah (SWT)!

        The holy, pure, perfect, and infallible Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) ONLY worshiped Allah (SWT) and believed in ONE God!

        Allah (SWT) is the one Almighty, Supreme, Omnipotent, and PERFECT God! God is the greatest!

        The holy, pure, perfect, and infallible Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the beloved of Allah (SWT) and was ALWAYS a monotheist who believed in one God!

        Allah (SWT) has NO partners or equals. Allah (SWT) has NO children! Allah (SWT) has NO daughters, NO sons, and NO family!

        Allah (SWT) is beyond all material and physical things.

        Ali

        October 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      • “Allah’s Two Daughter ????????” , “He is Allah, the One and Only! Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him.” Surah Ikhlas (Holy Qur’an 112:1-4).
        This is one of the most fundamental tenants of ISLAM.

        Hasan

        November 17, 2011 at 7:04 am

    • I get that Jewish and Christian also believe in one God but aren’t we forgetting that they don’t believe in Allah as their God? we are Muslims and we worship Allah and Allah alone. that’s the first step to being a Muslim. There’s a reason that these three religions are three different religions right? regardless of whether they believe in one God or not. Jesus and Moses are our messengers.

      1. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
      2. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
      3. The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
      4. The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)
      5. You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).
      6. Guide us to the Straight Way.
      7. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).

      As it says in the first suraah of the Jewish and Christian are people who went against angered Allah and who went Astray.

      I don’t have enough knowledge about my religion and I am the one to blame for it. I would never blame my religion or Allah for anything even if my life depends on it. There are many Muslims who don’t follow the religion the way we were told to follow through Qu’ran and through Prophet Muhammad. But it is not Islam’s fault but those people who decided to make their own definition of the religion. those people who had bad marriage from being married to a Muslim guy doesn’t make it is the religion’s fault but the men themselves.

      I believe a true Muslim who follows the religion how it is suppose to be followed find life peaceful and looks forward to hereafter. they don’t hurt others and they don’t go against Allah either. Our prophet is the best example of it.

      “The prophet’s life is almost documented and u can take him as a role model in every situation u go through in ur life…he was a father , a grandfather ,a leader , a war general ….u will see him playing with his grandchildren..kissing his daughter forehead, embracing his companions,romantic gentleman with his wife, crying when his son dies, smiling in people faces…
      * everything makes sense, why are we in this life? where will we go? why do we suffer.?
      *makes life easier..when u lose a loved one , u know u will c him in the afterlife..doing the right things is rewarding….and no body is free from responsibility…
      *everything in modesty, we do not live as nuns , but sex is only in marriage…u can have beautiful things in life but u have to help the poor, etc
      *the social and human concepts Islam carried were much ahead of time…equality ..brotherhood…respect…etiquette…no gossip nor lies nor prejudice…” < that's not my own word but i believe it gives a good example of how a Muslim should be. equality, brotherhood, respect, etiquette, go gossip nor lies nor prejudice.

      And those who have things to complain about it is only because they don't know their religion well.

      I got nothing against Non-Muslim as long as they respect me and my religion I will respect them and their religion and i stay strong to my own.

      This is how i see it: if I marry a non-Muslim who doesn't convert, i will not be happy for going against the one who created me just to find some mere happiness in this world when we are only here temporarily and we'll have to go back to Allah and answer to him for everything. Even if he respects and loves me but since he doesn't share the same believe has me, there will be disagreement and arguments which will lead to drama and so much more.

      after having kids what religion you going to tell your kids to follow? too much complication. isn't it better to just give your heart and soul to your God than give in to temptation to find some mere happiness that won't even least.

      anyway just felt like sharing my thoughts.

      lily

      June 6, 2012 at 12:14 am

      • I’m sorry Lily, you must do more research in your beliefs and religion. We all have a responsibility in this world. #1) your first sentence, ‘arent we forgetting that they dont believe in Allah as their God’ what is that supposed to mean. Allah is arabic language for One God that created all of us, that if we believe in Him, that we worship Him and he didnt force us, he gave us free will, so that either we guide ourselves and are judged on the day of Judgement and we pass or we fail. You are born muslim but seems like you take it for granted. What about some christian who is worshipping the same Creator we worship and always ask Him for guidance and strives in the correct way more than us. You are judging they are wrong. Not every labeled and born christian believe the same way. Many many of them just believe in God and thats it. You probably have not met those kinds of people, there are many. They believe the same as us, pray to Him and try to do good for humanity. Who are you to judge when God is our only Judge. People make things complicated..people make divisions and Allah has explicitly said in the Quran not to make divisions, to follow the middle path and to realize there are spiritual people who believe the same as us muslims and they don’t consider themselves muslim until they do a lot of research. That takes time. Allah never forbid to marry a christian or jew, so don’t start spreading things that you hear until u read it front to back, doing research on arabic meaning. Its very simple, Islam, and its guidance for all mankind..not just someone born muslim, so don’t think that its that narrow where there are rules about which cult to follow..bc its not a cult. Did you ever think about Abraham. Quran says he is an example, he is a true believer, one that didnt make divisions, he just believed in God and worshipped him, leading a good life. He never used the word ‘muslim’ neither did Moses..bc Moses used Hebrew..so its not about one word…its everything the world can understand to describe this word, ‘muslim’.

        peace

        June 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm

  10. Why are we even having this conversation?????? This is why it makes it so hard to stand up for a religion that has this kind of demented interpretations, which is unfortunate because I don’t think the religion was instituted with this kind of thinking. And, yeah, I am a practicing Catholic married to a MUslim. Guess what, my husband and the kids are rational, practicing Muslims.

    Grace

    August 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    • Marriage b/w a Muslim man and Catholic woman is permitted but not the other way around.

      A

      August 24, 2010 at 11:08 pm

      • Duhhhhhhhhhhh, you just got that about this article.

        amazonbaby

        August 25, 2010 at 1:57 am

      • u no what dats crap who ever u are!!! u only think men r important cus adam came first bt u forgetting widout eve u wudnt be there.we all have equal rights. not jus men. get overselves n get a life. muslim men think they can change d culture wenever they want bt they forgetting d true word of allah n d quran and our beloved prophet muhammed peace be apon him. because they are d biggest hypercrite ever!!!

        jade

        March 30, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      • People believing its not ‘permitted’ are very ignorant and havent learned the deeper meaning. I think God is trying to see which people are using what he created, WISDOM, or those with lack of intellect and rather rely on other people’s word..do research and learn ppl.

        peace

        June 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    • If we don’t discuss this the community will not evolve. If there is truth we must continually strive to find it. I’m not of the irrational type that has a problem with this but it’s good to discuss so that other people can learn from our viewpoints or maybe we can all come to some conclusions together.

      And you’re absolutely right. There is no shortage of demented interpretations….which is why it’s nice to talk about these things and get rid of the false interpretations

      JP

      August 25, 2010 at 3:51 am

  11. Islam doesnot support wife breating reread the part of the Koran dealing with it.

    Brian C. Hoff

    August 24, 2010 at 5:45 pm

  12. frankly, i don’t see the textual argument in support of this.

    FP

    August 24, 2010 at 5:57 pm

  13. In terms of wife-beating it should be easy to find Muslim sites which explain the issue properly and mention hadith from the prophet (saaws) such as:

    The Prophet said: “Do not hit the maidservants of Allah!” (la tadribu ima’ Allah).

    As far as the original question goes, let me be a bit round-about…

    Some anti-Islamic missionaries mention the verse “Do not take Christians and Jews as friends [wali]” in order to cast Muslims in a bad light.

    (Siraj Wahhaj has a good explanation of this issue)

    But of course we know that the word translated as “friends” doesn’t just mean “pal” or “person you are nice to”. And one of the most obvious counter-arguments is the fact that Muslim men are allowed to marry Jewish and Christian women. It would be silly to argue that Muslims aren’t allowed to be “buddies” with People of the Book if the Quran gives (qualified) permission to live with them intimately and raise children with them in the context of a family.

    So what *does* that verse mean? Well, the word “wali” is more like protector or ally. So Muslims aren’t prohibited from being friendly with people of the book but ARE prohibited from putting themselves in a vulnerable position where they depend on them for protection.

    What does this have to do with the current topic? Well, allahu alim but one could definitely argue that the husband IS supposed to be that kind of “wali” or protector for his wife.

    abdul-halim

    August 24, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    • “And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you.” [Qur’an 2:221]

      The ayah is very clear unless you want to provide an alternate translation. Your support or lack thereof of the argument is unclear. What do you want to say?? You are one of those people who have a hard time saying that its ok for a Muslim woman to marry a Jewish or Christian man. Brother its ok… relax ..

      Omar

      August 24, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    • That’s really confusing then because quite a few Islamic countries paid billions for a Christian country (ies) to protect them whilst in a vulnerable position. Guess business doesn’t apply here, only love or friendship?

      amazonbaby

      August 25, 2010 at 2:00 am

      • Islam definitely is NOT defined by whatever “Muslim countries” do.

        abdul-halim

        August 25, 2010 at 2:56 am

      • MY FRIEND YOU LIKE TO SEE THE ISLAM WELL YOU NEED TO STUDY IT.WITH FULL PEACE OF HEART.STUDY IT THEN THERE IS NO NEED OF ARGUMENT..DEBATE LIKE THIS WITH HALF KNOWLEDGE.THATS
        WASTE OF TIME.

        SYED SAJID HUSSAIN

        August 25, 2010 at 8:02 am

  14. awesome. looking forward to may’s response!

    Fatima

    August 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm

  15. [...] Ali at GoatMilk started a debate whether “Muslim women should be able to marry non-Muslim men” and the post drew a lot of [...]

  16. This is not an Islamic blog. The person who wrote this should be ashamed of writing this in Ramadan, of all holy months (on the rare chance this person actually is Muslim).

    Why don’t you join a Kabbalah instead of spreading your lies and deviousness

    Saad Mohammed

    August 24, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    • reading some comments (like the above) just goes to show the mental regression in our muslim community, exactly like that present in islamophobes/anti-muslim folks who respond illogically and incoherently on CNN.com or articles about islam.

      unfortunately, muslims are not immune to the plaque of idiocy.

      Dina

      August 24, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    • Horrors of horrors that we should have an independent thought regardless of when it is expressed.

      All you can come up with is name calling and insults.

      amazonbaby

      August 25, 2010 at 2:02 am

  17. thanks for creating the space for dialogue, wajahat!

    one point was not addressed fully: all matters are considered permissible/halal until they are proven to be impermissible/haram. there is not enough textual or contextual evidence to support forbidding muslims from marrying non-muslims.

    and it’s shocking to me that the allowance is not threatened for men, but it is for women.

    one last thing i also wanted to mention. though i do not believe it is forbidden for women to marry nonmuslim men, from a sociological standpoint i DO believe it is a legitimate argument that much is passed on from the mother and that marrying a non-muslim (for the man or woman) might provide some difficulty. i dont mean faith is passed on, but religion (behaviors that allow for faith to flourish) and values and a sense of direction and guidance on cultural habits and priorities.

    the profound effect of a mother on her child should be taken into consideration and discussed among the two deciding to get married, but not used as evidence for PROHIBITING such a marriage.

    Dina

    August 24, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    • I’ve found that when a Muslim man marries a non Muslim women, while there is love involved, the man usually is looking for a backdoor escape and he is not real happy about having to live full time in an Islamic environment. Having the ability to move away legally is attractive. Also, these men tend to be more open minded and secure about the input of different ideas being introduced to their children. They want fresh input. They also want to be able to move away, too, if they feel the need. I gained this knowledge after many discussions with different friend’s husbands. If a man marries outside of his religion/culture, then before he married, he was looking for something different then what he was born into. And, he isn’t so concerned with his children being submerged in the same environment he grew up in. Not my ideas…….what I was told.

      amazonbaby

      August 25, 2010 at 2:57 am

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly Dina. If it isn’t expressly forbidden in the quran than it isn’t haraam. Unfortunately we muslims are not given the ample opportunity to learn the arabic text to investigate for ourselves what the true meanings of the quran are. We should all do our best to dissolve ourselves of these bad translations/interpretations that are loaded with the interpretors beliefs….

      JP

      August 25, 2010 at 3:54 am

      • “We Muslims are not given the ample opportunity to learn the arabic text. . . ”

        ???

        Allah has given you the gift of time. It’s up to you to decide what to do with it. TAKE the time to learn Arabic.

        Nia

        June 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm

  18. Interesting debate. Even Jews argue that marrying non Jews has caused their “disappearance” in the US. It’s probably sad & true that some non Muslim men give Muslim women the respect they deserve and are more successful, come from more money than Muslim men in the US but the grass is not always greener on the other side. Non Muslim men have their own issues. I think the cultural, religious, core values difference between a non Muslim man and Muslim woman would lead to a divorce or would just not work out in the end. The Muslim community is not prepared for interfaith marriage between a muslim woman and non muslim man and no counseling exists for this partnership. Also, how would you raise your children in an interfaith marriage?

    Afshan

    August 24, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    • The children are raised the same way children have been raised successfully in an interfaith marriage around the world for thousands of years. Do you exist in a bubble? Of course there is counseling for this. Just not in your bubble. Why would this marriage end in a divorce? Any non Muslim man who takes on the “work” it takes to gain approval to marry a Muslim woman, is sensitive enough to make sure that the children are given all information needed about both cultures and religions. It’s just that in your bubble, you haven’t ventured out far enough to witness the success.

      I don’t think you really have enough basis to know exactly whether or not a non muslim man really has that much of a difference.

      The muslim community is ready for non muslim men/muslim women marriages. You aren’t ready for it because not being in total control scares you to death.

      And, you make far too many assumptions about men you don’t know anything about. You are assuming that they operate like you. Controlling. So, you are assuming that they will raise their children in the same controlling method that you do except it will be in a Christian, Jewish or whatever different religion.

      Again, any non muslim man who wants to marry a muslim man is a very open minded, sensitive minded and respectful person to other cultures and ideas. Just to get the permission and WANT to go through all the hassles it takes to marry a muslim women tells you that you have the best non muslim man there is to marry.

      Don’t assume that all non muslim men operate like you do.

      amazonbaby

      August 25, 2010 at 2:12 am

      • All people operate the same way on some level. If you have any experience with Muslims then you should know that the whole family and community is involved in the marriage for life. Open minded people are always changing their minds. It’s important to share core values from the start so it doesn’t lead to confusion in the future.

        Afshan

        September 2, 2010 at 1:30 am

      • A man who doesn’t want to have a say in how his children are raised and leaves it all the mother is a poor excuse of a father, and not much of a man in the first place, in my book.

        OmarG

        September 8, 2010 at 8:37 pm

  19. http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=31&tid=40596

    (ayah 6)

    If you are a Muslim and believe in the Quran, than please understand the risk you are taking when you say something about Islam.

    This goes for EVERYONE. Just because one of us thinks we know what Islam has to say about an issue (even if its a pretty simple issue like drinking or marrying non muslims). VERY FEW of us have the authority to comment on such things with our own words. Post a hadith or a reliable scholar’s commentary on a hadith if you have something to say.

    If you are a non muslim looking to understand what Islam says, there are plenty of scholars and smart people (NONE of whom would waste their times on such uselessness as this website) who may be able to explain the wisdom behind certain things.

    M.

    August 24, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    • I agree 110%. None of us have the authority or education to discuss this from an Islamic point of view.

      Afshan

      August 24, 2010 at 11:16 pm

      • since when did it become a sin to critically think and analyze? the great thinkers of the 9th and 10th centuries, many of whom some wrongly cite as the only credible scholars in our discussions today, didn’t become a thinking people by feeling unworthy to approach the issues of their time. in fact, being born should make you grateful enough at the chance to experience Divinity, in effect showing your gratitude by putting effort, thought, heart, and true intention in searching for answers to our complex social problems. agonizing in seeking God’s acceptance instead of dismissing everything as a challenge too great.

        so long as you and i have a heart beat, our brains should be working, too

        Dina

        August 25, 2010 at 5:24 am

    • There are only a few reasons why you want to stop muslim women from marrying non muslim men.

      1. Marrying outside of the family, tribe, cultures, etc… means control of the money and control over family members is lost.

      2. Any cultural advantages of keeping the marriage partner’s faiths the same is lost.

      3. If you are worried about honor, it’s must more difficult to control your honor if the muslim woman family member is living outside of the family’s control.

      4. You can’t control the input and type of knowledge and ideas that this type of marriage brings into the family.

      5. You can’t use only your culture’s type of control on the non-muslim members family to control their actions or gain their cooperation.

      6. Since the non muslim husband usually operates in a different legal system or set of rules, you can’t shame or bully him into doing what you want. You can try to bully the muslim wife, but she has the support of her non muslim husband and his family.

      7. The fear that the non muslim husband will move the muslim wife far away from the Muslim family and you won’t see your grandchildren or have control or influence over them.

      Anyone else have something to add?

      amazonbaby

      August 25, 2010 at 2:24 am

      • I think the main “reason” why the marriage laws in Islam are what they are is because that’s what the texts say. And in fact, the laws are pretty typical among Abrahamic religions. Orthodox Judaism doesn’t allow marriage with non-Jews at all because that’s what the Penteteuch says.

        Catholic/Orthodox Christians technically don’t allow intermarriage either and the same goes with many PRotestant groups because that’s what the New Testament says: “Don’t be yoked together with unbelievers”.

        Islam is the most liberal in that there is qualified permission given for male Muslim to marry females from the people of the book under certain conditions but that’s the exception.

        (And some scholars even argue that Jews and Christians today aren’t likely to be the kind referred to by the Quran and that men, especially those living in the West should only marry Muslim women anyway)

        So if Islamic rules are something to be taken seriously in terms of guiding your behavior, then that should be enough. If that’s not the case, then as a free citizen in an open and democratic society you can choose to take other things as more important but that doesn’t change the rules.

        abdul-halim

        August 25, 2010 at 3:15 am

      • Well actually, a really good reason is because it atrophies a person’s spiritual progress. Yes, indeed, I truly beleive that despite all our faults, moving towards Christianity and Judaism is going backwards spiritually. So, in my mind, the Muslim male or female who does not care about progressing spiritually will be the one who chooses a non-Muslim as their mate, thier most intimate partner.

        I don’t give a damn about a family’s control, because God is above family. Some people recognize that, some people do not.

        OmarG

        September 8, 2010 at 8:43 pm

      • Well you’re right and it gives a kind of power to the woman on being independent

        Mell

        September 17, 2013 at 12:41 am

    • Hey M. Guess what?! The gig is up! We don’t CARE what the mullahs have to say anymore. We’ve had enough of their garbage. We’re taking Islam back to the people!!! It doesn’t belong to you or your “elite” educated clergy. It belongs to everyone, especially the truly educated who don’t need some out-of-touch moron to interpret quran for him/her.

      JP

      August 27, 2010 at 3:26 am

      • Yup. JP is correct. Screw the Mullahs. They have told us ridiculous things for centuries like “husbands can beat their wives”. We know that the word in the Qur’an doesn’t mean only “beat”. It also means “go away from”, which is what the Prophet did. The point of Islam is that we do NOT have to go through anyone to practice our religion. Remember that part?

        Khadija

        September 1, 2010 at 1:14 am

      • nice one JP. Mashaalah to a great comment, that lightened up my evening

        liberalsistah

        September 15, 2011 at 1:48 am

      • Right on JP!

        Aaron

        November 29, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    • dude~Allah put Islam to make things easy~Islam is for all the humans and it should be easy to understand~it said very clear on Quran that muslims should just marry with muslims~so easy~so dont try to make every one scolar here~Allah is not only talking to scolars in the world~it make me sick to think a muslim girl get married with nonmuslim guy~let alone alcohol or some small things here~marrieg is for a person’s whole life~it is a one of biggiest life dicision~it is a serious choice to do~if someone is joking about this i can say this is absolutely not normal!no need to debate~Haram is haram~that’s it!

      turkic muslim:)

      February 8, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      • Non muslim men dont all drink or do things that are wrong. Actually I know of nonmuslim men who are better muslims in ideology and practice than born muslims. Dont judge, only God is the judge.

        islam4life

        February 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm

  20. Great stuff Wajahat. Your blog makes us think.
    We ought not be so insular, and should broaden our perspective. What I mean here is:
    “According to halakha, a child is not Jewish if the child’s mother is not Jewish” source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_is_a_Jew%3F

    Hyder

    August 24, 2010 at 11:16 pm

  21. I think the biggest fear is that if given a choice, the children may choose a different religion from their own choice. New ideas and information is scary when you can’t control the flow of information.

    amazonbaby

    August 25, 2010 at 2:27 am

  22. One final thought. Christians have been marrying outside of their faith for centuries. Christianity hasn’t disappeared or changed. So, why would you be afraid that Islam would disappear with mixed marriages? All these same arguments have been given over the centuries and disproved. Is Islam so fragile that it has to be kept in a box? Is someone wants to be a Muslim, then nothing can keep them from it. So, let’s test that theory and let children choose. Along with letting Muslim women choose who they will marry.

    I really think the different cultural norms are what is really getting in the way.

    amazonbaby

    August 25, 2010 at 2:38 am

    • Again, the standard rule in traditional Christianity (Catholic/Orthodox) is that marrying non-Christians is actually wrong. And the same is true for many PRotestant groups. In terms of the three main Abrahamic religions, Islam is actually the most liberal. Now… in modern times especially in the West, Jews and Christians have become more and more liberal about their faith but I’m not sure that Muslims should go the same route.

      abdul-halim

      August 25, 2010 at 3:20 am

      • “Islam is actually the most liberal.” Abdul-Halim

        This is laughable. Of course Islam is the most liberal – to you. Just as Islam is the most illiberal monstrosity – to me – sine I’m so liberal it’s not funny. (“MMM, this vanilla ice cream is SO delicious.” “But I like chocolate.” “Vanilla ice cream is the most delicious!” “Um, okay, yeah, whatever.”) Liberal is relative, and place names like “Christianity” Judiasm” ‘Islam” only work to obscure the rich, diverse, and deep differences that exist among real-life, living, human beings. Such obfuscation – the use of quick-ticket, monolithic concepts – is used to build straw-men arguments.

        As for Muslims going that route – oh, they’re going there. Believe me. And it’s about time, because it actually makes them human again. Not rote memory machines, oppressed by others (read: fanatics, and typically, men), who have little creative spark to see how their religion can actually provide meaning in some way for their lives.

        In Jesus Christ Superstar, the question the dead Judas challenges us with is, “Why’d you [Jesus] choose such a backward time in such a strange land? If you’d come today you could have reached a whole nation. Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication. Don’t you get me wrong. I only want to know.” The same could be said about Mohammed. God’s eternal message of rules provided for all eternity in 600s CE to a backwater trader? Um, God couldn’t wait until we were all just a bit more rational and tolerant to come to us and let us all know at once the truth.

        J. Alexander Lloyd

        October 25, 2011 at 12:19 am

      • Allah pick whoever He want as messager to mankind or to than group of people. That the Last Messager of Allah was underable to read isnot inportant since less than 1% of the world population of that time did know how to read.It help to show that Allah wrote the Koran not man since the Last Messager of Allah didnot know how to write how could he be the auther of the Koran. No human being since over 1400 year ago wrote than book to equall the Koran an it impact on history and societry.

        Brian C. Hoff

        October 25, 2011 at 2:33 am

    • funny really muslim man marrys a muslim women so what is ur point
      muslim is not a label that u can play with
      i might as well throw the quran on the floor then

      as our scripture says there are those who say they are belivers by mouth but not heart
      why should we change
      do muslim men marry out side islam no
      i am a man i know for a fact i will marry muslim women
      so i will not be Contracting my self in my prays

      s

      December 21, 2011 at 12:31 am

      • Actually you are wrong. Muslim men marry outside Of Islam all the time. The issue is why muslim woman cannot marry someone outside of Islam, it’s a double standard. People are more open to gays getting married than a Muslim woman who wants to marry a Christian man. As a Muslim woman,I do not think it is fair that I have to lose or be disowned by my family just because of the person who I fell in love with and grew up with is Christian.

        d

        April 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm

  23. Contemporary jurists/ scholars like Imam Khaleel Mohammad, Hasan Turabi, Khaled Abou Fadel express that there is no islamic injunction against a Muslim woman marrying a non-muslim (or people of the book) males.

    Tensil Toes

    August 25, 2010 at 4:01 am

    • Tensil,

      Islam is based on what was revealed from the Quran and Sunnah and not what the scholars say.

      So to say some fringe scholar said so and so is a moot point.

      Mahdi Ahmad

      August 25, 2010 at 2:58 pm

  24. First and foremost, we should review the evidence that is put forth, for we as Muslims are seeking the Truth and followers of that which is True.

    Dr. Abou el Fadl is a self-ascribed follower of (neo) mu’tazilah ideas, and as such one should understand his position with regards to that. For the purpose of brevity, let us summarize that mu’tazilah belief includes putting human reason on a higher position than tradition.

    Thus, when we from the majority Sunni school write that there are 1400 years of ‘ijma (scholarly consensus) upon this issue – to the Mu’tazilah it does not matter as such because tradition is secondary to human reason.

    However, we need to recognize the weakness of this position, because as Muslims we must place revelation (Qur’an and Sunnah) before reason – however this does not reject the use of reason, it simply deems that when revelation makes an issue clear, there is no longer a need to debate. For example, fasting in Ramadan is clearly commanded – therefore we need not debate its validity based upon human reason.

    Obviously the response will be covered by our sister with time to come so I will not delve into a long-winded response to the issue here.

    However, I’d like to only mention that when we are engaging in discussions such as this we, as Muslims seeking the truth, really need to evaluate our knowledge and sources of knowledge.

    For my brothers and sisters who are upset with the idea of this topic; do not be. Our scholars looked at every issue from bottom to top and thus there is no reason to forget this tradition now.

    However, I remind myself and those who read not to simple state that such and such a position is “archaic” or “out-dated.” Why? Because this is an insult and attack upon our scholars, scholars who we love and respect. We as Muslims much have better manners in dealing with such issues. Since there is a vast vast majority of agreement for the last 1400 years in the scholarly tradition upon this issue, I do feel it unfair and incorrect to say: “Come on… Really?” To do so is an insult to 1400 years of scholars and scholarship who have consistently held the other opinion – from the companions until today, it continues to be the majority position. I am not stating one can not ask, however one must ask and question with the manner of a Muslim – with respect, knowledge and dignity.

    And, Allah knows best.

    Abdullah

    August 25, 2010 at 4:43 am

  25. Another note for consideration, which was not mentioned: All four schools of thoughts are in agreement on this issue, that is it not permissible. That does not mean we should not ask this question, but does mean we should at least consider the evidence given by these scholars and schools of thought when engaging in such a discussion. And, Allah knows best.

    Abdullah

    August 25, 2010 at 4:58 am

  26. In Dr. Abou el Fadl’s original ruling (http://www.scholarofthehouse.org/oninma.html) he does not provide evidence from the Qur’an or Sunnah regarding his position, he simply says that the evidence seems weak. Also note, that Dr. Abou el Fadl says that it is disliked (makruh). Thus we must have the full and proper context: even Dr. Abou el Fadl is not ruling it to be mubah (neutral), rather he is stating that it is “acting against the weight of the consensus” and that even his own ijtihad it is disliked to do so.

    We must also be fair when presenting Dr. Fadl’s position.

    Anon

    August 25, 2010 at 5:05 am

  27. Referring to isolated scholars is like the internet, for every opinion, you can find at least one person who held that position. For example, Khaleel Mohammed also teaches that Palestine belongs to the Jews, or that tattoos are ok, etc. And in an interview I think Khaled Abou el Fadl said he was a Mutazilite.

    Khaleel Mohammad and Khaled Abou El Fadel are primarily western academics not religious authorities. So yeah, they may be smart guys but I’m not sure they are in a position to give fatwas. And even in Hassan Al-Turabi’s case, other Sudanese scholars were calling him an apostate for what he said.

    abdul-halim

    August 25, 2010 at 6:09 am

    • Khaled Abou el Fadl studied shariah in Egypt and Kuwait. From the UCLA website:

      “Dr. Abou El Fadl is also an Islamic jurist and scholar, having received 13 years of systematic instruction in Islamic jurisprudence, grammar and eloquence in Egypt and Kuwait.”

      Anyway, even if he was primarily a western academic, that makes him unreliable?

      Khadija

      September 1, 2010 at 1:19 am

  28. I think it is the strength of the argument and their credentials that matter, which is why others who feel threatened resort to cheap tactics as cowering such brilliant minds through apostasy charges and other deviant labels.

    Tensil Toes

    August 25, 2010 at 6:25 am

    • but what kind of credentials (western acadmic degrees? ijazas?) and how do you decide the strength of an argument? Are you measuring them against some kind of fixed and established criteria or are they “brilliant” and persuasive because they are saying what you want them to say?

      Or from another point of view, the “cheap tactic” is to just give the names of isolated scholars who give rukhsas for what you want. The hard work would be to pick an established and sound methodology and apply it to the texts. And some parts may come out “easy” and some parts come out “hard”. But at least you know you aren’t following your ego.

      abdul-halim

      August 27, 2010 at 1:32 am

  29. Just kidding guys I know what is halaal. ThiS marriage is not.

    Feminists are usually single and lonely. I can’t find a good muslim man. That’s why I replied 15x on this blog

    amazonbaby

    August 25, 2010 at 8:06 am

  30. The best scholarly orthodox exposition on the subject is by Moiz Amjad and Javed Ghamidi in Lahore. They both assert that while the ijma – consensus has been not to allow marriage with polytheists, it’s the definition of polytheists that counts. They go as far as to extend the permissability to theists – or believers in God, and not just ahl-al Kitab. They advise against it on social grounds however, not theological grounds, but – critically – do not forbid it. This is why I believe their reasoning is sound and why I think it’s okay – after years of subscribing to the taboo that it simply was not. There is a crisis of unmarried women or those already in relationships with non-Muslim men. Excluding them from society should have no basis whatsoever.

    I’m proud of you Wajahat for hosting this piece and you Nadia for having written it. We may be orthodox but we’re not stupid. We neither have to subscribe to progressivist notions that are devoid of orthodoxy to qualify our arguments, nor traditionalist positions that don’t reflect our views.

    It is high time the silent, orthodox Muslim that neither calls for shallow reforms nor for hardline anti-rights-based positions – speaks up.

    Habiba Hamid

    August 25, 2010 at 9:38 am

  31. May I qualify that you can check for yourself: go to http://www.understanding-islam.com/ and search for articles about ‘marriage’. There are three that are pertinent.

    Habiba Hamid

    August 25, 2010 at 10:03 am

  32. A sneaky article:) She barely acknowledges the key point i.e. that the overwhelming consensus amongst Muslim scholars is that it is forbidden.

    Instead she tries to list out (and then refute) what she believes are the underlying ‘justifications’ for the ruling. She also does a poor job of this.

    Even if she were able to able to do a better job of refuting each one of the ‘justifications’ she lists, it still wouldn’t matter as not every prohibition or commandment in Islam needs a justification or ‘approval’ from us. Fasting has its benefits, but we don’t fast because we can see the benefits, we fast because we are commanded to do so. If there were no ‘visibile’ benefits to fasting, we would still do so, otherwise we end up second guessing Allah and only accepting what we feel like (which is exactly what this girl and others like her are doing).

    In Islam we are ultimately commanded to ‘hear and obey’ and sometimes we don’t see the benefit an Islamic commandment till we are much older and wiser (if at all).

    I’m glad she wrote the article – its good to discuss these things and I have several female Muslim friends who are discussing (or rather attempting to justify this), however the key point is that it is forbidden in Islam and this is the overwhelming consensus, whether you like it or not. One can always ‘fatwa shop’ find some ‘scholar’ who’ll tell you what you want to hear, but at the end of the day you have to be honest with yourself.

    I (and some of my Muslim friends) do things which Islamically we are forbidden from doing so, and we hope that Allah forgives us for it one day, but we don’t try to fool ourselves and others by pretending its allowable.

    Asad Khan

    August 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    • But c’mon now, it is nowhere int he quran forbidden that muslim women can not marry no nmuslim men ? Where is it in the Quran ? If it haram in Islam to forbid something that is not haram, so forbidding this marriage is haram in itself because marrying a non muslim man is not haram, it is nowhere in the Quran stated that is it forbidden, unlike alcohol and eating porc, these two are clearly forbidden in the Quran while the marriage is not forbidde, neither for males nor females. You can not convnice me that muslim women can not marry non muslim men. All t emuslim men I know dont pray, drink, do drugs, are promiscuous… while all the Chrisitan males I know are religious, never drunk alcohol, never did drugs, are virgins in their late 20s and 30s, respect me and like me as I am. So you want to tell me that it’s okay to marry this non religious musilm man who just pretends to be muslim and know nohting of Islam just becaus ehe was borin in a muslim family, and forbid it for the muslim woman to be with a christian man ??? Does it make any sense ? Is it okay to marry “muslim men” just because ethey were born in a muslim family but know nothign about islam ??????????????????
      Wow please

      ilovecats

      June 3, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    • Oh let me tell you these stories please;
      I know this muslim man of course who does not pray or anything who married a chrisitan girl, they had a son, and his wife insisted that the son be brought Christian and the muslim husband of course refused. You know what happened after that ?? they divorced, who took the son now ? the christian wife, where’s the chils now ? in the US, being brougt up as a Christian child. WHile the father went back to his home country and can not see his child almost at all.
      Second story; there’s this neighbor who lived near me back home (in a muslim country) who lived by chance near me in the US, he went there few years before I did to the US. Married a Christian woman and had 3 children from her, he’s alcoholic and not religious at all. He lets his wife teach them how to be good chrisitans. They divorced and she took them by law, and he sees them once a month. Now all 3 of them are Christians.
      Now tell me, how is it not forbidden for men to marry non muslim women ?

      ilovecats

      June 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      • That’s irrelevant, though. It’s the two people who want to get married’s business to figure out how they’re going to raise their children, live their life, and if they’re old enough to marry they should be mature enough to think about these things.
        But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be allowed to make their own mistakes. Or that other couples who HAVE thought about these things should be punished because of it.

        perenelle123

        May 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

  33. The question is moot, for both men and women. It was permissible for Muslims during the time of the Prophet (rs) to marry, “People of the Book,” because during that time the message sent down by the prophets (as) was not significantly altered or changed as it is today. The Bible of the Christians and the Torah of the Jews have been altered with the passage of time. Thus, there is a consensus amongst scholars that marrying “People of the Book” is no longer permissible.

    Secondly, it is incorrect to assume that Allah (swt) did not mention women in the second ayah that the author of this article refers to. Allah (swt) was very specific and clear in all his revelations to the Prophet (rs), moreover, the Quran in many other ayahs does differentiate and note situations and laws for men and for women.

    Nevertheless, the question is moot, after one understands that marrying the “People of the Book” is not permissible in our day and age, because of the significant alterations made to the books that were revealed prior to the Quran.

    Allah knows best. Jazakullah Khair.

    Amazon Adult

    August 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    • salaams,
      yes, I alluded to this position elsewhere. I would just add that while I would be critical of the integrity of the Bible, I think the problems crept into the text at a very early age and the Bibles which existed in the West during the time of Muhammad (saaws) are not radically different from the Bible as Christians and Jews know it today. It is possible, that Middle Eastern Christians and Jews in the vicinity of Mecca and Medina had a different set of teachs and texts but I don’t think they were “original” Christians either.

      At least, when I read a fatwa suggesting that even Muslim men shouldn’t marry Ahl al-Kitab the argument was that “Jews” and “Christians” today were more cultural “believers” and didn’t really take their own faiths all that seriously to begin with.

      abdul-halim

      August 25, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    • Your argument is very weak. The trinity was already well established by the 300’s, centuries before Islam. Also, the bible at that time was already compiled into a Greek translation of Jesus’ and the Hawariyun’s Aramaic speech and writings. The alterations were firmly established *very* early, which is why God sent Muhammad (duh).

      Most of the arguements against marrying people of the book focus on post-colonial Muslim-identity politics. We SHOULD be thinking about such person’s spiritual health and having concern for their souls, not their tribal so-called identity.

      OmarG

      September 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm

      • as salam alaikum OmarG, I’m used to seeing you on Altmuslimah and not here.

        I can answer the question regarding changes to the Bible: yes, during the time of the sahaba the worst (in my opinion) changes had occurred: the addition of the Trinity and the writings of Paul, not a prophet.

        But the Bible has indeed changed since the time of the sahaba until present day. For one, the Bible was translated from Greek and Hebrew into Latin… and then into German… and then into English where it became the King James version (usually accepted by Evangelical Christians to be the verbatim word of Allah). Second, King James added and removed several key words in order to justify his political position (changed “Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live” into “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” so they could persecute and kill women).

        Pardon my intrusion but my former life as a Christian comes in handy during discussions like these.

        Revertive

        September 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm

  34. In most muamalaat cases an illah or justification is provided. In several ibadaah and ritual related cases (swine, prayers etc) the justification is not of import if the nass does not provide it.

    The overwhelming consensus of the classical scholars went against music. Yet contemporary scholars, several of them have revised it. The overwhelming consensus of the classical scholars prescribed the death penalty for several crimes including apostasy, which were challenged by later scholars.

    The majority is not always right. All four Imams, as well as scholars like Ibn Rushd, Ibn Hazm et al. were persecuted in their times, since at that time their opinions did not gel with others. Today they are part of mainstream orthodoxy or atleast taught in madrassas.

    Tensil Toes

    August 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    • Music is even use in pre-k and k Islamic class to reach little childern some Islamist lesson. Even in early Islamist history some music was allow to time the action of many people doing the same job. Every galley ship that have rower have than drumer who beat than steady beat so all rower did the same action at almost the same time.

      Brian C. Hoff

      September 14, 2010 at 4:35 pm

  35. Tensil,

    While it is important to mention the positions of scholars on certain issues, we should not have a habit of just running to them just to make a point. Islam is based on revelation not scholars.

    While the majority can be wrong, they must be wrong for a reason. What I’m seeing here is not that but revisionism. This trend has been popular for the past hundred years, even more so since the advent of the Internet. In a prophecy come true, the knowledge will be taken away from the real scholars. We have so many armchair scholars that it is causing a awakening of revisionism.

    Mahdi Ahmad

    August 25, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    • Brother Mahdi Ahmad,

      I believe the issue of scholars comes up when controversial subjects are discussed. Most people who prefer the comfortable status quo positions usually make claims like:

      a) none of the previous scholars/ madhabs held the newer position

      b) there is already ijma on this

      To which one humbly refers them to scholars who thought otherwise.

      And therein lies the beauty of Islam. Was it not the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) to have said ‘Ikhtilaf is Rahma’. Now truth be told, there is Ikhtilaf even on this :)

      fi aman allah

      Tensil Toes

      August 25, 2010 at 10:43 pm

  36. Rethinking Reformation
    Hamza Yusuf + Tariq Ramadan

    zeenah

    August 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    • I liked this. Jazakallahu khair. In terms of the current discussion I liked Hamza Yusuf’s point that the tradition is still sound.

      abdul-halim

      August 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm

  37. First The verse of the Koran that cover interfaith marriage can have different meaning to diffetrent muslim. I think donot marry your women to people who believe in more than one god. At our mosque than muslim female teenager got into touble she was over than friend house than vedio was make of her drink acholic drink and she started to take her clothes off in mixed company. Her parent are grounding her permantly. We are liveing in the west not than Islamist country. There are going to more probium like this happen in the future. The video appear on myspace.

    Brian C. Hoff

    August 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    • Lots of Muslims move to other places to escape the poor living conditions of their home country. They can’t just expect to pick up where they left off and just show up to the US with all their country’s customs used there.

      That’s why Muslims have to tell their children about things so that they are not just blindly following others.

      perenelle123

      May 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm

  38. Alhamdulillah! Great debate.

    As to some of these comments, let’s clarify a couple things.

    Our Islam exists without clergy, church or any other kind of hierarchical system because to adopt any such system, amongst other things, would imply that there exists a position between man and Allah(swt). A person’s relationship is directly with Allah(swt) and his faith is accountable to only Allah(swt). The distinction also serves the purpose of drawing a clear line between the supremacy of His divinity over man… every man.

    Consequently, while debate is welcome, as are opinions of all walks and the interpretations of any school, these are solely the musings of MAN. They do not, they can not, they are forbidden from being ordained as law; they can not be interpreted as the will of Allah(swt). To do so is to essentially declare oneself as the voice of Allah(swt). This is shirk, no question.

    Allah(swt) has given us the Quran as His voice, to ascribe anything from that text as law which was not expressly made law by Allah is an attempt to equate oneself with the knowledge, the will, the divinity of Allah(swt), a grace bestowed upon no man today.

    Now I say this because the conservative side of this debate is inclined to quote scholars in place of Allah(swt) and when quoting Allah(swt) they elect to ‘explain’ what Allah(swt) meant to say; they also seem hell bent on condemning this blog, and anyone with the temerity to voice an opinion in opposition of the antiquated historical dogma, to an afterlife of fire and brimstone.

    To those who chose to be this type of person in their commentary, I promise you, I guarantee you, you are not He. You are not His voice, you are not the ‘protector’ of His faith, you are not preserving His divine will.

    What you are doing, likely successfully, is annoying Him because, purely for a difference of opinion, you’ve elected to castigate others over embracing them. What’s more, your treating this debate… this solid, honest and heartfelt debate between two people that probably respect each other quite a bit, as Satan’s stew.

    Seriously, calm down.

    Re-evaluate your thoughts…

    Reduce thoughts to comments with a sprinkling of logic and rationale (maybe a little humility too if you can spare it)…

    Filter the comments before they make it to your fingertips…

    Then post.

    Otherwise, keep it to yourself. Respect of others is an express requirement prescribed by Allah(swt). That you CAN take to the bank (I mean Quran of course).

    RSHaq

    August 25, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    • RSHaq, thank you for eloquently stating the position of the people who have come to this blog in earnest to seek out the truth. The reason why we are here is to escape the dogmatic perspective of the scholars. But these conservative folk come online to coax us back to that which we do not want any part of. It’s time the educated muslim ummah take Islam back from the ignorant, out-of-touch “scholars” who have caused mostly trouble for Islam. QURAN first, everything else is pure hearsay, especially if it comes from some guy with a beard who folds his pants…

      JP

      August 27, 2010 at 3:33 am

    • I agree with much of what you said but I also see another side of the issue. I was raised Christian. And part of the reason why I’m not Christian anymore is that I found certain things in the Bible which I fundamentally disagreed with, and going along with that, I came to believe that the Christian Church (and the overwhelming number of Christian Churches existing today) suffer from a basic discontinuity from what Jesus (or Moses for that matter) originally taught. (the details of this is a whole other discussion)

      And then after being in a religious “in between” period of reading about different faiths, flirting with agnosticism, etc. I found myself more and more attracted to Islam. And a part of that was that I found that the Quran appealed to my sense of what was true and right, but another part of that was that I came to understand that the mainstream of Islam was more faithful to what Muhammad brought than the mainstream of Christianity was faithful to what Christ brought.

      That’s not to say Muslims are perfect and wonderful and infallible but that the faith was adequately transmitted in a sound fashion.

      So I agree with you that there is no clergy in Islam. And the only infallible authority which is clearly accessible to us today is the Quran. And I agree with you that the interpretations of the human scholars shouldn’t be mistaken for divine judgements. But on the other hand I don’t believe that the ummah is in some kind of general state of apostacy. And the scholars of the past aren’t just know-nothing people. And I think there is virtue in having a great deal of respect for those tried and approved methodologies instead of going the Protestant style-Reformation route.

      The Reformation wasn’t an unqualified good. It led to a great deal of divisiveness and violence in Western History like the 100 years War and 1000s of different denominations.

      The Imams who “founded” the four sunni schools weren’t just working alone. They had students after them who were also respected scholars who refined their methodologies and added to their knowledge and corrected the mistakes of those who came before. They aren’t just the product of some guy but literally hundreds and thousands of scholars building on one another (and arguing and debating with one another) seeking the truth.

      And I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be questioned. But for our own sake, and understanding, and the good of the ummah, we should give them their due.

      Also, in terms of individualism, I actually would think of myself as a very skeptical and questioning person by temperament. Otherwise I wouldn’t have converted from the religion I was raised in into something new. But at the same time, if I wanted to just make up my own religion to satisfy my whims I could have become a Unitarian or something (no diss, intended to Unitarians, they are just extremely non-dogmatic and unstructured).

      Dogma isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As Muslims, we actually do have specific beliefs.

      abdul-halim

      August 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      • There are Islamoprobic Hater like Robert Spencer who want Islam to go thought than Reformation process like Christian did. Islam doesnot needed tham Reformation. The main problen with Christion is the Jesus the Son of God and the Trinity (God the Father, Jesus the Son of God and the Holy Ghost). At lest the Unitarian School doesnot believe that Jesus is the Son of God and they donot believe in the Trinity they are than old sect of Christian from 3th century ACE.

        Brian C. Hoff

        August 28, 2010 at 5:48 am

  39. I wonder why would a non-Muslim man take the burden of marrying a woman who is covered from head to toe, he can’t take her to a bar or dance with her in a night club, she will fast every year in Ramadan and thus no food and no sexual intercourse allowed during the day for a whole month..etc and the list goes!
    If you are not a Muslim man and you think you can take this then you are certainly a hero..!

    btw, I’m a Muslim woman who had several crushes on non-Muslim men before so I know for sure it’s not gonna work if you are a practicing Muslim woman..

    Shimaa Eid

    August 26, 2010 at 4:35 am

    • May-be he want to change his life sytle than become muslim.

      Brian C. Hoff

      August 26, 2010 at 7:43 am

    • What is she is a non-practicing Muslim woman?

      xey

      August 26, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    • wow, even though I would agree with the larger point that a Muslim woman shouldn’t marry a non-Muslim man I’m not sure why we have to defend that position by making a whole lot of assumptions about non-Muslim behavior, expectations, basic decency, etc. Non-Muslims aren’t all horny alcoholics. That’s not really the point. The issue is more that saying and believing “La illaha illa Allah. Muhammad rasul Allah” weighs a great deal.

      abdul-halim

      August 27, 2010 at 4:45 am

    • For the same reason muslim men burden themselves with women who go out, drink alcohol and dress skimply. C’mon, broaden your thinking abit :)

      Saf

      November 21, 2012 at 5:49 pm

  40. i find this debate rather stimulating..i am not of a muslim background instead am of a christian back ground and also here i find i have some squabbles about somethings in the Bible but in the end i always question both muslims and christians and whatever other religin we follow..is Gods word or Allahs word his original thought?what i mean is how such are u that it hasnt been changed to suit the likes of men??or the interpretation of men.
    Second the God that you worship individually is he so unjust that he cant allow for one to do somethings?
    Third whatever you do..should u live as though u were doing it 4 God and not for man?thats what the Bible states i dont know abt the Quran..
    and in the end i find somethings are not as God would have wanted then to be bt we as humans just interpretate them to our liking..
    so before critising and condemn think of what God would have wanted also empathise..ask urself if u weer i her shoes what u would do..

    Kirei

    August 26, 2010 at 9:37 am

  41. im reading some of these and this hurts me so bad because its questioning the word of Allah(god) im a muslim and ill be honest i though why cant i marry an american man and all that but just reading all of this hurts because its like everyone wants to find something like a loop hole to question everything and thats not right what god has written he has written for a purpose and what he wrote it to protect us from bad and to do good

    arabprincess

    August 26, 2010 at 11:34 am

    • Our America Courts alots of time look at past ruleing which are taken as and use in our courts to make ruleing on legal matter. In the 1890’s our Hight Court rule there can be seperate factice(bathroom, public school and etc) but equall for all races. In 1954 the Hight Court reverse itself when they found public school wasnot equall for all races. They rule that schools must bus kids to over school to have = numbers of races kid in each school. Alots of racist white hated that ruleing. The funny thing is that black have to be bus over 5 miles to than black public school while there was than all white public school across the street.
      We all know that the Koran say you cannot have more than 4 wifes at the same time. What it than illness kill lot more men than women that the planet ended up with 25 women to each man, the religious scholar can temp change that ruleing to allow each man to have more than 4 wifes at the same time untril the ratio of man to woman correct itself.

      Brian C. Hoff

      August 26, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    • American does not equal non-Muslim.

      abdul-halim

      August 27, 2010 at 1:18 am

      • That’s absolutely right, I’m an american and I’m a muslim so please mind your words.

        JP

        August 27, 2010 at 3:35 am

      • All court of Law will hear new case of points settle in the past as law to see it they are vaild. In the public school case the all white school got 5 time the money of than all black school, the all white school was better maintrain compare to than all black school. So they didnot meet the 1890’s Hight Court standard of being seperate and = they where seperate and not =.

        Brian C. Hoff

        August 27, 2010 at 5:24 am

      • American Muslim here, too. Although you can’t marry me Arabprincess because I’m a woman.

        Revertive

        September 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm

  42. Great Blog for me tho it doesnt get better then http://www.linegod.com it is a great place to start for chrtisan dating service.

    Sabine Shamapande

    August 27, 2010 at 5:51 am

  43. Its not more than a fiction. In India muslim men marry to hindu women and hindu men marry to muslim women. The question is, can a man or woman who believes in Allah, do against Allah’s saying?

    Jamshaid Khan Barki

    August 30, 2010 at 8:33 am

    • Good old lawless India where 20,000 criminal convict by me tear down illegality than mosque mosque thaqn the BJP than fascot party form along the line of Hilter Nazie party in the 1930’sapprove of that lawless act.

      Brian C. Hoff

      August 30, 2010 at 11:28 am

  44. You forgot a significant ayah from the Quran. Surah Mumtahanah, ayah’s 1-10 emphasize associations between muslims and non-muslims. I draw your attention specifically to ayah 10:

    “O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them; Allaah knows best as to their Faith, then if you ascertain that they are true believers send them not back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them” 60:10

    End of story. Quran final and perfect word of God.

    Hasan

    September 1, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    • Come on Hasan!
      Suppose you meet a nice friendly optimistic girl, suppose she is an European,blond Dutch girl.You fall in love with her and she with you and of course you want to marry her.
      Unfortunately she is not a Muslim but lets say she is agnostic.(She has no religion but is neither atheist, in fact she doubt)
      Then you look in your moral cooking book and you find out that an hypotetic, non existing being named Allah forbids you to marry that nice girl just because she is not a Muslim.
      What are you gonna to do???

      JJ Rousseau

      September 2, 2010 at 8:38 am

      • You keep the faith:

        “And it may be that you hate a thing which is good for you, and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Yet, Allah knows best.” 2:216

        Hasan

        September 3, 2010 at 4:26 am

  45. Dear Hasan,

    Do you have also personal toughts and convictions?
    Your answer is a perfect illustration of the image we have from Muslims here in Europe: Muslim are people who cannot think for themselves, they always think “secondhand” and have to look in their “cookbook” or to ask a fatwa to an Imam.
    Then you may get their standard answer, they never give you their personal opinion.
    That is the very reason of our “Islamophobia” : the confrontatation with preprogrammed beings unable to think for themselves…

    JJ Rousseau

    September 3, 2010 at 9:15 am

    • This is my personal answer. Self-sacrifice has value in life. You have to be willing to sacrifice and make the hard decisions because God commanded you to. It’s as simple as that. These are my personal convictions, that’s why Islam is “Submission to God”. You give yourself whole-heartedly to something greater than you. Have some faith. Just because I’m referring to the Quran does not mean I’m preprogrammed, I’m simply referring to a point of reference (and a book that has all the asnwers for anything, not a “cookbook”) for my motivations and why I believe what I do.

      Hasan

      September 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

      • Very good answer Hasan , I really appreciate that!
        can you understand that I am an atheist in the sense that I do not believe in the Christian God or in Allah but in somewhat much bigger , a kind of eternal and cosmic energy that gives everything a meaning?

        JJ.Rousseau

        September 3, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    • Fatwa is than legal ruleing. I cannot issue than Fatwa that will be legal, Osama bin Laden cannot issue Fatwa that are legal binding on muslins. Muslim can think for thenself but they worry about what other muslim think also. What about the illegal laws in French that ban muslim women from wearing Islamist approve clothes. It I was the mayor of the city where I live I would issue than legal ruleing declare the entire French Government illegal than nobody in French needed to obey they government laws.

      Brian C. Hoff

      September 4, 2010 at 7:38 am

      • Sorry Brian,
        Islam approved clothes-exept the Burqa- are allowed in France and in Belgium where I live.
        Burqa is forbidden for 2 reasons: for securityreasons and for not to hamper communication between persons.
        I learn’t that nowhere in the Koran or hadiths is asked to to wear a Burqa.
        But I have another question for you:why is it not allowed to build Christian churches in Moslim countries altough Moslims are allowed to build Mosques in European countries?
        Why is apostasy forbidden altough islam says: “there is no compulsion in religion”?
        Why it is dangerous to out you as an atheist, a freemason, an homosexual in a Moslim country?

        JJ Rousseau

        September 4, 2010 at 8:26 am

  46. You mean you’re agnostic. That doesn’t make your “cosmic energy” any different from Allah, God, or Yahweh. They’re just words referring to the same being

    Hasan

    September 4, 2010 at 4:10 am

  47. JJ first the Burqa is approve Islamist clothes so outlawing the Burqa is illegal in my opion. What security threat you are going to much by what Islamoprobia like Mad Mel ande that dutch member of parliament who is homosexual. In our mosque we have woman who wear the Burqa with no face covering and with face covering I have no touble communication with the women, phoney reason to ban the Burqa. The only place in the world that churches and other religious builting cannot be place is the two Holy Cities in Islam. During Meccaq war with Medina some muslim took the side of the pagon they where execute for treason against the Islamist state. Homosexual who do they sexual act in public can be put on trail in than Islamist court of law.

    Brian C. Hoff

    September 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    • Sorry Brian,
      this is a very very poor answer!

      JJ.Rousseau

      September 4, 2010 at 6:58 pm

  48. Muslim arenot under the threat of Death for leaveingt Islam as longt as they donot attack Islam. If you are unable to talk to than women wearing than veil cover her face the touble is at your end.

    Brian C. Hoff

    September 5, 2010 at 5:26 am

    • Brian, I agree with you. It is a horrible attack on the beautiful religion to say that women may not be seen or heard. The Qur’an and the Prophet (SAWS) did not tell people to treat women differently. MEN oppress women, NOT Islam.

      Khadija

      September 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      • Khadija,
        I really cannot understand the meaning of your comment.
        I suppose Brian tried to say( after an attempt to understand his horrible English)
        “It is your problem if you are only able to talk to veiled women”

        or did I misunderstood?
        And kadija , do you wear a burqa yourself?
        I have read your website and I do not think you do…

        JJ.Rousseau

        September 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm

      • I e-mail than female member of our mosque broad of Trustee that we needed to educate our female and male muslim teenagers about the danger of drink alchol, takeing illegal drug, STD(sexual Transit Illness) and senting nude picture of yourself over the internet and removeing all wed carmon from your computer. First America is in mortal decay which is getting worst. Pron maker are picking up teenager girl nude picture sent over the internet an blackmail then into have more sexual explicate picture taken an in the future useing then in porn film. Many of board member both female and male think we needed to protect our childern includeing teenager from harn. First acholic drink are legal in america an too easyies availture. They non-muslim friend donot care about mortality. But we also cannot act like the religious police in some countries. We needed to be frank with the teenager about the danger of STD but tell the truth not lies about the danger. Female teenager would like to have childern when marrage in the future many STD stop you from have childern in the future an too many STD are anti-bio restante to all anti-bio drugs we have. I know too many parent would like to not have they teenager educrate this way as they believe if keep quite about this it will go way. I than 60 year old with no kid of my own.

        Brian C. Hoff

        September 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm

  49. All of the comments blindly attacking the author and the blog are completely baseless.

    Thank you for publishing such an important and intelligent article. May Allah reward you for your efforts in shedding light upon our deen.

    Nouf

    September 10, 2010 at 5:17 am

  50. Aslamu Alaykum!
    hmmm, i was brought up on that Muslim women marrying non muslims were wrong

    i can see that if you were to because of love the women would lose her way! Go mosque less often, pray less often and the children would maybe brought up on Islamic morals but probs lack the teachings of their deen!

    If there is no hard evidence in the Quran then i say its better to be safe than sorry!!!

    God bless you all and Eid Mubarak!

    Let Live!

    September 10, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    • Cant the same argument be used to discourage muslim men from marrying non-muslim women? That maybe the family and the kids would lose the proper teaching of the deen? actually..cant that even happen if both parents are muslim but just not very good at enforcing religion in the household or attentive to their children?

      Bottom line..nothing in the quran stops muslim women from marrying non-mulim men. All arguments are just fear tactics that are not evidence-based…

      Nouf

      September 11, 2010 at 2:29 am

  51. What I mean when the Prime Minister of the UK say that he needed to see the woman face to be able to talk with her show that he is unfit to be PM of that nation. I talk to one veil woman durning set up work durning the fasting month than I have no touble talking with her. Our secretary fell behind in her admin work for trying to woman set up working which I did in the past which is mostly done when there is harty any women in the mosque than the one there have no problen with brother doing some of the worked for then. I told her let me do that setting up worked for her.

    Brian C. Hoff

    September 11, 2010 at 3:13 am

    • Brian,
      Most of your comments are completely incomprehensible.
      I have read this comment at least 5 times.
      The only thing I think to understand is that the Prime Minister of the UK in your opinion is unfit to be PM because he is not able tot talk to a full face veiled woman.
      The rest of your comment: sorry incomprehensible.
      Learn English please or leave this forum or at least ask a better skilled friend to correct your bullshit.

      JJ Rousseau

      September 11, 2010 at 12:42 pm

      • I than sorry that you hight IQ people caqnnot understand sinple english any more. I do alots of the setup worked for Istar Dinner at the Mosque where I go. I mostly worked in the man area but needed to travel thought the woman area to get paperplates, and other item to do my job. In the past I did get do setup worked in the woman area when the one woman who wear the viel was too ill to do it so I did it. Our Secretary try to do too much other worked, so I told her let me do the setup worked in the woman area as there is very few women in the area and they donot mind if I do it.

        Brian C. Hoff

        September 11, 2010 at 4:46 pm

  52. That Secretary was than other woman who does not wear the veil at all.

    Brian C. Hoff

    September 11, 2010 at 3:14 am

    • I give up!

      JJ.Rousseau

      September 11, 2010 at 5:59 pm

      • I did told you I wasw born with than brain damage speech center and I than now 60 year old. I than looking forward to being married to than nice muslim woman.

        Brian C. Hoff

        September 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      • Once than DA told me he was glad that someone with my disabilites isnot afraid to talk or write.

        Brian C. Hoff

        September 13, 2010 at 11:30 am

      • I know it’s hard to understand him, but I could understand him, well, mostly… But I have been talking to lots of “people who can’t speak English very well” for a long time… Just try to understand what he wanted to say, not what he said, and if you want, I can translate it for you…

        Optamizm

        November 12, 2010 at 6:18 pm

  53. [...] Growing up as a Pakistani-South African Muslim in suburbia New Jersey, Nadia Mohammad spent much of her childhood thinking she was Desi until she moved to Pakistan and learned she was American. Returning to the U.S. with this new perspective and a defiance of social stereotypes she delved into the world of South Asian and Muslim American media and activism. A lawyer in Chicago, she continues to believe in the values of justice and equality with cupcakes for all. An earlier version of this article was previously published at The Goatmilk Debates. [...]

  54. Revertive you are so right. There was alot of killing by christian in the Rome Empire over the Trinely by the pro and con forces. It is now knowly that the very early christian where very much like the Jew in believe that there was one God that wasnot One God slip into 3 God.

    Brian C. Hoff

    September 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm

  55. Can it be any clearer than this: “O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them, Allah knows best as to their Faith, then if you ascertain that they are true believers, send them not back to the disbelievers, they are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them….” (Surah al-Mumtahanah, 60:10)

    Zawj

    September 23, 2010 at 11:07 am

    • Please see the addendum posted.

      Nadia M

      September 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm

  56. This is only the beginning of a discussion. By no means is my piece a be-all and end-all answer. AltMuslimah (www.altmuslimah.com/a/b/rsa/3948/) picked up this debate as well. So I took the liberty of adding an Addendum there, which I thought to add here. Hopefully, that alleviates some concerns, and further demonstrates the need of in-depth scholarship to bring clarity in this area.

    ***Addendum***

    Salaam all,

    I wanted to follow up with a mini-addendum to this article. Since the original post on http://www.goatmilkblog.com I received much feedback, mostly positive, some negative. I want to address some concerns brought up and point out other areas of research that should be explored.

    First off, some have expressed concern about discussions of such topics by non-scholars and the risk of readers accepting an opinion as if it were a fatwa. I think each of us adequately expressed that we are not scholars. We were each exploring the development of one side of the issue and were limited in our word count. The debate style is simply to facilitate discussions that are already occurring in the community. Articles such as these are not meant to provide one-stop-shop answers or fatwas, we can only give readers a reference points to explore. It is up to the reader to investigate the issue further and make a well-informed decision on his or her life choices.

    Second, should any of the readers be interested in exploring this issue further, I would like to briefly touch upon a few points that have not been brought up by the other debaters here:

    1) We are taught that men and women are equal but have “rights” over one another when pertaining to certain issues. Thus, the underlying issue here, in my opinion, is whether women and men have equal rights when it comes to their options for marriage. For those who accept that they do not, the discussion is moot. They believe that there is an inherent inequality in marriageable options for men and women, and that this notion is founded in Islamic text. Those who do not agree with the aforementioned premise are trying to understand the accepted Islamic tradition of this inequality, why it exists and whether it is an accurate interpretation of Islamic text.

    2) There are, however, some who argue that the equality does exist, just not as traditionally accepted. They define this equality by prohibiting both men and women from marrying non-Muslims (kitabiyya included). This is for several reasons, such as: a) the definition of kitabiyya only pertains to Muslims, b) even if kitabiyya did pertain to Jews and Christians before, the deviation of these groups from certain key Islamic principles make this definition invalid today.

    3) One other point of contention is Surah Al-Mumtahanah (http://www.quran.com/60). This Surah is often misread/misinterpreted when used on a variety of issues. The reason for this may be due to lack of Arabic skills and background knowledge. Still, the gravest error made with this Surah and many others is taking ayats or parts of ayats while disregarding the rest. For example, 60:1 revealed during a time of particular tribulation, tells believers not to take Allah’s enemies (disbelievers) as allies at a time of war. 60:7, then states that Allah might turn your enemies into your allies, and that He is most forgiving and merciful. So one can see how 60:1, if taken out of context, can ignore the true message at hand.

    60:10 is sometimes used in the marrying/not marrying non-Muslims debate as evidence that women may not marry non-Muslims, Jews and Christians included. The ayat speaks of those converting during this time of contention for the community (at times this would be in secret or at a risk to them). It says that when these believing women come to the believing men, the believing men should not send them back to the disbelievers as they are no longer regarded as lawful for them (in marriage). Those arguing against women marrying non-Muslims, stop here. But this seems to be a major error, as the ayat continues and states that the believing men should not hold on to their marriage bonds with disbelieving women.

    So several questions arise from ayat 60:10 – a) which disbelievers are being spoken of and under what context? b) how does this ayat contribute to the debate over the meaning of kitabiyya? c) if this ayat can be used to demonstrate that women are explicitly prohibited from being married to any non-Muslims, then does this not explicitly prohibit men from doing the same, thus, demonstrating equality?

    I explored the popular argument in my original article and the loopholes in this reasoning because I felt it was a good start to such a discussion. I would also like to point out that we, as Muslims, are instructed as to the qualities to seek prospective spouses. These qualities are expected, ideally, to be inherent in a Muslim. Therefore, as I mentioned in my article, it seems quite clear for many reasons why marrying a non-Muslim, even a Christian or Jew, would be strongly discouraged for women or men. But the popular argument as to why it is prohibited for women does not provide an adequate explanation. This means, if there is a “yes” or “no” answer on this issue, the opinion has not been fully formulated for the masses. It is understandable that the popular opinion was accepted by all schools of thought, because men often traveled and needed more marriageable options, while women did not, and by living primarily in Muslim societies did not find a need to explore the issue further. This is simply not the case for many young Muslims today living in non-Muslim societies. This is forcing many to act as they deem appropriate despite the confusion.

    Ultimately, this all demonstrates a need for further scholarly exploration of all aspects of the issues to determine a) whether Muslim women and men have equal options when it comes to choosing a partner in marriage and b) what these options are and the standards accepted.

    Insha’Allah, that clears up some confusion as to the nature and purpose of this discussion and provides some relevant reference points for exploration. As always, Allah knows best.

    Nadia M

    September 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

  57. So I came across this blog in search of an answer to this.

    Can a Muslim woman marry a non-Muslim man?

    I for one am raised Christian, however I do not describe myself as such anymore. I do believe in God still but I’m on a quest sort of, for truth and meaning on what it means to be a true believer. It’s important to do good and to act right.

    I met Muslim friends this year. I was even invited to attend a mosque because I am interested in learning more about Islam. I would say the only thing that bothers me is the marriage issue.

    Is it really forbidden in sense that there’s punishment? That a woman will be kicked out? Excommunicated? I surely hope not. If I would continue to live my life as a believer (which is not an if, it’s an is) and love is present between myself and a Muslim woman, I would respect her and her faith. Because not just as a believer but also as a man, I fell in love and married a woman for all she is.

    Jeans

    September 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm

  58. I reverted to Islam this past May, after months of study and practicing the deen. My husband(who is not Muslim and is very Christian) introduced me to my first real “taste” of Islam. He bought me a Quran a couple days after Christmas. He gave it to me as matteroffactly, “Here is something I think you may be interested in”. I read the book, cover to cover and decided it was what I was looking for. I believed in G-D, but I didn’t attest to one particular faith. When I read the Quran, It just touched my heart and made me weep.

    My husband encourages me to go to the mosque, asks me if I prayed today, buys me scarves and when I am away from my cell phone and the adhan alarm goes off, calls me from wherever I am in the house that it is going off. I love him for giving me this book,(The Words) and filling in me a void that had been in my heart for a long time. Alhamdulillah!

    SideNote: We have a son who attends the mosque with me on occasion. He also goes to church with his grandparents,who don’t preach the trinity and is learning both faiths. He asks questions and we both try our best to answer them. I think that Islam is just the natural progression from Christianity. Plus, aren’t we supposed to study and believe in all the revelations sent by Allah? What is important is that one belief that it is One God, with no partners.

    Aliya

    September 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    • are u sure u have read the quran cover to cover
      ‘Say: The Truth has come from your Lord. Let him who will, believe it, and let him who will, reject it.’
      (al-Kahf 18: 29)

      In which hadith, besides God and His revelation do they believe? (45:6)
      They insist upon following conjecture, when? the guidance is given to them herein from their Lord.” (53:23)
      According to the? Quran, there is only one valid sunna (law): God’s law (Sunnatullah) (33:38,62; 35:43; 40:85; 48:23).
      The Quran is not a fabricated Hadith; …it details everything. [12:111]

      And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be
      among the losers chaptar 3.85

      And when a messenger from? Allah came to them confirming that which was with them, a party of those who had been given the Scripture threw the Scripture of Allah behind their backs as if they did not know(2.101)
      This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. (5.3)
      Islam does not work on what u think Islam only works form Quran okay so please if u want to follow 2 religions go ahead but please do not misguide others
      thanks

      So we cannot be reformers

      Verily, the only acceptable religion to Allah is Islam.”

      [Noble Quran 3:19]

      s

      December 27, 2011 at 1:46 am

      • Where in my comment did I say I was practicing two faiths? My family is just fine, no problems, my husband isn’t persecuting me, and when I’m able I go to Jumu’ah when my work schedule as a police officer permits. I have no one to answer to,and prove something to but the Creator. Not you, or the general public.

        aliya

        December 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      • In response to your ayat, ” Verily, the only acceptable religion to Allah is Islam.” [Noble Quran 3:19] We should always try to understand the meaning. Islam means peace and submission to our One creator, most Powerful..so its not about ppl born muslim who preach but about the acceptable way to God is to submit everything to God, if ppl try, God helps. And its better to see the entire world that God gave instead of just looking at one type of ppl and thinking thats reality of all that there is. Then why the Quran didnt come down to Noah or Abraham..each time is different and we have to be grateful that we have been blessed with it, but doesnt mean thats the only way someone will go to heaven..its really the way that you live according to how Allah expects from us. If ppl didnt stray in the first place, God wouldnt have to send any books or prophets.

        islam

        January 3, 2012 at 1:42 am

    • i do not care what u do in ur life

      please if u want to follow 2 religions go ahead but please do not misguide others
      (aren’t we supposed to study and believe in all the revelations sent by Allah? )
      thats what it looks like on the comment of urs above, u can do both but
      i just said do not misguide others on that comment

      and when did i says u have to answer to me?

      s

      December 29, 2011 at 12:45 am

      • If you don’t care, then why the hell comment? I’m done, with ignorant comments about what I should do, and how I am somehow influencing people otherwise. I’m sure people reading this are smart enough to come to their own conclusions. As salaamu alaikum. Bye bye!!!!!

        aliya

        January 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm

  59. In Iran, which has the government of Allah, it is illegal for a muslim woman to marry a non-muslim man.

    I have heard from an Iranian woman that the divorce rate in Iran is 75%. This is 50% higher than that of the U.S., which most often credited with the highest divorce rate. The rate has been published as high as %80 with criticism of love marriages having a 90% divorce rate.

    http://www.payvand.com/news/09/may/1257.html

    If it is so great for a muslim woman to marry a muslim man, why are 80% of petitions for divorce in Iran filed by women?

    http://www.tehrantimes.com/Index_view.asp?code=194950

    “The SCRO has recently urged its provincial departments not to disclose divorce figures so as ‘not to disrupt public opinion’.”

    http://www.irannewsdigest.com/2010/07/06/divorce-rate-defies-iran’s-strict-regime/

    “The rise of the average age of marriage and the increase in the rate of divorce have been accompanied by a sharp upsurge of temporary marriages (mut’ah or sigheh), permissible and practiced among Shi’i Muslim societies.”

    http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/iranian_studies/pulse38.eng.html

    “Most women in our society have long been opposed to sigheh and polygamy. They have only accepted the practice out of distress and necessity. Among families, traditional as well as modern, religious as well as secular, and among women as well as men, sigheh has always been associated with shame and regarded as a stigma. It seems that this will continue to be the case in the future. Opposition to the practice has been reflected clearly in various studies that have been conducted during the past few years by governmental institutions and independent researchers…

    In other words, public opinion in our society considers sigheh to be an unethical behavior that falls under the category of the economy of pleasure. Although some practice it, sigheh is not considered sanctifiable. Therefore, defense of the practice of sigheh, under any justification or basis, represents an undemocratic and patriarchal attitude contemptuous of the demands of the majority of Iranian women and the ethical judgment of society…”

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2010/03/temporary-marriage-and-the-economy-of-pleasure.html

    Enrique

    November 6, 2010 at 8:25 am

  60. This clearly shows why moderate muslims are a big problem to the ummah. Moderate muslims and Wahhabi/Salafis are exactly the two sides to the same coin – using the modern liberal approach – entrenched in individualism. May God guide us all.

    Oz Guy

    November 9, 2010 at 11:10 am

  61. What if the woman is a Muslim and the man is an Agnostic (doesn’t believe in the existence nor the inexistent of a God).The Agnostic man isnt convinced that there is or isnt a Higher Being.

    Also, If that man (the agnostic) is the kind that truly respects the rights of his Muslim lady he loves and doesnt interfere in her practices, then would it be permissable (my the Qur’an) for a Muslim lady to marry an Agnostic, who will not stand in the way of her Muslim practices and let her raise her children in her religion.

    Question

    November 11, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    • You’re thinking of Atheist, not Agnostic… Agnostics believe in God, but don’t have a specific religion…

      Optamizm

      November 12, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    • and to reply to your question, no, a Muslim can’t marry an Atheist…

      Optamizm

      November 12, 2010 at 6:45 pm

  62. What if the ‘muslim’ woman herself is basically atheist/agnostic? Yet people (her parents, family, community what not) tell her she must not on any account marry a non-muslim, including another atheist/agnostic just like herself! Rather they would prefer she marry a muslim man, yet don’t realise that such a thing is of course against the faith too (a muslim man can not marry an atheist/agnostic woman and have an islamically valid nikah).

    I think this is the situation facing many ‘cultural muslims’ like myself in the west. I’ve never practised the faith, don’t make any pretense of doing so and frankly don’t believe in any gods/goddesses/imaginary sky fairy/afterlife/jinns yet my parents and others in the community still insist on calling me a ‘muslim.’ Then they expect you to get married according to islamic rules and have an islamic nikah, despite knowing you don’t believe in any of that stuff.

    Any other cultural muslims but functional atheists face this situation? How do you deal with parental pressure and cultural pressure to conform to being ‘muslim’ even if you think organized religion is bullshit?

    Leila

    November 13, 2010 at 5:03 am

  63. Oh and I think I have it bad here in the west. What about agnostics/atheists who have to tow the community line and pretend to be ‘muslim’ in countries governed by islamic law like Saudi Arabia or Iran? Can a Saudi agnostic woman of ‘muslim’ family marry a non-muslim man, given that she does not believe in the legitimacy of the shariah and quran?

    Leila

    November 13, 2010 at 5:15 am

  64. Hi there,
    I have finally finished reading all of your posts i enjoyed taking a look at what you guys think, and what has been said, but i honestly havent found an answer though.. everyone here has different thoughts.. i am an american muslim.. im 19, dont want to get married just yet, but i still think about my future.. i do love someone.. but hes christian.. he says he loves me and will care through everything.. i told him i think muslim women cant get married to nonmuslim men, i have found many reasons why… but at the same time i see lots of people saying its fine to marry a nonmuslim as long as he doesnt interrupt with the religion you follow, he is a christian and so are his parents, he started reading the Quran and told me he feels like a muslim already.. but he is scared of what his parent would think, especially because his mom works at the church… well anyways, my question is.. Can a muslim women marry a christian?? i am deeply inlove with him.. and him caring soo much for me, also.. hes slowly walking to the right path, which makes me very happy…. reading the Quran without me trying to force him.. anyways i would appreciate a nice response,

    Thanks, Noor :)

    Noor

    January 27, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    • Dear Noor,
      If you really belief that everything in the Koran is true and other beliefs are wrong then it is better not to marry a Christian,Hindu,Mormon or Atheist.
      Your “religious” belief will always be a point of discussion and source of anger in your marriage.
      You will always depend of fatwa’s and traditonnal ideas about what is good or wrong in your marriage.
      But if you accept that all human beings are equal and that religions are just phantasies then marry the man of your heart regardless his religion.
      Allah or God simply doesn’t exist and there is no afterlife.
      The only but precious thing humans have is their life on earth. Make the best of it!
      Set you free of all teachings of Priests,Imams aso, they just try to have a hold on you.
      There is undoubtly a higher spiritual reality but that has nothing to do with so called religions as Islam or Christianity.
      You will find the truth in yourself but only under the condition that you are what you are and not a “secondhand” being that cannot think for herself.
      Fight yourself free Noor!

      JJ.Rousseau

      January 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      • On the day of judgement you will find that Allah exsit than it will be too late to change your fatew which will be hellfire.

        Brian C. Hoff

        January 29, 2011 at 3:15 am

    • He must be pretty young, as the older you get the less do you worry about what other people think. He will have to sometime in the future tell his parent that he is convertingt to Islam.

      Brian C. Hoff

      February 10, 2011 at 6:27 am

    • Noor,

      Many, consumed by passion and deficient in religion as a result, have throughout the ages twisted and stretched Koranic verses and invented “Authentic Hadiths” to suit their own agendas.

      It is clear that it is forbidden to forbid what is not forbidden.

      There is no explicit prohibition. God gave you a mind. The intentions of those who invent rules should therefore be clear to you.

      The innovators who have turned Islam into a prison rule book have very little understanding of the religion they profess to follow. How do you identify an innovator? He is generally the one who is accusing everyone he disagrees with of being an innovator…

      Good luck

      The Oracle

      February 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm

  65. I change my mind with the hostile Islamoprobic racist with the faulire of the federal court to deal with these hate speech from then, muslim female can only marry than muslim man. If than woman who convert to Islam have than hushand who refuse to convert at all the muslim community must help her get than divorse from the unbeliever who is mostly like than Islamoprobic racist.

    Brian C. Hoff

    January 29, 2011 at 3:12 am

    • Oh Brian C. Hoff,

      Your hatred will lead to nothing but self destruction. Your bigotry will lead to nothing but more islamophobia. Your threats of hellfire are driving an ever increasing number towards the conclusion there must be something fundamentally wrong with Muslims.

      Repent, for the hour is nigh…

      The Oracle

      February 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      • I than not filled with hatered at all. First Islamoproblic will exsit no matter what I say about then you unbeliever think.Believe it if than woman who is married convert to Islam and the hushand refuse to do so after than reasonable amount of time past the muslim community must help her get than divorse from her hushand.

        Brian C. Hoff

        February 12, 2011 at 3:39 am

      • The muslim woman helping me to find wife told me as than hushand ALLAH hold me respond for my wife wearing the Hijah in public. I e-mail her back saying ALLAH only exsept the man to use word to make her wear never to use force like breating her up the Koran doesnot allow wifebreating or murder her for not wearing it.

        Brian C. Hoff

        February 12, 2011 at 3:47 am

  66. Oh my, thank you soo much :]

    Noor

    February 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    • Who are you replying to Noor.

      Brian C. Hoff

      February 8, 2011 at 3:55 am

  67. There is of course a way to follow only what is specifically prescribed in the Koran regarding marriage to non-Muslim men:

    “The adulterer may marry only an adulteress or an idolatress; and the adulteress may marry only an adulterer or an idolater…” [24:3]

    In other words, if it is true that she cannot normally marry a non-Muslim, then all the Muslim girl needs to do is sleeps with her non-Muslim boyfriend, and then she is explicitely permitted to marry him…

    So if the traditionalists and the “weight of the consensus” are right, then the following happens when a Muslim girl marries a non-Muslim man:

    – a civil marriage takes place (since a religious one is impossible)

    – this marriage is not valid, therefore as soon as it is consumated the spouses are adulterers

    – as soon as they are adulterers, then it becomes possible for the couple to be married – noone can then object to an Islamic ceremony taking place…

    The Oracle

    February 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    • There needed to be 4 witness to the same Adulter act and they must be muslim men or women in good standing. Also since they are married cicilo by the state they cannot be adulters at all. It than woman who is married convert to Islam but her hushand doesnot they are still married untril than divored is granted to her by than civil court in america.

      Brian C. Hoff

      February 12, 2011 at 3:26 am

    • It is up to the Islamist community to decide it they want to marry then or not to marry then since they are filling out than marry legal agreement and state lience form.

      Brian C. Hoff

      February 12, 2011 at 3:51 am

  68. Actually Brian, they don’t necessarily need 4 (muslim) witnesses to the act of adultery if they openly stated to the world that they had slept together, or just presented photographic evidence.

    Linda

    February 20, 2011 at 4:44 am

    • The QUAN say they needed 4 muslim witness are needed then 4 muslim witness are needed.Stated to the world mean nothing as they can be lying about slereping together and photographic evidence willnot do either.The evil Serb try to get one private in they military to plead guielty to all the crime the SERB did the Court threw the plead out saying that they donot believe one private did all warcrime and rape alone.

      Brian C. Hoff

      February 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm

  69. I wonder if the recent scandal will give some new life to this thread? Some people are probably saying “I told you so”.

    abdul-halim

    June 8, 2011 at 5:14 am

    • Those who are saying “I told you so” are following a logical fallacy: that Muslim men never lust or cheat on their wives. If one can prove that Muslim men are perfect husbands, then I may consider the “i told you so logic.” But considering that I know many Muslim men who are cheaters and fornicators (sex before marriage), I highly doubt anyone can provide sufficient proof of a Muslim husband’s divine perfection.

      MahaMuslimah

      June 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm

      • I have sufficient proof that muslim husbands have NO divine perfection. I know MANY husbands who mistreat their wives, mentally, physically and emotionally because they are not truely God loving/fearing. God is the Most Just, He is the Creator of ALL, so when stupid/ignorant people only consider muslims by label, He must be laughing because obviously God Consciousness are only for the wise. Judgement is for Allah because people have no knowledge of the unseen. Don’t be arrogant people, we don’t know who can be ending up higher rank in Allah’s eyes regardless of what you are born as…

        Islam

        June 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    • First it is than scandal because the GOP make it one as they hate liberal,and muslim.

      Brian C. Hoff

      June 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm

  70. Also, if you people read the Quran, it always talks about believers versus unbelievers. There is a sura that says that if you dont accept one God, the angels, the bookSSSS, the prophets and you make distinctions between them, then you can be to blame as well. Regardless every time it says only Allah is All knowing. If you are arrogant and think you can judge all people without being humble, you should take a good look at your heart and repent to your Creator before pointing fingers.

    Islam

    June 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm

  71. Also, may I add, Sura 2:232:”And do not prevent them from marrying persons of their choice. This instruction is for all among you who believe in Allah and the Last day..”
    “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” (Quran 2:256)
    “If it had been your Lord’s will, all of the people on Earth would have believed. Would you then compel the people so to have them believe?” (Quran 10:99)
    “The Messenger’s duty is but to proclaim the Message.” (Quran 5:99)

    Islam

    June 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm

  72. Some have doubted the wisdom of the Islamic scholars on the prohibition of Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men. I think that the episode between Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin has proven that they are ABSOLUTELY correct. We should not forget that the Muslim scholars are more knowledgeable on Islam than a Muslim that has not had their scholarly training.

    munir

    June 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    • Are you saying Muslim men don’t cheat on their wives nor have inappropriate relationships?

      MahaMuslimah

      June 8, 2011 at 11:35 pm

      • What about muslim women who cheat on they hushand also.

        Brian C. Hoff

        June 9, 2011 at 1:30 am

      • Compare the indiscretions of normal men to Anthony Weiner. Sorry, “Carlos Danger”. I don’t think many women want a Carlos Danger just because they assume all men cheat.

        However, it’s not about religion, it’s about culture. Western men, whether Muslim or not, are more likely to cheat because that is in their culture. They are brainwashed into it. In all the love scenes in films, tv, or talked about in music, how many are between married couples? Exactly. That subconsciously reinforces, in both men and women, the idea that illicit relationships between unmarried individuals are more interesting and arousing.

        So marry a man raised in the West at your own peril. And sisters living in the Muslim world, you have maybe 10-20 years before all the men there are just like the men in the West due to the internet and television.

        Carlos Danger

        September 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    • @brian, exactly. some people live in outer space, i think.

      MahaMuslimah

      June 9, 2011 at 1:34 am

    • Like I said, I have experience with being married twice, blindly arranged once, and second was still the islamic way, did not get to date, had to make up my mind after 1 month of talking on the phone. Well, I have seen my share of mistreatment from a muslim husband. Unless u say all men are not worthy to be married to, then why did Allah give us the choice to marry men in the first place when there are so many problems with men in general. (I am not sexist, just making a point) I can understand it being mukhru but come on, haram? Allah will account the people that make up their own judgements for people that could end up ruining people’s lives. If I was to marry a nonmuslim, and stay strong in the right path, someone prohibiting me will answer to Allah on something that was none of their business.

      Islam

      June 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      • My ex-wife who wasnot muslim yhan I wasnot muslim but christian as my ex-wife was christian treat me badly posible murdering my baby girl by her just to spike me. It isnot only muslim who have this proble. Her muedering the baby was the turning point in her divorse from me she won than great victory against me who was unable to defence myself when her lawyer fround out what she did he ask the court on closeing the case to reopen case than it was reopen for six month very judge in the court where anger at her for what she did to the baby that the entire divorse agreement was rewritten to be more fravorable to me she was asking for 4500 than month support payment I only make 11,000 dollar than year the court reduce it to zero support as she make 50,000 dollar than year.

        Brian C. Hoff

        June 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm

  73. I believe in the Quran, Allah, Judgement day, Hereafter, the Books, the Messengers, I established regular prayer (devoted in prayer to Allah), give charity, fast, and I do accept that we are all made differently, for different purposes in life, different views and Allah created us that way, each of us have different talents..and in the end my life showed me there is no valid reason for anything that happens, its all Allah’s will and being humble I accept we know nothing each of us compared to Him…so we leave each person to their own way in life, just as it says in the Quran and the last messenger of Allah has guided us to believe. How do we know that if one marries a nonmuslim, that he ends up learning about Islam and the children become in the right path which may not have been if they didnt marry a muslim? Lets not forget, there are many other messengers that came, do we follow their teachings? There are a lot of good things that Allah sent us..dont be blind..we are muslims: (definition: those that submit to one God, not to people) O people, use your God given brain. !!

    Islam

    June 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm

  74. By the way, is there anyone who will support me in marrying me to a nonmuslim, but marry me with a nikkah, the islamic ceremony? I dont know any imams, but if someone could help me because I am a muslim with all the right intentions and actions and if I marry a nonmuslim, its unfair that I dont get to have an islamic ceremony because I live in the way of Allah :(

    Islam

    June 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    • I’m not sure I understand. For an Islamic marriage you basically need a marriage offer, acceptance, and a sufficient number of witnesses. And then it would be customary to have a contract and a mahr. But you don’t really need an “imam” to “marry you” to the other person. It doesn’t need to be in a masjid. No clergy of any kind has to be involved. Everything else is basically cultural and you can do whatever you want.

      http://www.zawaj.com/

      abdul-halim

      June 14, 2011 at 3:17 am

    • why don’t you contact your local church after all you are marrying a christian. your marriage should be valid in christianity too:)

      Muhammad1982

      July 24, 2011 at 2:05 am

    • If you are in USA then there is one IMAM who conducts interfaith marriage for muslims (including women). His name is khaleel mohammed, professor of San Diego university. Just do a google search, you will find his contact information. He is good in responding.

      TruthSearch

      February 22, 2012 at 7:26 am

  75. asalaamalykum. sisters who think it is ok to marry non muslim let them. why force them to do other wise it is there choice ie like it is the choice of a muslim to follow 100% or 94% its simple the ground rules are there dont get it tiwisted folks there is only one way your choice.

    be warned we have and enemy much clever than a woman who marrys a non muslim this is the usual side track wake up sisters and brotheres this is a secular debate

    the Shaytan and his minions are “whisperers”, who whispers into the hearts of men and women, urging them to commit sin let alone this subject those with iman stay away

    and pl pl folks understand me/my wife are muslim. Panama and Pakistan mA wake up

    Agent no 09

    June 13, 2011 at 11:18 am

    • Warning: Satan’s Minion Whispering:
      Yes, @Agent no 9. Let them choose….but let’s warn them that they will burn in hell for it! o0o0o0o
      [Shhhh! Let's scare Muslim women into believing they will burn in hell eternally for NOT marrying the fantastical Muslim men of this world. If they dare be so disobedient as to choose a non-Muslim for the sake of love, support, companionship, and children, then let them CHOOSE (choose hell, of course).
      We both know that only Muslim men are good.]

      Carin

      July 7, 2011 at 1:46 am

      • Carin…I know right, if they believed in Allah, the One Most Just, Most Gracious, Most Powerful God, they would realize that being labeled a “muslim” is not only Allah’s creations…Allah created everyone and only HE knows who will go to hell or heaven…I guess Allah is testing these people brains as well..not everyone was created with the beautiful knowledge and wisdom and Allah tests those people as well….How dare people think that women will burn in hell just for marrying another creation of God who could be a better husband, father and person in front of Allah. There are the unseen people, don’t forget. Not everything is visible.

        Islam

        July 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm

  76. Thats what I concluded, while trying to learn more of why we do what, but I wanted someone else to conclude this as well…But I want to do something for my parents, such as have an imam or someone scholarly or some support who they would trust more than random people..i also needed this kind of statement that most of what is done is cultural and not the only islamic way of doing things..thank you.

    Islam

    June 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    • oh you disagree that there will be more women in hell than men? right. Have you read about the journey of Prophet pbuh toward heaven n hell. Shab-e-mairaj? I guess not; you were busy looking for a non-Muslim husband for you right?

      Muhammad1982

      July 24, 2011 at 2:10 am

      • women are their own worst enemy. including me. And for heavens sake people, stop referring Allah as He.or His…can’t we just call God, God or The Divine One or something alot nicer?

        liberalsistah

        September 15, 2011 at 2:29 am

  77. I’m confused as hell. 1. The entire crux of your argument is based on one ambiguous scholar’s opinion who you regard as the minority 2. You say it’s fine to marry people of the book: Jews and Christians, since they are not polytheists, but this is no longer the case with the vast majority of (Western) ahl-e-Kitab.

    Sarah

    July 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    • Sarah, 1) the “entire crux of my argument” is based on my thoughts and research thus far, as I see blatant flaws in the traditional argument that is put forward by most imams. Thankfully, God gave me a brain and I try to use it from time to time rather than following whatever or whoever is regarded as popular opinion. 2) Hopefully, you notice that this simply a blog debate reflecting the conversations that occur routinely in our communities. As such we each presented a side within a limited word-space. This conversation is not all encompassing, nor is it meant to be. After all the sides were presented I even added an addendum in the comments to briefly address points I thought did not get presented at all, but are examples of points to consider. In case you were not able to find this in all the comments, I am reposting it here:

      “This is only the beginning of a discussion. By no means is my piece a be-all and end-all answer. AltMuslimah (www.altmuslimah.com/a/b/rsa/3948/) picked up this debate as well. So I took the liberty of adding an Addendum there, which I thought to add here. Hopefully, that alleviates some concerns, and further demonstrates the need of in-depth scholarship to bring clarity in this area.

      ***Addendum***

      Salaam all,

      I wanted to follow up with a mini-addendum to this article. Since the original post on http://www.goatmilkblog.com I received much feedback, mostly positive, some negative. I want to address some concerns brought up and point out other areas of research that should be explored.

      First off, some have expressed concern about discussions of such topics by non-scholars and the risk of readers accepting an opinion as if it were a fatwa. I think each of us adequately expressed that we are not scholars. We were each exploring the development of one side of the issue and were limited in our word count. The debate style is simply to facilitate discussions that are already occurring in the community. Articles such as these are not meant to provide one-stop-shop answers or fatwas, we can only give readers a reference points to explore. It is up to the reader to investigate the issue further and make a well-informed decision on his or her life choices.

      Second, should any of the readers be interested in exploring this issue further, I would like to briefly touch upon a few points that have not been brought up by the other debaters here:

      1) We are taught that men and women are equal but have “rights” over one another when pertaining to certain issues. Thus, the underlying issue here, in my opinion, is whether women and men have equal rights when it comes to their options for marriage. For those who accept that they do not, the discussion is moot. They believe that there is an inherent inequality in marriageable options for men and women, and that this notion is founded in Islamic text. Those who do not agree with the aforementioned premise are trying to understand the accepted Islamic tradition of this inequality, why it exists and whether it is an accurate interpretation of Islamic text.

      2) There are, however, some who argue that the equality does exist, just not as traditionally accepted. They define this equality by prohibiting both men and women from marrying non-Muslims (kitabiyya included). This is for several reasons, such as: a) the definition of kitabiyya only pertains to Muslims, b) even if kitabiyya did pertain to Jews and Christians before, the deviation of these groups from certain key Islamic principles make this definition invalid today.

      3) One other point of contention is Surah Al-Mumtahanah (http://www.quran.com/60). This Surah is often misread/misinterpreted when used on a variety of issues. The reason for this may be due to lack of Arabic skills and background knowledge. Still, the gravest error made with this Surah and many others is taking ayats or parts of ayats while disregarding the rest. For example, 60:1 revealed during a time of particular tribulation, tells believers not to take Allah’s enemies (disbelievers) as allies at a time of war. 60:7, then states that Allah might turn your enemies into your allies, and that He is most forgiving and merciful. So one can see how 60:1, if taken out of context, can ignore the true message at hand.

      60:10 is sometimes used in the marrying/not marrying non-Muslims debate as evidence that women may not marry non-Muslims, Jews and Christians included. The ayat speaks of those converting during this time of contention for the community (at times this would be in secret or at a risk to them). It says that when these believing women come to the believing men, the believing men should not send them back to the disbelievers as they are no longer regarded as lawful for them (in marriage). Those arguing against women marrying non-Muslims, stop here. But this seems to be a major error, as the ayat continues and states that the believing men should not hold on to their marriage bonds with disbelieving women.

      So several questions arise from ayat 60:10 – a) which disbelievers are being spoken of and under what context? b) how does this ayat contribute to the debate over the meaning of kitabiyya? c) if this ayat can be used to demonstrate that women are explicitly prohibited from being married to any non-Muslims, then does this not explicitly prohibit men from doing the same, thus, demonstrating equality?

      I explored the popular argument in my original article and the loopholes in this reasoning because I felt it was a good start to such a discussion. I would also like to point out that we, as Muslims, are instructed as to the qualities to seek prospective spouses. These qualities are expected, ideally, to be inherent in a Muslim. Therefore, as I mentioned in my article, it seems quite clear for many reasons why marrying a non-Muslim, even a Christian or Jew, would be strongly discouraged for women or men. But the popular argument as to why it is prohibited for women does not provide an adequate explanation. This means, if there is a “yes” or “no” answer on this issue, the opinion has not been fully formulated for the masses. It is understandable that the popular opinion was accepted by all schools of thought, because men often traveled and needed more marriageable options, while women did not, and by living primarily in Muslim societies did not find a need to explore the issue further. This is simply not the case for many young Muslims today living in non-Muslim societies. This is forcing many to act as they deem appropriate despite the confusion.

      Ultimately, this all demonstrates a need for further scholarly exploration of all aspects of the issues to determine a) whether Muslim women and men have equal options when it comes to choosing a partner in marriage and b) what these options are and the standards accepted.

      Insha’Allah, that clears up some confusion as to the nature and purpose of this discussion and provides some relevant reference points for exploration. As always, Allah knows best.”

      Nadia

      July 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

  78. All scriptural writings are allegorically, analogically and symbolically written to define the Nature of the Human Consciousness.

    This Quranic Verse is to be translated as follows:

    Quran 2:221: A maidservant who has faith is better than an unbeliever,
    even though you may be strongly attracted to her. Women, don’t marry
    men who make partners with God until they believe. A servant who has
    faith is better than an unbeliever, even though you may be fond of
    him. The influence of unbelievers will lead you to the Fire, while God
    calls you to the Garden and to his own Forgiveness. He makes His
    verses clear to people so that they may bear them in mind.

    A maidservant is a slave of desires. Faith is having experiential knowledge of Truth. An unbeliever refers to the EGO..(One who is Ignorant of Truth Love and Beauty-Psychologically blind to reality). Making partners with God means to worship that which is materialistic..Money, Careers or acts that will initiate Pride, Greed and Jealousy. Association with Selfish Desires (EGO -unbeliever) will lead you to the Fire. The Fire is Pain and Suffering (Hell). While God calls you to the Garden…the Garden refers to your inner divinity..Your Monad-House of bliss, where justice and mercy resides)..where you seek your forgiveness – detachment from Selfish desires. Bear them in mind means to be conscious of your thoughts from moment to moment.

    Astarte

    July 21, 2011 at 5:18 am

    • Astarte, beautiful. Thank you.

      Islam

      July 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    • “A maidservant who has faith is better than an unbeliever!”
      Once again a proof of the intolerance,arrogance and narrowmindness of Islam.
      Why always that distinction between the good and bad ones, we Muslims are the good ones and the other the unbelievers are the bad ones, why the distinction between Muslims and non Muslims?
      All humans are equal.
      Allah, the Christian God, Appollo, Amon Re are all human inventions: they simply doesn’t exist.
      Be free, think free!Think and decide for yourself.
      Take your own decissions, do not rely on texts of Medieval books or “interpretations” of Priests or Imams.

      JJ Rousseau

      July 22, 2011 at 9:49 am

  79. JJ Rousseau, what Astarte was trying to say, is that there is an allegorical meaning behind it. “a maidservant” is actually meaning a slave of desires..could be a christian, muslim, any faithful person who controls their desires and is a good servant in this world. Maybe some people believe nothing exists..but there are unknown things we don’t know, which even those ppl who believe in nothing must accept, we don’t have knowledge of everything. What astarte is trying to say, is that muslims have taken one sentence without analyzing with the wonderful brain that we were given and misrepresented it. All humans are equal. And it even states in the Quran not to make distinctions…but humans have a lot of errors in making their own opinions and only relying on their own brains and not seeing the vast world…

    Islam

    July 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm

  80. So JJ, what I am trying to say is, people are narrow minded, arrogant, intolerant..not Islam. If you read the Quran and analyze, it is not unfair, very open to all of mankind. Yet people don’t interpret the Arabic properly. Its like the literature in English. There are allegorical parts..Not everything in this world is visible. Can you see the cells in your body? Can you see the DNA? How did you know that there are other galaxies? Acceptance of the unknown, or that we don’t know and see everything is the most important thing. Its the basics.

    Islam

    July 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm

  81. Subhan Allah, May Allah (swt) have mercy upon our Ummah. (Amin)

    Muhammad1982

    July 23, 2011 at 3:42 am

  82. “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealings and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just, that is next to piety. Fear Allah, indeed Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (5:8) At the end, I think you should watch out for yourself my dear just righteous brother ;)

    islam

    July 24, 2011 at 5:38 am

  83. But it was not Allah ‘ s purpose that your faith should be in vain , for Allah is full of pity , Merciful toward mankind . 2.143

    Allah says: “And when you speak, then be just, though it be (against) a relative.” [Sûrah al-An`âm: 152]

    It is wrong for a person to accuse anyone else of something wrong except with full knowledge and tangible proof. It is forbidden to base a judgment against someone on hearsay, conjecture or suspicion.

    Allah says: “O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done.” [Sûrah al-Hujurât: 5]

    He also warns us: “O you who believe! Shun much suspicion; for lo! some suspicion is a sin.” [Sûrah al-Hujurât: 12]

    [49:11]“O ye who believe! let not one people deride another people, who may be better than they, nor let women deride other women, who may be better than they. And defame not your own people, nor call one another by nicknames. Bad indeed is evil reputation after the profession of belief; and those who repent not are the wrongdoers.”

    Nisa {4:58}
    “Verily, Allaah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He gives you.”
    etc…

    Also brother, I believe you should read….remember IQRA?? with wisdom, with understanding of Allah’s capabilities in this world…Are u saying Noah was not muslim because he didnt say shahada? really….define muslim please. do you know the purpose of faith and religion? And lets not be a disgrace to the beauty of representing our last prophet who was so tolerant.

    islam

    July 24, 2011 at 5:53 am

    • Dear Islam,
      Do you also have own thoughts, own ideas about what is going on in the world?
      For every problem you apparently have to look in a kind of receipt book to know what to do or to ask and pay for fatwa’s or counseling.
      It is clear you are a second hand thinker without any personal approach.
      Be free! Think for yourself!

      JJ.Rousseau

      July 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      • Since when is referencing/quoting other texts considered intellectual slavery?? Supporting another text or agreeing with someone’s precedent is not equal to narrow-mindedness, nor is repeatedly bleating “Be free! Be free!” some sort of mark for intellectual freedom…

        Would you call Einstein an “un-free thinker” for agreeing with much of Kepler’s previous work?

        Dunked

        February 23, 2012 at 7:24 am

      • You are so correct when I e-mail my mosque BOD about donot trust the FBI I sent attachment of news article of the illegaql action of the FBI as report in the media. Newton phyis wasnot that far off on dealing with earthly speed like no where near the speed of light.

        Brian C. Hoff

        March 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm

  84. JJ you have a good mentality, but I respectfully disagree and do think for myself, I just have to have those receipts for the kind of people who show me receipts or even do not find any receipts but that only act as a parrot in matters that should require more justice. don’t you think since so many do that and call it the faith of islam when in fact it is more their opinion?

    islam

    July 24, 2011 at 1:00 pm

  85. Ladies and gentlemen it is not up to us to make halal what Allah SWT has made haram to our messenger (PERIOD). These are not OUR rules, or OUR PROPHET’s rules, these are Allah SWT ruels. There were instances where the Prophet SA acted in such a manner in which Allah SWT actually forbade him to act a certain way (ie praying for non-Muslims salvation AFTER they died).

    Last but not least the emotional and psychological justification I see that a lot of women pass is “but Muslim men date outside their religion” Would you jump off a bridge if I did as well? I think not. I personally don’t think Muslim men are, in contemporary society where Christans ascribe partners to God and Jews have bi’dah, allowed to marry non-Muslim women of ahl al Kitab. But realistically look at the Muslim men who do so, they find them in an unIslamic way, have a physical relationship before marriage 99% of the time (whereas in the ‘typical’ view of such a relationship the Christian/Jewish woman MUST BE chaste…yeah right not in a post 60s America) and you know what usually happens in the end? IT DOESN’T WORK. The couple splits over religious differences or doesn’t raise kids with any sort of solid identity.

    Find a good Muslim professional mid stream guy. I always hear particularly desi and Arab women complain that there aren’t enough of them (I’m half Egyptian and Half Pakistani Pashtun)…ladies there are plenty and more out there than there are women, you just need to find them in your social circle. A part of the reason why the above marriages fail while Muslim marriages succeed is becasue the expectations of mannerisms and upbringing are excellent among Muslim couples (ie lowering your gaze, not having to worry about a cheating spouse in a good Muslim-Muslim marriage, the expectation that the man is the provider and the woman is a nurturer)

    Don’t limit yourself and build up the stereotypical image of ‘the Muslim man’ it’s ridiculous and not true. Muslims are spread across the globe and are diverse as any other society. What if I had said “Come to my house for some Muslim food” you would find it ridiculous, I do too.

    MA Khan

    July 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    • Last time I checked, rules are based on books. Books are open to interpretation. Stop speaking for God and Islam. People are entitled to decide for themselves how they interpret their religion.

      Carin

      August 1, 2011 at 12:20 am

  86. I know I’m a bit late but why do we tend to gloss over the fact that the quran clearly states muslim MEN are NOT allowed to marry non muslim women in non musl countries

    gj

    August 9, 2011 at 2:34 am

  87. GJ, I’m sorry to inform you, the quran does not clearly state that its forbidden for muslim men to marry non muslim women. If you read clearly, it says about polytheists. why would Allah tell all mankind (the Quran is for mankind) to not marry another of His creations? When clearly, there are many issues you are not aware of. You cannot make haram up. Only Allah is the most knowledgeable, the most Just.

    Islam

    August 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

  88. One day I will visit a mosque, and observe the people in the mosque, and I will see how good are they really are. May peace be with you.

    daniel

    August 16, 2011 at 4:55 am

    • First muslim are just plain people who have the same weakness as other people. Last week our BOD at the mosque make than ruleing that ban childern from playing in the mosque prayer room, it was widely misunderstood and citizise. First we have than Islamist school from pre k to 2nd grade childern needed to run and make noise after being still and quit in the class room for two hours. The BOD are forming than study comittee to hand it. Adult forget they where kids who ran around makeing noise when they where young thenself. I havenot forgotten that as I than 61 year old. The muslim childern are the future of the muslim community which mean we needed to tolance some running around and noise from childern.

      Brian C. Hoff

      August 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm

  89. Daniel, peace be with you as well!

    Islam

    August 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    • Salams Sister Islam,
      What happened to your marriage; just interested. Did you find any Imam to read your Nikkah with your Christian man? I hope you don’t mind me asking.

      Peace

      James82

      August 29, 2011 at 4:24 am

  90. I will be looking into that soon, no hurry

    islam

    August 30, 2011 at 1:12 am

    • Good luck:) Eid Mubarak as well.
      May I know what have you discussed with this man in prior to marriage regarding your children and religion sister? I am just curious if I find any sister in such situation; so I can give her advice. You don’t have to go in details just a few pointer if you could. I am sure sister that you definitely must be taking some precautionary measures since you are going against the stream and taking a step which is neither allowed nor prohibited in Quran. How is your family toward you close and extended one after you have decided to take this decision?

      Wasalam and peace:)

      James82

      August 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    • Good luck and Eid Mubarak sister:)
      May I know what have you discussed with this man in prior to marriage regarding your children and religion sister? I am just curious if I find any sister in such situation; so I can give her advice. You don’t have to go in details just a few pointer if you could. I am sure sister that you definitely must be taking some precautionary measures since you are going against the stream and taking a step which is neither allowed nor prohibited in Quran. How is your family toward you close and extended one after you have decided to take this decision?

      Wasalam and peace:)

      James82

      August 30, 2011 at 8:48 pm

  91. In my own opinion and the way I have taken..is to show him what my religion is, show him all the things that God has taught for all mankind and why..now he really appreciates the religion and sees the benefits and knows me as a person who wants my children in a good path, worshipping God in good ways. He appreciates it and with time I have told him its important that I bring them up muslim bc as a mother, caretaker its important for me to instill those important things. He agrees and he wants the same for his children, someone who teaches the right way and he supports the rituals although he is more spiritual and wants to teach the morals and values which are the same. It takes time. First one has to trust you, to do that, they observe your actions, behaviour and beliefs. If they trust you, its fine. Thats why its important for us women to be good examples of true Islam, what God would want for all time, all people. Peace!

    islam

    August 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm

  92. Jazak Allah for the reply sister. I hope you enjoyed you Eid sister and where did you celebrate; I mean which country?
    Subhan Allah, here I asked you for advice yesterday so that if in case i have to help another sister. We received a question from an Arab sister who go married to a non-Muslim (now claims to be Musliim) US born man in US. She asked for advice as he is not practising and only converted for the purppose of marrying her.
    I am glad that you are taking all the right steps:). Sister! if he finds Islam to be the right religion then why doesn’t he convert; sure it will take time but don’t you think that it will be worth it. Since, only problem here is about religion; so you can teach him more and wait for him to convert. I am glad about what you have discussed with him regarding children upbringing masha Allah.
    Also, like I asked before what is the reaction of your parents, siblings, friends and distant family members. How is the behaviour of people around you; if you live in a Muslim populated area/country (I guess you live in US). Also sister, did you try to marry a Muslim man again (as I read in your above comments that you married twice but both marriage failed for some reason and they were both Muslims). Were any of the Muslim man not interested or was it your own choice to marry non-Muslim for some other reasons (which if you could explain would be great).
    Looking forward to your respone insha Allah:)

    Wasalam and peace:)

    James82

    August 31, 2011 at 9:24 am

  93. Yes, it takes time to convert someone who knows the basics of Islam and agree but he doesnt see reasons to have to convert since I am the first muslim he knows and he agrees with my faith and the beliefs and since he has the same, he feels we are the same, but doesnt understand why there are so many rules. He feels like he follows the true guidance and does the right things and doesnt understand why people have to convert if they are following the same paths. Humans are a bit complicated. Esp because everyone grew up in a different country. It takes a lot of strength and belief that its necessary to convert esp when you have been living in a mainly nonmuslim world where even if you are nonmuslim, you are one of the best in character, good will, keeping God and faith in all you do..then its hard for that person to believe that he has to convert to be better. Maybe with time, he has only just started to read the Quran in his spare time, hopefully by the end of reading it he will wish to. Even if he doesnt, I see that he’s one in true faith spiritually and practically so I know Allah will be most just to him. I live in a mainly non muslim country and have tried to talk with many muslim men but most of them I wanted to pursue are judgemental or the ones that like me are lacking in many aspects of a husband and father in knowing how to be simple, humble, protective, trustworthy, God loving/fearing, overall in many aspects. The core of a person is more important than the surface. Wasalam, peace.

    islam

    August 31, 2011 at 8:41 pm

  94. In addition to that, I am starting to teach him, I just know it will take a lot of observance and Insha Allah I believe with all my heart none of my life will have gone to vain. That when you take steps towards Allah, He comes close to you and helps you. So, I will not give up, just will do so with patience and harmony.

    islam

    August 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm

  95. Thanks for your reply sister. I am glad that you are being patient and waiting for him to convert and then marry him:). My prayers are with you and other sisters who are either single, divorced, separated or in same predicament as yours. Sister, you didn’t reply to one of my question that I put forward in both my comments which was; how is the behaviour of your parents, siblings, distant family and others around you who are Muslims? How many other sisters you know in family, friends or in a network of people who have married outside. I think your relatives should support you. I personally think that if a man is willing to learn and then convert to Islam and wants to marry a Muslimah then Muslim MEN around that Muslimah as relatives such as brothers, uncles, cousins or father should help that man to learn. In turn they are helping their daughter:). May Allah (swt) keep you steadfast on your deen and mould this man’s heart toward Islam so that my sister can marry him and live happily ever after:). Also, sister if you come across any other sister who is going through similar experience please help her guide the man to Islam.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Wasalam and peace:)

    James82

    September 1, 2011 at 10:38 am

  96. Brother, thank you for your kind words. My family and relatives and friends are supportive even though they are conservative. I believe they are because they have seen me go through tough times, they know my intentions were always to be Allah’s way and because they see the person I want to marry being such a great example of a believer, of what Allah wants from a muslim. I know many others that married outside, and since they are kind people, the network is very understanding. Only thing I don’t agree with, is its not fair for him to convert to Islam for the purpose of marriage. I would agree to marry someone first since we are on that path, to marry and that will, with time he will learn more and see on a daily basis since he supports my love of spirituality and to be in Allah’s way. Its not fair for him and Allah did say in the Quran that men can marry people of the book, if Allah would have thought its a problem, why would He say that in the first place. That requires us to make good judgement why He would allow that and what we women have to do if we are married to people of the book. Not only that, Allah mentions in the Quran many many times, the true path, the righteous is the one of Abraham..the Quran is for mankind..Allah is the Creator of all of mankind. I think every person has their own pace and way to Islam, remember, our prophet was not muslim at 5 or 10 yrs..even for him, the angel approached him at 40 yrs old. This is for those that have wisdom. Please do pray for us all..we are struggling to always do for Allah! wasalam peace!

    islam

    September 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    • Sister whatever I say is my personal opinion. You or any other is not being judged and neither am I stopping anyone or telling them that they are out of fold of Islam. I am not one for judging anyone so I hope our conversation remains civilised and respectful Insha Allah. So please read and forgive me if I have offended you.

      Wow sister I am shocked. I was under the impression that you are waiting for brother to convert and then marry him. I understand that it’s common in US, UK, Canada and rest of Europe where a lot of inter-faith marriages are taking place but it’s not advisable at all. We don’t have to follow fatwas, Imam or any other thing; if we just think about our children then we will realise that how much we are losing; unless any Muslim (male or female) is OK to let their children choose their own religion or for that matter don’t follow any at all.
      I completely understand when you say that “one shouldn’t convert for marriage purposes but such marriages are not allowed in Islam regardless of what Scholars, Mullahs or anyone says or make up from themselves (It’s clear in Quran; now if we twist and turn for our own benefit then we should worry more about our akhirah rather than what people are going to say). What guarantees such conversion after marriage.
      “A Muslim girl was in a relationship with a non-Muslim Christian man who simply converted to marry her. After marriage; since this girl was practising to the fullest; he never stopped her but this in turn made him practising Christianity to it’s best. What do you think will happen sister? I personally know cases where a lot of Muslim girls are in such marriages with non-Muslim men who just converted (or in some cases these girl ran away from their parents to marry) for their own convenience. Point is that who they are deceiving? Who knows we go against Allah (swt) and just after some time we pass away. Life doesn’t have any guarantee; or is it?”
      I would personally think that I have failed myself if my children don’t grow up as Muslims and it is not easy for either Muslim man or Muslim woman in interfaith marriage to bring them up Islamically especially living in non-Muslim lands. I will tell you sister that I was in a similar situation a while ago with a Christian girl; I was practising; we never kissed; never shook hands and she had clearly changed so much for me especially when I explained what Islam is all about. Believe me it’s too difficult to answer non-Muslim women especially when they see what is happening around the world to Muslim women; they think it’s Islam. We have so much understanding/common that it scares me sometimes to admit that how could a girl be so ideal that I feel like looking into a mirror. I don’t follow idealism/perfection etc etc because no one was/is or ever will be; beauty of humans is that they are imperfect and that’s what keeps them going. I simply didn’t consider her for marriage just based on the fact that she is not Muslim; we are still good friends. Who knows she may convert to Islam if I explain it to her more in detail:). A wife is not just wife; she is a companion who will help me better myself in deen and help me raise our children to become best Muslims and human beings. Have you ever came across the children growing up confused in such inter-faith marriages? May be a few of them become practising Muslim; most are either Athiest, Christians or don’t follow what they find is easy in any religion.
      Also, it would be wrong to compare your man with Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the sense that it took time for him to practice Islam; that was divine my sister. Do you think sister that another revelation will come from Allah to guide this brother to Islam? Funny thing is that people start saying things like “but Prophet (PBUH) and Shahaba married people of book”. Simple answer is that Quran was revealed in parts and not everything was instantly made haram. For instance, spirits weren’t made haram straight away but after some time. Similarly, women were still bought and sold and were taken as concubines after Quran/Islam was revealed but then if was made unlawful but polygamy was made halal only to protect women not to marry young girls(I understand that that this institute is abused a lot; we can write pages and pages on that and yes men are to blame for all this).
      Ideally men in your family as brothers, cousins, father, uncle should have taken the responsibility of teaching this brother about Islam which would have been a lot more effective alongside your help. I know a sister who was attracted to a non-Muslim man (don’t know that religion) and he liked her too; they started to get to know each other and decided to get married. When he popped the question; she said that I am Muslim and can’t marry anyone except Muslim man; only was we can marry is if you convert to Islam. Subhan Allah, he was true and sincere and said;
      “I want to be honest with you that I will convert but I will convert only if Islam makes sense to me after my own reading not just to marry you.”
      You see sister; had he been fake he would have said OK what’s harm in saying a few words but not believing them in heart and not following religion truly. Now brother of this sister is helping that man to study Islam and if he comes up with any question; he helps him understand by answering him to the best of his knowledge:).

      SISTER PROBLEM IS THAT OUR SISTERS ARE LEFT VALNERABLE AND THESE SO CALLED SCHOLAR/MULLAH AND EVEN PARENTS DON’T HELP THEM AND PUSH TO COMMIT SINS. It hurts to the current state of Ummah and seeing these ignorant bastard doing nothing. Look at the divorce rate in Ummah; how difficult the whole process of marriage has been made. Our parents, and these so called religious scholars/Mullahs and Ulama should have gone extra mile to help the Ummah especially when living in West but they simply ignore because they are too busy fighting each other.

      Also sister, I forgot to reply to your point you made such as;

      “I live in a mainly non muslim country and have tried to talk with many muslim men but most of them I wanted to pursue are judgemental or the ones that like me are lacking in many aspects of a husband and father in knowing how to be simple, humble, protective, trustworthy, God loving/fearing, overall in many aspects. The core of a person is more important than the surface”.

      I couldn’t agree more with what you said but question is that are all the Muslim husbands who are married to Muslim women are perfect. How many of them have you met in your life; how many Muslim women you know who are happy in their marriage? Besides, are non-Muslim men perfect? absolutely not. Men are men and women are women; culture, background, religion, society, status doesn’t matter. People change especially in marriage which is life long commitment and we wake up with same person everyday and share so much then it really becomes a test. LOVE DOESN’T CONQUER EVERYTHING ALWAYS SISTER. Here I am speaking as an observant not being a MUSLIM MAN DEFENDING THEM; only if you could believe me. Look at the family structure of West. What role non-Muslim parents are playing today as mother and father. Are you saying sister that their is no difference left in how Muslim couple bring up their children up as compared to non-Muslims. Sure things are not perfect but still things are not that bad and our family system is still way better then non-Muslims. It deteriorating and not improving but not at a level yet where we say Oh it doesn’t matter.
      I wasn’t born here in the West Alhamdulliah but my parents instilled a lot of good moral values in me that I find it hard to find here. I didn’t know that men and women in general and a lot of Muslim among them have extra-marital affairs. Virginity is held so high in the society; girls are not considered suitable for marriage after a certain age or if they are divorced, annulled, separated or widowed then they are looked down upon. Off course, Muslim countries are not ideal but then these societies are not either.
      I know a lot of guys who have same complain with sisters and I personally being single find them quite difficult to get along with but still I will marry a Muslim women even if she was MUSLIM BY NAME. Because, I know that a lot of Muslims men and women started practising well into their marriages.

      Problem here I see is that we Muslims have started to say if, but, why, maybe stuff and want to change the teachings to fit our demands and needs whereas it was made clear by Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the last sermon that Islam has been completed. Inter-faith marriages don’t succeed mostly and to start with it’s not even sensible to be in one especially in non-Muslim lands. If you read the fatwa of the this ignorant so called scholar then you will realise that he hasn’t made it clear that if it’s HALAL or HARAM but he did agree that it’s MUKRUH for both MEN and women. Besides, what’s the point of such fatwa where every second line finishes with “ALLAH KNOWS BEST”. It’s whole point is to make Ummah more confused; this issue doesn’t even fall in grey area. It’s made clear in Quran; we don’t have to twist it or follow any fatwa whatsoever. Even the question of children’s custody if marriage fails is out of question; for any child both parents are important.

      I hope you could understand what I meant sister without taking any offence or bashing me as judgemental. Sorry for long post.

      Looking forward to your reply.

      Waslaam and peace

      James82

      September 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm

  97. Brother, salam to you as well. No worries, you havent said anything offensive at all, in fact I actually agree with all you have to say. I do believe its mukru as well, and I can see why. I agree many kids can be confused, and children can be misguided or on the wrong path, just like how I agree regardless of being married to a muslim or nonmuslim, either marriages can fail. I do agree there are more chances and higher risk being with a nonmuslim thats why I never thought of that in the first place all my years before. That doesnt mean, that no interfaith marriages succeed and no interfaith marriages have wonderful children who follow the right path. In fact I have seen what Allah has power to do over different situations, I have seen many muslims who follow the wrong way and don’t know the basics of what Allah asks us to strive for. What is the point in the fasting, the charity the prayer if the muslims don’t become better spiritually for Allah. Also, in my experiences, I have tried to find the root problems of marriages and of children. I have seen interfaith marriages that actually have succeeded bc both parents have the same goal, to raise their children with the right values, the true islamic values that apply to mankind in general. I have seen those kids to be so wonderful that gave me inspiration as somehow Allah has introduced me to a person with all the qualities I was looking for in a husband and father, as a muslim and I love that, and would never give that up for just a label. I want the core of the person to be muslim, to have the qualities that makes a spirit muslim. He is not ritualistic, he is spiritual and has been learning and agreeing with many things. It is only normal to have some fear to make a huge change ritualistically when He feels his beliefs are the same and only holds on to God, not to what people want. You are right, its not right to say words to become muslim for marriage, but its actually a good idea to say that I cannot marry someone unless they become muslim. But growing up in this culture, I know its unfair to portray the religion for mankind as something for certain people only. It should make sense to my fiance. Because even my friends have said that he has all the right qualities, he can completely go the right way as long as he’s not pressured and does it his own time but if he is pushed, I dont want him to turn away bc of people’s impatience. Maybe I am made differently, with more tolerance and feel guiding is a better way then setting restrictions and being more just with people since Allah loves those that are just, not those that oppress..but those that guide. So thats why I tell him I dont pressure him to be something, but I love for him to know and learn and strive for Allah. For me, I do not believe I cannot marry anyone except muslim, since its explicitly ok for men, and it makes sense that he is giving me all rights to raise my kids muslim and then I should show him fairness in our religion, in all I do that he should have no compusion in religion…that I should slowly guide with without pressuring religion on someone when none of my ex’s ever were pressured on anything and they got to live their life whether they prayed or not. but I do agree I only want to marry someone with the right beliefs and attitude for striving for Allah who gives me the motivation to raise my kids just as I wanted. The reason for me I dont feel its mukru, is only because I feel I am a witness of seeing what Allah showed me in my life and then all the important qualities I find in this ‘nonmuslim’ who is more like a muslim, has all the things from my heart that I asked Allah for that I couldnt explain in words to humans, and seems like with time he could convert but regardless has all the same beliefs..so for me, its my answer to my prayers from Allah in the goodness that he has and the striving he does in every aspect. I do agree with your opinions and they are very much valid. But in the end, the biggest lesson I learned, is none of us know the unseen, the things that I have witnessed in my life..so for every person, their decisions will be different based on circumstances. Allah is the only one with me through my life and at the end I know after taking time to know someone well and giving chances on many people, that this is right for me and its not fair for anyone else to judge except Allah on what is right. I cannot pretend and ignore what I see in him is what I want in my life. Hard for human beings to understand unless they have been in my shoes. Compassion is for all mankind, I am sure he and I can be rewarded if we always pray to Allah and have the right actions in life. Marriage is one action that is correct if we care for each other and try in the right path. At this point in my life, I don’t even know if I can have children so for me its more his companionship than anything else. Honestly, in the end, we try our best with our wisdom and always should ask Allah to guide us.

    islam

    September 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm

  98. Sister Islam what more to say when you agree with whatever I said but still don’t see the point. Besides, to expect and seek Allah’s help/mercy/blessing we must follow his teachings first; taught to us by His beloved Prophet (PBUH) through Quran, Sunnah and Hadith. Your comparison never made sense to me and I can’t say that if there is anything left to explore or twist to fit our own needs. If you or miss Nadia think that you guys know more than what Allah (swt) or still can’t comprehend the reason for this prohibition for inter-faith marriages (men and women); especially in Non-Muslim lands than so be it. Go ahead and do as you please; I hope I don’t get branded here again as judgemental. And like I said before this world is nothing compared to the world we are promised in the hereafter; there may be people who whisper or say things open as in this article to stir up the things between Muslims for their own benefit but we should know what their purposes are. Last but not least sister have you read about Hazrat UMMA SULAIM.
    Now please don’t think that I in anyway was trying to defend the actions of what Muslim men do. In fact their loss is greater if we weigh both sides.
    May Allah (swt) help you understand his wisdom and follow his guidelines rather falling for the traps of Shaytan and his companions. (Amin)

    James82

    September 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm

  99. Brother, I understand that maybe you have not interacted with many good nonmuslims, but how can you say there is ‘prohibition for inter-faith marriages (men and women)’ are you ready to take a stand on judgement on that in front of Allah. No where in the Quran does it prohibit it and this is the problem with the world today. No tolerance, no understanding. How about if you believed in Allah and all the prophets, the last day, angels and yet you did not know enough about another book and prophet. Do you think that if you are taking steps to learn without being pushed and you have decided to marry someone who is also a believer that Allah will prohibit you to marry that woman and learn more about the faith that is part of the same chain of what you believe? I do not understand why people have a problem, maybe they are unfamiliar with some people in the world. Not every nonmuslim lives and behaves wrongly, in fact my fiance actually lives in the right way, strives to be the best of humans, in such a humble and simple way just like of our last prophet expects us, better than many muslims. So between having the correct belief and correct actions/behaviour, why do people have such a problem? In fact the reason that I would like to marry him is because the world needs better examples of human beings, of muslims and he is a great example that I know Allah put in my path maybe to show many muslims to not judge by a color of his creations.

    islam

    September 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    • Sister Islam, Alhamdulliah I have had a lot more contact with non-Muslim than you can think and am still in contact with them since I work with most. Yes, they are not liars, cheats, hypocrites, don’t steal etc etc but this doesn’t mean that I should marry them or tell them to visit the mosque to lecture Muslims about all this. Do you think a person who does all that doesn’t know that it’s wrong or haram whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims? Like I said before that I was in your shoes when I liked a non-Muslim girl and once thought that she might be the one and started comtemplating a woman’s role as a mother and wife in a Muslim family. It was only then; I realised that a Muslim wife is better than a non-Muslim wife even if I have to compromise on a big chunk of qualities I am looking for in a woman to consider as wife.
      When you say that if I stand whether there is a prohibition for inter-faith marriages then I must tell you sister that it’s in the same Holy Quran that I read over and over time (in fact some of those are quoted here by Miss NADIA). Yes, MEN ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY PEOPLE OF BOOK but it’s not for today due to a lot of modernisation or innovation in Toorah and Bible. Does that make sense to you and for Muslim women it neither approves nor does Quran dis-approve so, DECIDE FOR YOURSELF but it clearly stats that do not marry non-belivers (now you can choose what constitutes a non-believer EVEN WHEN IT’S CLEAR IN QURAN, HADITH AND SUNNAH). This definitely is the problem with the world when they try to interpret things their own way to make something halal.
      Sister, all you have been telling me is that I AM JUDGEMENTAL but I was trying to understand that how you are going about all this and then saying that it’s OK in Islam. Yes, people as a whole are judgemental and that goes for everything not just inter-faith marriages. I have been mentioning from very start that you souldn’t bother about people what they say if you and people close to you are OK with your decision. ONLY CARE FOR ALLAH AND HIS COMMANDEMENTS.
      You asked me; how about if I believed in Allah, all the Prophets, the last day, angels and did not know enough about another book and Prophets”. Well then, I will learn further and marry after I say my shahada and Insha Allah will make sure that I do it for Allah (swt) from my heart not to marry a Muslim.
      Like I said before sister that I have enough contact with very good non-Muslims who are not into drugs, drinking, gambling, stealing, stealing and list goes on but I can do dawah to them only not marriage before them converting to the true religion. Again, you have brought comparison between Muslim and non-Muslim men; I can say the same for non-Muslim women as compared to Muslim women. Infact, that is the very reason a lot of Muslim brothers I know have been pushed and not either they are married to converts or marry from back home. And the ones far far away from their deen end-up marrying non-Muslim women whether they are chaste, of good character or not. It goes both ways dear sister; if brothers are not saints then sisters are not angels either; it’s debatable:).
      Good luck with your life sister; I am sorry that I don’t agree with you when you say that you are marrying him just to set a good example for Muslim MEN.

      James82

      September 13, 2011 at 4:02 pm

  100. There’s a number of people who say that Non Muslim men marrying Muslim women is prohibited due to patriachal reasons. So far from what I can see and appreciate very much about my religion I believe that is Islam is that 1. The Mother is at least 3 times important as the father 2. A number of our prophets have been brought up by single mothers 3. A marriage can only be given the go ahead with the permission of the bride 4. A Muslim woman does NOT have to change to a ‘married name’ 5. Muslim women have been given access to places of worship, education and employment and even leadership for 1400 years 6.I have never known a Hijab wearer to have an issue with their weight (ok that’s an opinion but how many anoerexic/bullimic Hijab sisters do you know are fretting over fake tans, extensions and eyelashes?) 7. Even if a muslim woman buys a house with her money, it’s HER house and her husband can bugger off and buy his own cos his name’s not on it (hence the pointlessness of a married name, teehee) 8. Men and Women in Islam are as equal as two teeth in a comb. 9. Some of the original Ummah rejoiced when they heard that the way to Islam was by being an obedient wife as they were not educated to do much else (hey early days, what can I say). Others basically kicked butt by collecting a third of the Prophet’s Hadeeths and bumping off enemies on the battlefield 10. The first Muslim was a businesswoman 15 years the Prophet’s senior (and also his wife, may Allah be pleased with her)

    And people still think Islam is patriachal?

    Something wrong with this picture here…

    For the record I have attempted to get to know Muslim men before. after knowing a few who sponged off the family wealth instead of getting a job, one who got into polygamy by marrying a gold digger, one who beat up his girlfriend and started seeing other girls, one who thought it was okay to date and dump girls outside his race and religion because he was in the West, one who married twice then got divorced, one who dumped his wife with six kids and no maintenence money, one who converted just to marry a muslim woman only to make a shit husband, one who left his christian wife stuck with twin boys (they’re also Christian btw), one who married out of his race then started having girlfriends at the same time, one who married a wild Muslim party girl forcing, sorry, encouraging, her to wear Hijab, stay at home and be a good Muslim wife while he went to bars and got pissed on beer, one who went off the rails just because he didn’t have a Muslim male role model (rolls eyes) to the degree of physicvally assaulting his mother and taking drugs…..I kinda decided to just stick to men who did as they were told but still knew how to treat a woman like a lady. All have been none Muslim and are actually scared of the acceptance of the Muslim community and not vice versa. All have seen me pray. All have respected the fact that I don’t drink and have a seperate diet. All have not stopped me from practicing my faith-if there were any flaws or sins they were my own and it was from a lack of disclipline not lack of faith or knowledge of it. I made more effort and felt much prouder to be a Muslim with non Muslims compared to trying to intergrate to a community who would always label me as ‘that woman from a liberal country’ or as a ‘bad muslim’. So regardless of how you may think women of our twisted path may be, your rejection and the support from our Kufr pimps (well how else would you label an Unbeliever) has only made us more determined to follow Islam focussed on other cornerstones of the faith like charity, a successful career, a healthy lifestyle, an education and a MUSLIM upbringing for our children. Before you judge us-get to know us first.

    liberalsistah

    September 15, 2011 at 2:20 am

  101. what if he’s a Jeddite??? May the force be with us….

    liberalsistah

    September 15, 2011 at 2:31 am

  102. I was with a Muslim girl for about a year. Everything was going good and I thought she was the one till she told me it would never work out because of her religion. I am christen, and she told me we would never be anything unless I converted. I’ve heard that if she told her parents she wanted to marry a guy that was not Muslim they would disown her…is this true being that her mother is very “old school”. She’s not really into guys from her culture being that all of her bf’s have bEen Christian. So I guess in the end she will have to marry a Muslim man eventually.

    nick

    September 17, 2011 at 4:57 am

    • Dear Nick,
      this so called “Muslim girl” just tries to have a hold on you by imposing her “religion” on you.
      If you concede she is automaticly the boss in your so called mariage.
      She clearly does not love you!
      The best thing you can do is to forget that girl and to look for a nice girl with a good character who loves to live the real life and not does not dream about dead and afterlife as all those Muslims do.

      Allah simply doesn’t exist.All we have is this life on Earth , make the best of it!

      JJ.Rousseau

      September 20, 2011 at 8:03 am

    • UPDATE!!!!! Kinda back with this girl, she tells me. She wants to be with my but I think its more of a phisical thing. She seems like she wants a relationship but last time we were together she said it would never work out because of her religon, I care about her very much and I would like to marry her but I don’t think its at all possable unless I convert witch I’m not willing to do….HELP!!!

      free yourself from religon and just "love"

      November 24, 2011 at 8:52 am

  103. JJ Roussean you are so wrong about that muslim girl. First Islam is base on family so she told him to convert before it went any futher like telling him after they where marry. You must be one of those hater of Islam that is alway attacking Islam and religion in general. Allah does exist.

    Brian C. Hoff

    September 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    • True to that ! Allah does exist.

      nadya

      October 17, 2011 at 9:10 am

  104. see Irshad Manji’s Blog on Interfaith Marriage and also Reza Shah Kazemi’s book on ” Common Grounds: Affinity between Islam and Buddhism”

    Shafiq Al Rashid

    September 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm

  105. M an ISLAMIC girl…bt love a Punjabi Hindu guy..:(

    Zoya Shaikh

    October 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm

  106. hmm…you have misunderstood, the Qur’an gave Muslim men permission to marry people of the book, but however for example there are certain categories which have to be met, a Muslim man cannot marry someone who thinks that Jesus pbuh is god…rather he can marry women of the ‘original book’ not the distorted bible and torah of today. a person familiar with the previous scriptures in their original form will still hold the views and opinions of the Muslims who are familiar with Qur’an since all the scriptures were sent down by the one god (Allah). the original scripture…only four being named (there were also others) by Allah are zaboor, torah, ingil (bible), and Qur’an….all the previous original scriptures say to expect the last and final prophet of Allah, being Muhammad pbuh, and to follow him upon his arrival. thus being people of the book can be taken as wives since they are in a way ‘pre-muslims’…all the followers of the original books are Muslims, its just each time had different laws that Allah wished for them to follow, once Qur’an is revealed and they learn of it they are expected to follow it, as the time of a new revelation indicates that the old one is outdated…just like each prophet had his followers for that time. the Qur’an is here now so all other scriptures should not be followed as their time has expired. and anyway they have been lost as the languages of the past do not exist anymore unlike Qur’an which was revealed in Arabic and is preserved in Arabic and there is only one Qur’an unlike other scriptures which people have changed the meaning of e.g. in the bible Jesus pbuh says ‘my father is greater than i, my father is greater than all’…’i do not seek my will, but the will of my father’ ‘i of my own self can do nothing’…he is a messenger a prophet of god, not god and does not in the bible ever say out right …’i am god worship me’, rather he says things like ‘ i and my father are one, who ever has seen me has seen my father’ but he does not say he is god, he means him and god are one in mission, if you follow him you will see god. and anyway bible has tonnes of contradictions and there are loads of different versions of bible…meaning it has been changed etc by man.

    also only Muslim men have been given this right as when a woman marries she moves into her husband’s home, so his and his family’s values are transferred to her, so a Muslim man will teach her about Islam etc. whereas if it were vice versa the Muslim man would be with a family who are not quite learned about Islam which may cause problem with retaining the correct faith etc.

    that being said it does not mean that a Muslim man can go out and just get married to some next Jew or christian before they have reverted to Islam. people of the book…not people of the distorted bible and torah of today….hope i clarified some very important issues. what this sister did is haraam, point blank, end of story…according to Qur’an and sunnah…peace.

    lilmuslimah

    October 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    • here here mslima well said. Next they will ‘debate’ the inheritance law. Omg then ‘debate’ soon about men sleeping with men, then of people of the book, then incest and lastly beastiality. There is a thin line between imaan and shirk. I would suggest that people dont ‘debate’ islam. If you dont like it, there is no compulsion. Leave. On judgement day you will have to answer. Its liike somebody doing something wrong then blaming shaytaan. So ‘debate/debait’ all you want just leave islam alone. Anyway my two cents. Divorce is quite high in the world. Ask anyone, friends come and go, family will always be there, why alienate your family for someone as the italian, ‘love me for me’ type. Remember they will not be happy for/with you till you follow their ways/beliefs. Anyone following any ‘people’ on the day of judgement will rise with them. Another point, you get black muslims indian muslims white muslims chinese muslims etc, there is no shortage of fulfilling your taste. So why take a risk? Hope i got my point through

      bin dead awhile

      November 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    • Well said sister, you will see millions of so called hypocrites who misuse, defame, misinterpret Islam. Amazing people are trying to modify Islam and enforce their views.

      Azad Ali Shah

      November 30, 2011 at 12:35 am

  107. Like they say, there are none so blind as those who will not see.The level of hypocrisy and idiocy is mind boggling..

    Sarah

    October 15, 2011 at 8:05 pm

  108. This is HORRIBLE.

    You do not understand the wording and yet you make such claims.

    Muslim women are ONLY allowed to marry Muslim men, this is clear.

    We MUST understand the Quran through the holy, pure, perfect, and infallible Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) who himself is the Quran.

    Islam forbids a Muslim woman from marrying a Muslim man!

    The translation is incorrect. The Quran verse goes much more in to detail than just “polytheist.” We Must understand the Quran properly, NOT just make up what we want!

    Ali

    October 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm

  109. BTW, if you all really studied the Quran, there is a place where it says men can marry people of the Book, jews christians. So then it says, men should not marry nonbelievers and women should not marry nonbelievers because its best for them. So does that mean men cannot marry ppl of the book? Think. There is a difference between nonbelievers and nonmuslims. The word for nonbelievers in arabic is not jews and christians. It is all dependent on the person’s beliefs.

    islam

    October 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm

  110. Believing man for believing women only stop twisting word of the Quran
    There is not brackets in Quran so we reject the Jew and christen part it is only in translation only by a man who is trying create Corruption on land simple not that hard

    S

    October 29, 2011 at 11:25 pm

  111. THERE R WHO SAY WE BELIEVE ONLY BY THERE MOUTH BUT NOT HEART
    QURAN

    S

    October 30, 2011 at 12:01 am

    • Haha, Allah (The One Creator of all of us) has proved you wrong and has proved me right..Everything went so smoothly. Everything. With time my husband has become a muslim. Now that he has read the Quran (on his own) an searched, he became muslim (one who submits to Allah) and I knew that anyone of any background would become muslim in Allah’s eyes if they follow the right path. Just if you are born muslim doesnt mean you live as a muslim. I know many muslims who do everything wrong, and you still think those are the believers? God made examples out of people, my situation has proved it, of marrying a nonmuslim who with time has ‘converted’ but his beliefs were always there of being a believer. So regardless if he was jew or christian (followers of Moses or Jesus), if they have the right beliefs and are presented with Islam, they usually turn to a muslim either by label or by heart. But God shows us that only with time and studying someone can do that, any time in their life and become more knowledgeable than a born muslim. Now read his book.

      islam

      November 16, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      • Your husband shouldn’t have to convert to be “excepted” by the family. If two people “love” eachother it shouldn’t matter about religon, its just a cruch, and a control or power trip thing. When he did convert he just let his guard down and gave in. If he didn’t convert he would never be excepted by the family, this is tottaly wrong! Sorry but people take religon to searesly. I think its wrong that somone has to change their religon just to be. “Excepted” to a family, and even if the family prob. Still never likes them if they weren’t born a musium.

        free yourself from religon and just "love"

        November 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      • I agree, he shouldnt be forced to, but he didnt accept it until he has been reading and researching on his own, with me helping researching the major religions and how it brings everything together..he didnt give in..he just really learned more than whats superficial. I give him more credit bc although muslims dont make sense in some things they say, he ignored that and learned what islam really teaches, not what muslims interpret without regard to humanity.

        islam

        November 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      • I am italian and white, my Sister married a black man, I know I’m talking about race here but should have somone told her not to marry him becaus he’s black? NO. Just like my ex told me “this will never work out because of my religon” because she Is musim. This is a bunch of bs, if you don’t love me for. Who I am, you can take a hike, I’m not going to change my religon (even though I’m not religuS) just to satify her family…..NO, its so dumb and if you think its not you need to get help, if people love eachother this shouldn’t matter. So muslim wemon go end up marrying a muslim man, not because they love them but because they are muslim, does this sound wright? I think noT. So for all those people that turn down love for religon, I hope. Your family is happy you didn’t marrie out of you religon,and insted of you being happy with somone you love.

        free yourself from religon and just "love"

        November 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      • The best for you and your husband… let Divine Intervention keep leading your way always… Peace be upon you, your husband and everyone who surrounds you…

        One Love

        November 27, 2011 at 3:34 am

      • Congratulations to you sister on your husband’s reversion to Islam:). May Allah (swt) bless you both in this life and in hereafter:). Though we are different in our views on current issue but you are still my sister in faith and I respect that. Only Allah (swt) knows the condition of our heart but I like to follow what is in black and white rather than trying to find the grey areas without being labelled as judgemental or passing judgements. As Quran states clearly who is believer and who isn’t; with whom we can/should marry and can’t/shouldn’t so their is not question of me or anyone issuing fatwas or judgements. So, best of luck with your life, may you find what you couldn’t in born Muslim men:) Amin.

        James82

        December 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      • Thank you brother, I respect that you follow what is black or white..but not everyone’s life is perfect and there are many people in grey situations..not because they want to be but because they are there, its life. I really believe there is a reason for everything and sometimes Allah wants a certain path for certain people. I believe strongly that my husband prayed strongly and has always been a believer so therefore Allah guided him to the clear path. Life has taught me not to judge by the cover, not to state we are knowledgeable of everything. Only Allah Almighty is the only one who knows all, we can only try. The truth is, we try but grey areas are a part of life..for example, I didnt want to put myself in bad situations years ago but somehow was put there even though I was a strong believer. I had strong faith and still believed there had to be a reason for it all..nothing goes in vain. Humbleness is expected from us. And that goes for all believers as well and thats why I jump on people who might want to judge others. What I find in my husband is the will to be a better person on a daily basis..something I havent found before and I appreciate that. Grateful for your words, thank you. Grateful to all the people who wish peace on others sincerely. Thanks.

        islam

        December 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      • Also, I believe as muslims we have a greater obligation in life..to portray the faith correctly and for others who need it..just like it is a struggle for non believers to realize there is a God and to worship Him will take you far, muslims have a struggle to be a good model for mankind (in a kind way not aggressive) bc if God is Most Just, we must think of how much dues we have.

        islam

        December 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      • wait a minute in islam ur not allowed to date
        male or female so what is ur point
        u just wanted to marry him simple just admit it
        why do i have to run around preaching islam to every body while i could b donig something else
        prophet moses people were muslims these people follow some body else

        s

        December 20, 2011 at 11:45 pm

  112. A muslim man or women should be a walking example of the Quran.

    i just want to say that i was born and raised in NJ. my parents never taught me anything except for praying 5x daily, fasting and reading the quran. i never read the translation because i never had access to any, until 2 years into my marriage when a relative gave me one. I BASICALLY DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING. i think back now and find that i was a bad muslim example to others around. my parents never forced me to wear the hijab. i started wearing it on my own while i was in my sophmore year at college, influenced by my other muslim women.

    my parents found a good muslim man for me to marry at a young age of 20. we were both virgins. he’s 6 years older than me. i wanted a divorce the first five years, i hated him that much after a few months. but now i think we are best together and i wouldn’t have had it any other way. i did not marry for love. i married for understanding and religion. he was not rich. we were both poor after leaving our parents. we both made from scratch and now working our way up. we were both immature and not religious. we are both much mature than we started out and are much more religion orientated i.e. trying to make our five prayers daily and enforcing the same in our children.

    I LOVE ISLAM.

    SAM who loves ALLAH

    October 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm

  113. Very true…. I like ur article… If anything children tend to get their mothers language and belief… As a muslim girl i feel this is discrimination and very sexist

    Gol

    November 20, 2011 at 12:43 pm

  114. Hello All, Peace be always upon All. If The Creator is Pureness in Action or Love in Action, who is to judge the matters of the Heart?

    If my non-Muslim intentions with an incredible young woman from KSA from whom I met playing UNO and what started as a hello, has not ended but gone 3+ yrs and strong all via txt, who is anyone to judge this pure intentions. And seriously what Westerner will chat 3+ yrs with a woman if is not via Pure Love and Intention? And obviously if the Muslim young woman has also enjoy thus far 3+ yrs most be for a reason. So what if she wants to fast, go fast, maybe I join you. So what if you wanna go pray, be my guest, pray for both of Us and the World. What if she wants to cover, hey tell me where I can buy “the sheets” as I jokingly tell her. If this is not Love then what is? You can also say this is a challenge of your faith, of course it is, Life is full of Tests, that’s the idea. Isn’t this a great way to put your faith on test and to see what are your true intentions regarding your beliefs and your understanding of Pure Thought and Intention? (Love)? I mean the name says it all… “In the name of Allah the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.” … if this Most Merciful and Compassionate Creator cannot or won’t grasp the Pure Love We feel for each other then this Creator is not the Creator. You can judge my heart and my intentions, of which I do not care, for ONLY the Creator and those whom The Creator wishes can see inside my Heart and know my true intentions her true intentions, our True Intentions.

    I asked her today the the question of living together. It all boils down to a split heart between her Family and Me. She is willing to live with me abroad with a “yes” and at the same time she doesn’t want to leave her family (let them down or get kicked out of the community). Personally as I told her, I refuse to do anything without her family consent as I see no reason for her not be able to visit her family and have a loving relationship with Me . So I ask you all; what is wrong with this picture? Is the Heart wrong, can it be wrong? Thinking I guess the mind could, the emotions could, but not the Heart. I am convince the Heart is what Unites us with The Creation, hence the Creator and I am willing to put my own Life for Love, for I have nothing else to give but this; LOVE.

    One Love

    November 26, 2011 at 5:54 am

    • funny really if as muslim man i am not allowed to even look women(this goes for both muslim and non ), and as as muslims are not even allowed to date so what ur saying is out of the question
      so what are u doing with a muslim?

      s

      December 20, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      • looking and txting are very different things.

        One Love

        December 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    • anotherthing
      u fasting for her
      i do not know this how this works becasue i am fasting becasue of my lord
      and we pray to our lord only no body else not us but the creater mate
      u do not even know the basic what chance u got to live with her all ur life?

      s

      December 21, 2011 at 12:01 am

      • who said “fasting for her” … better re-read. “So what if she wants to fast, go fast, maybe I join you.”

        One Love

        December 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm

  115. A non muslim man can get married whit a Muslim girl if he converts to the Islam, at this case is permisible, otherwhise is not permisible by the Hadith says i think so.

    MKV

    December 4, 2011 at 1:12 am

  116. Re: it sent tongues wagging in the Muslim community

    Not any more my friend, not after her husband’s shameful scandal hehehehehehe…..

    Mohamed

    December 4, 2011 at 2:31 am

  117. Well judging from the papers today, Huma Abedin’s relationship seems to already be going downhill, not to say the poor girls pregnant. Was it naivety, or professional progression that led her to marry her colleague, or did she feel that she was getting on a bit? I couldn’t hazard a guess.

    I was always taught from a young age that love is often mixed up for lust. Lust should hardly ever come into a relationship, as it is often misleading. Lust often disuses people to make them look better than they really are for you. There are many attractive people out there, intelligent beyond your wildest dreams, show relentless attention / affection towards you, evoking feelings that you haven’t felt before, often leading to a series of heavy thinking and often depression. But in all fairness, that is not a relationship, biologically, as my fiance explains, it’s just a series of defensive neurological chemical substances and reactions that occur being released by your head, making you either succumb to the situation / relationship, or just push it away.
    If all you feel is just a series of head numbing events that lock you in a vicious mental cycle that that’s not a prospective relationship, that’s adolescence darling. And of course if your a red blooded male like me, we can quiet often sense it, and take advantage of it. However it is maturity that prohibits me from diving into things like that head first, and also that constant ringing of mother shouting at me not to ruin another girls life, i have good parents others might not.

    Relationship, is quiet often based on a whole conglomerate of things, such as, trust, working together, solving problems, finances, establishing healthy mindset, just to name a few. Me and my fiance, are currently getting our finances in order.

    Finally, in regards to Huma Abedin’s relationship, they say love is blind, it seems it really is. No i mean it, it really is, her husband’s skirt colour, certainly is not the right shade for me. What do you think?

    Currently, British, unemployed, looking forward to his new job next year. getting married soon TBC....

    December 9, 2011 at 2:34 am

  118. Interesting article, however I strongly disagree with her ideology because the following reasons
    1) She seems to assume that people of the book are somehow immune from polytheism/shirk. She didn’t provide a single verse apart from 2.221 and 5.5 to support her case. She needs to re-read chapter 5 Surah Al Maidah and chapter 9 Surah Al Tubah.

    Surely, they have disbelieved who say: “Allâh is the Messiah Īsā (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary).” But the Messiah Īsā(Jesus) said: “O Children of Israel! Worship Allâh, my Lord and your Lord.” Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allâh, then Allâh has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers 5.72

    Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allâh is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no llâh (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilâh (God -Allâh). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them. 5.73

    Allah(swt) has described those who believe that Jesus(pbuh) as god and the Trinity as disbelievers and have committed shirk(by worshiping Jesus pbuh).

    In Chapter 9

    And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allâh, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allâh. That is their saying with their mouths, resembling the saying of the those who disbelieved aforetime. Allâh’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!9.30

    They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allâh (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allâh), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)) to worship none but One Ilâh (God – Allâh) Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory is to Him, (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).9.31

    They (the disbelievers, the Jews and the Christians) want to extinguish Allâh’s Light (with which Muhammad SAW has been sent – Islâmic Monotheism) with their mouths, but Allâh will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the Kâfirûn (disbelievers) hate (it).9.32

    From chapter 9 , Allah(swt) described those among the people of book who believe Jesus(pbuh) and Ezra as sons of God as disbelievers. They have also committed shirk by following laws of their Rabbis and Priests.

    In my opinion , verse 2.221 stills applies to the people of the book. Unless the author or supporters of her argument can provide evidence from the Quran which suggests people of the book are not polytheists.

    Other verses that should be taken into considerations 5.51 and 9.23

    O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliyâ’ (*friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliyâ’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Auliyâ’), then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allâh guides not those people who are the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust).
    5.51

    If Muslim women were allowed to “marry” men from people of the book , wouldn’t that make their husbands as Auliya( Guardians/protectors)? And by doing so , Muslim women would be going against the laws of Allah(swt) be among the Zalimun?

    I believe the following verse ( 9.23) should be the deal breaker to those who still believe its okay to marry men from people of the book.

    O you who believe! Take not for Auliyâ’ (supporters and helpers) your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers)9.23

    From this verse , Allah(swt) commanded us if our Father/brothers decide to follow another religion other than Islamic Monotheism then we should not consider them as Auliyah. And if we do that , then we are among the Zalimun. So by having a Jewish/Christian man as a husband who does not believe in the shahada , or associates partners Allah(swt) , he will also be the Wali of her children. If the children were raised as Muslims in this “marriage” and consider their father as their Wali, then they maybe categorised as among the Zalimun. But Allah knows best because its not their fault that their mother made a bad choice.

    Musa

    December 12, 2011 at 4:52 am

    • Musa, actually from that analysis you are correct. I am not biased, so I will admit you have good points that people should keep in mind. But the only problem is when we categorize all christians/jews to be believing that way. There are many many christians who are just born christian, but in their heart believe in only one God and don’t practice their faith as they were taught. But it takes wisdom and sight to see into the soul of a person and to see the sincerty. I ended up marrying one such person because on the outside though he claimed to be christian, his beliefs were muslim, monotheistic and when he learned about islam, which cannot be done in a day..he actually converted as a muslim..but that takes time and patience from our muslim community. Its up to each individual who they marry, thats not our business, God gave us free will and He will judge us with His infinite knowledge. But it is important for all things to be considered and its our job to give dawah in the best way that Allah will be pleased with us. We are not allowed to make religion compulsory for anyone..but to teach the belief with compassion is more effective than the harsh way many people approach. Salam.

      islam

      December 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      • Good day sister Islam.
        Congratulations on marrying a revert to Islam, mashalla!!.

        I should have made myself more clear in my previous comment that not all people of the book commit some form of shirk. For example I heard that Unitarian Christians don’t believe that Jesus(pbuh) is son of God or the Trinity, but I am not too sure. There are some verses which support this argument.

        Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve2.62

        And indeed, among the People of the Scripture are those who believe in Allah and what was revealed to you and what was revealed to them, [being] humbly submissive to Allah . They do not exchange the verses of Allah for a small price. Those will have their reward with their Lord. Indeed, Allah is swift in account.3.199

        But lets be realistic, the majority of Christians these days[even if they are not practicing] still believe that Jesus(pbuh) is son of God and the Trinity. While some do have monotheistic believes or believe that the Bible is too distorted.

        I don’t know the methods you used to revert your husband to Islam but I wouldn’t recommend for a Muslim sister to try and “convert” the guy all by herself. Because he could convert for the sake of marriage and not for Allah(swt). Rather the Muslim woman male relatives and reliable Imam should teach the guy about Islam based on the Quran and the Sunnah. After reasonable amount of time, if the guy accepts Islam then Alhamdulliah. If he rejects Islam and still believes that Jesus(pbuh) is son of God and only obtain salvation by believing in him etc, then the guy should accept the fact the marriage is invalid and it will just be fornication.

        Even though we have free will to marry who ever we want , we should keep in mind that prophet Mohmmed (pbuh) said that marriage is the completion of the second half of our Iman/faith. So we should carefully choose someone who brings closer to Allah(swt) and the other way around. And also remember that this life is a test and we should always conscious about the decisions we make and the likely consequences in the hereafter.

        Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion3.185

        Regardless of my opinion stated above , I think in 10-15 years time this kind of interfaith marriage will become more common where I live( small town in Australia) and in the West in genera :( , because role of Muslim women is changing and the reasons used by scholars to prohibit such kinds of marriages are becoming outdated . However the strength of one’s Iman/faith , personal experience and how Muslim women perceive Muslim men should be main factors that will lead to a personal choice of marriage. Inshalla it will be the right decision.

        Musa

        December 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm

  119. Actually, there is nothing that seems to prohibit it. And furthermore, if the girl is Muslim, and the guy is a Christian or is Jewish, and they agree from before getting married to raise the kids Muslim, then what’s wrong with it. FYI- there are plenty of “Muslim” men who don’t give women any rights so the argument that anyone other than a Muslim man won’t give the Muslim women her rights is ridiculous. In addition, since kids spend most of their time with their mom, the argument that it’s okay for men to marry Christian or Jewish women because their kids will take after their dad’s religion is also invalid.

    K.

    December 19, 2011 at 5:40 am

  120. It’s a myth that muslim females are not marrying non-muslim men. It’s very common in states of former USSR that girls born in muslim families married non-muslim men. I know several cases also in Finland, Sweden and Norway were somaligirls have married local non-muslim men.Emmanuel Todd also shows in Le destin des immigrés that the rate of mixed marriages for Algerian women grew from 6.2 per cent to 27.5 per cent between 1975 and 1990. For Moroccan women it increased from 4 per cent to 13 per cent. In the areas where most Muslims live, individual values are emerging today in a strong way alongside consumer society. Witness the growth of mixed marriages, including those of immigrant women, the problems of the Muslim associations, weakened parental authority and the very few religion-based schools.

    Markus

    December 19, 2011 at 11:27 am

  121. As an Atheist i can say its a question of power , money , open mindedness , close mindedness and of love as a whole , Well, God , as we say , We argue about something in general we don’t really know much about ourselves , Just because our forefathers and people before that laid a set of rules to guide us in our life , It doesn’t mean we have to follow it forever , What about before Islam and Christianity ?
    People still lived under their own and Queen such as Cleopatra and Nefertetti were great rulers , Women can know and assume high position,they can also decide for themselves . And people lived and married freely before Islam , at the end ,Every person is truely un religious , Religion is like a passing breeze and they change and evolve with Time.
    As for the question at hand , What do you think is the physical difference between a muslim man and a non – muslim man ? Its in the law ,just a law laid by Quran .
    Why didn’t Quran lay down its law in Jesus;s time ? or in that of Egyptian Empire , or that of the greeks or Roman ? Why was the law like that just in the time of Mahummad in Arabia ? Why did God choose only that time and that place ?
    Law is a subject , it is supposed to Evolve . Law grows as humanity grows , Law changes as humanity changes , We have a whole lot ahead of us , So why not look ahead ? Why do you think most of the people winning Nobel prizes , making great inventions were not muslim ?
    What does following anything blindly ever get people ? What do you think the Kaa-ba is ? Its the part of a meteor , It came from space ? Up in the sky ,there is no God , Its space and we all know that ,we just never think of our world , our universe , our Earth , or even our bodies or even nature ,We never Think for ourselves , we never investigate everything , We just believe because is taught or because everyone does.
    All humans are equal regardless if religion or race , Remember that , So is marriage .
    If i go and marry a muslim girl today , Will god kill me ? No, nothing will happen , Being scared of Afterlife is like being scared of the time before you were born . Life is what we make of it . Learn And Educate people , and celebrate Christmas,Deepawali, Guru parav and Id ,you can be an atheist and still celebrate and still have morality . im a human

    Digvjay

    December 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    • muslim man can not marry non muslim women
      what is ur point? there

      s

      January 18, 2012 at 11:18 pm

  122. The problem I have with this entire debate is this. Muslim parents immigrate to non-muslim countries. They encourage their daughters to get educated. All fine and dandy. We are independent, financially secure, good girls, etc. But when it comes to marriage, we are out of luck. How on earth are we supposed to find a muslim man in a non-muslim country? Hello, heard of the word “minority”?? Try shopping for mangoes in a meat market — ain’t gonna find them.

    So if the years go by and in our 40s the nice muslim girls find a nice nonmuslim but believing man to marry – who get’s the blame? The parents who put us in this situation while maintaining their own safe and secure bubble? The “community” that did not lift a fingernail to help us muslim girls who were not “fair, slim and lovely”?

    I find it very difficult to believe that God would not be merciful in this situation. I just find it very difficult to believe that. Do the empirical study folks. The number of never-married muslim women age 35+ far exceeds the number of never-married nonmuslim women of the same age group in the general population. The same statistics do not hold true for muslim men.

    disheartened desi chick

    January 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    • Yes, than you so much for this comment. This is what I have wanted to say, I couldnt have wrote it better.
      I live in north America in a city where Arabs are non exsitant, let alone muslims. I am going to keep on living in this counrty and maybe this city for at least 5,6 next years. So how am I supposed to meet this good msulim guy where there are no muslim people there ? I can only meet white Christian guys, so how can I get married ? shold I just stay single for the rest of my life ? What if the Chrisitan guy encourages me to be a good pracicant muslim, respects me more than anyone else on earth, is willing to let me teach our kids to be good muslims, why am I forbidden to marry this kind of guy then ? I dont understand, I just can not beleive that this is haram, I’m sorry I just am not able to beleive it’s forbidden.

      ilovecats

      June 4, 2012 at 10:07 pm

  123. I am looking for an imam that will perform a nikah of muslim bride with a non-muslim groom. Does anyone know of one?

    BrideToBe

    January 12, 2012 at 1:43 am

  124. I am Christian, and my girlfriend is Muslim. We love each other, and it kills us both to think that there is no possibility of a future for us together.

    She showed me some passages that forbade women from marrying non-Muslim men. I know these are not from the Qur’an, as I have read it.

    My point of view is that, in Islam, the Qur’an is divine; it is the word of God. However the Hadith are an interpretation of the Qur’an by men; and therefore not divine.

    I’m at a loss at what to do.

    ManOfTheBook

    January 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    • Man of the Book, don’t be at a loss. We were in your shoes..and we are married and have a wonderful life together..better than we could make ourselves, God made it the best. The Quran does not forbid muslim women to marry ‘non muslim’ men..it says non believers. If you believe the Quran is divine, you have realized that there couldnt be such a book in arabic with so much information that human beings didnt know at the time. That the similar information presented in aramaic and hebrew came at a time in arabic which is miraculously possible bc there was no technology. You then could probably realize that if its divine, there is a God who is the beginning and the end, who is all knowing..you then can probably accept what basic islam is about, and unfortunately shahada must be said, the point being there is no God but one God and when Muhammad came with the message, he was not son of god or anything is but a messenger. Once u say shahada, you have the title as a believer, even though seems like you already are. I know this is sad that people have made it like this, but revere God in your heart and do some research and you can find the peace that you are wanting. Good luck! for more info, contact me at yahoo17ster@gmail.com

      guiding light

      February 6, 2012 at 4:22 am

      • At least the first part of your shahada is right: “there is nog god!”

        JJ.Rousseau

        February 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      • J.J., just wondering..how do you not believe in God, have you seen the birth of babies..do you see when the rain comes down how it is life is provided to us bc of it. The Earth has everything in balance so we can live, if it went out of sync, we would not be alive…have you nothing inside of you that doesnt say, you cannot create the world..so there could be something more powerful than u that created you..just a power, without a face? and if so, being disrespectful and arrogant may not help you when you are powerless? Just sayin kiddo.. ;)

        islam

        February 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm

  125. [...] sa noe lignende, da han ble spurt om hvordan han ville reagert hvis barna hans ytret ønske om å gifte seg med ikke-muslimer: “I would naturally prefer someone to share the principles of being a Muslim. But it’s [...]

  126. Hey!
    It is clear from what stands in the Quran, that both muslim men and women cannot marry people who belive in several gods, for example: Hindus.
    But lets honest here, in India muslim still marry hindu women! And do they get critezised? No!
    Its accepted, because hes a man.

    But when a muslim lady marries a man whos not muslim, he can be a jew, christian or “hindu” og simply just an atheist. And people go all crasy! She isnt considered a good lady anymore.

    Stop this hipocrisy.

    Im a muslim myself. And to be honest, it doesnt say anything in the Quran about this issue:
    Muslim women+ non-muslim. So how can Ulama forbid this?

    Another thing that bothers me, is that people here say, well its because the kids follow the father.
    Well in reality this is not true!
    Ive seen a few examples of this kind of intermarrige, and the kids turn up muslim.
    But most of them follow the culture of the mother, som even say (ironicly) im half “muslim”.

    This is because the muslim men who marry outside their faith, dont really care about teaching Islam.
    They just go with the flow, but they seem to care when the kid is a teenager and then its to late to make ur kid “muslim”.

    And fine it says in the Quran, muslim men can marry christian/jewish women.
    But in reality they marry agnostic or atheist women. Women who dont follow their religion.
    The true jewish woman and christian, they marry somebody of their own!

    ofcourse it can happen, but its rare. They marry “unbelivers”, and yet muslim men dont get rumors and pointing fingers at them. But if a muslim lady did this, she wouldnt get the same treatment.

    I think that you should marry somebdy who has the same religion as you, but if its true LOVE, then you cant just let it go?…

    PS: Just stop critezing the muslim women, look at the men, im very tired of theese dobble standers.

    ds

    February 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

  127. I’m a muslim lady but I’m dating a christain guy

    olabimpe ibironke raimot

    February 4, 2012 at 11:12 pm

  128. this is a totally harram
    if u r like the person then he convert into muslim.

    asif

    February 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

  129. i agree with u

    saiprince

    February 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

  130. The Quran (ie: G-d) does not outright forbid a muslim woman from marrying a “person of the book.”
    It was the Islamic jurists over a millenia ago that decided it was unfavourable for a muslim woman to marry a non-muslim based on the patriarichal realities of the day. Society is not the same as it was back in early Islamic times, and the evolution of islamic law is fundamental to our jurisprudence.

    Here’s what I think: If a woman is convinced by the laws set out by early islamic jurists (that such a union is forbidden) then she should not get married to a non-muslim. If however, she believes that the quran has allowed her this flexibility, then she should marry whom she pleases. She will have to face G-d and answer for her actions either way.

    Let us stop judging each other and leave the judging to our creator.

    thinker

    February 19, 2012 at 3:54 am

    • Early Islamic Arabia (even current Arabia, for that matter), was a male-dominated society. So, It should come as no surprise that the all-male jurists created a law to maintain control over their women’s lives.

      Placing a more restrictive ruling for women on who they could choose as thier spouse, was and continues to be, just another way for the muslim men to uphold thier archaic mentalities of gender superiority.

      jamal

      February 19, 2012 at 4:10 am

  131. i m(surojit- hooghly) a hindu man. i love a muslim girl(babli-birbhum). she also loves me very much. the only burden of our relation is her mother & father. they are dead against of this relationship. they r blackmailing her in the name of islam by saying that they will commit to sucide if she(my love) ahed further. we both r crying now.we both r not well right now.we also have a pious physical relationship. but still my love is afraid of leaving house for her parents. can anybody say is it correct or religion is bigger than a true love.religion is for mankind, mankind is not for religion. m i correct? we both from socalled cultural state, west bengal

    surojit manna

    February 21, 2012 at 9:29 am

    • surojit, maybe you can tell them you want to learn about islam..one step closer? unfortunately that area of the world it is almost impossible otherwise to marry between the religions. sorry for you, pray that there is help from a Higher Power..

      peace

      February 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm

  132. i have been seeing a Muslim girl for over 4 yrs, and i am catholic, i have religious tattoos, im studying the Islam, now im thinking about converting but will my tattoos be a problem?

    guesst

    February 25, 2012 at 12:43 am

    • Masha Allah brother guesst,
      First of all, discontinue your relationship with this girl (even if it isn’t physical one) and repent and study Islam by seeking the help through Mosques, Islamic Centres and online resource. Once you become Muslim iA; then approach this sister’s parents in a humble way for her hand in marriage. If their is no one to act as your wali, then you can approach your local imam to act as wali. You can have them removed if you can bear the pain but it is not a big issue because whatever you did before becoming Muslim will be wiped off of slate iA (by the will of Allah s.w.t; the Merciful and Almighty). May Allah (swt) help you through with your conversion and also throughout your life and bless you both.

      James82

      March 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm

  133. this is an intriguing blog post. it left me with a thought and I could play with that thought as you gave me ideas. Thank you. Sometimes I think the religion is too misogynistic that it made us women .. feel seconded? is that the correct term??

    i’m a muslim woman myself and i’m open to dating men with different religions. in my country though (i must not state where) a muslim marriage (just muslim) will not be legalized if one of the partners is of different religion. there are cases where a muslim citizen marries another with a different faith but they do so in the neighbouring countries where it is legal. sometimes the justification of the legal system is pretty unfair but love is blind and as humans, we all are. i don’t think religion is the barrier. if your faith is strong enough, why worry?

    just saying my thoughts here in this post. everyone can speak freely.

    F.D.R.

    March 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

  134. After having read all the comments and replays there is a definite lack of understanding of Islam.

    alina Rose Lima

    March 9, 2012 at 7:40 am

  135. Hey, at the end of the day, its all voice down to your own decision/s . Be it about the faith,believe etc..
    What ever your decision is yours. IF its bad, its yours, if its good its yours too..
    Islam is a beautiful religion and i have every single believe that other religions are too good and beautiful .
    There is no religion that condamns others. its all up to you on how YOU interpreted them.
    What i can say is the world will be a better place if we all respects each others more and not be either racist or stereo-typing on one issue.
    Be nice to everyone, smile and love everyone.. Marry the person you love and like. Because at the end of the day, its because of the Fruit of good and bad who make us behaving this way.. after all, we all are family from different parents and time.

    Poseidon & Leila

    Yattz

    March 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm

  136. I m hindu but i don’t believe that hindu men can’t marry muslim women.Bcse hindu & muslim were of same country they r only seperated by land not frm our heart,i like all religion and rspct their culture.

    Dhurba

    April 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

  137. This thread doesn’t help me, I am not a Christian or a Jew. My family are Buddhists and the country over here, people see each other as a person, not by religion. I myself doesn’t care who or what religion that person is, but I know the Muslims care. This thread is too American oriented, and I’m not an American.

    Siem

    April 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

  138. if you muslim and you understand islam you never ever marry non muslim man and women if he or she 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 money he or she is not muslim atfirst you read kuran and shohee hadit both women and man both are read and understand ALLAHO SUBHANO TALA SAID ABOUT MUSLIM AND NON MUSLIM AND ALSO SAID THATS CULTURE AND BEHABER WRITHS WOMEN AND MAN BOTH AREE IS NTY MUSLIM MAN AND WOMEN CONFUSED YOU ASKED ME I CAN TRY TO ANSWERER I AM UNMARRIED 42 YEARS OLD MANY WOMEN THEY ARE ARE NON MUSLIM AND HER PROPERTIS AND ALL SIDE APRIENCE IS SO GOOD THATS I CAN NOT DISCRIB ITS BUT YEAT I CAN NOT MARRY HER BECAUSS OF SHE IS NON MUSLIM contuct me if any guy if he or she out of muslim culture and muslim rulse he or she must be non muslim shahinislamkhan26@gmail.com shahin islam khan

    any man and woman

    May 19, 2012 at 3:35 am

    • I am not a Muslim, I thought I was making it clear. It seems your typing already shows me you don’t know English so much.

      Siem

      May 20, 2012 at 9:09 pm

  139. This article is bullshit. Notice how he conveniently left this out of his “research”.

    – (2:221) “وَلَا تَنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنَّ وَلَأَمَةٌ مُّؤْمِنَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكَةٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ وَلَا تُنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنُوا وَلَعَبْدٌ مُّؤْمِنٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكُمْ أُولَٰئِكَ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ وَاللَّهُ يَدْعُو إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيُبَيِّنُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ

    And do not marry the idolatresses until they believe, and certainly a believing maid is better than an idolatress woman, even though she should please you; and do not give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe, and certainly a believing servant is better than an idolater, even though he should please you; these invite to the fire, and Allah invites to the garden and to forgiveness by His will, and makes clear His communications to men, that they may be mindful.”

    Muslim guy

    May 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    • not all christians and jews are idolators..this is the problem, we think we know everyone by face value.

      peace

      June 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    • Which is why I said the thread is Christian & Jewish oriented. But thanks for clearing it up for me.

      Siem

      June 5, 2012 at 7:44 am

    • Jews and Christians are not idolaters and the article does make sense.

      durey N Khatry

      August 9, 2012 at 11:45 pm

  140. Why should anybody have to marry only a particular person?
    Ladies and Gentlemen, we ARE the universe… check it out one day…

    Don’t spend it following something that will give you nothing but a delusional path towards nothingness.

    Or do. If that is what you have chosen to do. That will always be your choice, in life.

    But don’t any of you dare to try and control someone else’s life; that is the illusion of a heirarchal cult, upon which i am observing the very real delusional aspects of on this blog…

    The Quran says a lot of things. So does the Bible. So does my text book, for my physics class. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what you DO with that knowledge you’ve learned.

    You can learn from it, you can ignore it, and you can also add things to your knowledge base of that subject – that’s the magic of it being a book.

    It’s a bunch of letters… just letters… for people who can read… In all those three books i mentioned above.

    As an adult, make a descision whether or not to realise that no-one is in control of your happiness but YOU.

    Anyone who tries to take that away from you is a criminal, and the real perpetrator of ‘Allah’ – however you personally define him, or god… or jesus… it doesn’t matter who. Because at the end of the day, it reflects on YOU.

    Have the strength to believe in yourself. Your ENTIRE FAMILY may say tell you what your role is in life, but the reality is, you can do whatever the hell you want. Those descisions are going to reflect back onto you, of course, but it all depends who you choose to associate yourself with – and who you want to be.

    I can easily see someone labelling me as anti-quran, or muslim, or whatever here. But the reality is, the way some religions are talking about anyone else NOT associated with the Quran on this blog, is to be honest very scary, and is evidently being sourced from an environment much too controlling – and to be sincere slightly sociopathic.

    Respect others, but first and foremost, respect yourself – and don’t ever let anyone take that away from you.
    …ANYone.

    life

    May 28, 2012 at 9:30 am

  141. maybe we should all be concerned about being the best possible human we can be rather than disputing over what is permissible and what isn’t. i personally believe if you love someone for who they are and if they make you a better person in this world and bring you closer to God why not marry them. i dont think Allah would banish you to the firey pits of hell just because you found someone who makes you whole.
    overall may God have mercy on us all.

    Amine

    June 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm

  142. Please don’t abuse Islam just to satisfy your needs.

    lily

    June 6, 2012 at 12:26 am

  143. The Quran specifically prohibits all Muslims (men and women) from marrying polytheists, idol-worshippers, and athiests. It gives permission to Muslim men to marry women who are the People of the Book (Christians and Jews), however it does not deny that right to women . The Quran does specifically prohibit women from marrying polytheists, idol-worshippers, and athiests, but it doesn’t specifically prohibt them from marrying Christians and Jews.

    Now, I’m not an expert on Islam nor am I an expert of the Quran, but no one has ever given me a verse that explicitly states that Muslim women can’t marry Christians/Jews. They always give me verses that say that Muslim women can’t marry polytheists, etc. Some people argue that because Christians associate Jesus and the Virgin Mary with God , or say that Jesus is the son of God and Mary the Mother, then that makes them polytheists and Muslim women can’t marry Christians for this reason. But if a person is to use that reasoning and say that Muslim women can’t marry Christians because they associate Jesus with God, then Muslim MEN also cannot marry Christian women.

    Muslim

    June 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm

  144. Beautifully said. This is very correct. The only thing left to realize is not all people born and labeled as christians truly believe what they are taught to believe. For example, before my husband became muslim, he was christian, but did not believe that. It didnt make sense to him but he lived in a society and country that is 99% christian. He knew nothing else. I was the first muslim he met and he was very curious as to my beliefs. He realized he believed exactly the same with the exception that he didnt know who Muhammad was. He might have been labeled christian, but that doesnt give any human being the right to tell me not to marry someone because he had a christian label or upbringing when his soul was in the correct way. Problem is, humans create rules..God tries to guide people. There is a difference for those who have wisdom and know the difference.

    peace

    June 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm

  145. Iam a muslim woman, met a man who is non muslim non of us wants to convert to the other’s religion! I have searched so many blogs and i have come to the conclusion i cant marry this guy! The thing is this guy loves me in a way no man has ever loved me. He is so kind, respectful, honest etc! He is the most decent guy i have met! I have dated loads of muslim men bt non of them has ever inpressed! They have all let me down in one way or another! I know the Quran preaches patience as its the most important element of faith! I dont know when to give up as am almost 34 and have prayed for 8 yrs for a decent muslim guy! Am so depressed i dont know…

    Ha

    June 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

  146. well i am a teenager of the age of 18 years old born in guyana south america i recently got involved with a muslim girl at my high school by recently i mean we have been dating for about a year. she told me what could happen if her family found out and i was willing to deal with it im a christian going to church every sunday. well recently her parent found out and pulled her out of school and and said it could not happen me and the girl are willing to make it work she was contacting me sercretly after they told her we are not allowed to speak or see each other. she is scared that they will take her back to palestine and marry her off this is a load crap a person should be able to marry who ever they want she turns 18 in a couple of months and i am not sure we to do we were planning on marrying and everything the whole 9 yards but now her family has found out and intervened what should i do and what can i do

    jesse

    June 25, 2012 at 1:59 am

  147. i consider converting but if i do it would be for the wrong reason i would be changing just for her also if any of you say we are too young you are incorrect ive been through alot of trouble just to speak to her lately but im going to get her back and no one can stop me

    jesse

    June 25, 2012 at 2:01 am

    • Jesse, best is to do research on the faith, not what ppl think is the religion..its pretty simple..if u believe in one God and believe in all the messengers like Noah and Abraham…time and time again God sent messengers for one purpose..u will see you have always believed the same. Christianity, Judaism, Islam are all almost exact. So, if you are respectful, kind, spiritual and show that you can be a great caretaker, I’m sure her parents will accept you if you exclaim you are a believer (muslim means one that submits to God, which I’m sure u do)…good luck and remember nothing comes by forcing and those that do that are ignorant, whether forcing anything, religion or even a marriage..everything comes to u if you put wisdom and effort!

      peace

      June 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm

  148. I am a 53 year old Muslm woman. I came to North America at the age of 6 and grew up in a major city. I have lived in North America for 47 years now. I am university educated. I have been divorced for over 20 years. In my 20’s (30 years ago) there were very few Muslim men who grew up in N.A. such as myself, in my age group. I was one of the oldest immigrant children. Many of the Muslim men I was introduced to were not socialized in the west as they grew up in other countries. They held attitudes and norms from various Muslim countries which did not agree with me.

    I respected Islam and wished to marry within my faith at that age. My family did not allow me to marry a non-Muslim. I ended up marrying a Muslim man – whom I supported through his graduate degree. As the community was relatively new – very few Muslims were established and the usual “wife works to put her husband through school” ensued. My husband was violent towards me. After getting his degree and using my funds etc, my husband left me. I was 32 years old then. We did not have children.

    I approached a number of imams in the city. None of them helped me. I asked for my rights under divorce, which they could not implement. I went to see a lawyer. The mahr payment is in a civil document. The imams could not enforce it. I had that amount written into a legal Separation Agreement and fortunately my then husband signed it voluntarily (he did not have to). I received payment eventually per court order. I really had no access to any of the rights I was entitled to in Islam. For half a year, my ex-husband said he may return or he may not. I did not even know what my status was and no one in the Muslim community did anything about this unfair circumstance. No one addressed it. They are good at piling on rules for women but not in helping those of us in crisis.

    Of course one can argue that all of this is “unIslamic” – but many Muslim women who live in North America face this type of situation. We are told what are Islamic rights are suppose to be, but cannot implement them. We are left dealing with no support structures of any kind except our families. We are told we must only marry Muslim men, yet when these men misbehave, there is no recourse.

    Further, we live in nuclear families and the influence of the extended family is not strong in North America. Many of the laws governing marriage and women in Islam are based on the perspective that there is a Muslim majority situation ruling the land and many of the networks in place can be applied. This is definitely not the case in North America. Women contribute to their household and are not necessarily supported here. Yet we are to abide by religious laws that assume we receive support. Good luck to that in this economy!

    As Muslims clearly cannot provide the support and protection required for Muslim women living in the west then Muslim women should not be bound to live by rules that were constructed for a different set of circumstances. I mean no disrespect to the original laws however one has to look at the reality of what is and is not implemented. Asking women to live by certain rules when their rights exist only in books is extremely unfair. It does not take into account the reality of North American life and its challenges.

    Although I am a fit, attractive, well spoken, educated professional with no children, the Muslim men in my age group (50s) seem to want to marry women decades younger. The older men are completely entrenched in their old world culture and I cannot relate to them. I have been on my own now for over 20 years (since the age of 32). I should have been allowed to marry a Christian or a Jew, especially after my divorce – a stigma amongst Muslims. I was barred from doing so. I have spent my 30s and 40s and now into my 50s alone. I have met a number of well educated Muslim women in their 40s who have never married due to the issue of meeting appropriate Muslim men in North America.

    I assure you dear readers, that due to this problem – I hope to marry either a Christian or a Jewish man. I have already wasted over 20 years alone. This was not fair nor “Islamic” for any women. If the original laws of marriage were presented within the light of certain circumstances being in place (social, economic, political) and those circumstances are no longer applicable or in place in North America, then Muslim women should be able to marry good and decent men of The Book without criticism from other Muslims who apparently cannot provide one ounce of support for women who are into their 40s and 50s without a husband due to “rules”. How is this humane or natural?

    Should such women be banned to a life of solitude due to lack of appropriate men (those not looking for North American citizenship or stuck in other cultural mindsets)? Should they just marry any Muslim man and face a life of unhappiness and dissatisfaction – just to be married? Did God actually intend this to be the end result of His laws? I think not, however this is what is being practised – and at great expense to a number of Muslim women. Lives ruined.

    Think about it before you are tempted to quote laws and rules. How exactly are our North American Muslim communities addressing this problem? From what I have witnessed – very poorly, if at all. Let Muslim women marry non-Muslim men in peace.

    Sarah

    July 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    • Salaan Sister Sarah’s
      As a 23 year old college graduate Muslim woman I must say your response was very uplifting. I am having a similar issue with the brothers of this day and age. They can not stand a woman making more money than them and they only want to marry 18 year olds from overseas. May God make it easy for you in your endeavors.
      Amina

      Amina

      July 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      • Ameen.

        Disheartened desi chick

        July 21, 2012 at 3:41 am

      • Amina: You are 30 years younger than me, yet you are experiencing the same issues now in 2012 that I had in 1982. Not only is it difficult to be introduced to Muslim men, but many of them are going overseas and returning with wives (usually directed by their parents who want total control over who their daughter-in-laws are going to be – meaning culture, dowries and family – especially for immigration of relatives). Where does that leave the Muslim women here? When will our Muslim men participate in solving this great problem (going on for decades) without chastising women for questioning it?

        Sarah

        July 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    • Reading this made me very, very sad. I am 41 and can relate to every word Sarah has said. I am well educated and born in Canada. I have a good career and I am independent. But all I ever wanted was to get married and have a family of my own. The obstacles were and remain endless. I am not gorgeous nor slim. But I am reasonably attractive and in shape. But the Pakistanis were never interested in me. My mother tried to introduce me to recent Pakistani immigrants as potential husbands, but I was never interested in men from my parents country. And I was not allowed to date of course. By age 30 everyone kind of assumed I would be single for life. Working was actively encouraged in my family. My brother married his white girlfriend to great fanfare by my parents.

      So basically my parents immigrated here, and gave me no options at all to have a family of my own. I find non Muslim western culture very very focused on weddings and all they entail. They find me strange that I have lived my entire life alone, and never meet men. They think it s strange that it is due to my religion. I was different growing up, and as an adult I am forced to be different, too….lbecause of my religion and culture.

      And I am angry, hurt and sad about it. I am lonely through no fault of my own. I wish to be loved, I wish to be taken care of, I wish to hold babies in my arms, I want to go out and do things with a companion. But the Muslim community and my Muslim family will never never lift a finger to help me, because in their religiosity I am worthless. I do not deserve any of the above.

      I once, ONCE, met a nonmuslim man who fell in love with me but refused to convert. It broke my heart. He found someone else in a flash, but what did I get? Loneliness and a broken heart, and the knowledge that because I am a Muslim woman I can never have love, marriage, and children. Instead, I am forced to live by myself, take care of all my needs by myself, cry by myself, work very hard so that I am financially stable, never retire, and because my brothers got married and had children it is left to me to take care of my elderly parents.

      So where is Islam in those circumstances?

      I am ashamed to admit that the loneliness eats me up inside.

      Disheartened desi chick

      July 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      • Disheartened: Until many Muslims begin to respect women (as Islam dictates) and treat us like human beings – nothing will change. Your story in one I have heard over and over again. Have faith in God and make a life for yourself. He is the final judge and only He knows our struggles and intention. Don’t waste your life. The issues of culture, conversion, introductions, resources, gender are endless. I have personally wasted two decades and nothing has resulted. Find a good man and leave the rest to God.

        Sarah

        July 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm

  149. Nice post. I was checking constantly this weblog and
    I’m inspired! Very helpful information specially the closing part :) I deal with such information much. I used to be looking for this certain information for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

    Cougar Life REview

    July 17, 2012 at 1:16 am

  150. The Qur’an specifically states that it is permissible for a Muslim man to have sexual relations with a slave (whom his right hand possesses). He does not have to be married to her. It is deemed halal. There is much written about the legal status of any children which resulted from such unions. The arguement that slavery doesn’t exist now so this can be ignored is not the issue, but rather that such relationships outside of marriage were legally allowed to begin with for men.

    Islam even allowed temporary marriage “Mut’aa” in its early years as Muslim men went off to war without their wives. These marriages were permitted to accomodate the men, and they were later dissolved. This arrangement has since been abrogated.

    Yet Muslim women today cannot marry non-Muslim men under any circumstances. Surely in light of our existing challenges, accomodation can be made for women or is it for men only? A Muslim man can have sex with a woman who is not his wife, yet a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man with honor. Something is wrong here.

    Sarah

    July 20, 2012 at 3:16 am

  151. Those 40, 50 years old Muslim women who are single thing they would have married non-Muslims. What abt those non-Muslim women who have 2/3 kids without even knowing father or who are divorced by their non-Muslim husbands a number of times? Now a days its great thing if marriage lasts for 5 years among non-Muslims in west. Grass is greener in other sides. Dont misguide people. This life is a test for Akhirah. Dont be quick to jump to hell fire.

    Azad Ali Shah

    July 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    • To Azad Ali Shah – We are not discussing Non-Muslim women here. Muslim women are not responsible for the conduct of these other women or the men they associate with. The larger problem is that is is very difficult for Muslim women to find suitable husbands in the West. Any suggestion of marry non-Muslim men are met with highly negative responses. Your inability to see this issue by diverting it to what non-Muslim women are doing is also problematic and of no help to Muslim women.

      Sarah

      July 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      • My thoughts exactly. I am not concerned about non Muslim women. Besides the fact that all the non Muslim women I know are NOT like the ones you have mentioned, this forum is discussing Muslim women.

        Disheartened desi chick

        July 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    • I have no idea what you are talking about. My comments and Sarah’s comments have to do with the plight of Muslim women. If you wish to discuss the character of non Muslim women perhaps you should find another website.

      Disheartened desi chick

      July 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

  152. Islam basis a great deal of emphasis on the care and welfare of women. Males are given twice a female’s inheritance as males are to use that extra resource to take care of female family members. Islam states that the vulnerable in society – the poor, the widows (husbandless) and orphans are to be taken care of. Yet today in North America (U.S. and Canada) many mature Muslim women cannot find suitable husbands. There are few or no systems in place for introductions and arranged marriages are not generally in favor. Most women come from immigrant families.

    The networks, property holdings, family resources etc of their family’s countries of origin do not exist here. There is no “tribe” per se for women to be absorbed into (as was the case in early Islam). Has anyone thought about what happens to Muslim women who cannot marry in the West? What happens to her financially? What happens if she does not have the education or financially stability to see her into old age? What happens when fathers die, brothers do not exist or are not accessible? What happens when there is no or unsubstantial inheritance for her?

    Given the absolute lack of support, these women should be able to make a life with Christian or Jewish men. They should be entitled to emotional, social and financial stability. While there are no guarantees – to condemn Muslim women who cannot find appropriate Muslim husbands due to age, cultural differences etc with Muslim men – is the height of injustice. This is a very real problem in North America and the numbers of single Muslim women are growing, especially past the age of 35.

    We need to admit that many of the constructs in place to accomodate women during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) definitely do not exist in North America now. Yet we expect Muslim women to live by the same rules as if the accomodations are in place. From an economic and sociological perspective – this is a disaster.

    Muslims need to re-evaluate and reform some of our laws within the context of historicism. This would not necessarily negate the validity of the original laws as they made sense within the context “of that time”. However such laws are doing harm now (contrary to their intent) and resulting in Muslim women being alone, without a spouse and possibily in financial need. All of this is in direct opposition to what the spirit of Islam was intended to be.

    It’s time to re-think all of this and have serious discussions and resolutions about the fate of many of our Muslim women. Islam’s strength in the past was its ability to adapt. Guidance in this life-altering matter is greatly needed.

    It has been proven time and time again that a Muslim woman marrying a Muslim man does not necessarily ensure she will have access to all the rights she is entitled to. There is no way to implement this in North America. Reality check over theory may give some Muslim women a chance at life without threats from families, ostracism and atrocious name-calling from those who side with inapplicable laws over spirit and kindness.

    Sarah

    July 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

  153. This is a very real problem in North America and the numbers of single Muslim women are growing, especially past the age of 35.
    ——————————————————————————
    Sarah,

    What is the condition of unmarried non-Muslim women? Are there more number of unmarried Muslim women than unmarried non-Muslim women? Have non-Muslim women managed to find their husbands and remarried in their lives unlike Muslim women?

    Who takes care of those women and their 3/4 kids by unknown fathers?

    Azad Ali Shah

    July 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    • Azad: Many Muslim women do not resort to what non-Muslim women do. We do not date, we do not have multiple sexual partners. We do not meet men at dances etc. Non-Muslim women are not subject to the behavioral rules and limitations that Muslim women conform to. I am not sure what you are asking as one has nothing to do with the other. Why are you dwelling on non-Muslim women’s situation when the issue of what Muslim women face is a completely different story – which is my initial point.

      Sarah

      July 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    • Asad,

      Did you grow up in north America?

      You seem to be very focused on what non-Muslim women are doing. Why? Why don’t you read the Quran and salaat, and focus on Islam and Muslim women. Why do you care how non-Muslim women are raising their children? I find it extremely unusual that you are so focused on that question.

      But to address your curiosity, yes, there are more Muslim women (especially Pakistani and Indian, and it’s a growing problem amongst Somali’s now too) over age 35 who are single never-married compared to the same cohort in the general population. In my own workplace, most of the girls get married by age 30-32. Then they have children. All my non Muslim university friends got married by age 32. All the people on my neighborhood are mon Muslim and married — there are no single older ladies living alone. Same with my parents’ neighborhood. Their neighbours’ daughters all got married after university.

      The same pattern is not happening amongst Muslim-Pakistani and, like I said, Muslim-Somali girls.

      Hindu, Chinese, Italian, sikh, black children of immigrants all get married.

      Disheartened desi chick

      July 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    • Non-Muslim women – Who takes care of their 3 or 4 kids? I’ll answer that:

      Unmarried (single) women with children and unemployed are entitled to a host of Government benefits. This includes welfare payments, food stamps, medical assistance, education financing assistance/grants, and housing. Just check any of the government programs in place in both Canada and the U.S. for single mothers.

      The moment they marry – benefits lost as their legal status changes. It’s in these women’s interest not to get married.

      In Canada, a single mother of 3 kids under age 18, who does not have shared custody of her children (with the father), can easily get well over $1,000 per month in child benefits alone from the government. In addition, there is the “mother’s allowance” for her and welfare payments. Having more children moves her up in priority for subsidized housing. In the U.S. similar programs exist and vary by State.

      In fact, single welfare mothers may net “more income monthly” than a number of their working female counterparts do after taxes. The government programs result in thousands of dollars worth of benefits. Having children with lovers and subjecting them to a welfare-lifestyle is not preferred by most people if given a choice.

      Single Muslim women do not usually have children out of wedlock. We work honorably if we are able, pay a lot in taxes (as most citizens do), pay fully for housing and other expenses and are not subsidized by anyone.

      Bad circumstances, such as not having a husband (insufficient child support from divorce as the former husband has a low income or due to death, abandonment or abuse) may force us to ask for some form of government assistance as income may be low.

      This may result in our children potentially being raised in dangerous neighborhoods (due to lower costs) and exposed to unsavory elements of society. There are extreme difficulties for the mother in such an environment – not due to her own choice to have children out of wedlock (which she did NOT do) but from lack of support.

      I felt the need to give a more forensic answer as the most obvious situations of North American life and its outcomes especially for women, are manifesting the oblivious nature of how some Muslims view the vast differences in our societies. This directly impacts Muslim women and the need to address our circumstances in proper perspective.

      Sarah

      September 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm

  154. U both are trying to make an illegal things legal, waging war against Allah.
    You people are portraying a social issue into a Muslim/islamic issue. See how many unmarried Muslim women in Saudi, Egypt, Morrocco,Jorday where men marry Muslim women only and sometimes 2/3 women and still so many unmarried women.

    Allah clearly says a time will come when there will be 50:1 men women ratio.

    Be patient and deal things in Islamic way. Ok. Even though Muslim women are allowed to marry non-Muslim men, still there will be millions of unmarried Muslim women/Non-Muslim women.

    Let’s not go against the rule of Quran and hadith. We are nothing to wage war against Allah. Its just my suggestion but not forcing my opinion. There will be millions of unmarried women (irrespective of relgion) with time as islam predicted and we start seeing. There are 1 million unmarried non Muslim women in Russia in today’s date.

    Azad Ali Shah

    July 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    • Azad: You have missed my point completely. The issue is no one of simply being married or not. It is one of choice. That in a situation where it is difficult for Muslim women to marry Muslim men, they should have the right to marry good non-Muslim men of The Book. This is not one of statistics and how many women are married vs not. I am questioning the basis of these rules for women and the circumstances under which they are applicable. This is a far greater issue than counting the number of brides.

      Sarah

      July 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    • Peace and Blessings
      Azad Ali Shah I believe you misunderstand the problem the two sisters are addressing in this forum, the circumstance of nonmuslim women in the west and pregnancies out of wedlock have nothing to do with the trials Muslim women endure with the lack of available men in today’s society. Having 3/4 children by different men is clearly a choice of your own and makes me question the ethics of these nonmuslim women. The two muslims women on this forum are educated, intelligent, and to be honest awe inspiring. I feel for both of you sisters and I will keep you in my prayers. :)
      Sister Sarah may I ask your opinion on something? Not that I ever would consider it simply because I am much too jealous, but what is your take on being a second wife. The older I get and having literally NO suitors come for me makes me anxious and my family jokes about becoming a second wife and it horrifies me, what do you think? Should I be more open minded? I just don’t feel I should even consider such a path. I would much rather be alone than share my husband, no matter how wonderful the other wife it.
      Disheartened desi chick remain strong sister. I know it is cliché but circumstance can be much worse.

      amina

      July 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      • Amina: Thank you for understanding our position and its seriousness. I have a big problem with polygamy. While I cannot comment on circumstances in other countries and cultures, it has no place for a woman living in the west. Polygamy was to be the exception and not the norm. Even the Prophet (pbuh) had problems with his wives and jealousy. This is human nature. Think about it – would you really be comfortable knowing that on certain nights your husband is in bed with another woman? Marriage is complex and should be filled with love and understanding. It is difficult to carve this up amongst multiple people. This may have worked in the past under different historical circumstances but not in today’s day and age.

        I strongly defend monogamy or to remain single. Ultimately you will never feel satisfied in a polygamous situation. It is out of the question for me and many others. It is also an issue of self respect. Why not have a chance at marrying a good Christian man or a Jewish man (people of The Book). Why subject yourself to second fiddle just to be with a Muslim man – that’s insane. There are many good and decent men out there who would greatly appreciate you as a wife. They just don’t come from Muslim families. They may possess many good character traits and under the current circumstances they should be considered. Put your open mindedness in this direction and salvage your life as best as you can.

        The warped insistence of imposing inapplicable laws concerning Muslim women are ruining lives. It is unnatural and unhealthy. Many women are suffering from clinical depression due to their inability to find appropriate husbands in North America. All other doors are closed to them due to “religious” laws. This completely contradicts the Islamic spirit – which many forget in their rush to defend the indefensible.

        As I have been divorced from a fairly young age and childless, I put my energy into my education and applying myself professionally. I improved myself – all the while waiting for a Muslim husband whom I knew would never materialize. I am still single at age 53 but fortunately independent. It’s time to find an appropriate husband and if he is not Muslim – that is between me and God. It is not for others to direct me to the express elevator down to hell. It is for God in His infinite mercy to decide our fates. We don’t need cruel attitudes from others who forget that Islam has a tradition of analysis and interpretation according to the times.

        Respect your determination as a human being and make a life for yourself. Do not allow the dictates of others to put you in your grave alone and miserable. You are not guaranteed Jannat (heaven) just because you were deprived in this life by following laws constructed for a different era. Only God knows whom He will favor and it is not for others to interject. Islam has repeatedly made allowances according to circumstance. This was done by Jurists (see our long tradition of Fiqh). This growing issue of Muslim women and marriage needs to be examined.

        Only the most insensitive will concur that a woman should be alone her whole life for the sake of rules. That defeats the intention of Islam. And when these women are in need – where is the Muslim community to help out? No where.

        I hope this helps.

        Sarah

        July 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      • Sarah — I can’t find a decent man. I don’t go to bars, or anywhere else to meet a 40 something single. In fact there aren’t very many 40somethng singles out there. I try online dating sites, but most of the non Muslim professional men are not interested in me so they don’t respond to my email inquiries. The ones who ar interested are the guys on the fringe — the weirdos, the uneducated, the ones looking for hook ups, etc. This has been going on for years. I am 41 and I was 36 when I realized that I would be spending my life alone if I did not make efforts. I asked my mother to speak to my father and brothers but she refused. So I started going online (both Muslim and non Muslim sites) and I’ve been thoroughly disgusted. I did meet one man who was decent, kind and loving, but religion broke us apart. I was devastated and heartbroken. It’s been 2 years, an I’m still heartbroken, especially because I have no options left. He found someone a short while after I cut things off, and he’s now married. Whereas I spend my days alone. I come home from work and eat dinner alone, and the weekends are the hardest because I don’t have anyone to do things with. My Muslim family never put a premium on my happiness. I was expected to work and take care of my parents. The only people they would introduce me to are recent immigrants.

        So while in theory I should go out and find someone decent, the reality there is no way for me to do that. I’ve been open to that for years but there has never been a man to cross my path (other than the one I let go 2 yrs ago). It is heartbreaking. At this age, to be completely alone and unloved. Last year I took the drastic step of getting my eggs frozen. It cost me $25,000 and endless needles and vaginal extraction which was very painful. I truly believed in my heart that God would reward me for my efforts and bring someone wonderful in my life. But I am jaded, broken, and alone. When I learned the other man had met someone else, I prayed for such a long time. I still do. But I feel that God has made my loneliness and isolation deeper, my wounds more infected, and all doors and windows have been closed. I have nothing to look forward to, nothing. This Ramadan, I don’t know what to pray for. I just don’t.

        Disheartened desi chick

        July 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

  155. Yes but time does not wait for women. We want children. We want to be loved. What is Islam’s solution?
    Are you able to even answer that question? All you seem to do is criticize and state “haraam haraam haraam”.

    What is your solution?

    Disheartened desi chick

    July 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    • Disheartened: I am so saddened for you and others in your situtation. I think it is near impossible for you to find a Muslim husband. I am in the same boat except that after decades I have decided not to allow religion to destroy any chance at having a fulfilling life (I use the word religion and not faith). You lost that man two years ago due to religion. He has moved on and you are stuck. Your family and community are not helpful. It is difficult and there is no easy answer. If you had better opportunities when you were younger, your situation may have been better. As I have stated on other posts, the odds are stacked against Muslim women here. Why is no one recognizing this? Muslim men are given certain rights over women due to what they provide.

      No one (except God) provides for me. I (like many other Muslim women) handle my own contracts, sort out complex taxation issues, buy/sell property. Earn my own living, pay bills, see to the care of my elderly parent (including paying caregivers), take care of business and look after my legal affairs. There is no male assisting me. Yet we are told whom we can and cannot marry as if we are 18 year old girls fully subject to male support.

      I hope in time you will meet someone whom you can make a life with. You must not allow this depressing situation to destroy your health. I know it is difficult. I am looking outside the Muslim community and I have no idea when I will meet someone as well. May God assist us all.

      Sarah

      July 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

  156. What is your solution?

    ======================================

    This is a social issue. And it will happen. What I am saying is that it shudnt be considered as an exception among Muslims. I am sure ur statistics is wrong when u say all non-Muslim women are married by 32 and not like Muslim women. There are more unmarried non-Muslim women in world.

    Soution is not so easy as more number of women are there in this world. U think allowing Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men will solve the problem. Will it really solve? Never.

    I cant provide easy solution and u cant provide too. Only my suggestion (may be applicable for men too) is-

    – to chose right partner at right time specially when women are at marrigiable age ..say within 26/27. Simply do any thing at right time.

    – Keep the criteria not so high, not so high expection that may lead to reach 50 or remain as single for whole life but compromise lives with time. I see many women rejecting man due to richness/smartness criteria.

    — Muslim men should not marry atheist who were born in so called christian/jews family but atheist in heart

    — Not convert any christian/jews/Hindus for marraige, if they convert for faith then only Muslim men shuld marry them.

    — When all options fail, Muslim rich men shuld be ready to marry more than 1 and women also should accept polygamy with time. But its seen as alien’s work but it will give dignity of being wife to many unmarried women/widows

    If all option fails, kill women to balance men-women ratio :)

    Azad Ali Shah

    July 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    • It’s critical to note that the Muslim population in the United States is an incredibly small 0.8% and in Canada it is only less than 3% (of the general population). Of these tiny percentages, half are women and a substantial portion are children.

      How many single Muslim men of marriagable age are available for Muslim women? Of these men, how many will marry non-Muslim women or are selective about their prospective wife’s cultural background? How many will agree to arranged marriages with women back in their families’ countries and not choose a wife already in North America? How many will return with wives half their age? Where does this leave other Muslim women here?

      Above all, Muslim women in North America usually require introductions to suitable Muslim men by family or community members. What happens when those responsible for introductions do not have the required networks to do so (very much the case now)?

      Answer: Muslim women who wish to marry actually meet very, very few (if any) eligible Muslim men. Even fewer successful marriages result.

      Many of us may go through our day, literally see hundreds, if not thousands of people in public – and not one of them may be Muslim. The issue of Muslim women not being able to meet and marry Muslim men in North America is a very real problem. The gross unfairness of social and religious constraints have resulted in many women who cannot marry.

      There are very real problems associated with marrying Muslim men who have been “sponsored” to North America from other countries. Aside from vast cultural differences between women who grew up in the west and men who were raised in the east (compatiblity issue) – there are legal consequences such as men using women with citizenship to secure their future and entry in North America.

      Also in Canada, there have been multiple cases of men who were sponsored by women (Muslim and non-Muslim women) for marriage. Upon receiving their permanent residency, these men abandoned their marriages. Legally, the sponsor (wife) is responsible, by law, for her husband’s debts (loans) and any debts incurred by him with the State. That is, if the husband takes any public funds (such as welfare) etc, the wife is responsible for paying the government back the “entire amount”.

      There are some cases where the sponsored husband divorced his Canadian wife after receiving residency, re-married another woman, and the first wife is “still” responsible for his debts (for years) as she was the original sponsor.

      Initially the time frame for this liability for women was 10 years (!) and it has now be reduced to 5 years. The government introduced this law as many men (of all backgrounds) were abusing the sponsorship system for their own advantages.

      This is also a major concern for Muslim women who may consider marrying men who are non-citizens. There is no limit to the potential damage that a sponsored husband can do and his wife is legally responsible. It’s extremely difficult to meet Muslim men in North America, with the added liability of marrying foreign men. What a nightmare.

      Please consider a more compassionate approach to this terrible circumstance for Muslim women and be aware of the real facts that we have to live with.

      Sarah

      August 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      • Sarah, you raise some very good points, points which I, too, have pondered over. But where do they get us, as Muslim women living in non Muslim countries? Let’s be honest: we have no options. Are you going to find a nice non Muslim man, agree to sleep with him, and then have a civil marriage ceremony? Will you condone pork in your house? Alcohol? For me, never. And I’ve been through this with nonmuslim man…imposing your Muslim values and lifestyle on a 40something or 50something nonmuslim man is a very tall order.

        I think what causes me a lot of distress is that I have no options. My parents made me feel guilty at a young age if I did not cater to their every need; now that they are older it is worse. But I am not allowed to dream of a future where someone cares for ME. It’s the absence of a dream or vision for my future that distresses me. As a Muslim woman in the west, my inner desire to be loved and have a family of my own was thwarted at every step by my religious parents and the surrounding community. Islam is meant to be easy but the truth is it is very, ver difficult for women. Our opportunities for marriage and motherhood are almost nil, and our parents can do whatever they want. As Muslim women we have no means of financial support, no one to care for us if we are sick. If we are having a bad day or bad week or we are being harassed in the workplace, we have to stay quiet and instead make sure our parents are happy, comfortable, fed, etc.

        And the minute my parents are gone, then what? I will be a spare part, nothing more. It’s all a waste.

        Disheartened Desi Chick

        August 4, 2012 at 2:43 am

  157. The lack of understanding and sensitivity for this important issue has been dipicted in a small way in Azad’s responses. No offense to you Azad – but you have just demonstrated the cultural differences between some North American raised women such as myself and Disheartend Desi Chick and those who may reflect your (Azad’s) position. Yes, life is a test but the constant threat of hell fire is not going to give us a decent family life or a spouse, children etc. Islam was meant to give us a chance at a reasonable life and not one of solitude. Islamic jurists over time have defined and re-constructed many aspects of law. They were influenced by changing social, political and economics circumstances. Go back and read this history.

    I am both financially and professionally comfortable. My concern is not just for myself but for the many Muslim women out their who may face great difficulty in the future alone. This has psychological, emotional and social implications. The Prophet (pbuh) had a heart for women. Too bad that some of our contemporary Muslim men sadly lack this empathy for their fellow Muslim sisters.

    Given the current economic woes in the U.S. – which one of you men out there, filled with fire and brimstone, will take responsibility for Muslim women who were denied a chance a making a life with a non-Muslim men and may face being destitute or some other problem due to lack of security (an Islamic imperative)? Step up or help resolve this great problem facing so many Muslim women.

    Sarah

    July 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm

  158. Sarah,

    I never see you guys parallelly to those western life styled gals. I tried to show that its not Muslim specific issue but a social issue.

    When I was asked for solution, I replied what I feel in best possible way. Where do u find injustice and insensitivity to Muslimah? Do u agree few points as solution I pointed? And what is ur solution for the problem?

    Sometimes, we cant change the world and nature, we are forced to adapt as per situations. Wallah I see kafir women who accept polygamy. I have talked to many women in Tunisia where polygamy is banned, who cry to become second and even 3rd wife. (Dont think I love polygamy so much. Alhamdulillah I can marry 4 but mentally personally not ready, which I think its wrong somehow. I am living single at marriageable age).
    I share ur pains and u also plz undestand the situation.

    We think something is better but in fact Allah knows whats better.

    But Allah knows better than we humans, we cant cross the limits he puts and make an illegal thing legal for this short life in this world.

    Azad Ali Shah

    July 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  159. Azad: I am sure you are well intentioned however your perpective is vastly different from how North Americans may view this. This is also part of the problem of why Muslim women here cannot find suitable husbands. It is attitudinal and cultural. Historically, many Muslim men in the past travelled to far lands and converted women there to marry. They would not have become Muslim otherwise. This has been the case for centuries. You state this should not occur.

    Also, very very few North American Muslim women will accept polygamy. It is also against the law here. A second wife has no legal status or any rights to her husband’s property, pension or legal say. She will be considered a mistress – who wants that. We must respect the laws of the land as citizens.

    Many women tried to marry in their 20s but it does not always happen. I was divorced young. I married a Muslm man, supported him as a student, lived a modest life (not after wealth). He put me in the hospital emergency ward twice due to his violence and then left me. I have been unable to marry since (for over 20 years) and it has cost me a chance at being a mother. What a terrible price to pay and no recourse with our imams. Meeting more mature Muslim men has become impossible and I am met with a barrage of complaints if I suggest marrying a man of The Book. As you can see all of this is quite unfair and in some cases tragic.

    Many of the laws we have now were developed by scholars and not God. They used guiding principles however they were influenced by history and circumstance. Exact definitions of applicability is subjective. What is from God and what is from man? Even the various Schools of Thought within Islam varied greatly on a number of issues. There is still dispute over the wording of marriage rules for women. El Fadl the Islamic scholar has written about this. It is not so cut and dry.

    M

    Sarah

    July 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    • Yes, it is a terrible price to pay. The lack of resource, the lack of options, is what causes me the most remorse, frustration and sadness. My father thinks its no big deal, as he relishes his time with his grandchildren from his sons. My mother is sad about it, but says that it is what it is and I have to live with it.

      That is the supreme injustice — that single Muslim women have no way of looking for a Muslim man, and the so-called community and family don’t help us either.

      It is injustice. Part of me refuses to accept the path my parents have laid out for me, but at the same time there are no other paths to take. I’m 41, I can still try to get pregnant if I found someone….but no one will help me, and of course I cannot date.

      Disheartened desi chick

      July 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      • Disheartened: I absolutely feel for you. I know so many Muslim women in your situation. We should be permitted to many men of The Book due to lack of suitable Muslim options. We are not going to marry someone so he can get his Green Card. We are not going to marry someone who has no clue about North American perspectives, we are not going to bankroll someone who just got off the plane and is jobless.

        We are not going to marry 70 year old men looking for a helper or maid, as few Muslim men understand the concept of marrying a “peer” in their own age group. We are sick of seeing middle-aged Muslim men returning to their home countries and bringing back 21 year old wives. As young adults many of us watched other young men in our communities go back to their countries to marry their cousins, thus satisfying the requirement of opening up immigration to North America for the extended family.

        We have also watched many of our more successful Muslim men marry non-Muslim women as they had access to these women while we sat at home guarding our dignity under the watchful eye of families. End result – still single with obstructions against marrying Christians and Jews – all the while being told to live with basic rights deprivation (no home, family) to avoid hell fire. What a great picture this paints.

        Sarah

        July 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm

  160. Azad: You stated that Allah knows best and we can’t cross the limits He puts. At last count – Limit for a Muslim man: four wives. Limit for a Muslim woman, especially over age 35 living in North America: zero husband. Welcome to Muslim math.

    Sarah

    July 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm

  161. Let’s not try to make illegal a legal one …to suit our needs to meet the requirement of our nerves and heart. Its nothing new that islam doesnt allow men to marry atheist and idol worshippers and Muslimah are not allowed to marry any1 outside Islam followers. Lets not search Islamic scholar who speaks what I want and justify what I feel and like.

    Azad Ali Shah

    July 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm

  162. Azad: Why do you keep missing the point? This is not one of “our hearts” as if we are teenagers with rose colored glasses on. It is one of rights where Muslim women have a right to protection, to marital relations, to support, to children. One reason why polygamy continued in Islam was to accomodate widows who were left without husbands after wars. This was to ensure that all/most women had a home and not left destitute. We have a certain and growing situation in North America concerning marriage and women. It is not being addressed. Ignoring it as a “not allowed” perspective is causing more problems. If Islam went to great lengths to ensure women had their basic needs met, then why support the position that such women should have to do “without”? Where is the justice in this?

    God never intended for Muslim women to be thrown to the dogs and left without partners. Islam was not constructed for this purpose and yet women are to accept this now? Who will take responsibility for single, elderly women without husbands, sons or income? There will be a substantial number of them in the near future. Is this the price to pay for religiousity? How will this help to champion the cause of Islam in the west? A generation of lost Muslim women – what a shame. This reminds me of the situation of Hindu widows who live shunned lives. Why are we creating this for our women just because they are in a situation in North America?

    Sarah

    July 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    • Salaam again sister Sarah. I am currently courting a young man who is not Muslim but he believes in one God he believes Jesus is NOT the son of God and he is a better person than many young Muslim men I meet today. My parents obviously do not approve but I really do not see any other option pertaining to my circumstance. I do not want to die alone nor grow old alone. Just like 98% of the world I want to be loved. May Allah guide me and protect me from doing wrong. Ameen.

      Amina

      July 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      • Amina: Only God with His infinite mercy knows our situation, challenges and struggles. I hope your young man respects you, treats you with decency and supports you with love and care. Surah 29:46 says to address Christians and Jews and say that: we believe in what has been revealed unto us and revealed unto you. Our God and your God are one and unto Him we surrender.

        This is also reflected in the Jewish “Sh’ma” which states: Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is “One” (Hebrew: uchadh, Arabic: uhad).

        The Prophet (pbuh) sent his delegation to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) as Muslims were being persecuted. The Christian king Nejash – after hearing Surah Maryam from the Qur’an said that he accepts it as being in line with his belief and allowed Muslims security to practice Islam there. This is documented.

        God determined the status of the People of the Book – yet only Muslim men can marry them and not women. This is based on economic, political and patriarchal supremacy during past times – which does not exist now. That only Muslim men can provide the appropriate rights to Muslim women (certainly logical in the past) is not the case now. Just speak to any local iman and ask what he can implement. Not much if anything. Rights come with responsibility – if Muslims cannot fulfill their necessary responsibilities (religion-wise) toward fair treatment of women, especially in North America, then they cannot expect women to conduct themselves in a vacuum.

        All the best to you.

        Sarah

        July 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

  163. So my inbox blew up due to the discussion of the 2 wise women & I see some characteristics of a Muslim man which encourages me to NEVER convert to Islam no matter what circumstances. Despite his behaviors enrages me, but I’ll do my best to remain civil. I know many women who are non Muslims aren’t getting married or not married, it’s not because of religion, it’s because now they can look after themselves & needs no men to help them or its because their culture ALWAYS treats women horribly. I live near China, I can tell you many Chinese women doesn’t want to marry to Chinese men & many Chinese men has to resorted to online dating for non Chinese wives. The issue of unmarried Muslim women is something ENTIRELY different than that of unmarried non Muslim women.

    So I have Muslim friends, all of which are women, they tell me all they can do is hope they will get a nice Muslim man as a husband. But why do Muslim men can do whatever they want while these women can only wait? Sorry, I’m an idol worshiper & I think this practice is unjust. No, I do not pray to idols, I live by the teachings & principles this religion offers, it teaches of tolerance & coexistent, it also teaches me not to believe until I put that thing to the test so I can accept that. I don’t care about who is what religion, that is irrelevant, but I am still human who can’t live idly by when people suffers. I also appear to live in a Muslim community & there’s a mosque near my house, correct me if I’m wrong, but I remembered Ramadan used to last only 3 days but they changed because of a war (I can’t remember the Arabic term, it was very echo) & marrying 4 wives was to solving problems with widows who lost their husbands in the war & to make sure someone is taking care of them. What happen to those fierce warriors, adaptive, faithful Muslims who fought against those heavily armed & armored barbarians of the north? I always side the Muslims when it comes to the Crusades, nothing can be more noble than defending your homes. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but your prophet stated Muslim men MUST treat women like the most important, most valuable treasure? Why are you putting your women in cages? My heart goes out to unfortunate Muslim women, though I’ve been told Allah won’t listen to an idol worshiper like me, but that doesn’t mean I can wish the best luck to them. This thread said it is OK for Muslim women to marry Jewish people or Christians because you all are actually worshiping the same god. I am an idol worshiper, I don’t care of religion, my girlfriend is a Muslim, I told her I won’t convert but she’s not giving up yet, but that doesn’t mean I must outright reject her, nothing bad has happened, it doesn’t bother me that she can’t eat pork or has to pray or Ramadan, she said she likes me because I’m a good person & I don’t mind of her being a Muslim. But she’s not really happy with our relationship, why? Because she knows that her parents won’t be happy. I also know her parents won’t be happy but what should I do? Oh but I guess I have to break up with her because I won’t convert & because I worship idols isn’t it? Why would I even want to convert? Muslims always speaks of how infinite of mercy & forgiving Allah is, but Muslim men can’t even treat their women right & Muslim community accepts mistreat of women. I’m not going to hurt the mother of my children, that’s just disgusting & that’s a bad influence to my children as well. I don’t see why men should do that to women at all? In case you’re wondering, no, I’m not those chivalric guy who worship women, but I sees women as an equal human-being, they’re capable of feelings just like men do. Why are we hurting them? I also didn’t like Shari’a law for executing women for cheating on the men. My ex cheated on me & I didn’t kill her, what does killing solve anything? Sure, you’re definitely going to be angry but so what? Isn’t killing 1 of the worst sins a Muslim can commit? I’m pretty sure it is though, all of my Muslim friends told me that.

    Muslim communities loves to shun their women far too much they forgot what actually matters, but lest you forget, Judaism & Christianity worships Allah, I’m pretty sure your prophet also said that. So is it possible for Muslim women to marry Christians or Jews? Yes, but what about idol worshipers like me? I guess they can’t doesn’t it?

    Siem

    July 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

  164. Just for thought – Historically Muslims ruled vast empires or lived in substantial sized communities. For centuries, well before modern day nationalism, people identified themselves according to their religious group. Under Muslim rule minorities such as Christians and Jews were permitted to conduct themselves according to their own laws (family etc) as long as they did not interfere with the Muslim state (e.g. sedition).

    The reason why Muslim women were not permitted to marry non-Muslims was based on the concern that she would be absorbed into the household of her non-Muslim husband, who lived within a different religious community. As each religious community had their own laws and traditions, a non-Muslim husband would not be able to provide his Muslim wife with her required rights under Islamic law. This made sense.

    There were other issues such as in the case of divorce, Muslim children may remain with their mothers until the age of 7. After that age, they go into the custody of their Muslim fathers. The Islamic Schools of Thought vary on the age of the child, however at some point custody is transferred. These were real concerns for Muslim women if they married non-Muslim men (just as an example).

    Forward now to 21st century North America. We do not live in religious communities. The only applicable law is the Judicial system of the land. Aside from conducting marriage ceremonies and life passages/rites according to our religious customs, the weight of Islamic law and its application (or any religion’s for that matter) does not exist. Marriages may only be performed by those licensed by the state to do so and must be registered in civil court for validity. The legal system is secular and holds everyone equal under the law. There is no special system according to one’s religious group.

    An exception is the Jewish Bet-Din (Rabbinical court) which exists in a number of North American communities for dispute resolutions or arbitration, however participation in it is voluntary. Many of our Islamic laws may be deemed to be contrary to the existing justice system and therefore not applicable. No alternate court may contradict the law.

    Further, we tend to live in nuclear families and women are not “absorbed” into their husband’s household. Married couples usually find an apartment or house/residence of their own without the presence of an extended family or they may temporarily live with parents until they are more financially secure and move out.

    This is life in North America. Marriage and divorce are governed by established secular laws. Under Muslim law a women is not entitled to her husband’s property, which may remain in his family’s control. That is not the case in the West, where division of property, the marital home, pensions, assets are divided accordingly. Both spouses’ contributions are held into account etc. In Islam, a women is given her mahr and returns to her family. There is no further claims to assets.

    In the west, the mother usually gets custody of the children in divorce with support payments from their father. Depending on the circumstances, the ex-husband may have to pay alimony to his former wife for years. This is not the arrangement in Islamic law. His future earnings are tied to his ability to pay, which may increase over time.

    I have just pointed out these very few examples to state that the initial reasoning behind why Muslim women should not marry non-Muslim men are legally moot. That is, religious laws are not applicable today as secular law determines one’s outcome. Even if a Muslim woman was to go and appeal her situation to religious leaders such as imams, they do not have the strength or ability to actually implement her rights in North America. There are no systemic structures in place to accomodate this.

    As mentioned in one of my previous posts, I could not even get my mahr payment until I had it written into a Separation Agreement, had my ex-husband voluntarily sign it and file it in court (cost: about $1,000 for the document). No imam could even apply it.

    The past fears and concerns about Muslim women and their access to rights when married to non-Muslim men do not apply today in North America. Being married to a Muslim man does not guarantee it either. The Muslim communities and their local imams have no legal power or ability to hold Islamic courts which may contradict the laws of the land. Arbitration exists but cannot be illegal. There is no supreme legal Islamic authority to appeal to.

    Again, we do not live in religious communities here nor confined to the community’s physical quarters as in the past. We may live in apartments downtown or in houses in the suburbs surrounded by neighbors of different religious or ethnic backgrounds. We live in a democracy where the ideals of equality supercedes those of religious affiliation. Having a spouse of whatever religious background holds no superiority over the other. Social problems as an outcome is another issue, I am only referring to the original legal concerns for Muslim women.

    Given the reality of life today and the past circumstances under which marriage laws for Muslim women were developed, does it not make sense to re-examine its limitations? Thanks for reading all of this.

    Sarah

    July 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    • As salaamu alaikum, and Ramadan Mubarak ladies. I have been following all your post for a while, I thought this thread on this topic was dead. I commented about this post more than a year ago… Anyhow, Disheartened Desi Chick, I have a comment to you honey. It is not impossible to find someone that is not muslim that will live by the spirit of our faith. I am married to a christian man, and he is fully supportive of me, and the things that matter to me. There is no pork in my house, (he knows I won’t cook it) and no one drinks alcohol in my home anyway. I am currently fasting and he understands this and we plan our lives around it. We have a 10 year old son together and he attends the mosque with me on occasion, and I buy him children’s books on Islam all the time when he asks questions. I dress modestly and pray five times a day, with my husband and child reminding me when my prayer alarm sounds if I am away from it. It can be done, and I think you are limiting yourself. Islamic laws do not apply in the US, and no court of law would even consider bringing them into the sphere of the courtroom. The US has laws that protect all people no matter what faith you practice, and for the most part, they work. I am a police officer so I think I know a little on the subject. One more thing, I am a convert, and the interesting fact to point out is the fact my HUSBAND introduced me to islam, and bought me a Qur’an. I have been muslim now for almost three years now. Faith is a personal thing, a relationship between you and the Creator, and I see a lot of people reducing it down to legalistic terms, and a set of rules and regulations which turns the faith into a dead stagnant thing. It was never meant to be that way.

      aliya taylor

      August 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

  165. I would like to see more christian guys marry muslim girls. This should be encouraged.

    joannas

    July 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm

  166. hi,there !! Actually im an hindu, and i love a girl whose having her religion as muslim,and we have been loving each others for about 8 years..!!!! about marriage,there will be no objection on my parents side.,!! but i dont know about thier parents,…!! will they accept me ??? will their be any suggestions ,they’ll put on me to marry her ????

    abilaash (@abilaash15)

    July 31, 2012 at 5:31 pm

  167. Sarah, Amina and Desi Chick- really interesting hearing your thoughts, I’m in a similar situation. Feel free to message me if you would like to talk :) x

    Shazia

    August 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    • so finally u got out of this situation or not…..so u married ? and whats ur final take now ?

      S.V

      January 31, 2013 at 9:37 am

  168. To Disheartened Desi Chick – response to your August 4th post: I fully understand what your wrote. We are in an extremely difficult situation. What is truly criminal is the lack of understanding by families and other Muslims. They dole out the “what you cannot do” list to women with no thought about how they are literally ruining lives. Of course you want what is basic in life – to be loved, have a partner and a home.

    There was no consideration to the unique circumstances of many Muslim women in the west. No thought about the immigrant experience and living as a minority and the many cultural backgrounds that compose the Muslim community and all of its challenges. They impose rules on us as if we are living in their countries of origin, many with Muslim majorities and different norms and standards. Our women pay the price for this ignorance.

    I know of a number of Muslim women who have married non-Muslim men. The husbands respect their wives and alcohol and pork are not in their homes. Imagine being married to a Muslim man (as I was), going through a Nikah ceremony with all aspects being proper and then having to deal with his abusive beatings. Which is worse? I don’t mean to imply that all Muslim men are bad as that is very wrong, however being married to someone of the same religion does not mean you are now free of other serious problems. People are people with very human faults that are not wiped away due to being Muslim.

    Our Islamic rights are not applied in the west so we are left in a very vulnerable position – being forced to live by rules that carry no weight except in the minds of some Muslims who are detached from this reality.

    It is extremely unfortunate that you, me (and others) have been placed in a no-win situation. You are damned whatever you do. As Islam made sex with slave women (outside of marriage) permissible for Muslim men (in the Qur’an) and made temporary marriages (Mut’aa) permissible to accomodate Muslim men – we can see that accomodations were certainly made.

    It is unacceptable for Muslim women to be devoid of all things natural (husband, children, family life, a home) simply due to rules which do not take into consideration the very unique and disabling circumstances of us in the west.

    We have the worst of both worlds – cultural and religious limitations placed out of context with the added burden of highly stressful lives in urban cities, competing for jobs (due to no financial support), tight schedules and responsibilities.

    I urge you to consider making a decision where you have a chance at some sort of a life with someone. Unfortunately due to the incredible ignorance of many of our family and community members, women are placed in positions where they have no recourse or life. This must be rejected and as much as I hate wording this: You need to pick the lesser of two evils. There is no balanced solution which will please everyone. I am sorry to state this.

    Save yourself and your life. God is merciful and is aware of all things. I place myself in His compassionate hands and not in the impositions of ignorant-others that we are surrounded by. The situation that we women are in is definitely not what Islam intended for us.

    Those who deny women the right to what they are entitled to will answer to God when God asks them: Did you not see the plight of your sisters/daughters and stood by while they were deprived and forced into a life of solitude and need, while you misapplied the good intentions of My laws out of your ignorance (jahiliya)? Let them answer to God and let His compassion determine your future.

    Sarah

    August 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm

  169. The rate of Muslim divorce in North America is alarmingly high. The Muslim Tribune reports a recent study by sociologist Dr. Ilyas Ba-Yunus, a New York professor, which states that the divorce rate in the U.S. for Muslims now averages 31%. In California it is as high as 37%. In Canada, especially in urban centres such as Ontario, the rate is 30%. This means that close to 1 in 3 Muslim marriages are ending in divorce.

    The opportunities for divorced women, especially with young children, to re-marry is non-existent. Very few Muslim men will marry them. Many will live impoverished lives struggling to raise their children in a demanding society in North America. Many are young women still in their 20s or 30s.

    Islam views divorce as a last resort but again, the fact is many Muslims are splitting up for a number of reasons. No doubt the high stress, fast pace and demands of western life are contributing to this. The convenient paradigm of what Muslim life is meant to be and how it is to be executed is falling apart at the seams in the west. Why? – when divorce was practically non-existent for many from previous generations or from more traditional cultures.

    The answer lies at looking at the situation of Muslims, especially women, and the unique and immediate challenges that many of us live under in the west. The pre-conceived notions of what should be occuring – per Islamic traditions and the difficulties in applying them without taking into consideration the variables of North American realities is failing.

    In defense of many single Muslim women here, it should be noted that they have suffered greatly due to their inability to find suitable husbands and have remained single rather than marry non-Muslims. They have assumed all the liabilities of this tragic situation rather than breach Islamic rules about marriage. Many do so out of pressure, others as they refuse to partake in what they consider to be behavior outside of Islamic modesty. Their lives are ruined as no one will assess this horrible situation within the scope of Islamic thought. This “tough luck because you are female” is the last attitude we need. It will get worse.

    Sarah

    August 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    • Sarah:

      Re choosing between the lesser of the two evils — why do you assume I have choices at this stage of my life? There are no decent nonMuslim men knocking at my door, and the men online are just not my cup of tea. Good, intelligent well brought up men of any background get snapped up early, they don’t stay single into their 40s. And like I said, I don’t think premarital sex will be condoned by God under any circumstances but rape — and 99% of nonmuslim men in their 40s are no going to agree to a sexless relationship before marriage.

      We are simply out of luck. Maybe in your jurisdiction decent, educated, middle aged men are plentiful. On mine, they are not. There are lots of beer-guzzling truck drivers from which I can choose….but I have a masters degree and don’t feel that I would be compatible with men like that.

      Women like you and I are aware of the problems and circumstances that put us in this situation. But there is no remedy. At this stage, there is no solution. And as much as we wish to warn the younger generation, they are dealing with a larger, more diverse Muslim demographic. Young Muslims now meet in universities. They socialize and go out. My generation did not do that. I had lots of Muslim friends when I was younger but they were all girls! The 20-something’s these days mingle with Muslim boys of their cohort.

      Women like me, we are and always have been in “no man’s land”. We are stuck. You should never have gone through what you went through…and I’m guessing you neve had the social and familial support afterwards to get you through it. That is very typical of Muslim families, they leave their daughters to fend for themselves.

      I see the years ahead of me as cold, dark and lonely. I just see a long gray road ahead of me, with no pleasure or love or a network of people who care about me. That is a sacrifice I was expected to make for my parents and for my religion.

      Disheartened desi chick

      August 5, 2012 at 2:45 am

      • hi i looking for a muslim woman for marriage!be a brave and send am e-mail!megyike23@hotmail.com

        Daniel Megyimorecz

        August 5, 2012 at 10:45 am

      • To: Disheartened – Your response is heartbreaking. Yes, many things are stacked against us but I firmly believe in not giving up. Non Muslim men do not tend to hold the same prejudices that Muslim men hold against our women. I spent two decades resigned to the notion that I will never remarry due to family and religious pressure. What a waste of my life. Now at 53 I am not accepting this unfair fate. No one should have to.

        I actually married someone I met at university in the 1980s. It ended in divorce. It is better for the younger generation in some ways, in other ways it is the same story. Younger members of my extended family who recently married other Muslims spent an average of 4 years knowing them before they married. In our time if we spent 4 years with a young man, we would have been crucified. Many of these marriages are occuring by ignoring basic aspects of Islamic behavior, not due to observing them. Virtually no one but the most conservative are choosing arranged marriages usually with people from abroad. Many of these are ending in divorce as well.

        Unfortunately due to complete lack of community support for women and the regular promotion of allowing men to do as they please, many Muslim women are caught in the trap of living by our rules with no benefits. I will spare you all the explanations given to me by Muslims about why I should accept my fate. “It is a test” is one of the most common. Really? Is this why God wants for women to not have husbands or children and be banished to a life alone with no support or human care? Why all the meticulous rules for the care and benefit of women if we are to be alone? These are all BS explanations by ignorant people.

        Although it is difficult, do not give up. Do not suffer so much just because Muslims themselves are so lacking. Their inability to see this existing problem reflects badly on them. It is not about a few women, it is about many, many women living in the west.

        Some of our more mature Muslim women have married divorced non-Muslim men. From what I have heard, thses men greatly appreciate many of the attributes possessed by Muslim women that they do not necessarily find in non Muslim women. Non-Muslim women possess positive traits as well of course, but may be different in ways from those of us raised in Muslim homes.

        If a man does not respect you to begin with, he is not husband material.

        Non Muslim men also tend to marry within their own age/peer group unlike mature Muslim men who want a wife half their age when they themselves are nothing special. It is common to see on Muslim marriage websites men age 50 wanting wives age 25-30. I suppose Muslim women over 40 should marry 80 year olds! Many of these men are less qualified than you and I are. No advanced degrees.

        Please don’t give up. There is no one to care for you in old age. You will be saddled with the burdens of all of our misapplied rules. No Muslim who is promoting all these rules will come to your assistance when you are in need. The situation of Muslim women in North America represents a gross miscarriage of justice. There are decent men around. The challenge is to find them – my challenge too.

        Put the broom away and state you will not be swept under the carpet. If our men are not subject to this, neither should our women. They can’t even apply our basic Islamic rights but are the first ones to tell us what to do or not do – what a travesty. You do matter, you are a human being.

        Sarah

        August 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      • Disheartened: (2nd response) Do you really think that Islam intended for us to ruin our lives as a “sacrifice” for our religion?

        Would it not be more accurate to state that the rules governing marriage were constructed for another time when the paradigm of certain political, social and economic standards were in place? The lack of sustaining this paradigm has resulted in inapplicable Islamic laws now. This of course has no impact on beliefs such as God in one, the 5 pillars.

        Our Islamic scholars need to address the application of laws in our changing times. They did so in the past using Ijthihad. Islam never intended to rob us of a normal life, it is Muslims who use selective application of our laws against women without a second thought to what our men are up to or its negative effects on women. I am sick of this.

        Please do not mistakenly think that there is any betterment in giving up basics in life such as marriage for the sake of religion. This is a distortion made worse by Muslims who refuse to address this with our changing circumstances. How easy it is for them to point our verses in the Qur’an without having the ability to apply justice at any level – an Islamic requirement.

        I can say that I have passed up 4 marriage proposals from good, professional non-Muslim men over the past 20 years due to religious pressure and threats from family to disown me. I waited to see if I could find a Muslim man. End result – no proposals. I am alone, no assistance from the Muslim community for women over age 40 or divorced.

        Sarah

        August 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      • Disheartened: On the rare occasion I was introduced to an Muslim man (an engineer) – per family insistence, a couple of years ago. He said he was 10 years older than me on the phone but when I met him he was actually 20 years older (about 70 years old, so he lied). This first meeting was to see if any potential was there. He immediately asked me the reason for my divorce. I told him that occured about 20 years ago and has nothing to do with my present state. I also told him that I am not about to discuss anything that personal with a someone I just met and whom I may never meet again. My years in business has taught me not to reveal too much upfront.

        He also asked me if I lived in a house or apartment. I realized he was sizing me up financially. He bragged about his townhouse in the suburbs and other investments and his world travels. I purposefully told him I lived in an apartment. His face fell. Then I explained I own a condo downtown in the financial district. I also pointed out that such condos are valued at 3 times what a suburban house miles outside the city are worth and that I didn’t appreciate this line of questioning. It was so transparent.

        He actually asked me about my investments – another subject I don’t discuss. A stare-down began.

        He initially told me to drive out miles near where he is to meet him. I told him I expect men to come to meet the woman as a courtesy, in a coffee shop. Then he promptly asked me if I owned a car. I said yes but what does that have to do with anything. I was getting irked.

        He asked me about my work and I gave a general answer about my field. He assumed it was a junior position and continued to talk down to me. After he finished I told him that I actually own the business and consultancy. There was silence.

        With nothing further to add, he asked me what I cooked and did cleaning. With my work demands, I have a housekeeper that helps me out. His face fell even further as he wanted someone to take care of him (like a maid). There was no appreciation for me as a person or for my accomplishments, let alone my interests etc.

        The lack of respect in his conduct was demonstrative of how divorced Muslim women are viewed. That we should be thankful if “any” Muslim man would even consider meeting us and they can address us with a level of disrespect. I’ve heard similar stories from other Muslim women as well.

        I told family members that if he is the best they can do, they need to admit they are lacking. They said they can’t find Muslim men and were trying to help. I responded that I am not a dog to be thrown scrapes at just because I am a woman. What a disturbing and rude experience that was, it was the longest 45 minutes spent. Anymore introductions such as this and I will go straight into orbit.

        Sarah

        August 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm

  170. Rich muslim married women’s

    abdulaziz seid

    August 6, 2012 at 1:38 am

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    Sonia

    August 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm

  172. I LOVE THIS BLOG :D Mashallah,
    First of all, I agree that the Qur’an does NOT prohibit a muslim woman from marrying a christian or a jewish, the reason why many scholars have confused themselves is because they have not found verses mentioning that its lawful for muslim women to get married to men from the ‘people of the scriptures’ likes it’s mentioned about the men :

    This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. And whoever denies the faith – his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. (5:5 Qur’an)

    From this, its natural that the opposite: that is, the Muslim women are also allowed to get married to a Christian or Jewish man because 1. No where in the Qur’an does it explicitly prohibit them to do so, 2, we have to understand that the audience of the Qur’an are males most of the time since we naturally believe that what is mentioned is for both the genders to believe and follow that. So why is it so hard to do the same for the verse above.

    For example the verse that follows the one above reads :

    O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful. (5:6 Qur’an)

    Just because it says that and I quote ‘or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over you faces and hands with it’ – does not mean that only men have to wash/clean themselves as instructed before performing prayers , it also applies to women who have been in contact with men, since we naturally believe that it applies to both the sexes in this casse then why should the scholars be bias when it comes to the verse above it????

    In my opinion most of the male Muslim scholars apply their own illogical justifications according to their own convenience.

    Dure

    August 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm

  173. Salaam,

    As a young Muslim-American guy who is entering the age when when people around him are starting to get married, I have been giving this issue some thought recently. I’ve also had the chance to read some of the comments posted to this thread. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and research.

    I really feel this issue represents our community’s slowness in addressing the challenges faced by my generation. As young muslims, we should be asking what is best for ourselves and our community, not just what is “halaal” or “allowed.” A lot of people did a lot of hard work for us to enjoy the benefits we have of being a part of this Deen, and this American society, so its not unreasonable for us to ponder on how we can contribute to our community and the future generation of American-Muslims alongside our own personal success and happiness.

    I would really like to ask the scholars and Muslim community leaders if ANYONE should be marrying a non-Muslim, male or female.

    Muslim men need to be more responsible and realize that their community needs them, their Deen needs them, and their Muslim sisters need them.

    1) Muslim men should give a VERY strong first-preference to finding a spouse amongst their Muslim sisters before they even think of marrying a non-Muslim (regardless of she is a Jew, Christian, from the People of the Book, etc) and….

    2) Muslim men need to SERIOUSLY think about the implications of their future children growing up with a Mother who does not fully accept the Islamic faith. Yes Jews and Christians are very similar to Muslims, similar enough for us to call them “People of the Sacred Books”, but we can’t ignore the fact that they do not feel the same way about our Prophet PBUH, our Holy Quran, and the Sunnah that we as Muslims do) Inshallah their children will grow up to be fantastic Muslims and citizens, but why do you want to make it that much more difficult for them??? This duniya is already a challenging place for young muslims.

    3) In our graves, we will not be asked only about our Iman towards Allah, our respect towards the Messenger and his message, and our kindness towards parents…..BUT also about our children!!!! We will be help responsible for our efforts towards raising our children. A righteous son or daughter will bring sadaqa on a parent long after a parent has died. But a child who grows up without Iman will pain their parents during their lifetimes but also make their parents face questioning after death.

    4) As Muslim Men, our conscience towards our families should be so strong that we feel comfortable with a wife who is older or younger than us, of a different ethnicity, or from a different background if that means that she will bring Deen into the home and help raise children who appreciate and follow Islam. A younger, prettier, or more “fun” non-Muslim wife will be great….for a while…….but these questions will be gnawing at the back of our minds: what about my children? am I bringing my wife closer to Islam? is she bringing me to Islam?

    5) Finally, the Muslim scholars and Muslim community (both men and women) should stop taking about merely was is permissible, but focus on what is needed in our community!!! They need to come together and persuade, convince, and guide young Muslim men to not marry outside of the faith. Yes, it may be permissible, but given the context of our situation it is irresponsible both on an individual and societal level. Muslim men who marry non-Muslims are potentially and needlessly exposing themselves and their own children to harm, and also being unsupportive of our Muslim sisters.

    Omar Siddiqui

    August 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    • Of course this is an issue that we all have to come together to solve. Muslim sisters also play a part in this.

      Few things in the world are repeated as much as, “but there are no good Muslim men out there” from a sister’s lips. Really??? No good Muslim men??? Really???

      ***As a side note, we already know too many people out there in the world are trying to alienate us, demean us, ridicule us. As a young American-Muslim, none of that is as DISCOURAGING AND DEPRESSING as seeing us Muslims fight and bicker amongst ourselves. And particularly as a Muslim male, it is impossible to not be affected by the overwhelming negative depiction of Muslim men in the media today. (Apparently we are only thought of as wife-beating, woman-hating, angry, backward, unsophisticated, unlearned, xenophobic, sex-starved, emotionally insecure, red-blooded, temper-prone men who try to compensate for our sense of powerlessness by oppressing and subjugating everyone around us, especially women….and the world found all that about us just because we decided to grow a beard (sarcasm).

      Muslim sisters, the whole world is eager to pounce on Muslim men. Please stand by us when we need it most.

      We know we have a lot to disprove and we need to be better, PLEASE BE OUR ALLIES, NOT OUR ENEMIES

      1) They should take a productive attitude towards this issue. Don’t just malign Muslim men and paint them with a broad brush as being irresponsible, patriarchal, selfish, narrow-minded, or whatever. Men comes of all shades and types, just as women do. We men were not made of one mold, figuratively. I can guarantee you that we will not make the situation better by fighting each other. We have to engage each other. This is not a problem for Muslim women or Muslim men, this is a MUSLIM problem, for our whole community. And if we ever want a chance at tackling it, we need to do it as a community.

      2) Muslim sisters, I am not a scholar so I really cant break the argument as to whether you are allowed to marry a non-Muslim or not. I really don’t know. But what I can tell you is to give a strong preference to Muslim men.

      Just because he doesn’t have the level of education you do, or just because he doesn’t speak with the same sophistication you do about cultural trends and world events, or just because he he doesn’t look like a Bollywood hero, or just because he is not an alpha-male, or just because he as worldly as you….that does not mean he is not a good Muslim man!!!

      Give importance to how he treats you, how he values family, his integrity, his honesty, and his Deen. Give him a chance!!! Ask him if he is willing to grow with you, to become a better Muslim and a more dynamic person on the whole! Ask him if he loves you! Be okay with marrying a Man from “back home.” (I’m a from India originally, and I can tell you a lot of the kids back home that we assume to be not as sophisticated as us are quite a lot more interesting than we are!!!)

      3) and like I said about Muslim men, our sisters have to seriously think about how marrying a non-Muslim will affect their children. Like I mentioned above, our children are our responsibility. We have to bring Deen into our houses. We have to help them grow up to be confident, educated, sophisticated young Muslims when a lot of our cultural surroundings are fighting against that cause. Find a spouse that supports you in that cause. Don’t just throw your hands up in the air because its difficult.

      May Allah make it easy for all of us to find spouses who bring us closer to the Deen, who give us happiness and support. May Allah reward our sisters for their patience and difficulties in dealing with these questions. May Allah give our ulema and scholars the wisdom to listen to their communities, and may Allah provide our scholars with the insight to answer best answer these questions for our community, and may Allah give us the wisdom to respect our scholars.

      And finally, may Allah bring our community together in unity and harmony, such that support each other and care for each other. And may our communities be thankful to Allah for allowing a diversity of opinion within his Deen. May Allah make our discussions productive and respectful, and may Allah make the ultimate goal of our discussions for us to seek the Truth and Allah’s mercy, not our personal ego-stroke or intellectual satisfaction.

      Omar Siddiqui

      August 11, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      • Muslim women in North America would definitely consider marrying Muslim men – if anyone bothered to introduce suitable men to us. There is an enormous problem of meeting men. Many of us wait for appropriate men – until we are well past child bearing age. That that point, having children and worrying about their beliefs are no longer in question. Muslim men aged 40+ will often marry younger women to have children with, so we are left with few choices, if any.

        We usually do not get a chance to “hang out” with any Muslim man to understand the depth of his integrity etc. This is built over time and a more accurate picture emerges much later. This is a luxury we do not have before marriage except in a superficial manner and often results in unwanted outcomes.

        The issues are not simply one of who is handsome/pretty. The intent is not to malign anyone, however as women, we face the hard realities of what occurs in our communities. We live with it and we forfeit what we are reasonably entitled to. I state “reasonably” entitled to. We range in our education, not all Muslim women pursue further schooling. They may excel in other areas or may be more domestically inclined. We are not all demanding over-qualified men. Most of us are fairly realistic in our options – yet getting married continues to be challenging for many in North America.

        I don’t think it is unreasonable for an educated person (male or female) to want to marry another educated person. It shapes one’s approach and outlook. There is a direct correlation between education, income and security. It is well known that issues with employment, inablity to meet obligations concerning taking care of one’s family all contribute towards a stressful home life. Of course, many other attributes such as moral behavior matter however I cannot overstate the nature of North American life and it’s demands and stresses.

        As I’ve stated on one of my previous posts, close to 1 in 3 Muslim marriages are ending in divorce here. Common religious belief is not enough to sustain a marriage. The rate of Muslim divorce is high as there are a number of factors which contribute toward this unfortunate statistic. People were “given a chance” and often it doesn’t work out. Others see this and are more cautious.

        I have assisted with a legal group who advocates on behalf of women. Often, Muslim women seek help. I have witnessed an array of problems based on a variety of issues including marriage breakdowns. Being of the same religion did not decrease the severity of the problems.

        Part of the definition of being a “good Muslim man” and how individuals interpret this is also problematic. At times (certainly not always) the conclusions reached by Muslim husbands are to the detriment of their wives – especially when the issue of wives seeking jobs are concerned (a result of the economic mess here). Heavily influenced by culture, the role of women may be debated from a rather conservative perspective.

        Marrying from “back home” will highlight the lack of cultural commonality between spouses making life challenging, as the issue of what is “normal” is constantly questioned. This is not to take away from a person being “good” – only too different for a preferred spouse. Very few American and Canadian raised women will consider this option.

        Why should Muslim women feel they have to get on a plane, fly to the other side of the world, have a superficial meeting for a few days with a man and then assume all the cultural baggage and legal issues of bringing this man over – just to get married? This guy then gets the much coveted, high demand, golden ticket to the west. He will no doubt confess to immediately loving that women (how convenient). When he gets off the plane, his education/qualifications are not recognized and the wife will end up supporting him for years. No way!

        If close to one-third of Muslim marriages are failing, then the issue is beyond one of religion or deen. This should not be the only criteria for marriage.

        Sarah

        September 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      • Omar stated the following in a hopeful manner above: “May Allah give our ulema and scholars the wisdom to listen to their communities, and may Allah provide our scholars with the insight to answer best answer these questions for our community, and may Allah give us the wisdom to respect our scholars.”

        There is a real issue with some of the Muslim leaders in our community. A Canadian Muslim woman film maker made a documentary in 2005 entitled “Me and The Mosque”. Many of you may have seen it. She goes across the country to various cities noting the accomodations, or lack of, for Muslim women. She accurately points to the increasing trend to remove women’s participation and presence in the mosques. Over the decades, higher physical barriers were constructed to exclude women from the public spheres in mosques.

        I note this example to highlight the growing conservatism towards women from many of our community leaders. How are they suppose to address the changing needs of our communities? Muslims tend to form communities around their national/ethnic backgrounds in North America, not one soley based on belonging to the same religion (Islam). Each nationality, due to language and other common cultural traits tend to group together. This reinforces their continuity of their views.

        Young American and Canadian Muslims tend to view each other in a more democratic way, yet for decades the majority of Imans who served in North America were from other countries and had very little understanding of the perspective of young Muslims here. They are in a poor position to handle the evolving social issues that young Muslims face (e.g. marriage). There was a definite disconnect between the methods re: implementation of Islam from those who grew up in other cultures and from the realities of what Muslims in the west face.

        Fortunately there is now a new generation of American-born or raised Muslim leaders/scholars who are trying to address our needs in the right context. However, their numbers are few. Out of that number, the few who attempt to address social issues in a more realistic manner are often cut down by the majority who hold very conservative views citing their way is the only correct way. One subject was arranged marriages – which lead to problems in communities.

        This may be one reason why so many 2nd generation Muslims are marrying non-Muslims. The limited definition of who is Muslim is simply deduced to a person born to Muslim parents. This is enough qualification to marry our women, this is enough to satisfy the religious requirement. Their behavior is not really taken into account. This, by default, would exclude the many, many decent and moral non-Muslims who have demonstrated – by their actions – on several occasions, that they are truly good people.

        Our Muslim women are told to lower our standards, that we expect too much from suitors (if any even showed up), that our education is hampering us, that we should leave our homes and fly off to foreign lands to marry men we have nothing in common with. That we should assume all the liabilities of this – yet we must decline making a life with a good non-Muslim man right here in our environment (as our Muslim men do with their non-Muslim wives) or choose to be alone.

        With few exceptions, I strongly question our scholars’ abilities to identify the existing issues or to produce solutions in this climate.

        Sarah

        September 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      • Thank you for your wise words. I wish we find more scholars who do understand the problems and find good solutions..awareness and education are the first issues to solve our problems.

        peace

        September 20, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      • Assalam Alaikum Sarah,

        Thank you for your response. You highlighted some important issues that my generation faces when it comes to marriage.

        No doubt there are some issues. But I am still an optimist. Marriage is not for faint of heart. There are obstacles, there will be compromise involved, and there will be some adjustment. The feeling that I take away from many of the comments of my peers is that they do not recognize how much effort is required for two people to share a healthy, life-long relationship. You seem to be pointing out all the obstacles and pitfalls. No doubt they are there. I also know for a fact that they were there for my parents generation, and my grandparents generation. (different issues, but problems nonetheless)

        Some of the complaints of Muslim women are valid. No one should be asking them to shy away from education and professional pursuits. But some of their complaints are very naiive –> none of us are going to find perfect partners and all of us will be in relationships that require compromise. If you’re trying to find the best husband possible, then may Allah bless you. If you are trying to make a marriage work and have a healthy, normal relationship, then you have to work with whats around you.

        I can only speak for my observations from Muslim community in Chicago. There are many unmarried Muslim men and women. The majority of them complain that they can’t find someone suitable. Individually, if a person is unsuitable then that is their fault. BUT collectively, if so many Muslim men and women are “unsuitable” then we are ourselves are not meeting our expectations of others. Either our expectations are too unrealistic or we are pathetic people (or both).

        If people are going to view all the negatives about marriage, obsess about all the obstacles, and approach the whole issue with a general negativity, then I’m sure they have better life-pursuits to put their time and energy. Maybe marriage was not in destiny, for better or for worse. Allah hu alim.

        Omar Siddiqui

        September 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      • One more point you mentioned was about the ulema.

        Once again, I am can comment only from my observation, specific to Chicago. Having grown up and spent much of my life in south Asia and the Middle East, let me tell you that you American/Canadian Muslims are blessed to have islamic scholars and community set-up that you have!!!! You have it much better than the many of the Muslims back home.

        I am sure your observations are valid, but let me tell you the Muslim community in America and Canada is dynamic. You have the ability to seek out different scholars (local and nationally). You have the ability to debate with your scholars. You have the ability to question your Masjid management. If one masjid is operating in a way that disturbs you, you can find another. If one scholar is unable to communicate with you, you can seek another. You can rally people and organize your own events and create your own societies. You can harness technology bring more viewpoints to the table, and make people defend their assertions against the arguments of others. In comparison, doing such things would fruitless and maybe even harmful in the places I grew up.

        What I mean to say is don’t be disheartened the shortcomings of what you see in your North American muslim communities. To an outsider muslim coming from a traditional Muslim community, what you guys have managed to do is awesome and inspiring. I have never loved going to the masjid and listening to scholars speak like I have after coming to the US. You guys have built your communities from scratch and done a pretty good job of it. I have so much confidence in these communities to handle the challenges of the future. Here in Chicago, if young muslims dont like what they see, they have an incredible ability to make it better. I’m sure Canada is no different.

        I know the problems are there, but let an outsider tell you that your communities really can overcome them.

        Omar Siddiqui

        September 20, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      • Omar: You wrote: “BUT collectively, if so many Muslim men and women are “unsuitable” then we are ourselves are not meeting our expectations of others. Either our expectations are too unrealistic or we are pathetic people (or both).

        If people are going to view all the negatives about marriage, obsess about all the obstacles, and approach the whole issue with a general negativity, then I’m sure they have better life-pursuits to put their time and energy. Maybe marriage was not in destiny, for better or for worse. Allah hu alim.”

        I ask you: How many Muslim men do you think an average Muslim woman living in America or Canada is introduced to yearly? Answer: Perhaps one or two or zero. We are expected to hit it off with such a small group of candidates. There are many Muslims living in large cities but we do not connect with them. As women we rely on others for introductions unless we are fortunate enough to meet someone on our own.

        Of the millions of people around, women are given a choice of a handful of random men to choose from by the age of 30. Perhaps she is not comfortable with whom she met for a number of reasons. This is a life partner we are talking about. Although there are so many Muslims around, logically who actually gets to met who?

        We are not exposed to the thousands of potential candiates together and knock them all down collectively as unsuitable – that would be a problem. We meet very few. After the age of 30, the choices become less and less. In some of my postings, I stated that women do wish to marry very much yet no one comes knocking. Or they may be divorced and their chances of remarriage are slim.

        I think the main issue is that up to recent times most marriages were arranged in societies where people had long standing networks. The Muslims here are mainly new comers and do not have the same connections here. We are barely into our second generation in most cases.

        Many women come from very conservative families who insist on proper introductions and will not allow their daughters to date or meet up with men. Where do you suppose they will meet Muslim men unless they have a common contact to introduce them? The reliance on these middle-men/aunties is the weak link. I have no doubt there are great people out there. The issue is meeting them. Some families will not permit their daughters to attend Muslim “match making” events as they view this as somehow lacking modesty. They can only draw from their own experiences of “how things are done”.

        We are also not on an even playing field, depending on one’s age (which decade they grew up in) – young Muslim men and women have fought with parents who insist on arranging their marriages from someone back home, or dealing with complaints such as the prospective suitor does not have their country of origin’s background. They want a son or daughter-in-law from the same area of the world. They complain about language issues. It was an effort to convince some parents to even accept a marriage with another Muslim that was NOT arranged – where they two young people met and liked each other. There were also issues of race – as much as I hate to say it. The word “honor” and parents’ rights to make such decisions for their children led to a lot of problems. Slowly this is changing for the better.

        Why was nearly everyone from our parents’ and grandparents’ generations married – yet we here are having so much difficulty here? It’s due to lack of systems, being in a minority situation, lack of networks, not having a homogeneous community but one that is varied culturally and racially (which is great but challenging to some), differences in pace in their ability or willingness to adapt to North American norms – something the younger generation has done very well. And the expectation of modest behavior in meeting the opposite sex in an environment which usually lacks this.

        Everyone has a right to make a life with a loving spouse. Everything I have written on this blog points to the urgent need to address facts and challenges so that Muslim women and the younger generations do not constantly have to struggle within our system. I’m certain I am not the only one out there who has recognized this.

        What you may view as negativity is unfortunately a reality for a great number of Muslim women. Very few have chosen to be in the bind presented to us – (yes, we would like a decent life with marriage in our destiny) rather from very specific issues which need to be addressed – some of which I have noted.

        Sarah

        September 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      • “Of the millions of people around, women are given a choice of a handful of random men to choose from by the age of 30. Perhaps she is not comfortable with whom she met for a number of reasons. This is a life partner we are talking about. Although there are so many Muslims around, logically who actually gets to met who?”

        I think Sarah has hit the nail on the head.

        My generation who is now in their early 40s had it tough. Omar, you were not raised in North America so it s easy for you to criticize. I was introduced to perhaps 4 boys when I was in my 20s. Thats 4 boys over a 10 year period. And by “introduced” , I mean they came to my parents’ house with their families, we all sat in the living room, the boy and I were not permitted to talk, and then they would leave. My mother would then spend the next 5 days staring at the phone waiting for the parents to call back and say “we are interested”.

        How regressive is that?

        So no, muslim women of my generation were never given a chance to get married and have kids.

        And frankly, I think it’s all well and good to suggest we find a moral nonmuslim, but at this age even all the good non Muslim guys are taken. And besides, what nonmuslim man is going to agree to no premarital sex, no pork, no alcohol, a nikkah, etc? I wouldn’t make the same compromises for a nonmuslim man, so why would he do that for me?

        Listen: it is a lose-lose situation.

        Disheartened Desi Chick

        September 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm

  174. Salam. You’re not being very inviting to your blog if you don’t allow people to leave comments. Why were my comments deleted?

    Omar Siddiqui

    August 16, 2012 at 12:33 am

  175. Dear All,

    Join this group and it may be helpful.USSingleMuslim provides Muslims a platform to meet other Muslims descending from every part of the world.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ussinglemuslim/

    Single

    August 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  176. http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/05/30/muslim-women-in-a-marriage-bind/

    Saturday, Oct. 4, 1997

    “Statistics Canada census data shows that roughly 30 per cent of Canadian Muslim women marry non-Muslim men, says Haddad.

    About half of those women marry non-Muslim men who either convert or, like Ali’s husband, suggest to mosque imams they intend to, but don’t follow through, Haddad says.

    The other half marry non-Muslim men, and live with the consequenes.”

    “Only about four per cent of foreign-born Muslim women in Canada will intermarry, says Hassan Hamdani, a Muslim researcher who studies Muslim demographics through his job with Statistics Canada in Ottawa.

    But evidence of second-generation Muslims embracing Canadians’ openness to intermarriage is strong, Hamdani says. Almost 40 per cent of Canadian-born Muslim families consist of a Muslim wife and non-Muslim husband.”

    name

    September 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    • It’s interesting to note in the linked article from the Vancouver Sun that 2nd generation Muslims are intermarrying. Almost 40% of Canadian-born Muslim families consist of a Muslim wife and non-Muslim husband.

      As these women were born in Canada and are adults now, we can assume their parents are well into middle age or older and most likely immigrated to Canada decades ago. They are Muslim parents.

      The argument presented by some that having parents who are both Muslim (Muslim father and Muslim mother) contributes to the overall religious benefit of their children. The question then must be asked: Why did these Canadian Muslim women choose to marry non-Muslims if they were raised by Muslim parents? Should they not have felt a stronger obligation to marry Muslim men or to be more aware of their “religiousity” – assuming they are influenced by having both a Muslim father and mother? This argument’s logic does not follow.

      Obviously the reasons for these intermarriages are more complex and rooted in issues specific to the North American experience of 2nd generation Muslims. The article concludes by stating “when both Canadian parents are Muslims, Hamdani’s study suggests that 99% of their children maintain a commitment to the religion”. The children would be 3rd generation and it is too early to determine whom they will marry later on.

      Sarah

      September 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm

  177. The following point relates to a very negative cultural practice amongst some Muslims which affects Muslim women. I do “not” fault Islam in any manner for this and hope that others will help to prevent it. The issue concerns first cousin marriages. As Islam permits it, it has been taken to it’s extreme limit in some places such as in Britain.

    55% of UK’s Pakistani population are married to relatives, of that 75% are first cousin marriages. A key motivating factor is immigration of relatives, which these marriages accomodate. Often, the young couples do not even speak the same language and become pawns of their families.

    A more horrible outcome are the number of Muslim children being born with severe genetic defects as a result of these marriages. Although this demographic represents 3% of the population, their very ill children represent a full third of all British children with illnesses.

    There appears to be no thought for the suffering that these innocent children are subject to, this can be easily predicted with genetic screening or avoided completely. This is a case in point that even if something is “halal” (first cousin marriage) one must still consider if it is wise – especially if it causes preventable deaths of children. The U.K. legal system is now addressing this by attempting to put laws into place.

    Muslims have found ways to skirt around American laws concerning this. First cousin marriages are against the law in about half of the states. Insistent to push through these marriages with cousins from abroad, Muslims simply drive or fly to another state where such a marriage is not illegal. Usually the bride is very young and impressionable.

    Religion is not the issue but it is one of exterting family control under the guise of religious “blessing”. Halal-haram vs what is fair or right.

    Sarah

    September 18, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    • Sarah I can’t reply to every single one your your insistence on “not enough Muslim men” can’t be any further from the truth. Can I ask if you’re Arab? Because your struggles with “not accepting educated woman” is so specific to Arab sisters its crazy. The reality is most Muslim women aren’t looking for “Muslim men” They are looking for someone Arab, etc and often have credentials that have nothing to do with religion. I also think the Arab communities it’s very easy for guys to marry outside their ethnicity and the only group I have EVER seen that allows their men to unquestionably marry non-Muslim women on the whole. This is largely an Arab problem and I feel a lot of Arab sisters frustrations with this. But to say there aren’t enough Muslim men is pretty ridiculous.

      There’s a Pew Center study that does a comparative study on different religious groups and found that Muslim American spouses have THE LEAST gender dispairty…Muslim men are the most accepting of their spouses education. Please don’t take your microcosmic example of the Arab community and throw it onto “muslim men” a term so ridiculous and as utilitarian as “Christian men” We are more diverse than some concoted image from non_Muslim media that Muslimas seem so prone to blame in their inability to find good spoues.

      While I often feel like somethings you can’t control, where and when you meet a spouse, and empathize with sisters in my own experiences It’s often Muslimas and their unrealistic self-defeatest approach (as another poster said long ago somewhere) and illusionary depictions of Muslim men as drunkard, partying, controlling, insecure (from non-Muslim stereotypes of us) and Muslimas as somehow ‘at home’ good submissive. Let’s not be naive and let our heads get in the way.

      Lastly what’s the social implications of this? Plenty of Jews intermarry, and where is their community today? “I’m spiritual” “My grandmother was Jewish” “I’m not practicing, but I’m Jewish” This is why Islam gives a SOCIAL significance to marriage.

      Convert Muslim

      September 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      • Another point has been my own experience of unwed singles in the US. It has overwhelmingly in my wife’s community (Pakistani/Afghan) been men, and as a white revert again MEN. A different Pew Center study on American Muslims vs European Muslims cites a 45%-55% gender split for women to men in the US that’s 9 women to 11 Muslim men in the US…which makes my experience and your notion of “not enough Muslim men” pretty ridiculous to say the least.

        Convert Muslim

        September 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      • Ok Convert Muslim. You are right. We unmarried Muslim girls have oodles of Muslim men to choose from and we are just being picky. It’s us, not them.

        Happy?

        Besides te fact that you are white and male and did not grow up in a Muslim immigrant conservative household….but I won’t get into that.

        Oh, did I mention that the Pakistani men I spoke to would hang up the phone once they realized I didn’t speak Urdu? Or how about the prospective Mother in law who was so shocked that at age 38 I lived on my own that she just could not help but ask my mother if I wore “choti choti kameezay” (in Englsh: tiny tiny shirts”).

        Another hung up the phone when she heard I was a certain type of professional. She said “we don’t need a girl like that”. We. Like I was going to marry her as well as her precious son.

        No, the educated girl bias does not solely exist among Arabs. And, the reason there are a lot of single Pakistani men out there is because they immigrate. They are akin to our parents when our parents immigrated to Canada in the 60s. Our parents kept one and a half feet in the old country. Of course, you don’t know what it’s like to live with parents who are from Pakistan. Well, I do, and I’m certainly am not going to marry one. But I wish these new immigrants well, I really do.

        I think you live in a bubble and ought to burst it.

        Take care Convert Muslim.

        Disheartened Desi Chick

        September 23, 2012 at 3:12 am

      • Assalam walaikum. Thank you for sharing some quantitative data. I think you’re right that ethnic practices and attitudes force some Muslims to face much more difficulties when it comes to marriage. I am a South-asian, and I find my community to be more flexible than others when it comes contemporary issues of two working spouses, spouses of different backgrounds, etc.

        However, I really think you should present your opinions in a more constructive and engaging way. Calling each other ‘ridiculous’ is not going to convince anyone!!! A lot of these sisters have been through some difficulties, and they have not found adequate familial or community support. They are frustrated, sometimes for valid reasons. But we still need to respectful of each other, and empathetic to each other. This was meant to be a discussion.

        But I should thank you for bring up the point of how easily Muslim men are painted with blanket stereotypes of being irresponsible, self-serving, and insecure. Unfortunately these biases have even embedded themselves in a minority of Muslim women. Still, “fighting fire with fire” and making broad and accusatory statements about Muslim sisters as a whole is not going to do us any good or them. We share our opinions so that we can better understand each other, and work for mutual benefit; not so that we can “win” an argument and make others feel like they “lost.”

        Omar Siddiqui

        September 23, 2012 at 3:09 am

      • Muslim Convert: I am neither Arab, nor Indo/Pakistani, nor West Indian. My family originates from a country where Muslims are an absolute minority. I am of mixed racial descent through centuries of conversion to Islam, most people assume I am EurAsian although I am not (being blue-eyed with an olive complexion). It’s interesting that you thought I may be Arab. It perhaps highlights that what is a common problem amongst Muslims is quickly identified by certain ethnic groups as being soley their own and is projected – although it is almost everyones. I made an effort to avoid making comments which are based on a specific ethnic perspective as it is frought with pitfalls.

        Muslim women generally don’t get a chance to meet suitable Muslim men. Our introductions are limited to the contacts that middlemen have and often who “they” select for “us” to meet is very limiting. Many families by pass this whole issue by simply arranging marriages with people from back home or other relatives.

        No Muslim woman who wishes to marry and have a family would pass up on anyone she thought she could make a life with. The choices are very slim. There are issues with culture and outlook (liberal vs conservative), with language, with commonality.

        We are not turning down all Muslim men in one large knockdown. We simply do not get to meet them. The dependency on middlemen for introductions leave us completely at their mercy on whom they produce. This is the outcome of lack of networks and disjointed approach from the vast array of cultures in North American that make up the Muslim community.

        The Jews are far more united in any of the issues which affect them. Regardless of their denomination – if anything threatens them, they address it quickly and in an effective, organized, unified manner. Ideology is not the only issue, but rather how the needs of one’s community is being addressed. This is an Islamic requirement yet we are more concerned about ideology and the effects of intermarriage and we are negligent in addressing the needs that affect our women.

        In the case of Muslims, the issue of women and marriage is not being addressed and lives are being ruined. How about not throwing the issues back to our sisters who may not be able to articulate their issues although their issues exist. How about addressing them by listening to what our women are saying and present some options including marrying men of The Book, which is the question on this blog.

        That Muslim women were not permitted to marry non-Muslim men due to their rights not being implimented (in the past) by non-Muslim husbands, does not stand today. One’s faith is personal and that is what is passed onto to children. Not by just having two Muslim parents. A person’s faith is not automatically lessened because they married outside their religious group. It does not increase by marrying inside one’s religious group either – especially if one has few options.

        We are not all as fortunate as your Pakistani/Afghan wife who met you and married a convert. I am very familiar with the Pew studies and as far as statistics are concerned, we should examine why the divorce rate amongst Muslims are so high and the growing number of unmarried Muslim women (of all backgrounds).

        Sarah

        September 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      • Convert Muslim: The Pew study gender-ratio stat does not take into account that Muslims often socially segregated. How many dinners, weddings, lectures, events etc have we gone to where the men are completely removed from the women?

        There could be 1,000 men sitting on one side and 100 women on the other. One would assume the women would have a 1:10 advantage – they don’t, cultural limitations would preclude that no Muslim woman would go over to the men’s area and say “Salam, how are you? I’m so and so. Do you mind if I sit here at your table, what’s your name?” We all know this does not happen. Muslim men will not come over to the women’s section either.

        Good Muslim men are out there. They could be sitting in the same room as us. We don’t meet them for many reasons outlined in other posts.

        Sarah

        September 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      • Disheartened desi chick I actually started a longer reply, and unfortunately my search for employment will hinder it from coming to fruition, but I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. First off know that who is Jewish had a terrible experience with a Jewish man who was emotionally and physically abusive to her within three months of marriage…she didn’t end up hating all Jewish men for it. I can only empathize and feel EXTREME sorrow for a woman who reaches that age and had to go through freezing her eggs.

        I also don’t think a person could be ridiculous but do think the PERCEPTIONthat “all ‘x’ men’ are ‘bad quality’ is pretty ridiculous

        To Sarah who will continually justify and nitpick (sometimes for good reason) every single exception. The problem is you don’t ask yourself what happens if your wrong. Assuming we negate hadith complete (ie the story of Umm Habiba, married to a Christian man who apostisized….what if it was because was Christian and not an apostate?) The idea that the Quran does not explicitly forbid marriage as an allowance to do so is extremely flawed reasoning. The Quran doesn’t speak about dropping nuclear bombs either, doesn’t mean it allows it. For me, to risk your happiness in this world and the world after out of ambiguity is an easy choice: abstain. One of the most difficult parts of becoming a Muslim in college was giving up marijuana. I was not sure about its prohibition, but since it was an ambiguous situation at best, I still get barakh for giving it up, even if it is allowed

        Lastly this action of marrying outside our community seems like an awfully simple way to avoid confronting problems within our own communities.Sarah say” More importantly, there is total neglect about the fact that Islamic rights for women cannot be implemented here, yet we are bound by rules which assume we have access to these rights – i.e. cannot marry non-Muslim men as these men cannot fulfill our rights – which we don’t have anyway.” To a point I agree with you, but you say and more importantly PROPOGATE this like it’s a hard fact, and I disagree iwth you big time there

        . (muslim and non-Muslim) women in this country have a right to child support but often don’t get it. Yet how many Muslim marriages do you know in this country that have a mehr that isn’t paid before the wife moves into the husband’s household, or a nikah that doesn’t have witnesses? We don’t have any social institutions for that in this country, yet it is a stable in the Muslim marriage. And that’s my point. We have these institutions as communities and having a weakness in our inability to meet a spouse means we should work on these institutions. THe way I see it is Muslim communities are so tight (95% of American Muslims are located in major urban citities) that we need to network to find spouses, introduce spouses, breakdown barriers and this thought of ethnic exclusiveness (in my opinion the largest with Arab American communities in the Midwest) and form a communal idetntiy without breaking down our own like so many American Jews and Muslims have in the past.

        Also again the way this debate is being framed is that SUDDENLY all the desi, somali, arab sons of immigrants are being forced to deal with interrmarriage. It really shows you how narrow minded some of sisters in this debate are. This isn’t a new debate for the Muslim community. The largest American Muslims populations aren’t Desis or Arabs…they are African Americans BY FAR. Syrians, Turkish, Albanian Yemenites, Lebanese American communities have been present in this country for centuries, why don’t we see them. Why don’t we see someone who says my great great grandfather/grandmother was a Muslim from x country like we do “he was Irish, Italian, Menonite from Germany” Sarah If I’m open enough to question why my daughter can’t marry a Muslim spouse (and I believe my son too) we should also agree that the marriage of you to a person of a different faith, TO SOME LEVEL, fundamentally takes that faith and identity away from your children from generation to the next; it dilutes it. Exceptions? Sure, but on a social level if you had 1000 interfaith marriages compared to 1000 same faith marriage, the religion identity and practice of the same faith marriages would be a lot consistent than the interfaith. FYI the rate for Muslim children in the US not turning out Muslim with a non-Muslim mother is above 50%…with a non-Muslim father is above 80%…for a non-Jewish father is above 75%.

        Also the notion that Muslim men are freely allowed to marry non-Muslim women is something that should be discouraged, and is in my opinion. For instance I don’t know of a single desi, Afghan or far eastern (malay) Muslim man married to a non-Muslim. I don’t realize what it is in Middle Eastern culture that makes it so easy for men to do so, and would be interested in knowing why Turks, Kurds, Persians, Arabs, and Albanains think they could bring children up as Muslims when they go out club, drink and meet non-Muslim women WITH THE SUPPORT OF THEIR MOTHERS TO MARRY THEM (huge difference from the former cultures0
        one Please visit http://www.muslimsinamerica.org to see a history of Muslims in America.

        Like a religious radical, many sisters and brothers here unquestionably accepted liberalism, a philosophy that was used to colonize the world. They unquestionably accept the Constitution as the daily document that forms the fundamental basis for their social life. I mean really, isn’t a UK multiparty direct democratic election much better than the bicamberian system we have in the US? Why do we simply accept things the way they are in our secular social structure in America, without quesiton, yet somehow we find inequity and inequality in the Quran?

        The truth is we rationalize things the way we want. Just like this debate. It is being projected as a difference in equality between men and women, when I don’t think we can certainly say that’s completely the case in Islam. Islam is a SOCIAL institution. We can rationalize anything in this way. To show you the dangers of doing so I remember the convert female imam(ah) in Canada who lead a prayer and said something along the lineof women can do anything men can and proceeded to lead a congregation because she felt like she need to prove so.

        Well I didn’t see it that way. She asked the same question I asked before and I ask to you Sarah. What if you’re wrong? To me she went to proving herself to men and human beings when in fact she was never answerable to any man, only to Allah had she followed the example of the mother of all believers in their example of praying behind the Prophet PBUH

        Anyways I typed out a longer response than intended. Other points from my original response:

        Omar and Desi Chick I’m sorry that I might have come off harsh, but being from a Jewish background, I have seen what intermarriage as a whole has done to a minority religious group in the West. Over half of Jewish interfaith marriages end in divorce and most of the time the children either have no Jewish faith or turn out non practicing. I think I am an open minded individual and approached this debate with the feeling “hmm…this seems unfair that only men can do so” but there’s a lot more thought that goes into this and there’s a lot more involved that individuals in a social institution.

        I mean isn’t that the problem we have in America today? We have stopped seeing marriage as a social instutition. Just these year, for the first time ever, more Americans are living as unmarried co-habitating couples than they are as married couples. What has been the result? More kids are born out of wedlock, 1 out of every 5 children in the US doesn’t have a father growingup, pre nups, no religious service atedance. For women especially there is less security than before.

        And it’s hard not to stand by and a see a community destroyed by some extremely skewed perceptions of all “Muslim men” women, who, I could guess in their youth, generally did not consider anyone past their own ethnic background. I still stand by this belief that most ethnic Muslim women generally see cannot see “Muslim” men past their own ethnic backgrounds; which means they aren’t really looking for Muslim men.

        Maybe I’m letting out a little bit of steam from my own experiences and difficulties in finding a wife

        Desi chick you sorely missed my point if you think I’m in anyway trying to villify the Arab American community. The vast majority of my friends whose company I kept before converting to Islam were Arab. It’s through their example that I, in part, converted to Islam. I went to school in the Midwest which has some of the oldest Muslim communities in this nation. The problem I see and your response is that somehow being rejected by a few men can be easily rationalized as “because I didn’t speak Urdu” etc and yet we don’t really know if that’s the reason.

        and again desi chick, I empatheize with you immensely. I don’t think there are enough good guys in this world from any background and I come from a white/jewish non-pracitcing background. May Allah SWT bless you with rizq. My mother was 42 when she had her last child, and my wife told me of a 64 year old woman having her nikah done. If I rememebr correctly Imam nawawi never married himself. We all have our calling and some of the most trying moments could give us better guidance in our life.

        Convert Man

        October 8, 2012 at 11:40 am

  178. I’d like to share my following experience: A few years ago I was one of about a dozen Muslim women of diverse backgrounds to be interviewed by an academic at a major north-east university. She was preparing a study. This study was to be presented to assist in the construction of government policies re: Muslim women and facilitating their needs concerning employment, dress code discrimination, legal representation, family law etc.

    The professor asked me directly: “What aspects of Islam limits options for women here?” I was very careful and measured in my response. I told her many of the issues facing Muslim women were not strictly religious based but rather they were cultural. Many challenges are the result of the immigrant experience and also the great diversity in cultures. There is no homogeneous “Muslim” community. I advised her not to simply look at any perceived “deficits” in religion to seek answers. I did not want Islam treated in such a manner.

    I answered that often the outcome for women is also determined, to a great extent, by social class. It is not just religion in one broad stroke. Women who may come from better educated families with stronger social footing may not face the same issues than those who may come from backgrounds that lack a more cosmopolitan outlook. This directly affects her exposure to a broader range of people and her family’s acceptance of flexibility.

    The duration of time spent living in the west greatly impacts one’s perspective as well. First generation views from very conservative backgrounds tend to be very different from those who are well into 2nd generation and may cultivate more independence of thought. Yet cultural limitations of what is considered proper interaction for women is the aspect that is most curtailing to meeting other Muslim men. Others simply discard these rules and mix and marry as they chose.

    Some Muslim men complain that they are stereotyped negatively by Muslim women, yet there is little mention about how many Muslim women are treated badly due to observing hijab etc by some employers or in public. More importantly, there is total neglect about the fact that Islamic rights for women cannot be implemented here, yet we are bound by rules which assume we have access to these rights – i.e. cannot marry non-Muslim men as these men cannot fulfill our rights – which we don’t have anyway.

    Sarah

    September 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm

  179. I think if the man is of similar religion and culture its ok…. my husband is better muslim (he prays, follows all practices of islam and his religion too), than the ppl who are criticizing me (those ppl say theyre muslim but they are not… they lied, cheat, sleep around, steal, and say bad things about muslims, and eat pork… all in 1 year, and still try to wear hijab!!!! lol )

    love

    September 25, 2012 at 8:04 am

  180. Convert Man: In my experience, mahr is not necessarily paid before marriage. It may be in some cases, but certainly not all. You stated that my arguments are for man and not God and what if I am wrong. I simply put forth my case that there are major, major issues (now for decades) in North America concerning Muslim women and marriage. The many aspects of these issues have been discussed. I noted that the original concern about Muslim women and if they can marry outside the faith due to the question of whether their Islamic rights can be implemented still stands. As you noted, there are no Islamic institutions here to escalate to.

    The laws for Muslim women were created to enact within a certain paradigm which does not exist. I am now 53 years old and for over 20 years I have refrained from re-marriage due to our rules. In the past 13 years I was introduced to 2 Muslim men – that’s it. Being over 40 years old (and divorced) puts me, and other women, in the category of “low priority” by Muslim men. How can we be blamed for questioning the existing circumstances that we must forfeit marriage and certaining giving up the chance to become mothers? What incredibly awful price to pay.

    Certainly as you correctly noted, the existing situation must change. This will take many years if not generations. What happens to Muslim women in between? Should we “abstain” from marrying non-Muslims as a sacrifice to our religion (as Disheartened Desi Chick sadly stated in one of her posts)?

    We are all answerable to God. No one is disputing that. How high is the price that our women are expected to pay? We face the realities and limitations of our circumstances here.

    I find it curious that the Qur’an permits Muslim men (married or not) to have sexual relations with a woman whom their right hand possesses – outside of marriage. These slave women can be married to other men (when seized), yet if captured, our men have full rights to them without these women’s consent. This is halal.

    As Islam is the dominating society within which these women were raped and their children are raised – is allwed due to Muslim control. This is not a distant example, Saudi Prince Bandar, the former Ambassador to the U.S. (to 2005) is the son of a concubine. His father the Crown Prince was “not” married to his mother. These are the religiously permitted allowances for Muslim men. No one questions if the concubine mother was consenting, no one questions if the father’s wife (or wives) were approving of this. Yet it is all acceptable and okay.

    I agree with you the our situation is quite bad here. If reports state that 40% of Muslim women in Canada are marrying non-Muslim men, we must assume that the lack of networks is playing a great role in this. The majority of these women were raised by two Muslim parents yet this did not alter their decision to marry outside the faith. They identified themselves as Muslim. What is the end result?

    I am pointing out bluntly what others may fail to state in my postings of our situation. While previous posts by others on this blog dissect and hash Qur’anic verses and attempt to qualify and interpret them from various angles – by questioning if Muslim women are able to marry non-Muslim men, I have pointed to the realities that exist. For many Muslim women here – these issues are “in our face”.

    The mentioned “dilution” by you is already occuring within Muslims now due to assimilation and secularization. This is occuring without intermarriage. Of course the argument can be stated that this one more reason not to “promote” intermarriage however it is clearly happening without any help – within Muslim families. What is happening to their religious practice which is not related to intermarriage?

    I have spoken to many Muslim women who are well passed the ethnicity issue. They are happy to meet Muslim men of diverse backgrounds with one specific requirement – that the man was socialized (brought up since childhood) in either the U.S. or Canada. While nothing guarantees success later, it is something most women are insistent on. In the case of much younger women, it is usually the parents who are pushing for a son-in-law from the same heritage.

    Disheartened Desi Chick is accurate about men hanging up on her when she didn’t speak Urdu – that was the real reason. When I was younger and being of mixed racial background, I was subject to the following: I am not of the “boy’s” national background so the his parents are having an issue. I am not from some Muslim majority country that the family is looking for in a daughter-in-law so I cannot be considered, the languages I speak are not the specific ones for the boy’s family. I grew up here so I am “too western” for them compared to the girls back home. Or worse, I wear dresses (however modest or long) which is “western” and lacks the so-called appropriateness of more traditional wear such as “shalwar kameez’ (Pakistani) etc. Education was not an issue as I only had my undergrad degree at that point, the bulk of my education was achieved after my divorce. Disheartened Desi Chick was discriminated against by potential in-laws for being in a certain profession. She never got credit for being educated in general. This is what many of us deal with.

    When we look at available Muslim men we include consideration of all races/ethnicities, nationalities, newcomers vs native born, established vs refugees, different languages and diverse cultural attitudes – especially when it comes to women. Commonality of religion is not the only question.

    Muslim women are expected to piece all of this together in a community that is segregated, where we are not permitted to “date”, where many Muslim men fly back “home” to marry, all the while dealing with parents who were raised in different countries with very different attitudes from those of us North American raised, and find a husband. The lack of networks has been discussed.

    Please understand the enormous difficulties that this presents to the average Muslim woman. Is this the level of hardship that Islam meant for Muslim women to take in our daily lives or do we have to forfeit our basic rights such as marriage until our communities get their act together? If this is the case – it will be a long, long wait.

    There are worse difficulties in being Muslim than giving up smoking pot. For Muslim women here, the difficulty is to give up being married.

    Sarah

    October 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm

  181. Note: I specifically refrained from mentioning or identifying the cultural/ethnic background of my Muslim ex-husband (whose behavior was deplorable) in any of my posts, to avoid painting other Muslim men from his national group in a negative light. I did so out of fairness – as he was soley responsible for his negative behavior and no one else.

    Sarah

    October 9, 2012 at 7:27 pm

  182. Questions:

    – What is Islam’s redress to Muslim women living in North America who were unable to marry?

    – What happens to her financially if she is not in a position to support herself or if she becomes ill or is in old age? The expenses of living here are well known.

    – What happens when she has no husband, children, inheritance or little income to see her through?

    – What happens when there is no extended family home for her to be absorbed into, such as those which exist in traditional cultures?

    – What if brothers (if any) are unable or unwilling to assume taking responsibility for her in the long run, especially if their wives are unwilling to cooperate – very understandable in North American context?

    – What happens to her when she is isolated/alienated socially and psychologically?

    – What is the remedy for such women – especially from those who dissuade her from marriage to non-Muslims thus preventing her from becoming a wife or a mother?

    Are we needlessly condemning our women to a life headed for some welfare plan unless she is a top earner or well invested – to compensate for being alone? What’s next – lining up for the soup kitchen in winter?

    How is any of this for God’s pleasure? How is any of this moral?

    What happened to the overriding concept of “Social Justice” prevalent in Islam?

    Islam speaks in great length about looking after the poor, the widows, the orphans – the needy. Yet here we are “needlessly creating” a large group of potentially needy women, due to our own lacking. How ironic. If anyone questions this, just look at all the contributing factors in this situation and deduce what they will lead to.

    These are very real and serious questions which goes beyond any articulation of the issues discussed on this blog.

    Sarah

    October 9, 2012 at 10:26 pm

  183. It’s interesting that Grover Norquist – who was referred to as the “Most Powerful Man in America” this year due to his role as president of Americans for Tax Reform and with his substantial political leverage over the US government – is married to a Muslim woman. His wife is Samah Alreyyes, a Palestinian – who was the director of the Islamic Free Market Institute and a specialist at USAID (development).

    Sarah

    November 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    • I believe he convert to Islam before he married her.

      Brian C. Hoff

      November 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      • There is no evidence that Norquist converted to Islam. Only some right wing extremists in the US claim he did to undermine his political position. He calls himself a “white bread Methodist” Christian.

        If he was known to be Muslim, the vast majority of Republican Congressman would “not” have signed his famous taxation pledge. Their influential conservative base (many in the south Bible-belt) would never have tolerated it, especially in an election year.

        Many from this substantial group strongly protested the mosque-community centre being built in New York City near ground zero. A lot of anti-Muslim behavior stemmed from Republican circles – yet Norquist is very powerful amongst them.

        Consider the horrible way some in the right wing treated Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (a Muslim) and the false accusations against Huma Abedin, by extreme right wing Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, of being a Muslim Brotherhood “plant” attempting to take over the US government. They also wrongly claimed her Jewish husband Anthony Weiner converted to Islam to marry her – which he did not do. Their son has a Jewish-Muslim name: Jordan Zane Weiner.

        Sarah

        November 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      • First even it hr did convert to Islam it doesnot have to be public knowlege. Than devost muslim will act like than white bread Methodist. Thjan christian freind told me not all Christian eat pork.,quit afew follow the jew and muslim in not eating pork.

        Brian C. Hoff

        November 9, 2012 at 11:34 pm

  184. Has Norquist ever been seen at Juma (Friday) prayers? Has it ever been noted by anyone that he refrained from eating during the month of Ramadan – especially as a public figure? If he did convert and it is not public knowledge, he’s done a remarkably good job of avoiding/hiding all basic requirements for being Muslim. Norquist is not a Muslim.

    What is the worst, most die-hard rumor in the US by some opponents of President Obama? – That he is a secret Muslim and should not be supported. Although Pres Obama is clearly not Muslim and attends church, was married in a church by a Christian pastor, and had his children baptized – the falsehoods persist.

    If Norquist was Muslim, this would have come out long ago before all the Republicans signed his tax pledge which affected the election with their constituents. Someone as powerful and influential as Norquist would not be able to hide this fact under scrutiny.

    Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay is married to a Muslim woman Nazanin Afshin-Jam.

    We should accept that Muslim women are marrying non-Muslim men without clinging to forced concepts of secret conversions. Perhaps recognizing such marriages will allow the couple to participate in Muslim life without being shunned as unacceptable by other Muslims.

    The children of such marriages will also have better exposure to Islam if they were included in the community rather than being treated as pariah-offspring of “undesirable” unions, as many are now, which directly affects their own identities – something Muslim men with non-Muslim wives face to a much lesser degree than Muslim women with non-Muslim husbands.

    Sarah

    November 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    • Nazanin Afshin-jan is Not Muslim. She is a catholic. Her mother converted to Catholicism as a young woman and raised her children Catholic. Peter McKay married a Catholic, and at their wedding ceremony Nazanin’s father read passages from the bible in Persian.

      Disheartened Desi Chick

      November 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      • Thanks Desi Chick, I stand corrected. Nazanin’s former Muslim mother did convert to Catholicism and apparently raised her as one. This further defeats the notion that coming from a Muslim family or having a Muslim father does not necessarily conclude that the children will be Muslim. In fact, it further strengthens the important influence of the mother’s beliefs on her kids – rather than the father’s – a point many Muslims have difficulty accepting.

        Sarah

        November 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

  185. The issue of conversions to Islam for the sake of accomodating marriages is turning into a bit of a farce.

    I have attended numerous weddings where the non-Muslim groom or non-Muslim bride recited the Shahada (it took about 10 seconds, done 5 minutes before the ceremony) in order to satisfy the Muslim parents-in-law or the Imam conducting the ceremony. The pressure to do so was on.

    No Islamic education or understanding accompanied this conversion. It further did not reflect in the daily life of the new convert either as it was deemed to be a necessity to avoid family friction. No participation in Muslim prayers, rituals etc by the convert. Many will state it is better than not doing it – although hollow.

    These perfunctory conversions are occuring and should be recognized as just that. The boasting which echoes in families about how the new son-in-law or daughter-in-law is a Muslim, need not turn into advertising campaigns in the community as the often do.

    This is not meant to deride true conversions which occur from the heart and are genuine and is conveyed in the convert’s attitude and understanding – which usually involves a lot of study and practice.

    Sarah

    November 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

  186. I am a muslim man and I absolutely agree with this post. In terms of America, we live in a society where men and women are treated equally. The view that muslim men are allowed to marry christians and jews while muslim women are not is preposterous. Such views make non-muslims think Islam is unjust.

    The main argument for prohibiting the marriage of muslim women to jews and christians is that a woman is weaker and more emotional than a man and cannot make sure that her faith and her children’s faith are not affected by the husband. Science has proven that argument is absolute rubbish. Men and women are not hard-wired to be more logical or more emotional respectively. If anyone looks at the exact translation of the Qur’an, they will find that women are not forbidden to marry jews or christians. The Qur’an forbids all muslims to marry a person of faiths besides Judaism and Christianity (polytheists, atheists, et cetera). Also, homosexual relationships, fornication, and adultery are all forbidden. That is obvious to every muslim, but I just wanted to mention it. Oh and if any homosexuals read this, forgive me. I am 100% for freedom of choice as long as it does not infringe the legal and natural rights of others. Also, it is forbidden for a muslim to force anyone to do anything (the only exception being discipline for offspring).

    The reason why so many muslims are against this post is mainly due to ethnocentric views that are ignorant, arrogant, and uneducated (forgive me if I may have offended you, but I have to be blunt). If something is not forbidden in the Qur’an, the divine doctrine for the lives of muslims, then it is allowed. Any other rules in Islam that were not specifically established by the Qur’an are considered bid’ah, innovations to Islam that are considered heresy. I urge all muslims to see past cultural values and look at Islam through unbiased eyes. God is our lord and he has no imperfections because he is God. I am absolutely sure that he is the preserver of liberty, equality, and freedom. Men and women are all human beings. Human beings are equal. Therefore, men and women should have the same rights. The only exception to that is if the Qur’an mentions something that a man or woman specifically has to do or if something is specifically forbidden to a man or a woman by the Qur’an.

    In conclusion, we must follow the rules set by the Qur’an without letting cultural values get in the way and by following those rules word for word. You should not abuse the rules by bending them or making things up. I am sure many muslims may disagree with what I’ve said, and everyone is allowed to have his or her opinion since that is what freedom is all about.

    Before I end my comment, let me share some rules in Islam that I found are bid’ah while studying the translation of the Qur’an and the teachings of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

    Dog slobber does not break wudu. It was a rule made after the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) time.

    The use of marijuana is not forbidden by the Qur’an. The Qur’an specifically says alcohol and substances that harm you are forbidden. Marijuana does not harm you. The most that marijuana does is enhance apoptosis in some sebocytes (secretory cells in your lungs) through tetrahydrocannibanol (THC). Those are constantly regenerating quickly so your body can deal with certain levels of harmful molecules in the environment. It is true that marijuana kills sperm, but it only kills a small fraction of the millions of sperm produced my males constantly. Just remember, sperms are just haploid CELLS and CELLS die every second in our body. From the scope of an entire human being and not individual cells, marijuana does not harm you unless taken in excess. However, that applies to everything consumed. Even too much water can harm you. Everything in moderation…

    Women can be the provider if they wish and it is not forbidden. Men are obligated to provide and they have no choice, but women can chose to be providers as well. Also, both men and women have to take care of the children and it is not a woman only job.

    Men can shave there beards if they wish. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had a companion who did not have a beard. He disliked it, but he didn’t say it was forbidden.

    There are other rules I have found that are bid’ah, but I am tired and it is currently 12:50 A.M. here.

    May Allah guide all of us to the right path.

    Amen

    Shiraz Khan

    December 31, 2012 at 7:46 am

    • Shiraz- very thoughtful response and I agree with you completely.
      Sana- is there any chance of him converting? your parents don’t have a right to force you into a marriage so don’t feel guilty by saying no. Google ‘irshad manji’ and what she says about these sort of relationships (much moe positive!) Also there are muslim imams who will do this ceremony for you- ie one in oxford ( Taj Hargey)

      As for me personally, my partner who is from a Christian background is going to convert (I don’t expect him to but my family do and we are raising the kids muslim) He is studying the religion now and we hope to be married very soon :)

      Best of luck! and stay strong. As for the Muslim review guy- you’ll always come across attitudes like this (ie- incredibly rigid and not willing to think beyond what they have been told)

      Shazia

      February 7, 2013 at 9:09 am

      • Haha, liked your comment at the end.

        Shiraz Khan

        February 20, 2013 at 1:58 am

  187. I am a Muslim woman. I am currently having a turning 4-years secret relationship to a non-Muslim. We respect each other’s religion and belief instead of thinking of the future’s problem because we believe what’s important is our own obligations each day and not seeing the future broadly or else it will compromise our relationship. What we care is the love that we have, understanding and compatibility.
    I am 22 years old now and my family is forcing me to marry somebody they chose me to marry who is also a Muslim, but because I love my non-Muslim man, I refused to grant their wish. I felt guilty because I do love them but I cannot compromise myself marrying a man I do not love. What should I do? Any advice please.

    Wits

    January 21, 2013 at 6:45 am

    • Wits: I will reply to you frankly as we are all anonymous on this blog and there is no fear of personal embarrassment.

      You should definitely not marry anyone you do not want to. That is heading for disaster. I think it may be due to your age that you honestly stated you are “not seeing the future broadly or else it will compromise our relationship”. You need to consider it.

      You have known your non-Muslim man since you were only 18 years old. I would strongly caution any young woman who may be involved with either a Muslim or non-Muslim man from such a young age, to consider giving yourself a chance to grow, get an education, mature and meet people before making a life altering decision to commit. I’m sure both yours and his feelings are sincere however you became attached to him as an adolescent – i.e. very young and not as an adult.

      The stress of a 4-year long secret relationship is not good for your psyche. Most likely he is the only male you have ever known in any serious sense and the duration of time spent in this relationship offers a positive experience for you. Often the pressure of disapproving parents tends to further fuel the relationship, often in an “artificial” manner where the need to stay together is heightened by the pressure to break up. You wisely stated yourself that you are not seeing the future broadly.

      I have no doubt that you feel you love him, it is not my place to say otherwise, he may be a very good person. Your parents also do not have the right to force you into anything. It is of concern that you stated “or else it will compromise our relationship” – this is very telling and not heading in the right direction.

      If you continue this relationship you will face the continued stress of dealing with your parents about this. Don’t be surprised if your “secret” relationship is not such a secret to them. Parents have a way of knowing what is going on with their kids – especially after 4 years. This may be what is behind their insistence of you marrying someone else. They are afraid of you marrying a non-Muslim.

      As you have been involved with someone through the critical formative years and the pain of ending the relationship is very difficult to bear, you need to consider if you have given yourself a chance to grow first in everyway – independent of this relationship.

      I have witnessed too many marriages of people who got married in their early 20s which ended in divorce around the age of 30. There were a number of contributing factors but often it was due to early attachment without having a stronger sense of self and experience – which comes with time and giving yourself a chance without pressure.

      Sarah

      February 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      • Hey Sarah, you’re comments are very reasonable and clear with analysis coming from a more “academic” perspective. Are you a philosopher, professor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or something else? I was just wondering. :)

        Shiraz Khan

        February 20, 2013 at 2:04 am

      • Shiraz: Thanks. I’m actually a good observer of the Muslim community (in my environment) as I’ve grown up and lived in both Canada and the US since the 1960s. Having gone through the entire school system here from Grade 1 through university, I’ve witnessed a number of the challenges our communities face for decades. This includes what happens to our women.

        I also understand that it is very difficult to have non-North American Muslims interject what they feel is “Islamically correct” without experiencing what Muslims who are born here or grown up here face. The context is removed and distorted and we here are accused of somehow “defiling” Islam by speaking up.

        My concern for our women and community at large has always been there. I have paid the price for our laws by spending the bulk of my adult life alone – without a spouse or children due to misapplied restrictions re: marriage. Many other Muslim women have as well.

        I am not an academic nor psychologist etc however I had wonderful opportunities to hear and meet intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Tariq Ramadan, John Esposito and many others whose works I have read and value.

        I have formally studied Islamic history, political science, comparative religion, sociology, law, business and investments. This blend gives me a certain perspective/grasp on viewing our Muslim community. I am a business consultant within a very high growth industry. I often wonder and worry about our women who may not be in as comfortable a position (which is most).

        I would also caution our youth “not” to take a highly liberal approach towards being Muslim in North America. I do not promote the “do-your-own-thing” ideology. This will no doubt dilute our values and traditions. Instead I strongly request that we find solutions “within” the context of Islam (which is rich, varied and accommodating) so that we may continue to develope our own traditions as North American Muslims and stay within the fold of Islam.

        Failure to address this will result in losing many of our community members (Ummah) over the next few generations. It will be our own fault for not addressing it – rather than scapegoating our young Muslims as being “weak” or immoral.

        Until we break free from the strong cultural limitations which direct a lot of Muslims’ attitudes and values – especially the influence of “how we do it back home” or worse – the strong influence of immigration and the abuse of marriages to attain legal status in North American and approach our social issues in a fair manner – our problems will persist. Until we break free from centuries old religious interpretations which are damaging now – our problems will persist. To simply says “this is halal, this is haram” – does not work.

        Islam addressed issues from social, economic, political, theological and cultural perspectives while other faiths tend to only deal with the abstract, anthropomorphic attributes of God or rigidity of law. Surely we can find answers without defaulting to the limitations that we witness in other faiths. Islam offers answers – we just have to find them – without condemnation – and apply them fairly.

        It is stated that during Moses’ time God made the Israelites wander for 40 years before they were permitted to enter the promised land. The reason behind this was that original generation was too corrupt, as a result of living in pagan Egypt, and was influenced by that ancient culture. That generation had to die out before the next one could proceed. We need a serious “washing” out as well. Hopefully it will not take 40 years. I realize this is a harsh statement.

        Sarah

        February 20, 2013 at 5:31 pm

  188. if you wish to make up your own religion then go for it but do not say that you are Muslim when you are obviously not, To satisfy your own earthly desires. A muslim is someone who submits to the Will of Allah not someone who makes his own religion up if you do not wish to submit to the will of Allah do not call yourself a muslim

    • @Themuslimreview you have NO right to say who is and isn’t Muslim. Only Allah can make that claim. You sound foolish even writting a message like that.

      amina

      February 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      • Amina, I totally agree with that comment. Great Job! :)

        Shiraz Khan

        February 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    • The Muslim Review: No one is making up their own religion. It is rebuttals such as yours which do not help our communities. If someone states s/he is a Muslim, it is not for anyone else to determine s/he is “obviously” not. For the sake of clarity I wish to point out the following:

      Many of our Muslim sisters living in the West have suffered greatly due to actually “abiding” by our religious rules re: marriage. They have consequently lost out on having a husband, children, a home, their own family. They also suffer from lack of financial support which is supposed to be inclusive in Islam for women – whether it be from a father or brothers or a husband. This situation has created social, economic and psychological and health problems.

      The Will of Allah is to assist and guide people at all levels for their betterment. No one is disputing that.

      However cultural encroachments, misinterpretation, misunderstanding, out of context enforcement or misapplication, the lack of “ijma” or consensus on how to apply or proceed according to circumstances and of course “ijtihad” by those properly trained in its application per the situations Muslims find themselves in – all need to be addressed for those Muslims living as minorities where none of the existing laws of Islam apply.

      The Will of Allah is suppose to manifest within the discipline of Islamic jurisprudence or “fiqh”. Fiqh is highly evolved and Muslim scholars are to use their intellects based on a structured and established approach to find solutions. This is an on-going process.

      There is enough evidence within Islamic scriptures and thought that God’s will does “not” intend to marginalize Muslim women, or cause them to live lonely lives, or not have husbands or protection. This is the situation for many Muslim women living in the West due to hardened Muslims laws re: marriage.

      This is beyond the question of “earthly desires” – which by the way is legalized in Islam for men – permitting them to have sexual relations with women “whom their right hands possess” – i.e. not married to. Meanwhile, today our women are given a “tough luck” approach when they cannot marry – “it’s our religious law, too bad for you, you’re a women and you may have to spend your life alone” – rather than examine the original intent of our laws in their context, which is resulting in cruelty for our women now.

      The original context of why Muslim women could not marry non-Muslim men (due to the compartmentalization of communities in the past, according to religious group – a Muslim woman married to a non-Muslim man would go and live in his community thus preventing her from accessing her rights in Islam per family laws etc). This is the reason behind this restriction.

      The above situation does not exist for Muslims in the West or anywhere for that matter where Muslim laws do not govern society (most of the world).

      If anyone wishes to call themselves a Muslim – it is their duty to address the issue of social justice – especially for our women. Just looking at the end result faced by of many, many of our Muslim sisters in the West re: marriage – it is clear that a hardlined approach embedded in injustice instead of one derived from kindness, humanity and well-being, has not helped anyone. . . .clearly NOT Allah’s will.

      Yes, “life is short and the hereafter should be considered”, however Islam speaks to the fullness of life and clearly does not promote a monastic-type existence, which unfortunately many of our Muslim sisters, who live in the West, have been reduced to due to the misapplication of our laws re: marriage.

      Sarah

      February 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      • There are cases that anti-Islam people have people who arenot muslum sday they are muslum to discredit Islam. In one case they have than young christian woman fakeing being than muslum woman who convert to christian saying that Jesus was never writen about in the Koran or talk about durning Firday noontime prayer by than Iman.

        Brian C. Hoff

        February 7, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      • Amen, I think you’re absolutely right.

        Shiraz Khan

        February 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm

  189. i am a muslim girl and i want to get marrige with a hindu boy ,pls tell me how could i do this?

    sana

    January 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    • I guess in Islam it’s forbidden for you marry a hindu boy unless he converts. However, it is your decision on whether or not you want to marry him. Muslims don’t force their views on others, not even other muslims (unless he or she is your offspring, in cases of discipline). Just remember that Islam is all about the connection between you and Allah. It only matters what you believe, that’s how you’ll be judged. Do not follow other people’s knowledge or advice immediately, just use then as a guide to seek the truth. Be like the Greek philosopher Socrates who questioned everything he knows and always strove to seek the truth. I know a lot of conservative muslims find my views offensive, but we are all entitled to our own views because that is what makes us human and that is what a democratic society does. So as a liberal muslim, I say follow what you believe to be right.

      Shiraz Khan

      February 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm

  190. An interesting and important point: OnIslam.net provides the following good argument set forth by a Canadian Islamic scholar Sheikh Ahmed Kutty:

    “Although religiously speaking, there is a permission granted for Muslims to marry women belonging to the People of the Book (i.e. the Christians and Jews), this permission cannot be generalized. Even during the time of the second Caliph, `Umar ibn al-Khattab, we read in the sources that he had forbidden some of the eminent Companions of the Prophet from marrying women of the People of the Book. He asked those Companions: “If everyone were to make use of this provision who would marry Muslim girls?

    For Caliph `Umar then it was only a question of Muslim women remaining unmarried. For us today, there are other complications arising out of such marriages.”

    The website further elaborates on the words of the famous Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi in his well-known book, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam – stating:

    “If the number of Muslims in a country is small—for example, if they are immigrants residing in a non-Muslim country—their men ought to be prohibited from marrying non-Muslim women because, since Muslim women are prohibited from marrying non-Muslim men, their marriage to non-Muslim women means that many Muslim girls will remain unmarried. Since this situation is injurious to the Muslim society, this injury can be avoided by temporarily suspending this permission.”

    Note the term: TEMPORARILY SUSPENDING THIS PERMISSION (the permission cited in the Qur’an re: marriage was suspended).

    The Rightly Guided Caliph Umar “disallowed” what was “allowed in the Qur’an” as the situation at the time was unfair to Muslim women. Sound familiar? In present day North America this suspension should also extend to Muslim men who fly off to other countries to marry and return back with foreign wives from “back home”. A common practice which leaves many of our Muslim women here with even fewer choices.

    The authority to address grieviously unfair circumstances and even implementing changes to accommodate fairness is what is required for Muslim women living in the West and marriage. Islam has accommodated temporary marriages when Muslim men were far from their communities, polygamous marriages, interfaith marriages, even children with concubines.

    Yet when the matter of issues facing Muslim women and marriage in the West is discussed – some Muslims who oppose this blog: “Muslim women should be able to marry non-Muslim men” – find their backs going up higher and higher and the lack of accommodation – which the Great Umar was gracious enough to implement – would be near heresy in their eyes.

    Sarah

    February 7, 2013 at 7:59 pm

  191. Muslims closed the doors of “Ijthihad” (independent interpretation of existing Islamic law) in the 10th century. This is leading to problems now. It is urgent for Muslims to examine our present position within the scope of Islam.

    Ijtihad was extremely necessary as Islam met very changed conditions of society during its rapid expansion from the Arabian peninsula, and Caliphs were generally known for their stance to accommodate.

    The following is a quote from British Muslim scholar Ziauddin Sardar’s book: Permanence and Change in Islam, Postmodernism and Other Futures: A Ziauddin Sardar Reader, p. 49:

    “The cardinal framework (of Islam) is eternal. Truth remains unchanged; but the human condition does not. It is the principles of Islam that are eternal, but not their space-time operationalisation. The Beloved Prophet (Muhammad) himself, as well as the Rightly Guided Caliphs, varied the application of the principles of Islam as the circumstances changed, but always within the parameters of Islam. They had fully understood the spirit of Islam.”

    Islam was always flexible to accommodate the changing needs of Muslims throughout history – which is one major reason why Islam spread with great success across continents. It’s rigid application should be reconsidered in light of the situations Muslims face in 21st century North America or anyplace where Muslims cannot escalate their legitimate concerns due to lack of Muslim social, economic and legal infrastructures – hopefully applied in a fair and just manner.

    If a Muslim questions this status-quo, s/he should not automatically be labelled by more conservative adherents as being “outside Islam”.

    Islam has always promoted reasoning – at all levels – which is why the Muslim world was extremely advanced in many of the sciences and medicine for centuries, while Europe sat in the Dark Ages smothered in the ignorance of superstition and misapplication of religion.

    There would never have been a “Renaissance” in Europe if it were not for all the great Muslim research taken/stolen into the Christian world from Muslim Spain after battles. These sophisticated Muslim scholarly works were plagiarized by those European scientists deemed to be “geniuses” according to western tradition – while the actual Muslim authors and developers contributions were conveniently overlooked.

    Let’s re-visit our common intellectual capabilities and apply them in a constructive manner.

    Sarah

    February 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    • How long will women be held “captive” through the worldly writings of man?

      Sue

      March 18, 2013 at 4:54 am

  192. This was a good read. I have not visited this blog before, and therefore, I have not seen the blog’s other Islamic (or non-Islamic, for that matter) views. I also glanced at the comments instead of reading them all due to their sheer number.

    With that said, I did not see one other point mentioned: As Muslims, we rely heavily on the ahadeeth (plural of hadeeth; which is a saying of the Propher, peace be upon him). And one of the main ahadeeth talks about how we as an Ummah (a nation or a people) should rely on the Qur’an, the Sunnah (the Prophet’s sayings, way of life, etc.) AND to look at those first 3 or so generations that followed the Prophet (pbuh).

    When there’s a matter to be discussed, especially when bid’ah (innovation in religion) is in question, then we must rely on those 3 things … in that order. You have addressed the Qur’an one; although I don’t feel it was done thoroughly; simply because there are linguistic reasons to re-evaluate your interpretation of the two Ayahs. Specifically, we would have to look at the choice of words used in these Ayahs vs. their use in the rest of the Qur’an. Keep in mind that as The Word of God, The Qur’an is very articulate. VERY. So on a scale of 1 to 10, I feel this article addressed the 1st of three parts at a level of 6 at best.

    The 2nd part is the Sunnah, which includes the ahadeeth. In the article, there was very little mention of them. I’ll rate that as a 3 simply because you referenced some but not delved into any.

    The 3rd part is the reason that drove me to write this comment. Those first three to four generations that follow the Prophet (pbuh) should be evaluated to a level of scrutiny. Did they at any one incident allow the marriage of a woman to a man from The People of The Book (Christians & Jews)? Is there at least ONE occasion where that occurred? I am definitely not a scholar; and I’m not just saying that. But I have not found ONE situation, incident or occasion (depending on your side of this debate) where that occurs.

    As a Muslim, that’s where buck stops. With all respect, for the purposes of this debate, I do not need to evaluate your one through four points listed before your “Come on …” part.

    anti-inertia
    http://www.anti-inertia.com –Refusing to stand still: Standing for what’s right and forbidding what’s wrong

    anti-inertia (@antiinertia)

    February 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    • Anti-inertia: You stated:

      “Those first three to four generations that follow the Prophet (pbuh) should be evaluated to a level of scrutiny. Did they at any one incident allow the marriage of a woman to a man from The People of The Book (Christians & Jews)? Is there at least ONE occasion where that occurred? I am definitely not a scholar; and I’m not just saying that. But I have not found ONE situation, incident or occasion (depending on your side of this debate) where that occurs. As a Muslim, that’s where buck stops.”

      This would cover about 100 years after the Prophet (pbuh) including the start of the Umayyad Dynasty. Islam grew at an exponential rate at this time. Muslims had dominated politically, socially and economically. This the the main reason why Muslim women may not have married non-Muslim men at that time. It was a question of domination and implementation of legal rights – which were retained within religious communities.

      Importantly, there was a civil war between Muslims almost immediately after the death of the Prophet including the infamous “Battle of the Camel” (656 CE) – when Hazrat Ali and the Prophet’s wife Aisha battled each other.

      I am pointing to this historical incident to show that just because certain things occured or did not occur (wars between Muslims or Muslim women not marrying non-Muslim men at that time), is not ample evidence that it was just or correct. There are contributing factors which need to be examined and not dismissed as “fait accompli” – especially when the lives of Muslim women are being ruined today.

      Sarah

      March 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      • It pains me greatly to state this – it should be noted that after the Prophet’s (pbuh) death, as stated in Islamic scholar Maulana Shibli’s book Al-Farook, as well as confirmed in Hadith compiled by Ibn Abi Shayba, ibn Qutayba, al-Baladhuri and al-Tabari (amongst others) – Fatima (Prophet Muhammad’s daughter) died as a result of injuries sustained after her house was raided by Umar ibn al-Khattab who set fire to the house. She also miscarried her child.

        While this incident remains controversial, it is further proof that to simply look at what occurred from that original generation of Muslims and thereafter as evidence of conduct or example – must be very carefully examined and not accepted in totality to justify certain positions which affect Muslims today.

        Sarah

        March 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    • Anti-inertia noted “evaluated to a level of scrutiny”. Most of the Sahabahs (companions) of the Prophet (pbuh) as well as the Prophet himself had concubines. It was a common and normal practice for that time. Apparently their wives could not object, on religious grounds, to their husbands having sex with these women whom they were not married to. How far would this reasoning go today? Is it realistic to think most Muslim women would tolerate this behavior from husbands now?

      One could argue that as men do not “own” women/slaves today this point is moot. This is exactly the reason why we need to be so careful in making equations based on customs/situations from centuries ago, to reach religious conclusions for a completely different world today.

      This form of deduction is popular amongst Muslims, although it is illogical. The larger picture of Islam speaking about humanity, justice and fairness and care for the vulnerable is lost.

      The flippant approach that some may take towards women’s life issues is reflective of this – meaning misapplication of situational circumstances of centuries past, for enforcement today, resulting in deprivation for women of their rights/needs is not acceptable nor fair.

      Sarah

      March 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm

  193. Oh, boy. As a Muslim, I must say I am quite disappointed by many of these comments. What kind of world are we living in that a blogger cannot express his/her opinion without being “doomed to the fiery pits of hell??” You try to encourage an intellectual and open dialogue about a very valid point/topic, and you meet resistance and ignorance from overly bigoted and religious people whose only words are “Astaghfirullah!” or “Subhanallah!” When they run out of words to intelligently express themselves. Please do not call on God in any shape, fashion, or form in an attempt to try to “shame” or belittle someone else for their beliefs. It is really sickening.

    The fact of the matter is that we will just continue to see our numbers decline over the years based on the ignorance and intolerance. We have become unjustifiably patriarchal as a community while the rest of the world is passing us by. While I myself have never been married to a Muslim man and would ultimately like to marry a Muslim for my own personal reasons, I must say, that if Muslim men really want to protect their women and keep them in the faith, start by changing your own actions and beliefs rather than reducing your female counterparts to lowly submissive beings who are incapable of thinking for themselves and bashing men of other faiths. By what arrogant logic do you assume that your marriage to a non-Muslim woman would work out so much more beautifully than your Muslim sister’s would to someone of another faith?? I am not encouraging it, I am simply questioning this sort of logic, because it makes so little sense. If anything, I have seen the reverse. Just about every Muslim man I have seen marry a Muslim woman who never converted or really practiced Islam, has lost his children to the world (meaning they have become immoral people who do as they please) or have adopted the faith of the mother (who they spent the most time with, DUH!). I myself, was homeschooled by my mother, who was a convert from Christianity (as was my father, but my mother converted later than he did) My mother, however, practiced Islam to the fullest and became knowledgeable enough about it to teach her children, because she was serious about Islam. My father was not the primary reason for her conversion at all–she is a rare case in this community.

    In order to keep your women, you need to treat them right–women, like all creatures, want stability, safety, and love for themselves and their offspring. If you are mistreating your women in the name of religion, while John Doe, the Christian, promises to love and cherish her for all of eternity and respect her beliefs, she MAY, as a result of self preservation and just plain common sense, chose John Doe. Does it mean she will give up her beliefs? No. Does it mean she will be perfectly happy? No. It is just highly probable. We need to be more concerned about fixing our actual flaws instead of our image. The less we are concerned about how “others perceive us”, the more time we can spend on improving ourselves as an Ummah. If there is any truth to what others are saying about us (in negativity), then we need to fix it. Simple as that. I once heard a Muslim woman say to another Muslim woman, “The Muslim man is ALWAYS better than the non-Muslim man, no matter how the Muslim man treats you.” Needless to say, this woman has been divorced and remarried MANY times, physically and emotionally abused, with many children (most of whom are no longer Muslims). Need I say more? What kind of ignorance are we perpetuating??

    Jaw dropped and Mind blown!

    February 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    • Well said Jaw Dropped. The main issue also is not just Muslim men marry non-Muslim women, but that Muslim women in North America have massive impediments in place to marry Muslim men. It has mainly to do with how society here is structured. The methods used for marriage in traditional Muslim societies do not exist nor work here.

      Most North Americans in general tend to marry within their own peer/age group. Our Muslim women find that past the age of about 35, many Muslim men will not consider marrying them. Why – because many of these men have the option to fly “back home” – where a long line up of young Muslim women are ready to marry them, to gain access and immigration for themselves and their families to Canada or to the US. Non-Muslim men here do not tend to fly off anywhere and choose to marry local women (which seems like the normal thing to do).

      As there has been an enormous rise in Muslim divorces here, fairly young divorced Muslim women, many with children, will find it near impossible to re-marry a Muslim man. Non-Muslims find it more acceptable to form “blended” families from divorce with re-marriage, but most of our Muslim men will not do so.

      So what is the fate of these Muslim women, many only in their 20s or 30s? According to religious interpretation – they will remain single, being forced to deal with financial, social and psychological problems for decades. Marrying “imported” Muslim men from other countries have proven disasterous in countless situations due to legal liabilities (previously discussed on an earlier posting).

      Some women accept the shortcomings of these marriages so as not to upset parents who made these arrangements and fear of being “dishonored” in the eyes of their parents’ or their social connections. Ultimately they take their toll.

      It is a mess and very few Muslims, if any, are addressing this. Meanwhile the chorus of “Astagfirullahs” continue as our women are forced to accept abnormal lives or potentially face ostracism if they marry non-Muslim men.

      Sarah

      March 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm

  194. hello to everyone that has a freedom of thought and decided in his behavior.some people are very caught between theme.when you decided that choose a religion in fact you choose a slavery for that religion, but there is a difference with real slavery.because here we decided to control our desires or behaviors by religion without any push . by the way you are free in ones action for your every another chooses .so one has not any believe in a religion therefore can not condemned it , as long as limit his freedoms.in this case you have to tolerate or run away or be same it or be thoughtless or fight it or fund another way for this matter.

    farhad

    March 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm

  195. Often what is lost in discussions concerning whether Muslim women can or cannot marry non-Muslim men is the legal context. Marriages and subsequent responsibilities fall within the scope of a legal system – whether it be Islamic or secular. The problem is that we are trying to impose rules from one system (Islamic) onto individuals who do not live within this legal system.

    The Islamic system is based on a number of constants and is applied according to assumed criterion being in place. The criterion does not exist for Muslims who do not live within such societies (very few countries can actually adminster original laws). Muslim women marrying only Muslim men falls within the concern that only a Muslim husband can ensure her rights under Islam can be implemented. What happens when there is no such system for recourse?

    Islamic jurists formulated laws (especially family law) based on traditional Muslim society with fairness in mind. Within that context, many laws certainly do make sense. However, outside of this environment massive distortions occur when Muslims attempt to enforce laws in environments which are not conducive or favorable to them. Muslim women often end up paying the price for this.

    Strictly speaking, according to Islamic law if a woman with children re-marries, she loses the right of custody of her children. There appears to be consensus amongst Islamic Jurists/scholars about this. Her children can no longer live with her. The original intent was for the benefit of her children, so they may not live with a step-father who may not be interested in their care etc. The children live with the mother’s extended family.

    While the practical side of this ruling has benefits, undoubtedly the emotional side for a mother losing custody is devastating. But this is the law according to Islam.

    In the west, we live under a democratic, secular system. Custody is determined according to circumstances. Usually the children live with their mother. While remarriage to “any” man (Muslim or non-Muslim) can result in unwanted outcomes (such as abuse of children etc – very serious), the mother does not automatically lose custody upon remarriage nor is there a traditional extended family for her children to be absorbed into in North America.

    The purpose of the above example is to clarify that simply debating the pros and cons of whether Muslim women can or cannot marry non-Muslim men – is not just a “yes” or “no” answer. Context and implementation is critical – as answers should be based on a viable legal system – which is the basis of all Muslim family law.

    Which side of the debate one is on may be determined to a large extent by cultural perceptions of women, rather than looking at the full legal situation and in context. Partial implementation – i.e. a Muslim woman must marry only a Muslim man – without any legal recourse for her under Islamic law – misses the mark.

    Sarah

    March 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm

  196. Marry which admire you.a Try to see faith through your own eye and not be limited to relegious biok. U know better yourself. All lies to piece

    man

    March 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm

  197. All this is really over my head. As a 24 year old Muslim guy living in the west, I wouldn’t mind marrying an older Muslim woman at all, provided she had the correct characteristics and faith. However, the notion that we Muslim men are all abusive, choosy, oppressive, hypocritical, etc, really hurts me. I have never engaged in pre-marital relationships/intimacy nor done anything majorly prohibited by Islam. Neither have most of my friends. I wouldn’t do such things for the world, although the opportunities are there. I am well educated, employed, independent and live alone, but I just can’t seem to meet a Muslim woman just like many Muslim women complain that they get limited opportunities to meet Muslim men. In this day and age, I still have to revert to my parents to find me a Muslim partner (I wouldn’t consider a non-Muslim woman, as I feel Islam is too spiritually ingrained in me and I need a practicing Muslim woman to connect with me & understand me. Sadly, most women I interact with at work or in my free time are non-Muslim. They usually have a lot of respect for me and some have approached me, although I’ve respectfully backed off.). I have a lot of respect for practicing Muslim women and I would never abuse or mistreat anyone I take as my wife. Yet all I hear is that we abuse our women etc.

    My question is this: Why do most Muslim women wait till their late 20’s or early thirties? Why all this emphasis on career? Couldn’t we just form a better society by getting married early, studying whilst living together and getting support from our families to get by until we earn well enough? (Isn’t that what many non-Muslims do anyway??) Why do we put so many impediments to marriage that young people have to revert to illicit relationships? Our societies are getting more messed up as we make marriage more and more difficult whilst our religion encourages us to embrace marriage.

    RandomGuy

    April 5, 2013 at 9:35 am

    • Random Guy: You sound like a decent young man. Not all Muslim women place emphasis on careers. There are many women who do not have professional pursuits. A career is not for everyone, aptitude plays a role as does financial circumstances (education can be expensive).

      Muslim women do not necessarily wait until their late 20s or early 30s to marry. Often they are single by default. We experience the same problems you noted – we don’t get to meet suitable partners due to a number of issues in meeting Muslims socially. Women may find themselves 30-ish without having been introduced to someone appropriate for them. The women who may pursue careers have every right to. In this society, being without an education or skills or the ability to earn independently can be very detrimental.

      The divorce rate for Muslims who marry young in North America is quite high. It is not uncommon to see Muslim women, barely 30 years old, with young children and divorced.

      The rush to ensure young people are not involved in illicit relationships often results in early marriages with immature or unprepared partners, stress over lack of funds, issues of parental interference due to their financial support of the couple, parents upset that their son/daughter is dependent upon his/her in-laws for support. Not all parents can afford to do this, especially if they have other children in need. Not everyone wants to be in their family’s basement or extra room (assuming they own a house).

      Pregnancy can result in further stress if the young couple is not prepared financially for this responsibility including living conditions. I can count the number of young brides I met who said they would not have a baby until they finished school, only to give birth the following year after marriage.

      The issue of “earning enough” causes further problems per un/employment issues as they did not marry as independent individuals but perhaps as students. Most parents want their sons and daughters to finish their education first before taking on a spouse and related responsibilities.

      The biggest impediment here is that society is not structured to accommodate Muslim requirements, as we are a minority with specific needs (by those who adher to them). These requirements are the antithesis of what exists in much of our environment.

      Sarah

      April 5, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      • Sarah: Your various points for pursuing a career and against early marriage are noted. The issue as you rightly point out is that Western society is often the anti-thesis of what Islam requires. But the topic here is whether all this actually warrants allowing Muslim women to choose a non-Muslim man as a partner. In my simple reasoning, there a large number of things to consider:

        a) What qualifies going against the ruling of the four Imams (and many other scholars) over the past 14 centuries?? Had the conditions we experience in the West never ever been experienced in the last 1300 years of Islam anywhere in the world?? It seems highly unlikely, given that throughout much of its history Islam has expanded through various previously non Muslim regions and Muslims were often subjected to living as minorities (and often under very unfavorable conditions).Why have such situations never in the past forced scholars to question the prohibition of Muslim women to marry non Muslim men? Note that many scholars of the past were open minded in outlook, so simply saying that they ‘abandoned’ ijtihad is a very weak argument.

        You correctly point out that many older Muslim women in the west remain unmarried or find it extremely difficult to get married to a Muslim man. What criterion would you impose before you consider your situation to be ‘difficult enough’ such that you should be allowed to marry a non Muslim? In my experience, the vast majority of Muslim girls who marry non Muslim men are young university students who fall in love with a non Muslim guy in class and pursue pre-marital relationships until they cannot resist marriage. They are not 40 or 30 something’s (like you) who have looked for Muslim men far and wide. On the other hand, there are many unmarried Muslim men (yes, often young like myself) who find it hard to get married because of their recently immigrant background. As a previous poster pointed out, statistics will show you that there are more young unmarried Muslim men in the North American Muslim community than there are unmarried Muslim women. This is what forces some Muslim men to ‘fly back home’ to find a wife (which they have every right to do, although they should give preference to local Muslim women).

        I absolutely refuse to believe that every Muslim man who was brought up in a Muslim majority country is unsuitable for marriage to a Muslim woman brought up in the west. I am a foreign born Muslim (but mostly western brought up) and I don’t feel inferior to any Muslim man born in the west. There are many others like me. We are well mannered, enlightened, Islamically and secular educated, have successful careers and/or businesses, connect reasonably well with Western society in so far as socialization and community participation goes and we want to marry and live in the West and create fruitful Muslim societies. We will ‘get’ a joke told by a Muslim woman born in the west and we identify with and realize her life goals and ambitions, and we all don’t speak with accents and have language problems! I’m just under 25 and have two tertiary qualifications and I earn well enough to support a wife (she need not work if she chooses) and I certainly believe that I am mature enough to be married. I was privileged in that my education was sponsored. I was also privileged enough to travel to many Muslim countries and I can assure you that people from Muslim countries are not any less human than Muslims brought up in the west. We have personality, character, integrity, hopes and ambitions like everyone else.

        Yet these days some Muslim women feel that their husband being a Muslim is less important to them than their husband having a common upbringing and being able to instantly ‘connect’ with them socially or ideologically! Allowing young Muslim women to marry from Jewish and Christian men would certainly detrimentally affect the Muslim society for numerous reasons,some of which have already been mentioned. Rather, what should be done (from my very simple understanding of the shariah) is what Umar (R.A.) had done previously: prohibition of Muslim men in the non Muslim lands from marrying non Muslim women. This is already disliked by the Shariah and it is a far better approach to prohibit or restrict the disliked than to to allow something that is obviously harmful to society and known to have been directly prohibit by the vast majority of scholarly opinion.I will not go into the technicalities of the actual fatwas, but rest assured that the four Imams have taken into account many of the factors which modern scholars state may be reason to allow the marriage of Muslim women and non Muslim men.

        Unfortunately, people have this notion that Islamic societies in the past were so ‘medieval’ and ‘patriarchal’ that no man would even consider a woman his equal. In contrast, careful reading into Islamic history and the way many of the scholars dealt with women indicate that they could place themselves in a woman’s shoes and issue rulings which would take account of that woman;s particular situation and society.

        b) The issue of children and wifely rights: Whilst it is often argued that today’s Western society is somehow different from earlier Islamic societies and this is enough reason to change the rules of marriage, in practice it is not the case for the vast majority. Although your average Western democratic nation-state has a ‘constitution’ that guarantees equality for the genders (and many other things), these rights are not implemented in society and mostly remain valid on paper alone. Muslims are told to abide by the laws of the country they live in, provided that they do not fundamentally contradict the Shariah. However, we cannot place FAITH in the system of non Muslims to an extent that we forgo the basic protection that the Shariah gives women in Islam simply because we feel that today’s society is so protective that women don’t need the protections given by the Shariah anymore. Need I point out the rape, abuse and infidelity statistics among non Muslim societies (even the more ‘advanced’ Western ones)? The FACT is that western society does not protect women, but rather uses them for everything from political pawns (“Oh, look how badly Muslims treat women. Lets liberate them by bombing their country to the stone age!!”) to advertising and promotional tools. My personal experiences (conversations with non Muslim men) in the west have constantly shown me that women are merely seen as play things or ‘hot pieces of meat’ and that your average Muslim man has far far more respect for women than your average non Muslim man. Yes, some Muslim societies also abuse and discriminate against women, but again my personal experiences show that this is not the norm (despite what the media may tell you). Any correctly guided practicing Muslim society will protect and nurture women and give them their full rights (just because we have been unable to create such a society thus far does not dictate that we should give up and just adopt the Western models).

        The fact is that it is easy for men to make big claims to get a woman, and many men throughout the world will lie to get a woman. To most non Muslims, their Muslim ‘girl-friend’s’ religion is just an impediment to a sexual relationship. Every Muslim girl I have heard of in my community who wants to marry a non Muslim will claim that her man is “so respectful, so caring, will not drink or eat pork, will allow kids to be Muslim etc”. Statistics show otherwise, The majority of Canadian and American kids with a Muslim mother and non Muslim father turn out to be non Muslim, and the same applies to a slightly lesser extent with those with a Muslim father and non Muslim mother. What I cannot fathom is how any Muslim who understands the value of their Islam can ever bear to risk their own children being brought up by a non Muslim parent. (Personally, Islam means everything to me.) I have observed time and again that most of my friends who have a Muslim mother and non Muslim father tend towards agnosticism or atheism, and in most cases the mother herself drifts away form Islam. Only those revert men who strongly committed to Islam before marriage turn out to be good Muslim fathers. I don’t even want to repeat the stories of the cases where I have heard of the Muslim woman being abused, prevented from her religion, forced to do un-Islamic acts, and forced to renounce Islam by their non Muslim husband (whom they initially claimed loved them) in the very same societies you claim protects women’s rights so much.

        c) Rather than resorting to allow marriage with non Muslim men, I think we should work to change Muslim societies in the west to make it easier for Muslim women to get married. Some scholars have already started match-making initiatives aimed at older, educated Muslims where family networks and society in general has failed to help prospective partners meet in a Halal setting.

        RandomGuy

        April 6, 2013 at 4:48 am

  198. Random Guy: Thank you for your thoughtful response. I will try to reply to them as you have covered a number of areas. You stated:

    1. “Had the conditions we experience in the West never ever been experienced in the last 1300 years of Islam anywhere in the world??”

    – Simply, yes. Throughout the history of most of the world, marriages were usually “arranged”. This was the case in Europe as well. Most people’s environment in pre-modern times was limited to their immediate area and parents or others in authority found spouses for their children. Certainly since the 20th century, this is no longer the case. Patriachy dominated and as Muslim men travelled for trade, they usually settled, converted local women to Islam and married. Again, selecting one’s own spouse was very rare for women anywhere. This is not the case in the west at this time.

    2. “What criterion would you impose before you consider your situation to be ‘difficult enough’ such that you should be allowed to marry a non Muslim?”

    – In my case (I am in my 50s, now in my third decade after divorce of being single). Since the age of 40, I have been introduced to two Muslim men, one who was 70 years old. What happens to other women who cannot manage financially without a husband’s suuport? This is a serious problem. We wish to marry but in the west Muslim men often seek younger women for wives. Many over 35 find it difficult to find a Muslim husband.

    3. “As a previous poster pointed out, statistics will show you that there are more young unmarried Muslim men in the North American Muslim community than there are unmarried Muslim women. This is what forces some Muslim men to ‘fly back home’ to find a wife.”

    – I completely disagree with this. There are plenty of wonderful Muslim women here, certainly enough to disqualify men from flying back home to marry. Often men do this as it is easier for them, as many foreign women are eager to come to the west and they have a larger choice. That fact they opt for these women also confirms their preference for their “home culture” over marrying a peer who was raised here. Another bad sign.

    4. “There are many others like me. We are well mannered, enlightened, Islamically and secular educated, have successful careers and/or businesses, connect reasonably well with Western society in so far as socialization and community participation goes and we want to marry and live in the West and create fruitful Muslim societies.”

    – To start with those who want to marry and live in the west should not be marrying foreign wives and bringing them here. They should marry from here. Secondly, no one is doubting there are very good men who are here. The issue is meeting them. If I had a choice, and I met a suitable Muslim man with such positive traits as you noted, I would definitely consider marrying him. But would he consider marrying me at my age or even when I was 10 years younger? In my experience – no. Yet I’ve had non-Muslim men with similar traits wishing to marry me. Due to religious restrictions I was forced to be alone (as are others).

    You have accomplished much at a young age. It may be a result of hard work, privilege and access. With all due respect to everyone, this is also a reflection of social class and in that realm, we as individuals are not on equal footing (men or women). That is, cosmopolitan exposure, education, being cultured or erudite etc is often due to one’s family background (quite pronounced in non-western societies) – we cannot assume everyone or even most of us are in possession of such traits or privileges. This is not necessarily a good measure as not everyone places value on what we as individuals may readily value. I hope I’m clear as I tried to state this as gingerly as I can.

    The issue of “connecting” with spouses cannot be underestimated. The divorce rate for Muslims is quite high here. A good number of divorces are as a result of cultural problems between eastern and western raised spouses. I am not stating one is better or worse than the other, only that this mixture can cause problems.

    Many Muslim women have witnessed this and are now more emphatic about marrying a man of similar background (i.e. raised here) – although there is no guarantee of success. I have written about legal problems with sponsoring spouses from other countries in earlier postings. Most women do not want to take on such a liability. This is a different situation from men who are already here legally and employed and cannot be accused of marrying an American or Canadian to get immigrant status. These two circumstances must be differentiated.

    5. “However, we cannot place FAITH in the system of non Muslims to an extent that we forgo the basic protection that the Shariah gives women in Islam simply because we feel that today’s society is so protective that women don’t need the protections given by the Shariah anymore.”

    – My point is that Muslim women here DO NOT have access to any protection under Shariah law. That is what this entire blog’s conversation is about. Muslim law cannot be implemented here, there are no Islamic governing bodies, it may not contradict the law of the land.

    The only reason Muslim women are only allowed to marry Muslim men is so they will stay within the Muslim community’s jurisdiction, for access to her rights in Islam. Pre-nationalism (most of history) people were defined by their religious group and conducted themselves within their group per family law. If a Muslim women married a non-Muslim man, she would move to his community and lose her access to her rights. Where do we have access to Shariah rights in the west? The law of the land governs our lives. Try ignoring or not abiding the law here and see what happens and how quickly the authorities show up. It is not a choice of displacement of law (national secular vs Shariah religious) but rather one exists and the other does not.

    Of course whether it be western society or Muslim society the abuse of women continues. There are problems on both sides. As far as raising children with one non-Muslim parent being a concern, the fact is that practically all of the Muslim women who are choosing to marry non-Muslim men had “both” parents who were Muslim. What about their religiousity? What difference did it make that both their mother and father were Muslim in their life choices? This argument doesn’t hold up.

    I agree with you that we should work to change Muslim societies in the west to make it easier for Muslim women to get married. I have been waiting for decades (as have others) and it will be very difficult, as people are no longer confined to their immediate locale due to ease of transportation, the authority/influence of elders has been substantially diluted, communication with others is crossing all boundaries per technology, acceptance of diversity instead of homogeneity, education of women as the norm, challenges of living as a minority within a majority dominate culture, necessary exposure to non-Muslims in daily life.

    Meanwhile, many of our Muslim sisters who wish to marry, are not necessarily into careers (they may wish to start a family etc) or those who do work and have careers (whatever the configuration) are finding it difficult to meet Muslim men within the confines of Islamic modesty and social structure.

    As you wrote: “Any correctly guided practicing Muslim society will protect and nurture women and give them their full rights (just because we have been unable to create such a society thus far does not dictate that we should give up and just adopt the Western models).”

    – We live within the limitations of our environment. To have a correctly guided practicing Muslim society would involve political, economic and social changes. This is not going to happen. There is no leadership in place to enact what is required. Muslim women’s rights occur within the context of a paradigm which does not exist or cannot be implemented. We should strive to be fair, and this includes addressing the needs of our women.

    Sarah

    April 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm

  199. I would also add that Muslim men are allowed to marry non-Muslim women as these women were absorbed into the husband’s Muslim household and Muslim community. Per Islamic law, Muslim women could not be absorbed into non-Muslim husband’s household or his distinct community out of concern that her rights cannot be implemented.

    In the west, we do not live in any religious community. We are not absorbed into households. Most people live in (or strives to live in) nuclear family situations and not with the extended family. This also involves issues of privacy and independence as a couple or family unit. We live in neighborhoods with diversity in race, religion, language and culture. We have legal protections and recourse.

    Muslim women’s challenges must be examined within this reality vs a theoretical religious-based model that we may respect, however cannot implement. Muslims insistence on not examining this is destroying women’s lives (not men’s).

    Negative stories of failed marriages/situations whether they are between: Muslim and Muslim, Muslim and non-Muslim, non-Muslim and non-Muslim, will occur due to human behavioral issues. It’s a question of choices for women and the selective implementation of what is or is not allowed, when the rules are clearly different for men vs women – yet the context has changed. Somehow women are getting the short end of the stick about serious matters.

    Sarah

    April 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm

  200. To Muslim men living in North America who choose to select women from foreign countries to marry, instead of marry Muslim women here – these questions should be asked:

    – What does your foreign-raised wife know about growing up as a Muslim in western culture?

    – How would she be able to identify with the needs of her North American born children compared to a Muslim woman who was born or raised here?

    – Does she have any concept of peer pressure as manifested specifically in our school system and how it affects adolescents in particular?

    – How would she address it with her children?

    – Does she differentiate between cultural preferences which are overwhelming in a number of Muslim countries and actually practice of Islam?

    – Does she understand the relevance of holidays in the west and their cultural implications or are they deemed to be “outside of Islam” and participation is shunned?

    – Can she negotiate herself in a system where she is not part of a majority anymore but rather a minority – as many of us have learned to do since childhood?

    – Does she understand our history of civil rights and how our children can learn from it as Americans (especially Malcolm X, amongst others)?

    – Does she relate to the establishment and development of various Muslim groups or individuals and their efforts to provide relevant education to our communities? e.g. Zaid Shakir, Hamza Yusuf, etc.

    Note: Both Sheikhs Zaid and Hamza were born here as non-Muslims and grew up within the North American context. That’s part of the reason why their messages are so well articulated and powerful.

    – Does it not make sense to marry someone who at least has the benefit of one generation of experience (if not more)? Otherwise, we throw ourselves back a generation in development.

    – Can someone who is new to this culture and our specific circumstances as Muslims, be able to contribute or participate to the same extent in developing our community, as a person who already experienced all aspects of growing up here – regardless of good intentions or education?

    – Importantly, does she view herself as an American or Canadian or does she identify herself from her country of origin? Is she planning her next trip “back home” – should answer that.

    It is the mother who has the greatest influence on her children and it is women who direct and shape our families to a great extent.

    Sarah

    April 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

  201. Sarah: Whilst I agree very much with your analysis of how Western society is different and how Muslim women are facing a difficult situation, you seemed not to appreciate my concerns over how your views (if accepted by the mainstream) will affect the community as a whole.

    Western Muslims, in my opinion, need to re-evaluate their understanding of marriage in Islam, its role in life and the role it plays in society. No matter where we live, under what circumstances we live and what we do for a living, these fundamental aspects of Islamic marriage remain constant. Marriage is intended to fulfill many functions in society, including human relationships and legitimate procreation, the building of ties between people and families, the provision of a framework where children can grow and learn under parental leadership, the establishment of a legal framework wherein a man and a woman can live and pool their resources together into a common household, etc. In the Islamic context, it is crucial that these functions also lead to a bettering of the faith of the man and woman, whereby through marriage they use each other to see the bounties of Allah in terms of intimacy, children, families, homes and eventually a successful Islamic society.

    The problem with us western Muslims is that many of us (including many women) have been fooled into believing that marriage is just a formalization of the contract between a man and a woman who agree to have an intimate relationship.We now want to believe that marriage is a completely personal affair and that its effects on society in general need not be taken into account. The big problem here is materialism. We have become so materialistic in our outlook that we see success in life as the achievement of personal desire and we want fulfillment through wealth, social status and personal satisfaction. There is no problem with this except that now we also feel that these wants should be given higher priority than the religion itself! This is highly problematic. By its very definition, Islam is the following of a path of life which places the realization of God, individually and collectively, as the ultimate success or goal.

    Had the proper understanding of Islamic marriage been present in society, we would not be in the debacle we are now. Our parents generations made the mistake of making marriage a pawn in society to preserve wealth and status and cultural traits. Our generation is making the mistake of making marriage a tool to fulfill our relation needs with the opposite sex over and above what its truly meant to be. We want our intimate relationships to be so ideal that we divorce for the slightest reasons. The reason our divorce rates are so high are that we place secondary things such as personal liberty, career fulfillment, superficial or physical traits and individualistic considerations over and above the basic guidelines Islam teaches us to follow in marriage (compassion, patience, tolerance, etc.)

    We have become so engrossed in liberal culture and the norms of secular non Muslim society (understandably so: we want to integrate and participate in that society as full citizens and also partly because we as a minority are incessantly expected to make efforts to integrate) that we have relegated Islamic principles to a back seat. Do you not see the irony in wanting to marry a non Muslim when the hadith of our Prophet (PBUH) teaches us that marriage is “half of Imaan”. How do you expect to become a better Muslim when the person with whom you share your life and the person whom you most support and rely on does not believe in Islam himself/herself. It is surely a last resort. In fact, we have placed individualism and personal fulfillment on such a high pedestal that we are willing to marry a non Muslim we “connect” with better, over a Muslim who we may perhaps not connect with instantly. If we actually had our wits about ourselves, we would make the EFFORT to go out and get to know each other in our communities, forge relationships and ensure that every Muslim man and woman has a suitable partner irrespective of race, culture, background, social status, etc. That is what I believe the Allah would want us to do. That is how Islam succeeded in the past, through bonding, communication, teaching, dawah (proselytization) and hard work, NOT by marrying non Muslim men or women.

    Do you not find it ironic that in this age of mass communication and informational economies, where the opportunities for meeting people from various parts of the world are so much greater, that we can’t find a way for Muslim men and women to meet and interact in an Islamic way? Why is it that people say “Oh, I meet so many non Muslim men/women that my probability of falling in love with one is greater than with a Muslim man/woman”? Is it because we are failing as communities to actually bond, understand each other and grow? Is Islam just a latent label we individually carry around, or do we also owe an obligation to the communities we live in? If not, why are we obliged to pay Zakah? Something to think about.

    Please understand that the exception (Muslim men being allowed to marry non Muslim women of the book) is just that: an exception. The vast majority of scholars agree that this exception carries with it significant constraints, one being that the couple live in a predominantly Islamic society. The reality that many Muslim men in the west marry non Muslim women for no reason other than personal gain is one of the failures of Muslim men in western society.

    Another important issue is that if we allow marriage of Muslim women to non Muslim men (of the book), then do we allow it for all Muslim women? Does it imply that all Muslim women should now be free to engage in the mannerisms of the non Muslim women when seeking a husband? Does it imply that a Muslim woman can choose a non Muslim husband even when there are Muslim men who need to be married? Does it really make sense to you that a non Muslim man could have a greater right to marriage to a Muslim woman than a Muslim man (all other things being equal)? I don’t think so. I would never marry a non Muslim woman so long as there was a Muslim woman for me to marry, no matter what race, background or culture she came from.

    On the issue of the Western governments not guaranteeing the Shariah based right of a Muslim woman, I fail to understand how the inability of the government to ensure these rights gives the non Muslim man an equal right to marry a Muslim woman. The key thing here is that a Muslim man, by declaring his faith, inherently accepts that by marrying the woman he will fulfill her Islamic rights. The non Muslim man is under no religious (intellectual/moral) obligation to do so. Whether the government can actually enforce the law is irrelevant in the sense that in the case of the non Muslim man, those rights are not here to begin with. At least with the Muslim man, those rights are understood as part of an Islamic Nikah agreement and the man signs a contractual obligation to fulfill them,

    My glaring problem with marriage to non Muslims (for both men and women) is that this kind of marriage, given the particular traits of Western secular society, is NOT going to lead to a better Islamic community and NOT going to further the cause of Islam in the long term. People can label me an Islamic supremacist if they want, but in no way can I neglect the furthering of Islam and the promotion of the worship of Allah as a fundamental goal in my life.

    Don’t get me wrong, I totally empathize with the pain many of my Muslim sisters are going through in their having to live such long, lonely single lives. I sincerely appreciate your efforts in making people aware of the problem. I want to be part of the solution. However, I don’t agree with your proposed solution in the broader sense.

    RandomGuy

    April 6, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    • Random Guy: I’m not sure why it is not understood that many of us simply do not meet Muslim men to marry. We wish to but cannot. There are many problems associated with this which have been discussed in previous postings.

      Muslim men are not interested in marrying divorced women (however young) or those over age 35. This is a common problem which then condemns Muslim women falling into these categories as forced to be single for the rest of their lives. How is this fair or natural? Our men are marrying non-Muslims or going overseas and marrying foreign women adds to this problem. I am speaking to the existing reality here.

      Much of our last response rests in the area of assumption and theory. You stated: “The key thing here is that a Muslim man, by declaring his faith, inherently accepts that by marrying the woman he will fulfill her Islamic rights.” This is not what happens in fact (please refer to my first post of July 12, 2012 6:51pm to get a picture of what goes on). We are unfortunately left at the whims of our men who may or may not fulfill their requirements. Many of us are left in terrible circumstances and then discover it is almost impossible to marry (again).

      The fact is there is a large number of single Muslim women who have been unable to marry. Their options for marriage to Muslim men are slim to none. What happens to them? They wish to marry Muslim men but can’t.

      As you are 24, much of your experience is with university aged people. This group is not the best demographic to be discussing perceptions of women or marriage. Often younger age group in only interested in a good time without any serious thought of long term commitment. It creates a distortion.

      You stated: “Do you not see the irony in wanting to marry a non Muslim when the hadith of our Prophet (PBUH) teaches us that marriage is “half of Imaan”. How do you expect to become a better Muslim when the person with whom you share your life and the person whom you most support and rely on does not believe in Islam himself/herself.”

      – How does any woman become a better Muslim when so many of us have left abusive Muslim husbands, sought help from useless Imans, and then told that no Muslim man is interested in marrying us unless he is unemployed or wanting a visa or whatever benefit he can gain?

      Because a man is labelled “Muslim” does not make him better than a decent non-Muslim. How many wonderful Muslim women have married Muslim men – simply because they were Muslim – only to have a messed up life later? Far too much credit is being placed on the title “Muslim” without looking at behavior and attitude. Of course there are good, decent Muslim men, but simply being “Muslim” is not enough.

      Speaking for myself only, I can say that it has taken every ounce of faith for me since the young age of 32 years old to not marry a non-Muslim man. That was well over 22 years ago and I have paid the price (as others) of having no husband or children or my own family. This was justified under Islam. I think of it as rather cruel.

      We don’t live in theory-land or should-be-land, we live with harsh realities. Whenever I meet non-Muslims (men and women), they are stunned that I have not remarried in such a long time, as they don’t quite understand why I am single considering my profile. I have turned down a number of proposals from very well established non-Muslim men as it would cause enormous disturbances within my family and issues of religion. End result – alone.

      I read what you wrote and can say when I was your age, I honestly may have written almost exactly what you wrote. 30 years later, I would respectfully disagree. I understand your logic and reasoning. However in fact, much of it does not work.

      Marriage in Islam is a contract. We do not take vows as Christians do. There is no mention of fidelity as Islam permits husbands to take multiple wives and have sex with concubines outside of marriage. A Muslim wife knows she may not be her husband’s only bedmate. Adultery is another category.

      The marriage contract states that a man takes responsibility for a woman (as a wife) and will maintain her, fulfill certain responsibilities and confirm the legitimacy of children born within the marriage. This gave him the right to touch her as a free Muslim woman. In a halal manner, the man also had the right to touch non-free women under his control. Usually the common household was the extended family’s, certainly not homes as we know them now. The marriage can be ended as well and compensation per mahr.

      Often Muslims make the mistake of imposing concepts of what marriage was originally in Islam with notions that are more western in nature.

      You stated: “My glaring problem with marriage to non Muslims (for both men and women) is that this kind of marriage, given the particular traits of Western secular society, is NOT going to lead to a better Islamic community and NOT going to further the cause of Islam in the long term.

      – I conclude by stating it is not marrying non-Muslims that will not lead to a better Islamic society, but rather the negative behavior of Muslims with other Muslims (especially men who were blessed with good wives, yet mistreated them and did not value them) that is the real problem.

      Sarah

      April 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      • Sarah: I did not mean to offend you by negating your life experiences. I am yet to turn 25 and I do not possess the experiences that you do. Your sacrifices and faith have been enormous and I am sure you will be rewarded for those sacrifices immensely. We should have faith that Allah is most just, even if this life is not.

        I will conclude our lengthy discussions by saying that I just wish the best for the Muslim community and EVERYONE in it, and that we should be careful of the rules we adopt as it will make or break us in these difficult times. I cannot right the past wrongs of the entire Muslim male population, I can only advise on what I feel is the best way to rectify them. And I, for one, intend never to perpetuate these wrongs.

        Eventually, I do also believe that Allah will judge each of us according to the situation He placed us in. If you share my spirit, then Allah willing, our message will change the reality of Muslim women in the future. I respect your opinion and hope you respect mine.

        Just as a side note: It is completely halal for a Muslim woman to specify on her Nikah contract that during marriage to her, he may not take another wife. It is also completely Halal for her to state that he may not have intercourse with his concubines. A woman is thus technically free to demand exclusivity in her marriage with regards to physical relations.

        RandomGuy

        April 6, 2013 at 11:10 pm

  202. Another point to note is that just because a Muslim woman may choose to marry a non Muslim man does not mean that her parents have failed to raise her as a proper Muslim. Every adult Muslim is responsible for his/her life choices. Even many of the Prophets’ children did not accept their father’s message. Every adult Muslim woman can legally marry a non Muslim man in the west. It does not detract form the fact that those who do so reduce greatly the chances of their offspring being Muslim. In any case, the Islamic marriage (Nikah) is not tied to a secular marriage of any form, under any jurisdiction, in any country of the world. A Nikah is valid if it is valid in the shariah alone, whether the shariah be recognized in the state or not. Even if a man and woman are married under secular law, if the Shariah does not recognize the marriage, the marriage is Islamically null and void.

    If my daughter were to make such a decision, I would appropriately state to her the facts and explain to her the reasons for the prohibition. Thereafter, my obligation as a father would be fulfilled. She would answer on the day of judgment to Allah for her deeds and I would answer for mine. Her marriage to a non Muslim would not decrease my ‘religiosity’ but if I were to marry a non Muslim woman and hence my daughter’s mother were not Muslim, I would have actively reduced her chances of being taught the proper Islamic rules of marriage from her mother and would have been partly responsible for her misguidance. It is also crucial to note that BOTH the mother and father are essential role models for both male and female children, in different aspects of parenthood. stating that a mother has greater influence on the children does not imply that having a non Muslim father is an appropriate or acceptable way to raise a Muslim child.

    RandomGuy

    April 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm

  203. I agree with all the points you raise concerning why it is not favorable for Muslim men from the west to marry Muslim women from their respective Muslim majority countries. There are many issues which are best avoided and it would lead to more successful marriages if both partners were raised in the same environment. The learned scholars need to heed these realities when advising the community on marriage.

    Take note that in the previous posts I used myself as an example to illustrate why it may not be so unfavorable for Muslim women in the west to at least consider Muslim men from Muslim majority countries, rather than non Muslim men. I’m just trying to dispel the more common stereotypes. I do not view my own state of life as a benchmark for others. I also do no state, by any means, that I am an ideal candidate for the Muslim women born and brought up in the west, although I am acutely aware of how society in the west plays out from childhood. I can strongly identify with all the social issues that you mention would be impediments to women form Muslim majority countries integrating into western society as wives. It must be stated that every Muslim man and woman has rights to his/her preferences in a marriage partner. It must also be stated that these preferences cannot be used to supersede the regulations of the Shariah.

    However, I disagree strongly with your general notion that the only reason Muslim women are restricted to marrying Muslim men are that Muslim societies in the past were the only means of her securing her Islamic rights. There are reasons far more obvious and far more deep reaching in their consequences. I also disagree with the notion that children should be free to choose their religion and should not be taught Islamic principles from childhood. This is indirectly implied by you stating that having a non Muslim parent has no effect on the outcome of a child accepting/rejecting Islam upon reaching adulthood.

    The FUNDAMENTAL reason that it is enshrined in the Quran and sunnah that Muslims marry other Muslims is that adequate personal faith, the practice of actions upon that faith, the accompanying rituals and development of spirituality of both partners and their children are only possible when both partners are believers in Allah. One cannot separate marriage from faith just as one cannot separate any other action of a Muslim from the faith. Our entire lives are an act of worship and marriage is a big part of life. Understanding this is key to understanding what it means to be a Muslim.

    RandomGuy

    April 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    • Random Guy: You stated that it is “it is enshrined in the Quran and sunnah that Muslims marry other Muslims is that adequate personal faith. . .”

      Why then does it this restriction only for women? Men are allowed to marry non-Muslims. If so much emphasis is placed on Muslims marrying other Muslims – why was this restriction not extended to men as well?

      If our entire lives are an act of worship and marriage is a big part of life, who then is responsible for Muslim women who are unable to marry due to age or status? Because we are women and fall into this category, we stick out in the Muslim community.

      Meanwhile divorced men and other single men are marrying without a problem as age and status is not an issue for them. Well, we can be happy that at least they are now fulfilling that most important aspect of faith – while we “other” women can only sit and wait until some male offers to save our soul with his great status as a “Muslim” man thus confirming our legitimacy. Wonderful.

      Sarah

      April 6, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      • In your case, I understand why you would want to marry a non Muslim. But do keep in mind that many modern Muslim women want to marry non Muslim men even when there are plenty of eligible Muslim men available (do some research on the issue in Russia, India, Morocco, etc.) because they don’t understand what marriage means in Islam. It would not be appropriate to extend the exceptions encountered in the west (about 1 % of the global Muslim population) to Muslim majority countries. I have also witnessed a number of very young Muslim women who want to marry non Muslim men with whom they have engaged in premarital relationships. Please understand my viewpoint on why I say it is wrong.

        I have already stated that the exception of the Shariah allowing Muslim men to marry chaste, practicing non Muslim women of Christian and Jewish faith is mired with restrictions that are very likely not met in western society. Just because western Muslim society has made this socially acceptable does not mean it is any less Haram when the conditions are not met. This exception exists because in this case (provided the various conditions are met) the lack of Islam of the wife is not enough to detrimentally effect the practice of Islam in the family. A man did not make these laws, Allah did. You know that as well as I do.

        Also, it is true that many Muslim men have been bad husbands and this has caused many Muslim women to be divorced, but it is also fact that many Muslim women also abuse and break the rules of marriage and this is also a major cause of divorce (personal experience: all Muslim women are not angels). Can the Muslim man who has been wronged then not claim that he should be allowed to marry non Muslim women as Muslim women are not worthy of marriage? Its a double edged sword you know.

        RandomGuy

        April 6, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    • Random Guy: You also assume that just because a Muslim woman marrys a Muslim man, the man is committed to Islam or has any level of faith or spirituality as is the requirement. From the lifestyles that I have witnessed from a number of Muslim men here – that is not the case. Yet they are qualified to marry Muslim women (who are not permitted to marry non-Muslims) simply because they were born into Muslim families. No one is going to do an “inventory of religiousness” on these men, they are accepted as Muslim and when they misbehave in marriages – it is the Muslim wife who is left divorced with little or no chance of re-marriage.

      There are many ugly realities which need to be addressed. The constant focus on what ‘should be’ vs ‘what is’ does not help. There are human lives at stake and yet we cling to idealized notions of what really does not exist. I am sorry to be so harsh.

      Looking at the conditions of Muslims throughout the world, we see horrific circumstances of corruption, poverty, neglect, abuse, hunger affecting millions of people. We fail at meeting the most basic requirements of taking care of each other as Muslims.

      Somehow when the issue of women crops up, protests begin and God is brought into it as justification for why restrictions are necessary to continue for women – regardless of the overwhelming evidence that something is quite wrong with this whole picture.

      Sarah

      April 6, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      • I never stated that a Muslim woman should marry just any Muslim man. She has the responsibility of finding a suitor who practices the religion appropriately and is eligible for marriage. If she cannot find one under extreme circumstances, then her case is different. I agree with you in such a case that the shariah may draw an exception.

        Note that It is a well known concept in the Shariah that we do not make rules based on the exception but rather on the norms. Even in these dire times, the majority of western Muslim women still find a Muslim husband, hence the exceptions are still those Muslim women who cannot find a husband after adequate searching.

        Just as you claim that many Muslim men are only Muslim by name, I can also claim (very honestly) to have witnessed Muslim women (young and old) whose lifestyles are as far from Islam as can be. Demonizing Muslim men is not the solution. We are not all demons. Neither are we all perfect. Same for men and women.

        The same conditions of poverty, hunger, war corruption, etc. exist in many non Muslim countries (I would know, I have lived in a Sub Saharan African country for a while). Every condition is form Allah. If I as a Muslim have fulfilled my duties, Allah will not hold me responsible for the conditions of the other 1.6 billion Muslims. Yes, life is harsh, the world is non ideal and we have a religion that accommodates and makes life easy when it becomes too hard. But we need to be aware that some people of weak faith may take advantage of these exceptions rather than trying hard to change the reality.

        Allah can change any reality. Knowing this is fundamental to faith. If it weren’t for the will of Allah and the Prophet’s hard effort, the heathen Arabs would have continued to live life ignorantly in a corrupt backward society. The fact that we even have Islam today is proof that his effort was not wasted. And his effort will never be wasted. There will always be a group of rightly guided people who will pull others back from the edge of failure. If Islam is the truth, then it must be powerful enough to change the world eventually. Study our history and you will know what I am referring to.

        Attitudes are changing among the younger generation for the better. Most young Muslims are appreciating the role and importance of women in society. All is not lost yet.

        RandomGuy

        April 7, 2013 at 12:14 am

  204. Random Guy: Thank you for your understanding in your final post. You stated to me: “Your sacrifices and faith have been enormous and I am sure you will be rewarded for those sacrifices immensely.”

    I ask – what benefit was there from my abstension of not marrying a non-Muslim? It did not help save another live or feed anyone. It only meant I was alone for decades. Why does God require such a sacrifice from our women? What benefit is there that I could not become a mother (or any other woman in that situation)? I may have raised a wonderful Muslim child.

    Thanks again for your well intended words, however there is no reward that I would want for such a life regardless of my professional success. I don’t feel I’ve earned any reward compared to what a worthy sacrifice is. I and others are a result of a socially disasterous time where immigration, first generation challenges and culture turned into a big mess with the added headache of religion tossed in for bad measure. It has affected women and only women. I don’t think that was God’s intent for us.

    Sarah

    April 7, 2013 at 12:04 am

    • You were a victim and you should never forget that Allah knows this. He WILL reward you in the afterlife. Society has been wrong to those in your situation. That’s all I have to say on this forum.

      RandomGuy

      April 7, 2013 at 12:21 am

      • Note: If I am perceived to be a “victim”, as other Muslim women may be in similar situations, – it is only by God’s rules for women and made worse by Muslims. No one knows who will be rewarded or not, as all aspects of a person’s life must be balanced re: reward and punishment.

        If a person wants to marry a Muslim and only a Muslim, they will ensure they do so. If a person wants to marry a non-Muslim, they will ensure they do so. If a Muslim woman wants to marry a Muslim and cannot due to a number of hardships and circumstances, the option to marry a Person of the Book should be available and any children from such unions should be welcomed into the Muslim community and not treated as pariahs – as is the allowance for men.

        Sarah

        April 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm

  205. Random Guy: You wrote: “I never stated that a Muslim woman should marry just any Muslim man. She has the responsibility of finding a suitor who practices the religion appropriately and is eligible for marriage. If she cannot find one under extreme circumstances, then her case is different. I agree with you in such a case that the shariah may draw an exception.”

    But that is the point – we don’t get to meet many Muslim men to begin with here, let alone find a suitor who practices Islam. Often we don’t know what the man’s habits or behavior is until after marriage. That’s the problem – we are in extreme circumstance mode and have been for years.

    Sarah

    April 7, 2013 at 12:20 am

    • Having faith in the justice of Allah is important, but yes Allah is the ultimate judge, so please do not read my statement in totality.

      A lot of people can claim to be made a victim by God’s rules – e.g. the poor (for God’s rule against stealing), the men (for God’s rule that they must provide for their unmarried sisters), women (for having restrictions on their movement) etc. God’s rules are accepted by the faithful as we understand that God is the ultimate authority (not society or the scholars) and God knows what is best for us. He is after all the creator of the entire universe and on the day of judgment he will ensure absolute justice. Just because God has the power to punish or reward anyone does not imply that God will abuse that power. Remember, one of the 99 attributes of Allah is that He is Aadil (the most just)

      Anyone is free to do what he/she wants to do (be they Muslim or not). A Muslim is even free to leave Islam as a whole or leave any part of it out. This does not negate the fact that the Shariah acts in the interests of the Islamic faith, the Muslim individuals and Muslim society as a whole.

      As I have already mentioned, exceptions are made to the general rule when justified according to the necessity, not more nor less, not more often and not less often.

      By your own statement, if you wanted to marry a non Muslim man, you could have done so, and no Muslim would legally have been able to stop you (in North America at least). You seem to be convinced that in your case, it would not have been prohibited by the Shariah as well. It was your own considerations on how Muslim society would treat you that stopped you in the first place. It was not the Shariah nor your beliefs. As you have stated, the Shariah does not apply in North America.

      As for society, no one individual can change it in the short span of a lifetime.

      RandomGuy

      April 9, 2013 at 7:52 am

      • Random Guy: All I am asking is for our scholars to consider the situation of Muslim women in a time of rather extreme situations. I am not making a case only for myself, but for many, many Muslim women who are unable to marry. I had met and spoken to such women over the decades and the situation is appalling. This is a situtation created by Muslims to the detriment of women.

        Of course, we can all make individual choices for ourselves. That is not my concern. I would like the situation of women examined, especially for those who in the long run may not be self sufficient for a number of reasons.

        Social pressure on Muslim women is tough. We are threatened with expulsion from families, told any marriage to a non-Muslim is absolutely haram, any children from such marriages are not welcomed to be part of the Muslim community due to opposition of such marriages. We are told our actions as women will jeopardize the reputation of other siblings and their efforts to marry due to the “shame” brought onto the family by a daughter who marries “out” and do we not care about our other sisters. It continues. A strong effort is made to marginalize women and their choices.

        Muslim men however are tolerated when they introduce non-Muslim or foreign wives. The answer is always “well it is halal”. They can marry non-Muslims and foreign wives are Muslim – so it’s okay. This are the facts of what we are dealing with.

        Your concern is that young Muslim women fall in love with non-Muslim men and wish to marry them. My concern is that there are a lot of Muslim women into their 30s or older who will never marry. Do you understand the implications and consequences of condemning women to that fate in this society? It is beyond some post-adolescent romantic haze experienced by those in their early 20s.

        I was in a class taught by a well known law professor (a Muslim) who teaches Islamic law as well in a major university here, over a period of months to understand rulings. He explained to me in detail about the reason why Muslim women could not marry non-Muslim men and it was due to their access to rights per socio-economic structure. He explained the process of formulating legal decisions by jurists and it is not a simple cut and dry matter but rather takes a number of factors into account.

        Decisions also varied according to region and circumstances. Islam even permitted temporary marriage when Muslim men were travelling on military campaigns (still retained by some Muslims). Yet a “temporary” marriage seems contrary to what marriage’s intent is in Islam – yet circumstances dictated it. But no allowance is made for women at all.

        I don’t understand why Islam puts women in a position where they forfeit basic rights in life such as marriage, family, support and companionship – without addressing the circumstances – and then have the audacity to tell them this is in the interest of Islam.

        I thank you Random Guy for the time you have spent on your replies, I understand what you are trying to convey, however please consider the life situations of women here (a blog format is not the easiest manner to discuss this difficult subject) and it is really about their future and fairness in circumstance. It has now crossed over into the realm of abuse.

        Sarah

        April 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm

  206. Shariah was developed over centuries by man. It is based on Qur’an and Sunnah, however many aspects of Shariah are not mentioned in either source due to the nature of its development – i.e. Shariah includes matters not specified in either Qur’an or Sunnah. It has evolved.

    There are two agreed upon derived sources of Shariah as well: scholarly consensus (Ijma) and legal analogy (Qiyas). Legal analogy is necessary to derive rulings for new matters.

    Legal analogy enables Muslim jurists to understand the underlying reasons and causes for the rulings. This is for assistance when dealing with ever-changing human situations and allows for new rulings to be applied consistently.

    Sarah

    April 9, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    • Sarah: I know about the history and nature of the shariah and agree with your description of its development, role and purpose.

      As I have already noted, I agree with you on this particular issue on the basis that in a situation of unreasonable difficulty, the shariah will always compromise to make things easy.(A simple example on this very issue: If a non Muslim woman who is already married accepts Islam in a country where revealing her faith would put her life in danger, she may stay married to her non Muslim husband and practice her faith in secret as best as she can, until the situation changes)

      My problem is that when it comes to matters such as these, where primarily its the emotions which are involved, people will go ‘fatwa shopping’ and try to find a scholar who manipulates the shariah to give a ruling according to the desires of the person. That is not how the shariah works. Even when there was a difference in opinion, historically the majority opinion was always adopted as the law of the land, even when there may have been reasons for the minority opinion to be respected. You can call it unfair or whatever you like, but that’s how it worked. That is a not flaw in Islam, it is a reality of Islam allowing differences in opinion.

      Quite frankly, I know a few Muslim people in my community (maybe 1 % of people are Muslim in my state) and I do not know many older women who aren’t married or haven’t been married in the past. What I do see everyday is a number of young Muslims, (roughly equal numbers of men and women), who seem to think that ‘dating’ and marrying with non Muslims is absolutely fine and does not carry any consequences whatsoever. Look at some of the previous comments on this article to see examples of the attitude I refer to.

      I must admit that almost all of the young people who do so either do not have a good, deep understanding of Islam (and hence don’t practice most of its injunctions) or come from families where the parents themselves are not very religious. It is also seen as a rebellious thing to do, something which I do not understand. Forgive me for being so brash, but sometimes I also feel that good Muslims are not inclined to marry such people anyway.

      You also get young Muslim women who reject Muslim men of foreign birth based on petty differences yet complain when these men go overseas and marry a Muslim woman there. It is quite ironic.

      What baffles me, however, is this notion that a majority of young Muslim men are ‘bad’. This I find extremely untrue. In any society, one gender cannot be ‘worse’ than the other. Gender relations in any society is a result of the behavior of men and women equally. I do not wish to question the character of all Muslim women, but honestly (maybe in your generation you did not get to witness the things I witnessed, involuntarily) I can tell you that there are equal numbers of good and unsavory men and women in our society, just like in any other society.

      RandomGuy

      April 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      • Just remember to take my comment in context, we probably live in very different communities and the age differences between us possibly make our worldviews and life experiences very different. I admit we’d be better off discussing these issue with people in similar contexts as ourselves.

        RandomGuy

        April 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      • Random Guy: I would like to address specifically your statement (as I don’t have time to address other points now):

        “You also get young Muslim women who reject Muslim men of foreign birth based on petty differences yet complain when these men go overseas and marry a Muslim woman there. It is quite ironic.”

        Muslim women here may reject men born elsewhere for the following reasons:

        – The man doe not have legal status here and marriage to a citizen will accommodate that.

        – Parents are introducing men from their own national background to their daughters as they want daughters to marry from within their own culture. The women do not necessarily agree with this rationale.

        – Often younger people wish to marry someone with whom they see commonality. This may be challenging with a person who is new to the culture. No doubt the culture that one is socialized in will affect his/her perspectives in life. It does not mean the newcomer is “bad” – only too different. This is heightened by the fact that people in their mid-20s usually have not experienced much beyond high school or college/university and those experiences are mainly most of what they know. Muslims who live in majority countries do not face this challenge of giving up commonality when selecting a spouse. It is not even a question for them, as it is for Muslims here – yet we are forced to deal with this.

        – The issue is not of foreign born men going overseas to marry. The issue is of Muslim men “born/raised here” who are going overseas to marry. Often this is orchestrated by parents who want a firm say in who their daughter-in-law is going to be. Many times it is a cousin. This helps to accommodate immigration for the foreign bride’s family to come here. It is a “political” and calculated decision to extend family interests. This is very common. Sons are talked into accepting their “responsibility” for the family by following along.

        Often the new foreign bride lives with the in-laws in their home here and does not complain (she got to come to the west), as most women raised here will not live with in-laws (understandably). This alleviates the problem for the Muslim man of providing a separate home for his wife and other basic expectations a woman here may have, as well as any employment problems he faces – is covered by his family.

        – When parents resort to this, often it is a result of their sons wishing to marry another Muslim girl here – and the parents do not agree with it. She may be of a different cultural backgroud or race. Often social class is mentioned and the girl is rejected if she is from a more modest background. I have witnessed this. “We can’t be associated with ‘that’ family” is heard – as marriage is not viewed as a joining of two individuals but rather a family affair with much at stake – contrary to the western view of individual choices.

        – If a man is sponsored by the woman to come here for marriage, she faces severe legal liabilities concerning his choices here including responsibility to the government for any debts/loans incurred by him to the state (same goes for a man however related consequences for men seem much smaller than for women). In Canada there are cases of women (Muslim and non-Muslim) paying back the government for welfare payments etc racked up by the man for years (tens of thousands of dollars) – even after their divorce and his re-marriage to another woman. Check media reports of this.

        – Parents here have even talked their sons into doing a Nikah ceremony with a foreign woman (even by proxy) “without” having the couple live together for years to come. This is their way of ensuring control over their son, as he now feels “committed” to this woman and will not consider marrying someone else (even another Muslim). This occurs with Pakistanis in particular. It also gives time for immigration documents to be sorted out for entry. These young men will consider this option rather than marrying a Muslim woman here. What does that say about them?

        The irony does not exist when a closer look at what goes on here occurs. End result – Muslim women are not helped by these circumstances which extends far beyond those of commonality of religion.

        Sarah

        April 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      • A lot of older Muslims here do “not” have a good, deep understanding of Islam as well. It is not limited to young people.

        At least efforts are made by many young Muslims to address our needs on campuses and through organizing Muslim conventions with the perspective of understanding our challenges as they were raised here. Topics discussed include relevant and reality-based discussions faced by North American Muslims.

        I spoke to a some younger Muslims about the situation with Dave Chapelle. Chapelle converted to Islam as a teenager and he is brilliantly talented. After extreme success in television, he walked about from a $50 million contract due to mixed feelings about what his shows were conveying and his values per that industry. That conversation reflected the understanding that group had about Chappelle’s decision.

        Many older Muslim are at fault for promoting their cultural understandings and wants over what Islam states – also a contributing factor to our problems here. Younger Muslims may feel frustrated with this mindset and rebel out of a mixture of true disagreement, acceptance of pluralism and some immaturity or lack of life experiences.

        Sarah

        April 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      • Correction: Chappelle walked “away” from a $50 million contract.

        Sarah

        April 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm

  207. Sarah: A final point comes to mind. Regarding how Muslim society treats people who against its norms, it is very often not a good reflection of what the Shariah wants, but rather what the society wants.

    Simply legalizing a matter of contention will not necessarily mean that people will accept it. Polygyny was always allowed in Islam, from its very beginning. However, look at South Asian Muslim societies, today and in the past. Even though it is undoubtedly Halal, it is very much frowned upon among South Asian Muslims. Hence, simply getting some scholars to declare a certain type of marriage Halal is not necessarily going to change how society treats that type of marriage. Rather, work must be done to make people aware of the problems and see for themselves how the shariah solves it.

    RandomGuy

    April 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    • Random Guy: I know of Muslim men who are married to Muslim women here with second wives in Pakistan. The second wife is aware of this and appreciates the money he sends her and his visits. In one case recently, the first wife here died of cancer and was not aware of the second wife. It only came out after her death.

      My ex-husband’s father lived in the UK with a second when he was a child. She was imported into their household and then exported (divorced) later and sent back when things didn’t work out. His mother had no option but to put up with this as she had no education and many children to consider. I wonder how that experience negatively impacted his behavior re: his father’s attitude towards his mother.

      South Asians also travelled to other parts of the British Empire in generations past for trade. They took second wives where they settled for business, with first wives in India. The exception is South Africa where South Asian women also settled with their husbands.

      My family is mixed racially from intermarriage from business. Men took second wives including uncles who married French women in Mauritius in the 1930s and my step-great grandmother was German (a second wife) in my own country of origin. My maternal side (generations past) were non-Muslim women who converted and married men (as second wives). They had two sets of families, in two countries at that time. Whenever I meet members of my extended family – the result of polygamy is obvious – as per the mixture of races and languages of those descended from second wives (astonishingly exceptional and unique mixtures), as well as those descendents of first wives and not of mixed race.

      Sarah

      April 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm

  208. I agree with much of what Sarah has said to Random Guy, especially ths:

    “I don’t understand why Islam puts women in a position where they forfeit basic rights in life such as marriage, family, support and companionship – without addressing the circumstances – and then have the audacity to tell them this is in the interest of Islam.”

    I have been tinkering with this notion for a long time. Growing up in Canada with strict Pakistani parents, not permitted to talk to boys, even in university — graduate studies even — I had to give my class schedule to my father and come home within half hour after class. Then I began working. For a sheltered Muslim girl the world of work was tough; I had to put in that little extra to get ahead. And all this time, the folks waited for a proposal to show up at their door. What a joke and what B.S.

    I’m now 42 and no one ever showed up. Ya, this is really what Islam is all about, huh??? My parents are old. My brother marred his white girlfriend. He is 55 years old so obviously he’s going to outlive me.

    So where does that leave me in terms of family, love and support?? Right now, my mother asks about me, expresses concern if I am sick/tired/upset. But soon she will be gone. Then who will have my back? Not that mom should have my back — I spend my non working hours making sure my parents are ok, because of course my brothers are busy with their wives and children and hockey tournaments and soccer games.

    Islam contains a lot of prohibitions. Yet our parents chose to move to non Muslim countries and have baby girls here, knowing it would be next to impossible for us to get married, have families of our own, and be loved and cherished in our own right. Instead I have been subjected to constant guilt by my parents if I don’t respect their cultural norms, if I don’t abide by their rules, if I don’t make self sacrifices to take care of them. I mean, the world stops turning if my mom has a cold! I have to leave work early, make sure she has soup, make sure my dad is fed, etc — because of the common cold. Only now, at my age, does my mother recognize that maybe they’ve been a tad unfair and I deserve more.

    All that being said, I’m not starving or a victim of a war crime. It’s tough and harsh to never have the opportunity to marry, love, have children, be taken care of, have someone to talk to at night, etc, but I don’t believe Islam has carved out an exception for women like me. I can go onto singlemuslim.com right now and marry a creep from a 3rd world country who does not speak English and wishes to obtain a passport, but I choose not to — for obvious reasons, but I guess that’s my fault, not the fault of Islam.

    It’s a crappy situation. I’m so sad to say this but Islam had not given me options. The love and respect I gave my parents my whole life — I deserved the same from my own family too, but I never got my own family. And when my mom is gone, I will not have a single soul that cares about me. Not one.

    Disheartened Design Chick

    April 10, 2013 at 2:14 am

    • Dear Disheartend: There is a lot of pain in and a lot of truth in what you wrote. I strongly insist those who oppose this blog honestly do not understand what has been/is going on here to our Muslim women. The scope of our challenges at all levels (many which you have noted) is ignored and somehow glossed over by religion and perpetuated. A person raised in the west may fully understand the difficulties involved here.

      The Prophet (pbuh) addressed social problems – he did not ignore them. Now our social issues are being entangled with “religious” issues.

      Whenever this subject is discussed, we are often met with retorts that we’re going “against God”. In other related blogs (on Goatmilk) I’ve read postings from Muslim men who clearly state they have fine, upright sisters who are now in their 40s and were unable to marry due to circumstances beyond their control.

      Your situation Disheartened is not uncommon. In fact, it is becoming the norm for many of our women. We follow the rules as Muslims and do our best re: education, work, finances, taking care of our parents etc. Then when we look to make a life for ourselves re: marriage – well it’s tough luck time for us. Our men do not have to play by the same rules and are not scrutinized anywhere near the same extent.

      As for those Muslim women who chose to live within our rules and consequently end up unmarried (assuming they wished for basics in life such as a family) – they will continue to be ignored and told – this life is fleeting, then face death as we all will, go 6 feet under, before they are “rewarded” for their forfeits in some unspecified manner in the next life. What an explanation for someone to accept if they simply want to marry and have a family!

      Subjecting our women to an “Alien vs Predator” type showdown of dissuasion, if they want to marry non-Muslims (as our men often do), is the wrong way to go. Creeps need not apply.

      Sarah

      April 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm

  209. Also as far as developing our community in North America – men who marry foreign women should wonder what values such women may possess when she can so easily agree to spend her life with a man she does not know at all and from a very different place.

    She got in line with dozens of other “import candidates” when it was heard that a man from the west is coming to look for a wife. This line up was based soley on the opportunity to live in the west and the material benefits it offers. The man meanwhile is stating his preference for age, height, skin complexion, virgin (of course) – older or divorced women will simply not do. His menu appears as does his ticket to the west.

    This includes very young women who marry men much older men from here, often divorced more than once. No questions asked. He is not looking for a peer. Muslim women here may refer to men going overseas to marry as ones who have “successfully bought a wife” and the woman as one who “is willing to sell herself” for the opportunity. Great for community development? – No. But he “did” marry a Muslim so it’s somehow okay?!

    Although this sounds harsh, there is much reality in these statements. If more mature Muslim men actually sought to marry Muslim women of similar age here, we would not have the existing problem.

    If anyone thinks these fishing trips (sorry. . . marriage expeditions) are based on Islamic values per finding a spouse – I have news for them. Convenience is the bottom line and not for any concern towards developing the next constructive generation of Muslims who are fit to address our continuing needs in North America.

    All is glossed over by Muslims as such marriages occured “within the religion” – and no thought is given to what happens to our women in the long run.

    Sarah

    April 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm

  210. Sarah: It seems you have a rather diverse lineage. You have thus been possibly exposed to more diverse communities wherein the social aspects of Islam are interpreted differently. I am sure this has broadened your horizons and let you realize the various social mishaps many Muslims from more homogeneous societies have gotten themselves into.

    I am also somewhat ‘mixed race’ in that I have Iranian and South Asian parents, although each of these two communities tend to be rather homogeneous in themselves. From my South Asian side of the family, ploygyny is still severely frowned upon. I am not referring to foreign emigrants from there, but rather to the locals. I understand many exceptions may historically exist, due to men leaving their home country for business and not finding Muslim women in foreign lands.

    I can strongly identify with parental pressure to marry from ones own ethnic group (or in my case, one of the two ethnic groups I partially ‘belong’ to). I do not rationalize this in any way neither do I find it acceptable. Any Muslim man or woman has an inherent choice to marry anyone who they are eligible to marry as per the laws of the Shariah. However, my parents refuse to introduce me to anyone not of our ethnic groups, or at the very least they want me to give preference to such people and consider them first. I know this is not Islamic and I don’t think that such social practices should be condoned. However, I don’t think marrying a non Muslim woman will solve my problem in any way.

    I also agree that anyone who marries for citizenship or wealth is not going to contribute anything positive to society. I think Muslim men to free themselves from unreasonable family influence in these matters, where the sole purpose of marriage is to facilitate immigration or the transfer of wealth. In earlier replies, I pointed out the true role of marriage in Islam and these aspects are totally contradictory to Islamic marriage.

    It should be pointed out that contrary to what many born western Muslims seem to believe, not all people in the majority countries desire to go to the west or seek to marry for legal citizenship reasons. In fact the social ‘dramas’ of the born western Muslims are starting to give them a rather unsavory reputation in the majority countries. Not every woman who marries a man form the west is a ‘gold digger’. Often there are not enough jobs and economic opportunities for educated young Muslim women (especially true in South Asia) in their home countries or their parents (often not affluent) are simply trying to give them a better life by allowing them to marry a foreign man. Also, as the recession affects the west, the saturation of the western job market and ensuing economic slowdown is making the west a less lucrative place of emigration. With all the globalization that is taking place, soon people will form their communities in the Muslim majority countries wherein they will try to implement their own preferred social and economic standards. It is already happening in India, Malaysia and South Africa.

    I agree that Muslim society has given much more freedom (note I said society, not the Shariah) and many older men exploit the social acceptance of marriage to non Muslims and to women from majority countries. Still, I don’t know of any young Muslim (my age) man who would prefer a Muslim woman from a majority country over a Muslim woman born and brought up here, for the same reasons that Muslim women may not prefer men from majority countries. However, it is very insensitive to view such marriages, if and when they do occur, as a ‘business deal’, as if the woman has ‘sold’ herself.

    I cannot agree with you that every man who looks for a wife overseas is looking for someone other than a peer. It can’t be wealth, as most people (let alone women) in Muslim majority countries are on average not as wealthy as those in the west (some exceptions to this in the Arab world and far east perhaps). On the issue of appearance, I have often seen Muslim women reject a man based on this too. On the issue of virginity, you can’t fault a man for wanting a virgin wife if he is virgin himself. Neither can you fault a woman for wanting a virgin husband if she is the same. It is human nature and a personal preference. What is certain is that the chances of finding a virgin among non Muslims in today’s western society are pretty slim. It cannot even be assumed of many Muslims either.

    If so many Muslim men do not want to marry Muslim women born and brought up in the west, do western Muslim women not need to look at themselves and question why they are not given preference? It must be noted again that the option for a Muslim woman to marry a man from the majority countries remains available. If she really wanted to, she could also get to know, interact with and marry Muslim men from the recent immigrant (more derogatorily also known as the FOB) communities. That is an entire issue altogether, and in my short life I have already had many negative experiences on that front.

    You have addressed many of the social aspects surrounding the issue, but you have not addressed my original concerns regarding younger Muslims, and the effect of permitting young Muslim men and women to marry non Muslim women/men. You take the stand that the Shariah should be changed to accommodate social practices. On the contrary, my view is that social practices need to change so that the Shariah is adhered to. What I see is people placing their personal, social and cultural (or often secular) preferences over and above the spirit of Islam. That is why nowadays you find it is so easy for people to say that they are just ‘cultural Muslims’. It also the reason why some Muslims are always trying to find loopholes in the Shariah, so that their personal (secular) convictions and their assumed religious ‘affiliations’ do not conflict. That is the truth of the matter.

    RandomGuy

    April 11, 2013 at 7:49 am

    • Random Guy: I concur with a number of your points. Exceptions: It is non-virgin Muslim men (divorced or involved with girlfriends before) who are looking for virgin foreign wives.

      You asked: “If so many Muslim men do not want to marry Muslim women born and brought up in the west, do western Muslim women not need to look at themselves and question why they are not given preference?

      – The issue is access. We do not get to meet Muslim men in order for proper interest to be developed. We depend on introductions unless we are fortunate enough meet them at university or at work etc. Many women are introduced to only one or two men “per year” (maybe) and they may not be suitable matches for each other. The pickings are slim.

      As we live as minorities, our community is challenged by issues of diverse nationalities, limited social networks for introductions, Islamic modesty does not permit dating – the most common manner in which people meet spouses here. Contrary to popular opinion, not all Muslim women are running around with men. This is one reason why they become 35+ years old and have not married.

      Women who are 40+ were in their youth over 20 years ago (or more, in my case 30+ years) – when our community totally did not accept any form of “dating”. We did not have cell phones to maintain privacy with calls, we did not have emails or texting our love interests. There was no internet. We lived at home with parents and our actions were screened. Any sign of a “boyfriend” then was met with furious uproar and strongly deterred. Now a person can be in full contact with another and no one is aware of it – per technology.

      We had to live within the context of our communities’ attitudinal development as many were newcomers. Another generation or so has since passed for women now over 40. View it partially as a timeline issue.

      We are further challenged by the cultural limitations (usually imposed by our parents’ generation). Many parents were still very much attached to their cultures and sought ways to continue their practices here with little thought that they had North American children – they wanted junior versions of themselves.

      The results included arranged marriages, marriages with foreign men and women for their sons and daughters, immigration issues and insistence on common ethnicity/nationality or language group. This is what the average Muslim woman faced – on top of the fact that she could not “date” Muslim men.

      If a woman could not overcome these substantial hurdles, she remained unmarried – or worse married and then divorced. As she grew older, divorced with children, the options of a Muslim man marrying her grew even smaller. Hence, a significant large number of perfectly good and fine Muslim women who are single – often from “decency in their behavior” or misfortune from circumstances outside of their control.

      To answer your question: we western Muslim women “have” looked at ourselves and we know why we are not given preference (as per above). The fact this question is thrown back at us reflects a distorted or naive understanding of a serious situation.

      Sarah

      April 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      • I find it disturbing that non-Muslim men have expressed an interest in marrying me but not Muslim men.

        Non-Muslims respect my conduct with them (I’m dealing with a more mature age group, not young men), that I don’t drink, that I don’t have a “history” with men besides my former marriage. That my behavior is noticably different from many non-Muslim women they have met – which they appreciate and comment on. The intense discipline of remaining single now for many years. They often ask questions about Islam and make an effort to understand. Admittedly 9/11 created a negative atmosphere and misunderstanding.

        They also appreciate my accomplishments and are comfortable with my age – which is about the same as theirs (peers). This can be said for many other Muslim women as well. As we cannot marry these men, we are often especially guarded in our actions.

        We are put in the precarious position of being North American – but not fully. That we are the natural result of our environment as we grew up here – but cannot be truly “from” here as per our religious restrictions. Then we are told to consider further morphing ourselves to adjust to potential husbands who were raised in other cultures – and conduct ourselves in that mode. It is a tall order.

        Sarah

        April 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    • You asked: “You have addressed many of the social aspects surrounding the issue, but you have not addressed my original concerns regarding younger Muslims, and the effect of permitting young Muslim men and women to marry non Muslim women/men.”

      – So far the effects of barring young Muslims from marrying non-Muslims are not working out too well. The constant blockade – especially as they affect women – has failed. According to one report in Canada, 40% of Muslim women are now marrying non-Muslims – whether they have “permission” or not.

      I think you are under the impression that if such permission was granted, everyone would run out and marry non-Muslims in some wild manner. Many will not do so. The absence of such permission does not seem to prevent it as well. If individuals wish to maintain a marriage with both spouses as Muslims they will do so. If they do not wish to or value this, they will not do so.

      Muslim men have been marrying non-Muslim women here for decades. Even a number of my father’s Muslim friends from his university days have married non-Muslim women since the 1950s, mostly in Europe. However, many do not even if they could.

      The lack of this “permission” is causing us to lose young Muslims in our communities. As Muslim women’s marriages to non-Muslims are not tolerated, theses marriage still occurs and that woman and her children are now lost within our community. Giving permission would allow them to be married within the fold of Islam and their children given the option to be welcomed and participate in the community and any Islamic education that can be provided to them. We clearly see that degrees of religious practice vary from observant to none at all within our communities. This is a fact and not a value judgement.

      There are Muslim couples who are living together without benefit of marriage. Many are professionals/independent and will not accept being dictated to until they are ready to marry. We all know this is happening. There are young Muslim men and women who have been seeing each other for years and have been intimate. Their anxious parents waiting for engagement annoucements which may or may not come. Notice there are no non-Muslims involved in these scenarios. I am not promoting this, only stating these situations are occuring.

      To turn a blind eye and state we should all be virtuous or seek an idealized “Muslim-state-of-being” – is not necessarily happening. Not everyone has common values or concerns. That is their right.

      Meanwhile the restrictions do not take into account the social realities that women in particular here live with. They are being denied basic rights re: marriage. As noted before, Muslim women wish to marry Muslim men, but have been unable to – mainly due to the way society here is organized. The religious restrictions on women have made it incredibly worse.

      Continued restrictions will not strengthen our communities here – they will weaken them – as we are already losing many of our youth due to rigidity. Throwing them out of families and community is not the right thing to do. It will not deter the next generation from doing so. This is why I ask for a solution to accommodate mixed marriages – so we do not continue to lose our youth or women. Barring them will not help.

      Sarah

      April 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      • Sarah: The report you refer to says 40 % of Muslim women BORN IN Canada are married to men who were non Muslim by birth. Many reverts to Islam do not report changes in their religion (both men and women). Also, the Canadian born Muslim community is small in comparison to the foreign born and revert communities. As far as I am aware, the figure for out-marriage is nowhere near 40 % (the same report actually says 15 % for Muslim women married to men who are still non Muslim). I am by no means saying that legalizing marriages with non Muslims will prompt an increase is such marriages. I am saying that it is wrong to legalize a type of marriage which is not condoned by Islam and for which I frankly see no reason for lifting the prohibition (the case of your generation, caught in the middle, is exceptional). I think we just need to apply the same so called ‘restrictive’ rules for both men and women. In the long run, it will benefit the community. If so many Muslim men AND women are marrying out, why the fuss about legalizing the issue in the Shariah when the Muslim public couldn’t care less who is following the shariah and who is not. Are you saying that ALL the Muslim women who break the rules are ostracized? In my experience, the one Muslim woman I know who married a non Muslim man (she’s my mother’s age and has an atheist daughter of my age) is not ostracized nearly as badly as you make it out to be. They visit our family often actually. Our mosque will not ‘reject’ her daughter simply because of her mother’s marriage to a Hindu man.

        I hope you follow the key point I am making: The issue is a cultural one, not a religious one. From the shariah perspective, all the Muslim men who ‘marry’ non chaste, non Muslim women (many atheist or non practicing) in the west are also engaging in major HARAM. Just because society has accepted it for decades does not make it any less so. Remember, the shariah is not there to preserve the choice of the individual (unfortunately, secular thoughts run deep in many of our people, and they are brainwashed to think that ‘there is no compulsion in Islam’ means that shariah is inherently ‘optional’). The Shariah is there to specify what is best and most Islamic for society, and it does NOT respect individual choice, even is such a thing as marriage (if not, the issue would not have been directly addressed in the Quran and Sunnah). Many ‘professionals’ may not accept it, but that does not influence the scholars of Islam in any way.This is applicable even if the majority do not follow the Shariah.

        Having said that, I still do not follow your logic behind saying that because people are ostracized for going against strict Islamic rules, the rules should be changed. Yes, people have broken the rules of the Shariah in the past, many do so currently and many will keep on breaking the rules in the future. Simple question: will you legalize alcohol in Islam because 40 % of the youth may be secretly drinking and those that are caught are ostracized and rejected by the community? The key is change, change WITHIN the confines and the spirit of the Shariah. You are insisting that the reality is different, yet your only solution is to call for relaxation of the constraints rather than changing that reality?

        There are millions of Muslim men & women who live perfectly normal lives in the west WHILST sufficiently following the rules of the Shariah (in the form and extent they are applicable in non Muslim countries). Just because we are rigid does not mean we are wrong. Its absurd how many people claim that we are losing the youth due to ‘rigidity’ yet how little these same people do to make the environment more Islamically friendly, how little time they take out to explain Islam to their youth, etc.The bottom line is that Islam in never going to be completely ‘compatible’ with a secular non Muslim environment. We have failed to understand that fact. We want the ‘best’ of both worlds.

        RandomGuy

        April 16, 2013 at 10:44 am

  211. Random Guy: It is clear that you were not raised in the west and of course are not female.

    The carelessness with which many of our Muslim sisters are being treated is shocking. You have not witnessed the decades of ostracism here of Muslim women who have married out and the consequences they faced. This has contributed to the situation of unmarried Muslim women – who could not marry Muslims. Do you actually believe we “chose” this life? That we “chose” to not have our own families or children?

    Many of us remained unmarried as a “result” of caring (or forced to care by parents) about Shariah. Those who chose to make lives for themselves by marrying non-Muslims (rather than remain single) obviously chose not to care. Either way – the consequences for women are dire. We pay the price for this.

    Have you spoken to social service workers here (including Muslim social service providers that were set up to deal with the growing number of cases) and witnessed the problematic outcomes between parents and their children that is directly related to this issue? Perhaps you should spend some time in women’s legal clinics (as I have) and witness the challenges Muslim women face when they live by our rules and get no support for their issues (the ones they were entitled to under Islam).

    There is no correlation between drinking alcohol and marriage as examples for your point. The two issues are completely separate. I’m not sure how you can parallel the two. Islam permits the eating of pork to save one’s life – doesn’t mean we are all going to run out and eat ham sandwiches. It also states that preservation of life overrides a prohibition.

    I am calling for the discrimination within Islam against women, as it has manifested here in the west, to stop – especially as it pertains to marriage.

    You stated: “The Shariah is there to specify what is best and most Islamic for society, and it does NOT respect individual choice, even is such a thing as marriage (if not, the issue would not have been directly addressed in the Quran and Sunnah).”

    – The Shariah has responsibilities towards our women as well. We do not have access to these rights and are forced to deal with getting the short end of the stick. Then we are told nothing is going to change.

    Therefore, by deduction – Muslim women who face serious issues in the west, due to a complete lack of failure by Muslims and their cultural practices, interpretation of Islam, promotion of segregation, choosing to marry foreign women in many cases, marrying non-Muslims, arranged marriages, preference for their own nationality in spouse selection, lacking substantial social networks for marriage introductions are somehow – “a generation caught in the middle” – is mindblowingly naive.

    You noted: “I am saying that it is wrong to legalize a type of marriage which is not condoned by Islam for which I frankly see no reason for lifting the prohibition.” You are entitled to your opinion but it clearly reflects an opinion of someone who has not witnessed our outcomes, seen the consequences of rigidity nor lived life as a Muslim woman caught in highly unfair circumstances per religion – something many of our men have miraculously avoided.

    Clarification to your point: We do not want the “best” of both worlds. Many Muslim women here have the “worst” of both worlds – forced to deal with all the demands and stress of western life, work, financial obligations etc coupled with none of the benefits for us under Shariah and forced into lives alone without husbands, children and a home.

    If Islam condones this – then something is very wrong. One cannot function in a system where religious law exists in theory and the realities of life are ignored. You feel somehow all of this is the “exception” – but for us the exception is the norm – it is our lives.

    You further noted: “There are millions of Muslim men & women who live perfectly normal lives in the west WHILST sufficiently following the rules of the Shariah (in the form and extent they are applicable in non Muslim countries).” I’m not sure who all these millions of people are or what is going on in their families. The extent to which Shariah is applicable here is negligible. Certainly in serious matters such as divorce – it is non-existent.

    We are tired of being told our circumstances don’t matter for some “common good”. Muslims have not dealt with these issues and it is swept under the rug as a “situational” problem. Muslim women are sick of hearing this.

    Those who are not raised here or from here may not fully understand the situation and downgrade our tragedies as such.

    Accommodation in Islam seems to exist for many matters including a variety of options for men: their relationships with women, their sexual needs per temporary marriages when away on campaigns and marriage (monogamous, polygamous and with non-Muslims), even with women outside of marriage. But we women are indeed not extended the same accommodation even in our “exceptional circumstances”. Perhaps it is because we don’t matter.

    Sarah

    April 16, 2013 at 3:34 pm

  212. Many of the existing Muslim marriages in North America were orchestrated by parents. Not everyone will agree to this. Now, very few people are.

    Depending on how observant or traditional the parents are, if a daughter wishes to marry a non-Muslim and her parents vehemently object to it – chances are she will either face ostracism by marrying him (extremely painful and stressful) or not marry the man and possibly/most likely never marry a Muslim (due to all the problems in meeting etc). In other words, she will not marry.

    As she grows older and the power or hold her parents have over her reduces in time – she may decide to make a life for herself and marry whomever she wishes – as opposed to facing a life alone. Her parents may realize their dreams of a Muslim suitor for their daughter did not materialize in this society and their constant enquiries to others of “do you know a suitable boy?” leads no where. She gets past child bearing age and her chances of marrying a Muslim man is even more slim.

    Now older, if she gets to the point where she decides to marry a non-Muslim to make some kind of a life, religious prohibitions are thrown at her as she has now enter the infamous “abode of haram” (the forbidden). There is no halal option for her and she is labelled as “one who did not care about her religion” – although she may have forfeited prime years when she could have become a mother.

    She has been thrown under the bus – usually driven by those who will never have to deal with her reality. Worse, her perceived contribution re: causality and downfall of Muslims in western society will be burdened upon her, as she is the conduit of all things awful by simply getting married.

    The should-have, could-have, would-have, should-be, isn’t . . . finally: Can’t. Aspects of massive issues re: centuries of religious law is thrusted upon her shoulders.

    A socio-cultural-religious-economic-legal maze/mess that virtually no one is equipped to navigate their way through – no matter how well intended or brilliant.

    However, if this is viewed as “situational” – the odd exception for “misfit” women when everyone else seems to be somehow “okay” – the prospects of solutions based in reality for Muslims living in the west, is going to be exponentially much worse (not better) with the passing of time – as existing realities are replaced with religious wants which have not been successfully applied in centuries (only versions of it). Inclusiveness is better than barriers.

    So it continues. . .

    Sarah

    April 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  213. Re: Conversion to Islam for marriage must be taken with a huge grain of salt. The following story is not uncommon – the non-Muslim groom (Jewish) recites his 10-second shahada before the nikah ceremony. The Imam is satisfied and proceeds. Later, the Muslim bride participates in a Jewish ceremony officiated by a Reform Rabbi (some Conservative Rabbis may do so, but not Orthodox). This event is not advertised by the Muslim family to anyone. They want everyone to think the man is now Muslim.

    This double ceremony was done for the sake of both sets of parents. The non-Muslim in-laws embrace the new couple (even if they have reservations) and the Muslim parents maintain an arms length relationship, if any. The daugther was not well received in the Muslim family again with few exceptions. The children of this marriage were welcomed into their extended Jewish side of the family, participating in cousins’ Bat/Bar-Mitzvahs and other occasions. They had little contact with the Muslim side due to the “boycott” mood. Which religion is most likely to influence the children or which one will they most identify with? Not being welcomed into the Muslim community should be a big hint.

    According to Jewish law, if the mother is not Jewish, the children are not Jewish (the father’s religion does not determine the children’s status). According to Muslim law, if the father is not Muslim, the children are not Muslim.

    As Islam does not accommodate Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men (or at least men of The Book), any marriage she participates in cannot be a nikah (which is only valid if the groom is Muslim). The lack of nikah means she is living with a man with whom she lacks religious legal ties.

    Therefore, she is living in haram with her non-Muslim husband and subject to a list of sins. According to many Muslims (including parents) – her soul “is” damned for this deviation.

    A Muslim man – per Shariah – can marry multiple wives and non-Muslims. In doing so, his soul is “not” damned if he enters into such marriages.

    This perceived “outcome of the soul” for their daugthers (and not their sons) is the main reason why there is so much objection to intermarriage for Muslim women. Unfortunately for many Muslim women, a destroyed life is the price to be paid for an attempt at “saving” their souls. The lack of religious sanction for our women to marry men of The Book is causing enormous distress in families, which our men are not subject to. Yet, many Muslims think all of this is fine.

    Regardless of all the arguments brought forth re: social implications etc for why Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslims. . .this religiously framed damnation “is” the bottom line motivating many to obstruct our women – but not our men.

    Sarah

    April 17, 2013 at 3:35 pm

  214. Sarah: Firstly, let me clarify that I do live in the west and was brought up in the west. I was born in a Muslim majority country and moved with my parents to the west at a child. I have witnessed the outcome of religious out-marriages, otherwise I would not be commenting on this forum in the first place. Funny thing is that I even know of non Muslims who would agree with me.

    A few major points I note from your comments:

    a) When a viable alternative to a difficult situation exists, the Shariah does not change the presiding rulings.

    – Do you seriously think that every western born Muslim woman will be incompatible with a Muslim man born in a Muslim majority country? Please get over your prejudices. All of them are not after residency or money. Having such seriously negative perceptions about the vast majority (> 95 %) of the world’s Muslims reflects a serious lack of understanding in the west about Muslims in majority countries. One of the most critical aspects of forming an Ummah is the trusting of the various peoples who comprise it. We are failing in this regard big time, leading to wars throughout the Muslim world.

    – Whilst I do not agree to a fake conversion simply for marriage, it is the responsibility of a Muslim woman, when approached by a non Muslim man for marriage, to present the message of Islam to him (in fact this is our responsibility to all non Muslim regardless of whether they want to marry us or not). The Shariah approach is that if he accepts Islam and practices it to the satisfaction of the community (without any precondition of marriage) then he is a revert and he may be married by a Muslim woman. This is a very basic aspect of Islam (Dawah) and I don’t see any reasonable Muslim denying this approach (whether in the west or anywhere else)

    Ask yourself these questions: Have I presented Islamic Dawah to the non Muslim men who have approached me? Have I seriously tried to find a good Muslim man in a Muslim majority country? If your answers to these questions are NO, then you have not explored the viable alternatives sufficiently.

    b) It seems you do not sincerely believe that Islamic rules regarding women are valid and just. You mix social and religious practices under the same banner of discontent. The Shariah IS a religious law, yes. It is also centuries old and deeply ingrained in some societies, yes. But no, I do not believe it discriminates against women. Whilst I completely agree that every woman has a right to a marriage, I don’t see how that right can extend beyond the limits placed by Allah, except where exceptional circumstances exist. If they do, I also agree that we should accept out-marriages. I have already stated that earlier. Men are also denied the right to marriage / sex with anyone outside the confines of the Shariah.

    Contrary to theory, Muslim men don’t have it any ‘better':
    i) No legally acknowledged slaves exist nowadays (in the vast majority of the world) so sexual relations with slaves is out of the question.
    ii) The vast majority of non Muslim women (even those “of the Book”) do not satisfy the requirements set out by the Shariah (chaste and practicing) for marriage and hence cannot be legally married by a Muslim man (in the west especially)
    iii) Temporary marriage was allowed in the past and was abrogated in the time of the prophet (only the Shia disagree to this)
    iv) All the above exceptions regarding men were due to their travelling abroad for war and trade, etc. This is often not the case nowadays or cannot be justified (faster travel and communication exist nowadays, online and distance trade has replaced business travel, travel times do not extend for years, even those who work far away can visit spouses regularly or arrange for their spouses to join them) for either men or women. War nowadays also does not involve capturing large numbers of slaves, and has largely become technologically based.

    The only difference is that society has ostracized women who break the rules more than men, and mark my words, men are also ostracized, but perhaps not so overtly. The result is that many men break the rules whilst fewer women do so.

    c) My alcohol example was just an example. I intended to demonstrate a general rule, not a specific or equivalent analogy.

    d) You seem to suggest that a marriage not sanctioned by the Shariah is not necessarily Haram. Keep in mind that the Shariah defines what is Halal and what is Haram. If you believe that something is Halal according to the Shariah, you are welcome to partake in it. However, Muslim society is not bound to the same logical choices of the individual. Your reasons for non marrying a non Muslim are mainly social. The shariah cannot change a deviant society until the embrace and understand it.

    e) Just because many younger/ ‘modern’ Muslims don’t agree to ‘arranged’ marriages does not absolve them of their responsibility to find a good Muslim spouse. As I stated earlier, dating and cohabitation are cultural practices in the west. A Muslim cannot use these local cultural practices as a basis for denying the Shariah’s laws regarding marriage when alternatives to these practices exist.

    f) No one ‘fears for the soul’ of the Muslim woman who marries a non Muslim man. The main concerns are:

    i) She is married to a man who does not believe in her religion and may lead her away from Islam
    ii) Her children will not have a Muslim father
    iii) Her marrying a non Muslim man leaves Muslim men with fewer prospects of finding a Muslim wife
    iv) Her marriage is not sanctioned by the Shariah
    v) She may be obliged by her husband to engage in un-Islamic acts
    vi) The husband is not morally obliged to her religious rights

    You may argue that many of these risks may also be present with a Muslim husband, but the fact is that the Shariah does not guarantee a formula for a perfect marriage, rather it presents rules leading towards a better one. Note the all the above points are equally applicable to Muslim men who marry non Muslim women.

    RandomGuy

    April 18, 2013 at 8:12 am

  215. Sarah: You also state that inclusiveness is better than barriers, yet your perceptions of the majority of the Muslim world is hardly inclusive. Why not try to be a bit more inclusive of Muslim from majority countries before trying to be inclusive of non Muslims? You have read my opinions on this forum, yet I would not describe myself as one who excludes. What I state here is mostly theory. However, I would not ‘exclude’ a woman or child from my community based on having a non Muslim husband or father.

    Remember, all of us Muslims live in this society as a minority. Its not like I have a long list of Muslim model women to choose from. I did not choose to brought up here. I have also been approached by non Muslim women, only to have to refuse them because of my religious convictions. I hope you can appreciate the humanity behind Islam and your fellow Muslims, despite the differences in opinion. I simply want our society to prosper. I can only imagine the offense a prospective wife from a Majority country may feel if I asked her “Do you want to marry me for citizenship and money alone?”

    RandomGuy

    April 18, 2013 at 8:33 am

    • Random Guy: You asked: “Do you seriously think that every western born Muslim woman will be incompatible with a Muslim man born in a Muslim majority country?” – Compatibility depends on individuals. I cannot speak about “every” Muslim born or not born here but cultural differences do cause issues. If we do not meet Muslims here, what makes you think we have any greater chance of meeting a non-western Muslim? Any woman off to a majority country to find a husband will place herself in a very difficult situation re: opportunistic men. Many parents are afraid of this as well.

      You cited a number of reasons in a previous post stating why foreign women may marry men from here going there looking for a wife. The reasons given by you were for material gain re: better economic prospects. Why should a Muslim women here subject herself to that?

      Re: Dawah – I’ve spent a number of years before working on inter-faith boards including debates with Christians concerning beliefs. There were aggressive campaigns on university campuses to specifically convert Muslims to Christianity and “missionary” based students spoke to Muslims about this. They were always polite and pleasant however as a Muslim I actively discussed why aspects of Christianity could not be accepted by Muslims and why. I was often the lone female sitting with other Muslim brothers. They stated they appreciated by verbal retorts when pointed questions were presented. The issues of Muslim women was almost always brought up with much misunderstanding.

      The odd Muslim convert to Christianity was brought forth. Our Muslim group was invited to attend to listen to them. Many brothers said they would not go (mostly foreign students who saw it as an afront rather than an opportunity). I said we should go as there will not doubt be a hole in their presentation. They proudly presented a Pakistani “begum” (upper class woman) who became Christian to a packed room. She said she was well raised in Islam and knew the Qur’an. She was given a Bible by a missionary. She read it nightly.

      She said John the Baptist came in a dream. She didn’t know who he was and when she opened the Bible the next day, John was mentioned in it. She was so impressed. Her fellow Christians were so impressed. The Muslim brothers were irritated.

      I raised my hand and said to her “Begum, you stated you are very well read in the Qu’ran”, she responded “yes”. I asked her “why then are you not aware that Yahya is, in fact, John the Baptist. Yahya is mentioned in the Qur’an – how is it that you did not know who he was?” The room erupted and the presentation ended quickly. Their approach was a failure and we left.

      At the time (perhaps even now), few Muslims knew about other religions especially Christianity. One of my minors was comparative religion. I was also invited to speak to a number of Christian women’s organizations (in 1980s) as few Muslim women participated in such meetings. The issue is not simply knowing about Islam but about our neighbors faiths as well in an accurate manner – in the spirit of respectful discussion.

      One has to speak to someone of another faith in terms they understand and not grandstand with “I” believe this. Muslims answered questions about Islam lacking in context to what our Christian neighbors may understand, this led to more misunderstanding. It was not speaking to them as Islam requires “in the best of ways”. One has to understand their history, philosophies and development. The differences in denominations which directly affect their perspective of Christianity (great variance). In recent years, post 9/11, the conversation has taken a turn and one’s presentation requires even more care and perspective (although my participation is substantially less now).

      To answer you: I did my part re: Dawah.

      You wish for idealized situation which doesn’t exist. Being married to a Muslim man can bring similar challenges to those of being married to non-Muslims. Muslim husbands also contribute to unIslamic behaviors as well. This has contributed to a high divorce rate. You do not consider the situation of Muslim women who have not been able to marry at all. Flying off to other countries is not an option for many due to all the liabilities and substantial fear of exploitation. It is simply not one of marrying a Muslim man from elsewhere. It is not realistic. If all Muslims couples lived in this utopia, there would not be any problems. But we don’t.

      Muslim women who married Muslim men with good intention may find themselves divorced. These women have an exceptionally difficult time getting remarried (I’m one of them). Our scholars need to reconsider this situation. Many have, including those in Canada, the US and Britain. Of course, then we would be accused of fatwa shopping. The accommodations, exceptions (whether still practiced or from the past) are extended to men “only”. Women are given zero options with strong resistence to change. The lack of recognition for our condition is staggering.

      You stated: “Your reasons for non marrying a non Muslim are mainly social.” – Wrong. Consider the psychological, physical, emotional, economic aspects for a woman who cannot marry. We do not live in a society that has certain built-in structures for a woman’s care in the long run (per Shariah). Yet she is forced to live by rules which deems all this is in place.

      Sarah

      April 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    • Random Guy: re: “Why not try to be a bit more inclusive of Muslim from majority countries before trying to be inclusive of non Muslims?”

      Many women here have dealt with parents of males who have promoted their sons marrying women (or cousins, relatives) from majority countries – over selecting Muslim women from here. We are fed up with this overseas import nonsense. We see the result and consequences of such marriages – and we women have paid the price.

      There are substantially legal problems associated with marrying someone who does not have status here. This includes liabilities re: sponsorship, enforced agreement with the government that such a person will not be a burden to the state, financial risks, that education from other countries are not necessarily recognized here and a foreign spouse has extremely limited option for financial self sufficiency. The chance that such a husband will require support for years until he is “settled”. This is just part of the list of concerns.

      Assuming the above can be ironed out, there is a chance that once the person has received his papers here, he may abandon the marriage (many cases of that).

      If someone is here legally and the above issues are not a concern, there is also the one of cultural commonality. Often people wish to marry someone who have shared the same experiences. Attitudes such as how women are viewed (per the environment one is raised in, especially non-democratic ones), growing up with pluralism, cultural context can also contribute towards a difficult homelife.

      Not all Muslim women can or are prepared to take all this on – nor should they have to just because the man is “Muslim”. This response leaves out the many cases where such unions have resulted in massive, long term messes for our women. A strong deterrent indeed.

      Sarah

      April 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm

  216. Many Muslim men (whether raised here or abroad) have a very limited understanding of Islam outside of basics such as the 5 pillars. They have extremely limited understanding of our history and are quite surprised when certain aspects are discussed. Often their understanding is filtered through a cultural understanding per their family or country. The expected “seriousness” with which all Muslims are to accept Islam is not often the case. Most people (male or female) have enough challenges with work, paying bills, dealing with family issues, managing children etc to be concerned with.

    Younger non-Muslim men may be open to conversion. Many of our well known converts embraced Islam when they were younger. Older men (40+) are not usually open to conversions of any sort. This mature demographic is difficult. Those who agree usually do so in a perfunctory manner to marry (if at all), which is why I am weary of “conversion” rates for Muslims who marry out. These men usually do not interfere with their wife’s practice of her religion, as society places strong value on individual expression. A person is responsible for their own personal beliefs and it is deemed to be their own business – all contrary to Shariah which does not view individual needs as such. A difficult contrast.

    This puts Muslim women who are 40+ in a difficult situation with Muslims (problems of marrying in this age group) and non-Muslims re: the demand that they convert for everything to be halal.

    Sarah

    April 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm

  217. Random Guy: re: asking oneself “Have I seriously tried to find a good Muslim man in a Muslim majority country?”

    – When exactly should this be done? In the 2 weeks or so that most Muslim women have vacation time per year from work? Let’s say she had the luxury of travelling for an entire month – a whole 4 weeks to meet and get to know a man that she had never met before and make the life altering decision to marry him, sponsor him and take on the most serious responsibilities. If she doesn’t meet him until week 3, she will have a full 7 days to get to know him. All follow ups should be via Skype?

    More time is spent on deciding which car to buy than this.

    The question should be asked: Why is this man so interested in marrying a woman he knows nothing about or her situation? She just parachuted in with “desperate” tattoo’ed on her forehead (in two languages for clarity).

    Ah yes, she is a woman from the west, with western citizenship, with a western income, with a family with established assets after decades here, a western passport, a chance at western employment, western immigration for his family, status. Oh yes – we are good Muslim men too. Of course we are, and we’re getting better by the day (surely we can prove ourselves in the few days the woman is here). By the time immigration papers are processed, we will be a paragon of a good Muslim male, glittering so much as to cause retinal damage.

    When exactly should he be screened for his intents re: golden ticket to the west – offered by a woman who was unable to find a man to marry her in a continent the size of North America? There is no platter big enough to server herself up in. Looks really good doesn’t it?

    Most Muslims who know each other here, see each other regularly, witness each others personal conduct, are familiar with each others finances and spend time with each others family and friends – take about two years or so before they commit to marriage (if not more). What you are suggesting is not realistic.

    Sarah

    April 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    • Sarah: Your approach towards the whole issue is highly cynical. Maybe this is due to negative life experiences. I will try and keep this reply short as it seems we are both on different wavelengths. I will try ot conclude this discussion, finally, with the following points:

      a) There are Muslims who know a lot about Islam and understand it well beyond the 5 pillars (men and women) and there are those who do not understand anything but the ritual basics. The Shariah applies equally to both groups. I don’t get what point you are trying to convey by pointing out the ignorant ones. If you are saying that there aren’t enough ‘Islamically knowledgeable’ men/women out there, I don’t see how you’re going to solve that problem by marrying a non Muslim.

      b) Your understanding of Islam is contextual to the west alone. In choosing a spouse, you are ready to place cultural commonality, common experiences, a common financial status and common age before belief in Islam. This is not my understanding of Islam at all. In my understanding, every one of those criteria can only be used to narrow down the choices between women who qualify to be considered as a wife (i.e. those who are Ghair-mahram Muslim women). The shariah comes first. Everything else later.

      c) I will repeat: every Muslim man in a Majority country is not looking for a desperate woman to leech off. Maybe the reason you do not consider finding a Muslim man crucial is that you have these highly negative perceptions of Muslims from majority nations (perhaps you are considering only one south Asian nation, I won’t mention names). Yet I have come across some wonderful people from throughout the Muslim world when I had the privilege of attending the Hajj pilgrimage. If one obsesses about the risks even before trying, there is not even a chance of a relationship. And please, a ticket to the west is hardly golden nowadays. Get over yourselves already.

      A lot of Muslims from majority countries are actually a lot less misogynistic than your average western born male. Try and get in touch with the reality of global societies before you make such sweeping generalizations, even if you don’t plan to marry someone from the majority nations.

      As for those women who are unable to look for a Muslim man locally or in other communities in the country, my opinion is that they should look for a Muslim man overseas, if that also fails (or is unfeasible), then they may consider practicing, chaste men of the Book. As for divorcees, they could do the same if their divorced status makes it so difficult for them to remarry a Muslim man. Note, that is my OPINION and it is not necessarily religiously sound according to the Shariah.

      Also, if you such an issue with anyone wanting to move to the west for ‘better economic prospects’, just take a moment and think about why your ancestors (and the millions of Europe and and Asian immigrants to N. America whose descendants make up the majority now) came to the west in the first place.

      d) If marriage is such a life altering decision taking 2 years or more to consider, shouldn’t the religion of the spouse matter highly? The only case where it would not matter is where both parties were non-religious. This seems to be becoming the trend even among Muslims who feel that religion is a secondary matter. For those people, I would recommend basic Dawah on the meaning of Islam, before even recommending whom to marry and whom not to marry.

      e) If women who cannot marry suffer so greatly in the west due to limited financial and social security, is that not indicative of a patriarchal society? Yet some people claim that patriarchy is the main reason that Muslim women are prohibited from marrying non Muslim men. Ironic really.

      f) Regarding Dawah, I asked whether you had preached Islam to those non Muslim men who APPROACHED you.

      Just for the note, I also have longtime experience of debating away approaches by atheists and Christians to promote their false views (at university). A lot of Muslims are now starting to look deeply into their religion and understand its intimate details. As for the attitudes post 9/11, my approach is unchanged. I don’t take a softer view just because a few unidentified loonies flew a couple of planes into skyscrapers under highly controversial circumstances. If American people want to live by so-called American values, they must learn to be objective. Ignoring the massive damage America has done to innocent societies in many parts of the world is not objective at all.

      g) Your view of gender equality in Islam seems to be skewed. You feel that Islam accommodates for men and ignores the needs of women. This is not true. Islam does not restrict women any further than it does men, it is society that restricts women further than men.

      RandomGuy

      April 18, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      • Random Guy: If you view me as cynical, perhaps it is because I have lived in the west (now in my 5th decade) as a Muslim woman with all the cutural baggage and religious demands it entails. All the theoretical aspects of Islam have not helped me or my fellow Muslim sisters. I don’t think you can relate to this at all. Reducing my disagreement with you to my “negative life experiences” is not okay. You are 24 years old and want to comment on the experiences of others who have witnessed decades of our communities actions and of another gender and who faced a number of issues which you will never face.

        I remind you that I have been alone, unable to marry for 22 years now due to religion. There are many others in my situation, yet you claim you know of very few women in this position. Perhaps your exposure is limited.

        All the wonderful people you met during Hajj were people you knew for how long? There must be a strong reason why Muslim women here are not seeking husbands overseas. This is not just my doing but many others due to all the risks discussed. You cannot reduce their concerns just because you do not agree with them.

        The initial reason Europeans came to North America was to flee religious persecution. My family came due to political upheaval in our country. We left behind all our assets and substantial economic footing as a result. It was very difficult to gain entry here in the early 1960s from non-white countries, my father’s strong ties with associates along with his strong educational background helped. We forfeited much to be here.

        I find it odd that of all my efforts re: dawah – you still asked me if I made an effort for men who approached me. I am not going to comment on that as its ridiculous. One has to know the limits of the person one is addressing before sitting down and turning a social situation into a required preaching of Islam lecture.

        Even if the religion of both spouses was the same, it takes time to commit to marriage. It seems like the normal and responsible thing to do. Perhaps it is cultural, but that is how many of us view things. I am shocked to hear that people decide to marry a person based on a few meetings. It is shocking to many of us. Needless to say, there is a huge gulf in perceptions for those of us raised in the west vs east. That is also of concern when selecting spouses. Perhaps you belong to the group where speedy decision making is acceptable, but many of us cannot digest that. There is a difference.

        You stated: “If women who cannot marry suffer so greatly in the west due to limited financial and social security, is that not indicative of a patriarchal society?” – No it is not. Shariah is based on women being supported by fathers, brothers or husbands. They each have a responsibility. That is why she is subject to remaining within this religious domain. In case of divorce, women return back to her family home and is the responsibility of males in her family. This is why males received twice a females inheritance for related expenses. Here in the west there may not necessarily be a “family home” for her to be absorbed into. The social structure in Shariah does not exist here. There may not be any brothers or any who are willing to take on such a responsibility – especially if their wives disagree.

        It is common knowledge that economic hardship for anyone on their own in this society is great. People marry or live together based partially on common benefits such as joint incomes or shared home. A person must be a reasonably high earner, or receive a substantial inheritance or manage well into retirement due to good planning – to live alone. If a Muslim woman wants a spouse but cannot marry – she faces hardships caused by religious restrictions.

        The reason why religion may seem “secondary” in marriage is the high divorce rate. Often divorce is not caused by religion per se, but by a number of serious matters. Those matters may or may not be addressed by religion – however they do occur and being human with all our faults result in destroyed relationships. Wishing that everyone live by religious values does not happen and marriages do fall apart. That is why time and care is given in spouse selection.

        How “longtime” is your debating experience at university if you are now 24? I don’t approach Christians from the perspective of their “false views” as you stated. We have our beliefs – which they believe are false. We believe they are true. In Christians I have witnessed much humanity and kindness, much of it stemming from their beliefs, which reflects in their actions. While we don’t believe that God was incarnate, or that Jesus was the son of God or that he died for the sins of man etc – we as Muslims are lacking much of the humanity mentioned in the Qur’an. Our theology differs of course, but we are also measured by our actions. We have no superiority over others, especially if we do not recognize the needs of our brothers and sisters due to our own limitations.

        RE: 9/11 – your approach may remain unchanged (you were 12 or so when it happened) – but for many of us, we faced answering a number of questions (for years) re: terrorism and all the misquotes from Islam “supporting” it. Muslims were losing jobs or not getting hired, profiled or worse. We had to consider our approach as it was hurting others in the community as the entire environment changed. There is wisdom in being able to give measured answers accordingly in such situations. The anti-war movement in the US did recognize the wrongs of the post 9/11 invasions. I am definitely left leaning and those of us in the left are fully aware of the damage done to innocents elsewhere. Many in the right wing don’t know or care to know about what is going on.

        My views on gender equality in Islam are not skewed as you stated. You wrote: “You feel that Islam accommodates for men and ignores the needs of women.” In the experience of many North American Muslim women – YES Islam (or Muslims) accommodates men and ignores the needs of women.

        Sarah

        April 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      • I realize I am about a year too late in replying to your messages, but let me just start off by saying that I read your previous posts, and I do agree with Sarah, that you sound like a good brother. I am a little younger than you, RandomGuy, but I disagree with many of your sentiments based on my personal experience and what I have seen first hand in my community.

        First of all, you obviously do have many conservative values that are not Western in nature. That probably has to do with you being brought up by parents who were raised outside of the U.S That being said, you probably wouldn’t be compatible with a sister like me (a second generation Muslim born and raised in the United States, whose parents are both converts). Many of your views are quite prejudiced also. What would you have all of these young sisters do while they are waiting for husbands? Sit in their parents’ homes and knit/crochet? I tried that approach, and I wanted a more fulfilling life for myself. Women have every right to be just as career-focused as men. It is better for sisters to be contributing members of society whether they are working or just volunteering their time. I myself have a great career in the health field that I am trying to progress, and I feel very useful and purposeful. I love helping people. Why should anyone take that away from me and assume that I am more career-oriented than family-oriented?

        I will speak as a young sister who has been married to a MUSLIM man. I am in my early twenties and divorced. I have no children. I did exactly what you said earlier–my husband and I were both in school when we married and very young. It did not work out for more reasons than just that. Although you sound like a great brother (especially for how young you are..I have brothers a little younger than you who will probably never be that mature), you do have to realize that most young brothers in most communities (Pakistani, Indian, Middle Eastern, African American, etc.) were not raised to respect Muslimas in the way that you were. I have been a participant in many different communities and have found that each group has their own way of treating women–most of them are very disrespectful to women, so the young men are disrespectful by default. I mean I’ve seen young brothers screaming at their own mothers because their fathers do it. My ex-husband was the same way. He defended his treatment of women based on how his father treated women–in the most disgusting manner I’ve ever seen women treated. I feel like I still need a therapist to this very day for how I was treated. I would love to meet a nice young brother like yourself who was open-minded, young, and respected my choices and right to participate in the community, but you have to trust that it is harder for us.

        In my community, the brothers have no reason to complain. There are much more eligible women than there are men, and the men STILL leave the community to deal with non-muslim women and then expect us to be waiting for them when they decide to return. I know SEVERAL Muslim brothers who have illegitimate children with non-muslim women (born out of wedlock) and only know of one or two sisters (who don’t really practice anyway). I am not saying this is all Muslim men, but this is what so many of them do in my community and then get upset with us young sisters when we don’t want them. As a young, beautiful sister with no children, I don’t think I should have to settle for that just because I have been married before, but I am treated that way. Don’t get me wrong, I am not overly demanding or expecting too much from the brothers, but I am treated like a “play thing” or something just to be passed around now that I have been married. I have had several brothers approach my father (And they weren’t embarrassed either) about it. I have other young sisters my age suggesting I should become a second wife or marry a man 10-15 years older than me. I’m not even 25 years old yet…far from it, and I’ve been through so much. It seems very unfair that Muslim men hold so much power in these communities. We do get left out a whole lot more than you realize, and it would be nice if for a change someone just realized that.

        Muslim men should be very worried. I say that because there are so many beautiful sisters in these communities who are active participants in the community, and other men are noticing us. I ride public transportation to school and see guys on campus and at my job all of the time. I get approach literally everyday by men wanting to take me out to dinner (and yes, I wear hijab and everything). I have no interest in them. I actually do want to marry a Muslim man with similar values, but with all of these men out here, some young Muslimas don’t have that restraint, and they are being promised nothing in these communities. One of my young friends called her parents crying one day saying she felt there was no one out there for her. Her friend’s parents were having to find husbands for them. This sister is so beautiful. All of the other men take notice of her. It’s just a matter of time. Muslim men really need to step up, and sisters need to be more tolerant of them also. We really do need to change our attitudes, but I can definitely speak for the communities I’ve been apart of and say that the men I’ve seen need more work than the women…much more work..

        Jaw Dropped and Mind Blown!

        February 14, 2014 at 5:37 am

  218. Re: “Your understanding of Islam is contextual to the west alone.” – Clarification: It takes a gargantuan effort to split the mixture of culture brought here from Muslims from majority countries and attempt understand what Islam states (at least in theory) and try to negotiate all of that in western context, whilst dealing with a older generation who has no clue what we are referring to, at the same time dealing with the larger dominant non-Muslim culture. We also deal with all the sub-cultures of Muslims, their nationalities and any issues of race which crops up.

    We are the result of our environment growing up here, yet we must learn to discard those things which are offensive therefore, we are raised with the sensitivity that although we are from here, we are not really. We have to balance a fine walk between multiple environments (socio-religious) while being forced to contend with those from majority countries who have not had our experience.

    We function in academic or employment situations, passing up nights out with our workmates as they are going to a place not suitable for Muslims to be in (e.g. a bar). We are careful of our dress, food and behavior within the larger society. We attempt to understand our neighbors faiths as we live amongst them and holidays are pronounced (e.g Christmas, Easter).

    Add to this all the limitations of being a Muslim woman – which does indeed exist and the never ending challenges of meeting a compatible Muslim in the above scenario for marriage.

    My understanding is “contextual”? – I think it is quite diverse and uses up more brain cells than I may wish to expend.

    Re: “In choosing a spouse, you are ready to place cultural commonality, common experiences, a common financial status and common age before belief in Islam.”

    Any ounce of commonality is welcomed and a relief in view of all of the above. We don’t need to hear we are somehow lacking in faith due to our want of commonality considering what we have deal with throughout our lives – which majority country Muslims would not have a clue about.

    Sarah

    April 18, 2013 at 11:53 pm

  219. Sarah: I don’t know why I am still replying to this thread, but it seems I feel my views very strongly. Let me reiterate that I do not owe my Islam to cultural baggage or religious tradition. My parents did not teach me the religion nor did they force me to adhere to it. I had to go out and find the truth myself. Yes, even in this highly adverse environment, as a young person I was able to do that and still work towards a career and all the other necessities of life. You may feel it easy to dismiss my views based on my age, etc. However, as a person of my parents generation, you definitely have not faced the newer challenges we young western Muslims face. You grew up in an environment of restriction, I grew up in an environment of almost total freedom. I had to choose my path and not have it forced down my throat. There is a big difference. I may not face the issues you face, but I face issues which threaten my very identity and worldview.

    You claim that religion is the only reason that you have been unable to marry for 22 years. Ask divorced women in majority countries where being a divorcee carries stigma. You will find they have also not been able to marry for decades. It is cultural, not religious. You at least had the option of being considered by a few non Muslim men, they had none. In some places, a woman as young as 25 who is divorced has difficulty marrying (I know an example from east Africa).

    I have studied the history of North America, and I know that the vast majority of immigrants actually came in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries (mainly Irish, Germans, Italians etc.) and they were (by a big majority) economic migrants (some other issues, such as civil war may have influenced the movement too). The Irish potato famine was a big reason, for example. Same goes for the Punjabis who moved to California, and the Indian, Pakistani and East Asian professionals of the last 4 decades or so. In any case, how can you fault someone for seeking better opportunities? If you believe someone wants to marry just for that, simply keep away. Everyone is NOT like that. The very notion is simply and outrageously ridiculous.

    I know full well the various cultural, ethnic and religious dimensions present in North American Muslims. I have first hand experience of the misunderstandings, prejudices, lack of commonality, etc. I myself come from an unusual background (south Asian and middle eastern mix). Having witnessed the shortcoming in character of Muslims and non Muslims alike, I cannot, for the life of me conclude ,that born Muslims are somehow worse in character or conduct than Christians. When I do Dawah, I do approach in a respectable, soft spoken manner, but I do not sugar coat the falsehoods. I ask tough questions and get asked tough ones in return. If a non Muslim girl approached me, I would make it very clear from the beginning of my religious stance on relationships. If she was interested is Islam, I would present the basics of Islam. That way, no one is hurt and no expectations are set up falsely. I am not aggressive or uncouth in my speech to people who are simply ignorant of Islam. Some people think all Muslim men are haughty, impulsive, etc. Very wrong impression indeed.

    I will never ever say that we Muslims lack in ‘humanity’. I know Muslim people who would sacrifice the world for me. Only if I could do the same. I know a lot of really good, humble Christians too. However, that doesn’t change my views on marriage to them. Just for the record, on Hajj I met an African man who spent half his life savings for the pilgrimage (it says something, doesn’t it?) and I also met a man who gives a third of his income to charity every year (I know the organization too). I also met an Afghan who lost 12 of his extended family members in the war there. When I meet a person (Muslim or not) I assume the best of them and try to overlook their faults. That is crucial to Islam. I agree, there are many out there who disregard the laws of Islam and its spirit, but we are far from done. I will keep trying to be a good Muslim till the day I leave this world. Only God knows each of our fates, but I believe the key thing is try ones best. I also have family in several Muslim majority countries and am able to examine their conduct and character in detail. It is no different to Muslims in N. America and certainly not worse that non Muslims.

    About 9/11, don’t get me wrong, one Muslim I know personally was injured in the attacks. But I simply cannot fathom how anyone with half a heart can look on at the massacre of hundreds of thousands of innocent people (essentially a senseless act of revenge) and dismiss it as a ‘wrong’. Do you know what a mutant, deformed Iraqi baby (from exposure to depleted uranium) born as an orphan looks like? I do. Part of my family comes from near the Iraqi border, and the stories of the refugees are mind-blowing.

    On the issue of the divorce rate, keep in mind that the rate among ALL of N. American society is nearly 50 %. The rate among the Muslim minorities is actually somewhat lower than the respective national rates. The reasons constitute another topic altogether, but I do not believe that differing ethnicity among Muslims is a primary contributor. If so, the divorce rate would be higher among Muslims.

    Throughout our discussion, I have at least made an attempt to understand your challenges and concerns, but you have not really expressed any appreciation for the things we young Muslims have to go through, and why I maintain that the traditional ruling is still sound. You keep expressing your deep-seated discontent (which I understand) but the issue is bigger than that. It is a difficult situation, but I don’t think its impossible to understand the variety of contexts we find ourselves in.

    RandomGuy

    April 19, 2013 at 6:52 am

    • Random Guy: I would like to conclude our discussion by stating that I have been to 5 continents and have visited a number of Muslim majority countries. I have been to war zones as well as the West Bank on a trip to Israel (especially to see Jerusalem). I don’t live in an air-tight North American bubble. One of my degrees is in Political Science with includes International Relations. I am fully aware of the effects of American imperialism and its domination throughout the world – which has absolutely affected and exploited much of the Muslim world. I have studied comparative religion and continue to do so, out of interest and concern for our communities here and to build bridges re: interfaith ties.

      You are a highly intelligent young man who is making a strong effort to explain a more “Islamic” perspective. I am sure you found my responses to be troublesome but I am reflective of the condition of many of our women. I am not some special case. It is not that I grew up in a time of restrictions, many of our females are still subject to the same restrictions and scrutiny. I grew up in the 1970s and that era had more freedom in many respects than we do now. It was a spillover time after the drastic social changes of the 1960s (it was pre-AIDS and post birth control pill).

      As a clarification, you no doubt met some extraordinarily good people on Hajj however selecting a spouse for the long run is different.

      No offense, but I would caution you on being over zealous without fully considering how inflexibility is actually damaging our communities here. This is not meant to be a green light for “anything goes” but there are extraordinary circumstances.

      In my experience/participation in interfaith dialogue, community development, social services and legal assistance for our youth and women etc – I have not witnessed the participation of individuals who were not raised here (meaning foreign spouses) in our activities, mainly because they are not equipped to do so. Muslim academics who have been here for years are an exception – as they do fully participate and we welcome their expertise in a number of fields.

      I do not fault anyone for seeking better opportunities, however you must admit this puts our women here in a highly difficult situation.

      We ask why any man in a majority country would suddenly decide to marry a woman who just got off a plane and that he knows nothing about. If he is settled in his homeland, received his education, has extended family and networks, is surrounded by millions of Muslim women whom he could marry who were raised within his own culture, may be connected to others he knows etc – “why” would he want to marry a woman from the west who may not speak his language, understand his environment, of whom he knows nothing of her life circumstances. Why would he agree to move to a country where his credentials will not be recognized?

      Why would a man suddenly agree to marry such a women unless entry into a western country is the motivation? This is why women here will not choose the overseas “option”. Our concerns are not unreasonable. You state everyone in majority countries are not like this – however quick candidates for westerners looking for spouses there does trigger strong concerns. Legal liabilities of such unions have been discussed.

      As my family did not originate from a majority country, I for one wouldn’t know where to start. May other women who were born here have little or no association with such countries. It is a scary venture for us and not realistic. We are left to deal with what is in our environment, which is why we are asking for accommodation – at least for those who even care to ask.

      My father was a lawyer and he assisted in or referred to others re: cleaning up a number of very messy situations in our community linked to such marriages. The cases appeared endless. Messes involving litigation, immigration, financial abuse by foreign spouses, divorces, children taken back to the foreign spouse’s country without permission, jurisdiction. Issues of which countries we had signed Treaties (reciprocal) with re: return of children. They were specific to issues of foreign spouses as opposed to regular cases. This exposure is part of the reason I got involved in assisting Muslim women with legal issues.

      There were cases of Muslims getting Islamic divorces and not legal ones, remarrying via nikah without registering it. It all ended up in court after charges were laid.

      Muslim law states a person can marry after they reach puberty. This has resulted in very young girls being married off and many dying as a result of preganancy or child birth. Average age is 12 for such girls. Many of the cases are in Africa. We marry in our 20s out of reasonableness. For the sake of context, the average age of puberty for females at the turn of the last century (circa 1900) was 17. My mid century it was 14, by late century it was 11 years. Now it is as young as 9 or 10 years of age.

      It is understandable that a 17 or 18 year old got married in the past. It is not understandable that an 11 year old gets married now – regardless of Shariah – as it constitutes child abuse of the worse kind.

      Context and reasonableness is critical. The misapplication of religion can be extremely damaging. Islam differentiates between equality for male and females and presents a series of checks and balances where fairness is important but that may not necessarily mean all things are “equal” per se.

      I thank you for your time with your responses and to anyone who has patiently read this thread.

      Sarah

      April 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      • Sarah: Thank you for your consideration. Do not be concerned about my apparent over zealousness. It is only online where we can express our full views openly. Out in public, many such views would be shot down quickly under the premise of fundamentalism, etc even by many Muslims. If anyone ever met me in person, I doubt they would find me over zealous. Like many young Muslim men who try to actually practice their religion, I have also faced more than my fair share of misunderstandings, suspicion, hostility and at times, outright discrimination. It is not easy. All we want is some support and understanding, and we are open to accepting and accommodating everyone in our society regardless of faith, as long as they respect us, our values and our contributions to society. Remember to keep an open mind and try to grasp the spirit of Islam rather than scrutinizing at its laws all the time. That way, you will see its true value.

        RandomGuy

        April 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm

  220. LaHaoLa WaLa KhuwWaTa ILLaBiLLa HiL ALiYYiL Azeem!

    MdShafiqM

    April 20, 2013 at 6:13 am

  221. The very basis for marrying is what must be considered. Marriage outside Islam is practically worthless, weak, purposeless, always on the brim of petty / fickle issues, ready to tear both apart, on the with a total sense of the essence of marriage. Whilst Allah wishes much greater and everlasting bond ( not just worldly but for after-worldly life too ); that He alone by His Graciousness provides for the believer couple. He remains the consolation and mediation factor for Who is the Creator of both; keeps both to retain and live up to their most superior level of existence; as expected. Not at all for the whims, fads and fancies; that keep them dejected in their very essence of existence. The bond that lasts towards every forms of joy, peace, love and harmony can only be possible by following the commands of Allah the Almighty; for every Muslim (believer), sincere, truthful and trustworthy forever, in ever facet of marriage, retaining the very essence of “Marriage by Sharia’s” authentic norms. and not flouted ones.

    MdShafiqM

    April 20, 2013 at 6:27 am

  222. Our Holy Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has been the greatest of emblem to be followed; for every destined Muslim; by maintaining practices that are based on such ethical and moral values as taught by the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) for all mankind willing and wishing to be successful in the world and hereafter; so as to be acceptable by Allah the Almighty; the final decisive factor._ Alhumdulillah!

    MdShafiqM

    April 20, 2013 at 6:31 am

  223. Here are my two cents:

    I must say that I found the debate between Sarah and RandomGuy interesting and amusing, but at the same time unequal and disconnected. At the risk of sounding biased, being a woman and all, I must say that I agree with the points Sarah made. My one concern among the debate was RandomGuy’s iteration of him speaking from the perspective of ‘young Muslim-American’. While he did clarify himself in the end as a ‘young Muslim-American man’, I felt that he should have made that clarification from the beginning since the argument presented by Sarah was from a female’s perspective.

    As a young woman often categorized under the general ‘Muslim-American’ umbrella based on family’s religious affiliation, I have differing views on marriage and courtship that are dictated by my cultural upbringing. I wasn’t born in to the western culture; it was more the case of adaption for me. While my family is not conservative, I was raised in a society where religion dictates majority of the societal traditions and rituals. This includes the rules and laws regarding gender roles and behaviors. However, my family raised me to embrace individuality and freedom of thought while being conscious of the societal limitations and taboos. The cultural paradigm shift I experienced when we moved to the ‘West’ was a pleasant and positive experience for my family and I. I was seventeen at the time and the prospect of living in a culture similar to my thought process was an exciting one.

    It wasn’t until I was exposed to the ‘Western-Muslim’ community that I began to experience the so-called identity crisis of a ‘young Muslim-American’. While I understand the perspective Randomguy is arguing from, I do feel that the young female perspectives are often brushed aside because of the gender and age biases. I can think of many debates where the ‘aunties’ shushed me and my opinions and arguments dismissed because I was (still am) an unmarried, young girl. I am a 26 years old, well-educated woman, with my own worldview and yet I am publicly ostracized from debates that impact me just as much as other women in the community because of my marital status. This is a whole debate within itself.

    From my personal experience, I agree that it is difficult for a ‘Muslim’ woman living in the West to find a suitable ‘Muslim’ mate. While religion may seem to be the crux of the problem, I feel that it has as much to do (if not mainly) with culture. I say that because I have observed it personally. I am not aware of the national statistics, but it does seem that women from certain cultures within the Muslim community are pursuing higher education and careers. It is only fair that they desire mates who are, if not higher then at least, on equal footing with them as far as education and careers go. While some are fortunate enough to find such mates within the ‘Muslim’ community, majority are left with less ‘desirable’ options. In such situations, we are encouraged to comprise our standards and marry an available ‘Muslim’ man for the sake of avoiding spinister-hood and society’s censure. However, at the same time, ‘Muslim’ men have a larger pool of potential life-partners to choose from, as it is acceptable for them to marry within both a different ‘Muslim’ culture as well as ‘Non-Muslim’ cultures. It is here that we see the current issues of gender biases regarding marriage arising. This, in my opinion, is perpetuated by the culture itself and is often masked by religious arguments.

    As a young, educated, and ambitious ‘Muslim-American’ woman, I identify with Islam more culturally than religiously. My personal experience with the ‘marriage-mart’ has been frustrating due to my beliefs and opinions. While I acknowledge that religion is an important part of our lives, I also believe that there needs to be a healthy balance between secular and religious thoughts in a successful relationship. We live in a diverse society with a variety of sub-cultures and religions. To expect that a life could be lived confined within a strict religious bubble in such society is ignorance at best. Personally, I don’t see a big issue with Muslim women finding life partners outside the Muslim community, especially if Muslim men are not censured for doing the same. If marriage is generally accepted as a ‘natural’ major milestone in leading a successful and happy life, then I believe that religious affiliation should be a preference rather than an absolute requirement when looking at ‘marriage’ potential and qualification.

    Zia

    April 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    • Zia: Your comments are very well expressed, reflecting good insight.

      One of the reasons why I ask for our Islamic scholars to consider the issue with Muslim women being permitted to marry men of “The Book” is due to all the damage occuring in families and the very real problem of ostracism of Muslim women who marry non-Muslim men.

      I quoted the following on another Goatmilk blog “Contemporary Muslim Women” series – Over 30 and Unmarried – Breaking a Stalemate:

      As reported in Al-Jazeera about Britain: “Interfaith relationships have at times led to ostracism and violence against the couples, sometimes even resulting in forced marriages and honour killings. According to the UK constabulary 2,823 honour crimes were reported to the police in 2010 and an estimated 10,000 forced marriages take place in Britain every year.”

      Our women in the west end up paying the price for religious rules which were meant for application under requirements which ensured her rights within an Islamic socio-economic society.

      My concern extends to the next generation of Muslim women (over the next couple of decades) who will take strong offense of the conditions of this generation of women and will be determined not to subject themselves to what we went through. They will not bother to ask for religious accommodation re: marriage as I have, and will marry whomever they wish. These women and their children will be lost from our communities, while our men and their non-Muslim wives and children are welcomed.

      It is highly unlikely the next generation of Muslim women onward will sit around waiting for introductions as we have, only to find themselves older and unmarried and then questioned without compassion about why they wish to marry a non-Muslim.

      It is easy for those who do not address this unprecedented situation of Muslim women in the west except to point fingers at what “bad” Muslims we all are re: marriage options – from their utopian perspective, while our sisters continue to face the realities of our dystopia – without the option of marriage at all if they chose it – an outcome that many of our Muslim men have have escaped.

      Sarah

      May 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    • Zia: You are right-on when you stated: “While some (Muslim women) are fortunate enough to find such mates within the ‘Muslim’ community, majority are left with less ‘desirable’ options. In such situations, we are encouraged to comprise our standards and marry an available ‘Muslim’ man for the sake of avoiding spinister-hood and society’s censure.”

      The challenges and unfairness of this situation is also contributing to the high divorce rate amongst Muslims. Marrying a Muslim man, only because he is Muslim while other aspects for a positive relationship is missing, is leading to a lot of problems.

      One strong reason why there is opposition to women marrying foreign men from majority countries is that unless the man has considerable assets that he can transfer to a western country, the woman is burdened with supporting him for years to come. In most cases, his education is not recognized here and he must requalify – this includes years more at university/college and tens of thousands of dollars in tuition fees. He is unemployed the moment he steps off the plane.

      As he has no work experience here, it will take several more years for him to obtain a reasonable position. In a bad economy, this is disasterous and extremely stressful – especially for the woman. If anyone doubts this, just consider the number of engineers, physicians, even specialists from other countries who are driving taxis in North America.

      While immigrants accept they must face difficulties when moving to the west and do their best for their families’ future, it is a different situation when a Muslim woman who was raised here, with an established family, is asked to accept a foreign man with the above liabilities, simply because he is Muslim – to avoid marrying a non-Muslim.

      During the time the foreign husband attempts to qualify, integrate, seek meaningful employment – years could pass where the Muslim wife is working, paying for everything and most likely not having children due to her situation (cannot afford to take time off). Certainly few parents would like to see their daughters with such a deficit. Those parents who approve of this may find their daughter and son-in-law living in their basement for years – a preference very few educated women will accept.

      Yet, when women refuses to take all of this on (who can blame them), they are accused of not giving Muslim men a “chance” just because they are not from the west. The imbalance is assumed by the woman while she contorts to conform to the religious requirement of having a Muslim husband.

      When many of these marriages end up in divorce, she will wonder what religious dictates led her to this end. She may eventually look for yet another Muslim husband (as a divorce woman, not preferred by our men) or face life alone (very difficult for someone young) or subject herself to extreme criticism if she marries a non-Muslim – including listening to all her perceived shortcomings for “lacking faith in God and His Prophet” for her “shameful” choice.

      Meanwhile the Muslims who expound such criticism are asleep at the wheel re: what our women face, and are about to drive themselves off a cliff, under the mistaken view that their righteousness have now given them the ability to fly – while the rest of us are merely restricted to the lowly road.

      Sarah

      May 31, 2013 at 4:02 pm

  224. Sisters in Islam.. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with a companion who rejects the last prophet of God and The word of God and His rulings. For what? Because in the west it’s difficult to find a descent Muslim man, because you ‘love’ the Christian/Jewish man? You are spending the most intimidate moments of your life with a man who rejects your prophet and the Words of Allah, the Most Gracious. By declaring himself Christian or Jewish, he may believe in God but he rejects and scoffs at the Quran and Allah’s messenger. Is it not better to find a man who will pray with you at night, fast with you, praise God with you, teach your children to love and Adore Him, His words and His messenger than to follow your hearts desires? No matter how good looking he may be or his tolerant he may be, he is missing lailaha ilalah mohammad rasulolah! And that is a manifest loss!!

    Nargis

    May 2, 2013 at 9:25 am

    • Nargis: Many Muslim women are unable to marry Muslim men in the west. They are not necessarily choosing to marry a non-Muslim over a Muslim. The divorce rate for Muslims in North America is almost 1 in 3 marriages. This high rate is due to a number of factors. Divorced women find it extremely difficult to remarry as those single past age 35.

      Commonality of religious beliefs in Islam have not saved many Muslim marriages. Believing in God and the Prophet have not stopped all the emotional, physical, psychological, financial and other issues which lead to divorce amongst Muslims and resulting in children from broken homes.

      If we argue that such people are not practicing Islam to avoid divorce, then a lot of people are not “practicing” it correctly. I’m sure such women entered into their Muslim marriages with the understanding that they fulfilled their religious requirements however the human condition is subject to many variables and not simply one of idealized religious practice.

      No one is choosing to “love” a Christian or a Jew above a Muslim man as preference. The difficulties faced by Muslim women is not recognized. There are multiple articles, reports and studies about Muslim women and marriage crisis in the west. It has been observed by many. The crisis “exists” as our women are looking for Muslim men to marry but cannot.

      The point missed is that many of our sisters are not ending up with “any” husband at all. So they don’t need to worry about who will teach their children about God etc – as there will be no husband or children for them.

      Sarah

      May 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    • Many non-Muslims have displayed extreme acts of kindness, compassion, generosity and humanity (often out of their belief in God) and behave in an ethical, moral manner.

      Re: “he is missing lailaha ilalah mohammad rasulolah!” – these are often the last words out of the mouth of Muslims who are about to commit a heinous act of violence. While we as Muslims don’t like that thrown back at us and complain with abundant retorts, we should not discount non-Muslims as “lacking” if they don’t happen to fall within our doctrinal fold.

      Sarah

      May 30, 2013 at 6:41 pm

  225. Polygamy is a marriage which includes more than two partners. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called polygyny, and ……http://ogibogi.com/node/7427 for details.

    Tara Rahman

    May 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

  226. There is no such a thing muslim women marrying non muslim men thats a fact, unliss she brought up in an liberal family where her father and mother are with non muslims that’