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East/West marriages - do you believe in them??

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  • East/West marriages - do you believe in them??

    hey everyone,

    i am in quite a dilemma at the moment. my father(an Australian) works closely with a good friend of mine's father(an Arab). my friend was england-educated, and is returning to university there in october. i have visited his homeland several times with my father, so naturally we both understand a lot about our respective cultures(i am british-australian). he fits in very well in england, and his islamic family and friends have been very kind to me. i just assumed that we would always stay good friends.

    recently, however, he told me that he really wanted to marry me. it was relentless. gradually his friends, both islamic and british/australian, more and more have been trying to convince me to commit to him. this is a very difficult concept for most non-muslims. i am a practising anglican, but in our society it is accepted that you will get to know the person more intimately before you marry, not necessarily sleep with them or anything like that, as everybody is different, but spend time getting to know one another better, and we are not normally so young in my wider social circle(i am 18 and he is nearly 20 respectively). my friend knows very well that this is our custom. however, he believes you can choose a partner for life before being close to them, and i would never want him to disobey allah(peace be upon him). we share many interests and suchlike, and i was offended that so many people said from the beginning "i bet he wants to be with you". stereotypes and assumptions hurt everybody.

    we have continued discussing issues - and i went to see my local imam here in australia. this is a very intimidating thing for an 18 year old girl! but he was welcoming, gentle and pleased that i was so curious and cautious. he said it is important to address potential difficulties that may arise, as many difficulties are inherent in cross-cultural marriages, no matter how happy. these ranged from custody of children to travel arrangements. however, nobody can totally predict the future.

    i am just wondering if my friend would be looked down on by others in his islamic community. i know that it is permissable for a muslim man to marry a non-muslim, but nevertheless everyone has their own unofficial thoughts. but more problematic, however, are the ill-informed views of many westerners about the arab world, and particularly islam. lately i have been endeavouring to engage in some interesting conversations, and people seem to be very misinformed, or simply disinterested. unfortunately opinions on women in islam seem to be perhaps the most misguided and contentious of all we hear.

    somehow, the more opposing people are, the more i want to try. marriage is very, very sacred in islam, and i really do admire that. sources say my friend has been very depressed ever since i said that i was unsure about the situation, behaving irresponsibly and so on. this is totally atypical of him. i told him if he continued to act the way he did, i would have to inform his parents or someone else, otherwise he would not learn. according to he and his friends, if i accepted his proposal he would stop. he has even said repeatedly he does not want to marry anyone apart from me. i am so flattered but i was very unprepared for something like this. boys here in australia say "oh he will get over it" - and that sort of hurts.

    i really couldn't stand by and let him live a way that wasn't true to his islamic self. my friends told me it wasn't my problem, but whether your friend is a muslim, christian, jew or hindu, they are still your friend. it is for this reason that i couldn't stand seeing him act contrary to the way he aspires to be: responsible, pious, tolerant, happy and popular(with everyone, muslim or otherwise).

    i am writing here because i would love to hear some thoughtful, honest opinions, from people who experience east-west issues virtually everyday and understand them, because my friends and family don't. it's not that they mean it, it's just the lack of contact here and the incredible power of the media of which we are all are. would you isolate a good friend of yours if he wanted to to marry a girl who was not islamic, but she was very respectful and enchanted by the eternal faith, and did not believe that she could convert unless she knew as much about islam as she could, as she believes that is not wholly faithful? if you have seen any examples of interfaith marriages, please tell me about them - what i should learn. if you believe they are wrong, you are free to say that either. i would just like to hear your opinions, even if they relate to east-west issues in general.

    thank you very much,
    from catherine
    Please Re-update your Signature

  • #2
    Originally posted by tourmaline
    hey everyone, << Hello there. You asked for advice, so I will be as direct as I can and hope it does not disappoint you. First to let you now, I've lived in the US for over 24yrs and I have an Arab backround and also a born Muslim. The chances that this marriage will work for you is NIL!! Save yourself from heartaches. You are Christian and he is a Muslim, even though it seems that he is not following the rules of Islam. Secondly, you are from the West and he is from the East. Two major obsticles to overcome. One is enough to destroy a marriage. You will face problems from day one. I can list you a million reasons. From dietery, customs, behaviour, celebrations, holidays, etc. etc. It all looks nice from the outside, but once you are connected, it is all downhill from there. It happened to me and also I have seen it happen a million times around me. It is like trying to marry a sheep to a fish. Your only chance is if you both were of the same religion. Do not underestimate this difference even if he is not a practising Muslim. >>

    i am in quite a dilemma at the moment. my father(an Australian) works closely with a good friend of mine's father(an Arab). my friend was england-educated, and is returning to university there in october. i have visited his homeland several times with my father, so naturally we both understand a lot about our respective cultures(i am british-australian). he fits in very well in england, and his islamic family and friends have been very kind to me. i just assumed that we would always stay good friends.

    recently, however, he told me that he really wanted to marry me. it was relentless. gradually his friends, both islamic and british/australian, more and more have been trying to convince me to commit to him. this is a very difficult concept for most non-muslims. i am a practising anglican, but in our society it is accepted that you will get to know the person more intimately before you marry, not necessarily sleep with them or anything like that, as everybody is different, but spend time getting to know one another better, and we are not normally so young in my wider social circle(i am 18 and he is nearly 20 respectively). my friend knows very well that this is our custom. however, he believes you can choose a partner for life before being close to them, and i would never want him to disobey allah(peace be upon him). << Sorry, we do not say "peace be upon him" to Allah. We use this phrase for humans, specially the prophets.As far as Allah is concerned, He is Peace and Peace can only come from Him.>> we share many interests and suchlike, and i was offended that so many people said from the beginning "i bet he wants to be with you". stereotypes and assumptions hurt everybody.

    << please stop using the word "islamic". It is Muslim.>>

    we have continued discussing issues - and i went to see my local imam here in australia. this is a very intimidating thing for an 18 year old girl! but he was welcoming, gentle and pleased that i was so curious and cautious. he said it is important to address potential difficulties that may arise, as many difficulties are inherent in cross-cultural marriages, no matter how happy. these ranged from custody of children to travel arrangements. however, nobody can totally predict the future.

    << Yes, no one can predict the future, but take lessons from others mistake, then the future will look a bit more clear. Do not try to re-invent the wheel! If you know what I mean.>>

    i am just wondering if my friend would be looked down on by others in his islamic community. i know that it is permissable for a muslim man to marry a non-muslim, but nevertheless everyone has their own unofficial thoughts. but more problematic, however, are the ill-informed views of many westerners about the arab world, and particularly islam. lately i have been endeavouring to engage in some interesting conversations, and people seem to be very misinformed, or simply disinterested. unfortunately opinions on women in islam seem to be perhaps the most misguided and contentious of all we hear.

    << I would suggest you try to learn about Islam objectively first and understand it. I promise you will find it to be the truth. Then submit to Allah and His rules. Then approach the marriage. But if you find that you are not convinced that it is the truth, then convince him to study your religion and ask him to convert and then approach the marriage that way.>>

    somehow, the more opposing people are, the more i want to try. marriage is very, very sacred in islam, and i really do admire that. sources say my friend has been very depressed ever since i said that i was unsure about the situation, behaving irresponsibly and so on. this is totally atypical of him. i told him if he continued to act the way he did, i would have to inform his parents or someone else, otherwise he would not learn. according to he and his friends, if i accepted his proposal he would stop. he has even said repeatedly he does not want to marry anyone apart from me. i am so flattered but i was very unprepared for something like this. boys here in australia say "oh he will get over it" - and that sort of hurts.

    i really couldn't stand by and let him live a way that wasn't true to his islamic self. my friends told me it wasn't my problem, but whether your friend is a muslim, christian, jew or hindu, they are still your friend. it is for this reason that i couldn't stand seeing him act contrary to the way he aspires to be: responsible, pious, tolerant, happy and popular(with everyone, muslim or otherwise).

    i am writing here because i would love to hear some thoughtful, honest opinions, from people who experience east-west issues virtually everyday and understand them, because my friends and family don't. it's not that they mean it, it's just the lack of contact here and the incredible power of the media of which we are all are. would you isolate a good friend of yours if he wanted to to marry a girl who was not islamic, but she was very respectful and enchanted by the eternal faith, and did not believe that she could convert unless she knew as much about islam as she could, as she believes that is not wholly faithful? if you have seen any examples of interfaith marriages, please tell me about them - what i should learn. if you believe they are wrong, you are free to say that either. i would just like to hear your opinions, even if they relate to east-west issues in general.

    thank you very much,
    from catherine
    The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) warned: "Whoever innovates or accommodates an innovator then upon him is the curse of Allaah, His Angels and the whole of mankind." Bukhaaree and Muslim

    Comment


    • #3
      hello catherine

      Just to clarify the point that a muslim can marry a non-muslim is not correct. All thought Islam allows you to marry the people of the book the modern day Cristianity and Judaism doesnt fall in to that category.
      Please Re-update your Signature

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you Haz

        Thanks for your response. Do you mean modern Christianity and Judaism don't classify as people of the book because of the way some people behave? Or is it more philosophical than that- I hope that you are talking in a more theological sense.

        What was your situation? I'm so sorry to hear it.

        Thanks
        Please Re-update your Signature

        Comment


        • #5
          Time is on your side now and you must not rush to a decision.Do not give in even if the situation is made desperate for you.Learn more about Islam,learn more about your partner,learn more about the new environment and when you are convinced about everything, then take your decision.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Haz
            hello catherine

            All thought Islam allows you to marry the people of the book the modern day Cristianity and Judaism doesnt fall in to that category.
            Since when?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tourmaline
              hey everyone,

              i am in quite a dilemma at the moment. my father(an Australian) works closely with a good friend of mine's father(an Arab). my friend was england-educated, and is returning to university there in october. i have visited his homeland several times with my father, so naturally we both understand a lot about our respective cultures(i am british-australian). he fits in very well in england, and his islamic family and friends have been very kind to me. i just assumed that we would always stay good friends.

              recently, however, he told me that he really wanted to marry me. it was relentless. gradually his friends, both islamic and british/australian, more and more have been trying to convince me to commit to him. this is a very difficult concept for most non-muslims. i am a practising anglican, but in our society it is accepted that you will get to know the person more intimately before you marry, not necessarily sleep with them or anything like that, as everybody is different, but spend time getting to know one another better, and we are not normally so young in my wider social circle(i am 18 and he is nearly 20 respectively). my friend knows very well that this is our custom. however, he believes you can choose a partner for life before being close to them, and i would never want him to disobey allah(peace be upon him). we share many interests and suchlike, and i was offended that so many people said from the beginning "i bet he wants to be with you". stereotypes and assumptions hurt everybody.

              we have continued discussing issues - and i went to see my local imam here in australia. this is a very intimidating thing for an 18 year old girl! but he was welcoming, gentle and pleased that i was so curious and cautious. he said it is important to address potential difficulties that may arise, as many difficulties are inherent in cross-cultural marriages, no matter how happy. these ranged from custody of children to travel arrangements. however, nobody can totally predict the future.

              i am just wondering if my friend would be looked down on by others in his islamic community. i know that it is permissable for a muslim man to marry a non-muslim, but nevertheless everyone has their own unofficial thoughts. but more problematic, however, are the ill-informed views of many westerners about the arab world, and particularly islam. lately i have been endeavouring to engage in some interesting conversations, and people seem to be very misinformed, or simply disinterested. unfortunately opinions on women in islam seem to be perhaps the most misguided and contentious of all we hear.

              somehow, the more opposing people are, the more i want to try. marriage is very, very sacred in islam, and i really do admire that. sources say my friend has been very depressed ever since i said that i was unsure about the situation, behaving irresponsibly and so on. this is totally atypical of him. i told him if he continued to act the way he did, i would have to inform his parents or someone else, otherwise he would not learn. according to he and his friends, if i accepted his proposal he would stop. he has even said repeatedly he does not want to marry anyone apart from me. i am so flattered but i was very unprepared for something like this. boys here in australia say "oh he will get over it" - and that sort of hurts.

              i really couldn't stand by and let him live a way that wasn't true to his islamic self. my friends told me it wasn't my problem, but whether your friend is a muslim, christian, jew or hindu, they are still your friend. it is for this reason that i couldn't stand seeing him act contrary to the way he aspires to be: responsible, pious, tolerant, happy and popular(with everyone, muslim or otherwise).

              i am writing here because i would love to hear some thoughtful, honest opinions, from people who experience east-west issues virtually everyday and understand them, because my friends and family don't. it's not that they mean it, it's just the lack of contact here and the incredible power of the media of which we are all are. would you isolate a good friend of yours if he wanted to to marry a girl who was not islamic, but she was very respectful and enchanted by the eternal faith, and did not believe that she could convert unless she knew as much about islam as she could, as she believes that is not wholly faithful? if you have seen any examples of interfaith marriages, please tell me about them - what i should learn. if you believe they are wrong, you are free to say that either. i would just like to hear your opinions, even if they relate to east-west issues in general.

              thank you very much,
              from catherine
              Dear Catherine

              It's good you are concerned but do you think it's safe to marry a man who acts out behaves irresponsible just because you are insecure?? And he says he will act right if and only if you agree to marry him. This guy has litle respect for himself and you. Now, should you decide to marry him, would you have a problem raising your children or allowing your children to be muslim??

              You asked<<would you isolate a good friend of yours if he wanted to to marry a girl who was not islamic, but she was very respectful and enchanted by the eternal faith, and did not believe that she could convert unless she knew as much about islam as she could, as she believes that is not wholly faithful?>>

              First, I would try to convince him to marry a muslim. If he insisted on marrying a non-muslim, then, no I wouldn't isolate him or his wife. I would try to befriend her so she could learn about Islam in a comfortable setting and not feel like she is being "forced" to convert.

              Personally, I have never seen an inter-religous marriage work in the west. And I personally feel muslim men shouldn't marry non-muslim women because there are many, many, many muslim women who need muslim husbands, and as you may or may not know, muslim women can only marry muslim men. However, sometimes, men find it neccesary to marry outside Islam. Some reasons are ligitemat others or totally bogus.

              Try to learn about Islam with the intentions of learning for yourself, not to please your friend or because you want to marry your friend. I hope the best for you. :)


              Peace
              3:103 And hold fast, all together, unto the bond with God, and do not draw apart from one another. And remember the blessings which God has bestowed upon you: how, when you were enemies, He brought your hearts together, so that through His blessing you became brethren; and [how, when] you were on the brink of a fiery abyss. He saved you from it. In this way God makes clear His messages unto you, so that you might find guidance.

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