Obstacles to a Christian woman marrying a Muslim man
We ask Allaah to guide you and to show you the right path, for He is Able to do that.
We thank you for submitting your question to this Islamic website, which indicates that you have trust and are keen to find out the correct answer.
A number of the things that you find strange, as mentioned in your question, are regarded by us Muslims as normal, whereas others find them objectionable.
The reason is well known among the Muslims: the attitude of worldview of the Muslim is based on full submission to the rulings of Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and total obedience to Allaah, the Creator, the Provider, the Giver of life and death, because He has enjoined that upon us, and He knows best what is right for us.
For example: you find it very strange that your boyfriend’s parents denounce the relationship between you, because according to the way you were brought up and what you are used to in the non-Islamic society in which you live, you think that this relationship is something natural and normal, in which two human souls come together and feel at ease with one another and satisfy their physical inclinations; he does things for you and you do things for him in return, and he speaks softly to you and you speak softly to him, and you can exchange gifts, etc.
Islam does not forbid kind words, good treatment and gift-giving, but a Muslim man should not be alone with a non-mahram woman [i.e., one who is not a close blood relative] and be intimate with her outside the framework of marriage, because the evil consequences and harm that that leads to, such as loss of chastity, committing zina (unlawful sexual relationship), the violation of honour, conception of illegitimate children and confusion of lineage, are far worse than nice relationships and the exchange of gifts.
If it were not for the intimacy you are seeking from one another, the nice treatment you are giving to one another would not have taken place.
Also if there is the firm intention and resolve to get married in the future and have children who will grow up as Muslims, that still does not justify this forbidden relationship which involves many things that are forbidden in Islam.
We wonder, if the relationship is so deep and strong, and you have the sincere intention of getting married, why don’t you both repent from this forbidden relationship and immediately enter upon a proper, legitimate relationship as allowed in Islam, based on marriage which Allaah has prescribed.
It is not true that speaking to one’s father is difficult among Muslims. There is no society that is more distinguished by its strong family ties than the Muslim societies. Indeed, a quick glance at the state of the family in the west will show that sons are far away from their parents and the parents’ rights are not respected, let alone what that leads to of children being neglected and daughters being lost. Islam enjoins children to show respect to their parents, as non-Muslims who do not enjoy such a relationship realize. Because the mother tends to be gentle, loving and compassionate towards her children, and the father tends be to strict and take a rational and unemotional approach towards things, many children find it easier to talk to their mothers than to their fathers, especially with regard to emotional problems. But that does not mean that it is difficult for Muslims to talk to their fathers.
But some people may have been brought up in a way that was not entirely right, which may have affected some of their behaviour and attitudes, but only in a general sense. The Muslim is supposed to love his fellow-Muslim who is a stranger, so what about one who is close to him – what about sons and fathers? Each of them should care about the interests of the other and love that which is best for him. This brings us to the second point: which is that his parents’ objection to this marriage does not mean that they are trying to control their son and does not mean that they have judged you without seeing you. Rather any father – and especially in a Muslim society – wants the best life for his son, and because the father has greater experience of life and has lived longer, and he knows how things are, he does not want his son to do something reckless which he may later regret.
The father will try to keep his son away from everything that may be labeled a failure, so he does not want him to embark on something risky such as this marriage, because marriage in Islam is a strong relationship which does not just last for a limited time like the forbidden love of boyfriends and girlfriends; rather it is a relationship between the two spouses which should be ongoing and stable. So the choice (of a marriage partner) should only be made after much serious consideration and consultation with those who know more about life than we do. Naturally the difference of religion will be a cause of division between spouses, or will cause problems in the future, especially when children come along. We have heard of many such problems on this site.
Yes, Islam does not forbid a Muslim man to marry a chaste Christian or Jewish woman; Islam allows that, but it does not encourage it. Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) urged us to choose a wife who is righteous, religiously committed and has a good attitude.
Hence the fact that his parents have rejected this marriage was not a hasty judgement, rather it was because they know how things are.
You may say, “My marriage to this man will be different, but they don’t realize that.”
Again I say: it will be different, but no father wants his son to go through an experience he does not need, especially when the current relationship between you is forbidden according to Islam.
You ask, Will there by any blame on me if I accept Islam – outwardly – and continue to believe in Allaah as I do now?
The answer is that this is a serious matter. Our pure monotheistic religion cannot be toyed with, or used for personal motives. Hence one of the basic principles of this religion is:
“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taaghootand believes in Allaah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break” [al-Baqarah 2:256]
If a person enters the religion of Allaah as a game with no serious intent, he deserves the curse of Allaah and he will be with the disbelievers, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire”
This problem may be solved in several ways, the first, best and quickest of which is for you to start to learn what Islam really is, the comprehensive nature of this religion, and how it is in accordance with the sound nature of man. So learn about the religion of Islam, for no other reason than to find out the truth and to get out of the vicious circle of confusing ideas and beliefs that go against sound nature and reason.
Then – if you strive hard – you will come to know the clear truth and the light of certain faith, and the matter of marriage will become easy for you – if Allaah wills. There is nothing wrong with your marriage to this man being a reason for you finding out about Islam.
But if you take this first step, it is better and more appropriate than getting married and then thinking about Islam.
If the family consists of two Muslim spouses from the outset, then Allaah will bless it and care for it, and they will be the basis of a family that is beloved to Allaah, because it is Muslim.
Perhaps if you and your boyfriend announce that you have repented and get married according to Islamic sharee’ah, this will reduce his parents’ worries and negative attitude.
If you tell them that you have entered Islam, then the One Who is more important than anyone else will be pleased with that, namely Allaah, may He be exalted. If you please Allaah, no matter whom you anger among your family, He will be pleased with you and will cause people to be pleased with you.
It may be appropriate – but you need to think about this and choose the right time– for you to visit his mother yourself, without your boyfriend being with you, so you can tell her that you are keen to enter Islam and repent from this forbidden relationship, and marry her son according to the laws of Allaah.
As we have mentioned above, Islam allows marriage to chaste non-Muslim women, so why not start to live a chaste and pure life, far away from any relationship that goes against that?
Your saying that your boyfriend cannot be the reason why you accept Islam is true in a sense, in that you will become Muslim not for love of this person but for love of the truth and love of Allaah Who has chosen Islam as the religion for mankind. The evidence for this is clear and does not need a strong emotional motive, because the evidence and proof of the truth is sufficient.
We must not forget, before ending this answer, to commend the phrase you used in your question, which is, “Since I got to know a little bit about Islam I can’t believe in the Christians’ ways any more.” This indicates that you are very close to the truth and that your conviction is taking the right shape, and that truth and falsehood cannot reside together in your heart. This is a good sign.
Ask Allaah to guide you to the path of truth and to open your eyes to the light. May Allaah guide you to the straight path. And Allaah knows best.