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Christian Woman in Love with Muslim Man

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat responds to a Christian woman asking for advice about marrying a Muslim man.

I am a non-Muslim woman who is falling in love with a Muslim man I work with. I believe in God and my family are non-practicing Christians.

The man I care for has all the qualities I longed for a partner to have but never found until now.

He has rekindled my own faith and makes me want to be better. He has told me he is fond of me also but I am aware that we can not have any physical contact etc. He has also expressed that I would need to be Muslim to be with him (Marry). He does not want me to convert to be with him but because I truly believe in Islam.

I love listening to him telling me about Islam and have begun to read the (translated) Qur’an to try to understand Islam better. I feel a pull towards it as I naturally seem to possess qualities that closely align with Islam but I am confused and torn between Islam and Christianity.

I believe Islamically the man could still marry me if I am Christian and I would support him in raising any children we may have Muslim, but he wants me to be Muslim too.

I don’t believe we would have met and shared mutual fondness for each other if it was not blessed by God as both of us before knowing the other was interested tried to ignore it and prayed for guidance and were still lead to each other in odd “coincidences.” We have done our best to keep our relationship/interaction halal as this is important to him and to me as I can not bear to be the cause of him to sin.

What should I do?

Hello.

I pray you are well.

Thank you for reaching out to us. I pray that God facilitates that which is best for you both, in this, and the next life.

It’s a huge blessing from God that He presented this opportunity to you. The person you refer to sounds like an excellent individual, and your open-mindedness has allowed his qualities to shine through.

He is right. You should look into Islam with an open mind and heart. God has opened up an opportunity to learn about Islam, and put you in a position to learn about its beauty and see it embodied in an upstanding individual.

Our ‘Why Islam is True‘ podcast is an excellent place to start.

Belief

The heart of the matter here is that we, as Muslims, are convinced of Islam’s being the the final, and truest set of beliefs and practices revealed to humanity by the Creator. It is the natural progression of what the other Abrahamic faiths lead to, and the perfect balance of a righteous worldly life, the devotion to divine that spirit yearns for, and cognizance of the ever-lasting life that is certain to come to us all after death.

This truth is based on sound, rational proofs, among other things, such as thousands of documented miracles – the greatest of them being the Qur’an itself. A believer in this truth feels completely at ease once it settles in a his heart. The mind can easily accept it. It feels natural for the body to submit to its dictates. And the soul thrives in its light.

It is commendable that this individual asked you to accept this based on personal conviction. As Muslims, we are not a recruitment drive. There are no targets to hit; no agenda to serve. Rather, the Messenger of God told us that “No one truly believes until they love for their brother what they would love for themselves.” The brotherhood  referred to here is that which binds humanity as they are all the children of Adam.

We want perpetual, permanent, Paradisal bliss for ourselves and everyone else on the planet. Everyone makes their own choice though.

Marrying a Non-Muslim Lady

Islam does allow a Muslim man to marry a Jewish or Christian lady, but would anyone want his beloved wife to come to any harm? Rejecting God and His Messengers has consequences. This is clearly why he wants you to learn about and accept Islam on your own accord.

There is also the matter of the children. Would they not be confused as to why each parent has a different religion – especially when religions talk about eternal fates? What about other matters, such as important questions each religion answers differently, or points of practice?

The Messenger of Allah

God sent us Messengers to convey to us His will, and to instruct us. The greatest of them is Muhammad, God’s final Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace. I urge you to learn about his qualities, teachings, and his life. Never has there been a more beautiful, caring, loving, generous, forgiving, gentle, beloved, reliable, courageous, and strong human being. You’ll see the truth of this when you look into his life yourself.

Allah sent His final message at the hands of the most extra-ordinary human being. Every who learns about him with a fair mind and open heart, falls in love with him. You can learn more about him here and here.

The Qur’an

The Qur’an is Allah’s final message. Read it, reflect on it, and – as with everything else about Islam – ask those qualified to answer if you have any questions at all. The Qur’an is an Arabic book, and some aspects of it need explanation. I recommend taking out course The Qurʾan: What it is, How it was Preserved, and Why it is True.

Christianity

Religion is supposed to be something which answers all the questions the soul demands answers for. Islam’s worldview provides soul-nourishing answers which satisfy the mind to boot. Issues like the purpose of existence, suffering and the ‘Problem’ of Evil, the reality of the Trinity, and others, which Christians have struggled to answer, have simple and profound answers in Islam. It makes more sense to the mind, and better answers the questions of the soul.

Christianity has many internal contradictions, which Christians themselves are forced to recognize. How can such a religion have divine origins? God doesn’t make mistakes.

Look into the works of Bart Erhman, an ex-Christian scholar of Christianity. They are sufficient to show this if Muslim sources are not enough. Dr Ali Ataie’s free course is also a great place to start.

Accepting Islam is the best possible choice you could make. Many people who embrace Islam after having been Christians actually feel closer to Jesus once they become Muslims. This is the account of one of the greatest scholars of the day.

Ask Allah For Guidance

At this time, one of the best prayers you can make to God is, “O God, let me see the truth as the truth – and give me the ability to wholeheartedly follow it. And show the falsehood as falsehood – and give me the ability to completely shun it.”

If you have any further questions or matters you wish to discuss please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here for you.

I leave you with the promise of Allah spoken with the Royal “We” to show that just as He is truly majestic, His promise will certainly be fulfilled:

Whoever, male or female, does good deeds and is a believer [in God’s religion] We will make them live a truly amazing, fulfilling, beautiful life, and We will reward them according to the standard of the best they used to do. (Sura al-Naml 16:97)

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Sinful to Seek Knowledge without Trying to Become a Scholar?

Answered by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Question: I have two things running through my mind. First, is it okay for me to want to study arabic and the sciences of Islam and not have a pursuit to be a shaykh? Also I don’t always agree with interpretations from our scholars.

Secondly, could you enlighten me more about interfaith marriage keeping in mind that I am a revert?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

May Allah grant you His enabling grace in seeking knowledge and make it a means of increased guidance and nearness to Him. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” [Ibn Majah, Tabarani].

One’s intention in seeking knowledge should be fulfilling this obligation and recognizing that it is through knowledge that one is able to worship Allah properly. One should not seek knowledge in order to become famous online or otherwise–it should be internalized first and foremost, sincerely seeking Allah’s good pleasure alone.

Seeking knowledge is a source of reward, blessings, and guidance for those who do so for Allah’s sake. Doubts about seeking knowledge or fear of being held accountable for what one knows are deterrents from the devil. Do not be scared about seeking knowledge, but recognize it as a duty, and seek Allah’s assistance in its pursuit and implementation.

Secondly, when it comes to not agreeing with interpretations of scholars, there are a few things to keep in mind. Without knowledge, one is not really able to accurately disagree with scholarly opinions. Just because we may not personally agree with something does not necessarily mean that it is not true or does not have a basis. Also, when one seeks knowledge, the opinions of the scholars begin to make more sense because we learn the proofs they base their positions upon. As Allah states in the Qur’an: “Ask those who have knowledge if you do not know.” (16.43)

When looking to get married, know that the most spiritually sound and emotionally fulfilling way of doing so is the way taught to us by Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) . As Allah the Sublime and Exalted says in the Qur’an: “Another of His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquillity: He ordained love and kindness between you. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect.” (Quran 30.21). Also, even where a Muslim man may marry a woman from the People of the Book, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) encouraged foremost marrying a woman of piety and deep connection to Allah and His Messenger.

And Allah knows best and His assistance is sought.

Amjad Tarsin

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can a Muslim Man Marry with a Sikh?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: In the Qur’an 60:10 God said one can marry “believers” and did not specify a religion of the women in question, but the only requirement is that they are “believers”. Now, as a Sikh woman, if I comply with this verse in the Quran, is it permissible for me to marry a Muslim man without converting to Islam?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

I do not know of any opinion within the Islamic tradition that would allow the marriage of a Muslim man with a Sikh.

The Qur’anic verse that you refer to is in reference to Muslim women. It is not permitted for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man i.e. a non-believer, even if he is Christian or Jewish. In the final part of the verse, God instructs Muslim men not to “hold marriage bonds with disbelieving women.” In the language of the Qur’an, a believer is an exclusive reference to a Muslim.

The only exception to the above are men marrying Jews and Christians. This is explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an 5:5 where it states that a Muslim man may marry “women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the scripture before you.” Clearly, the word “believers” here does not refer to anyone who believes in a religion for there would be little use in mentioning straight afterwards the permissibility of marrying those who were given the scripture before Muslims. Rather, the term believers here refers to a specific group of people, namely those who have accepted Islam.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Sikhism and Interfaith Marriage

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I am from India, Sikh by birth and I seek knowledge regarding the Islamic views on few aspects.

1) Sikhism, as you must be aware, is a strictly monotheistic religion, like Islam.  I am keen to inquire about how Islam views Sikhs from Day Of Judgement.

2) If Islam allows a Muslims girl to chose a husband of her own, shouldn’t she be allowed to chose someone who may be a non-Muslim? And why is this given more importance than lying? And considering Sikhs also believe in One-God, shouldn’t they be a suitable matrimonial partner?

3) If a boy is very good in nature  and doesn’t hurt anyone but is not a Muslim by birth or religion, should a Muslim girl’s family reject him just because he is not a Muslim? If he has the best value-system, does belief in God matter?

Answer: In the Name of God, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

Dear brother,

Thank you for your email.  Your questions show that you are open-minded and respectful.  I believe that no one asks a sincere question regarding the ultimate Truths and eternal verities, except that they are being guided by God to something higher and greater and better for them.  So in His Name, I begin:

Sikhism and Islam

It is true that Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, just like Islam.  In fact, Sikhism was influenced in a significant way in its early development by Islam, particularly through the field of Islamic spirituality (Sufism) and the teachings of certain Muslim mystic-saints (sufis), whose writings were later included into the Sikh holy book, the Adi Granth.

The beliefs of the early Muslim mystics who left their indelible mark on Sikhism were clear: that there is no god except the one true God, and that the Prophet Muhammad was His final messenger and servant, peace be upon him, after a long line of prophets revered also by the Jewish and Christian faiths.  Whoever sincerely desires the truth of monotheism in its purest and most authentic expression then, should at least explore what this means, and what the Prophet’s message was.

The crux of the matter therefore, is not simply claiming monotheism, but actualizing that claim to monotheism.  What monotheism entails from us is that we worship God the way He desires to be worshiped, according to the guidance that He sent to us through His messengers, of which Muhammad was the last, peace be upon him and all the prophets.

The message of Islamic monotheism is the one valid, saving message on the Day of Judgment for all of humanity.  Those who never had a chance to fairly understand this divine truth in their lifetime will not be judged by its standards on that Day, but those who did have the chance, and realized its veracity deep down inside, will be asked on that day how they responded to God’s guidance in their lifetime.  It’s up to the individual to earnestly seek God and accept the truth where it is revealed to him.

Interfaith Marriage

While a Muslim, man or woman, has the right to choose who they marry, the pool of who they can choose from is based upon what God has allowed.  A Muslim woman can only marry a man who prays to one Lord in the same way she does, and who encourages and enables her to live a spiritually-fulfilling life in Islam, with all the rights and respect it affords her, ideally speaking.  This requires that he be a Muslim, so that she finds a partner to live her faith with, and so that their future offspring can also be born and raised as Muslims who lovingly follow God’s way.

Every virtue has its proper place.  Not lying, for example, is better and more important than being a good driver, but when one is on the highway, driving safely takes precedence over not lying since a greater interest (life) is being protected as a priority.  In the same way, all good virtues in a spouse are important, but if correct faith is missing, this threatens the spiritual life and afterlife of the other spouse, and so this becomes a priority to preserve.

As we said above, while both religions are monotheistic, the next litmus test is to ask whether one believes in the finality of prophethood and the verity of the final message of God in the form of Islam.  If the answer is in the positive, one is suitable to marry a Muslim woman.  If not, then not.

You must remember that these conditions are not made-up by religious clergy nor in the hands of men- rather, this is God’s command to us.  Hence, if one claims to be monotheist, how can one sincerely claim this and not ask oneself what God wants from them?

Thus, rather than questioning the wisdom behind certain rulings that may be preventing us from doing what we want to do, we should open our hearts and ask God what He wants us to do then follow that, as, obviously, what He wants will have the greatest wisdom, will it not?

Faith Matters, So Give Truth a Chance

Correct belief in God matters, as it is the highest virtue.  This is the purest reflection of the highest ideal: Truth.  It is only through God that all other virtues are known to man.  Thus, the closer we get to understanding God and worshiping Him the way He wishes, the more we understand what virtues we should adorn ourselves with.  One can be very moral and courteous, but without loving God and doing what He loves, we have a huge gap in our moral system and our values are deficient, without knowing it.

Thus, it is valid for a Muslim girl’s family to demand that a suitor follows that highest virtue of true faith.  If a man truly loves a Muslim woman, then he owes it to her- and moreover, to the One who created her –  to give an unbiased, sincere look at her religion, and ask God whether it is the true way, or not.

I am not trying to preach or cast rules upon you because I don’t know what you are going through, but rather because I was once in your position over a decade ago, and I was faced with this opportunity to search for the truth, and I asked God to guide me, and then He guided me to the truth of Islam through His love and mercy upon me.  I have not regretted or looked back since then.  By finding God, I gained everything I truly wanted and more than I had ever asked for in both my worldly and spiritual life, including my family and the most peaceful and satisfying way of life.  And you can have that too.

If you have any other questions, I am ever at your service.

Your brother,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani