I am in my 20s and still not married. The Muslim boys that I know are of dubious and doubtful character, womanisers or into drugs and drink and other Haraam. Their character also leaves little to be liked. I am working with a man who is very good-natured and very kind-hearted. He also respects me and is very keen on marrying me but he is Christian. I consider him better than hundreds of Muslim men, so I would like to know if it is permissible to marry him. He will not force me to give up my faith. I am worried about what the community will say and I think this decision will hurt my parents. I also want to bring up my children in a religious environment but he is offering me what I want in a husband also. Please advise.
Respected Sister in Islam,
Wa-alaykumus Salaam wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakaatuh
1.) Whilst the character of many Muslims is far from being described as “admirable” or “noble” … their acknowledgment, recognition and belief in the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala and the Prophethood of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), is evidence of them being better in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.
As an example : A person steals a car or is involved in fraud. The government will punish him according to his crimes. However, if he betrays his Government, he engages in high treason, then this will incur a punishment which will be, by far, much more severe – because of the magnitude of his crime.
The same with the Muslim and non-Muslim : The Muslim who is sinful will be punished according to his sins, but inevitably, his Imaan will be a means of securing him salvation. He will enter Jannah.
The non-Muslim, on the other hand, can seemingly have the most noble character and deeds, but because he is committing high treason against his Creator and Nourisher, by rejecting Him (even though Allah Ta’ala’s signs are evident everywhere), or by associating partners to Him, then no matter how good a character he has or how much of service he renders to others, it will not be valid in the sight of Allah Ta’ala – because the “High Treason” – the Kufr and Shirk, by far, exceed all limits of disobedience, for which there can be no bail or parole (if the person dies in that condition of Kufr / Shirk).
The condition of the Believer and that of the disbeliever can be likened to money. We have money which is genuine and money which is counterfeit. If someone has a R100 note which is old, crumpled and even torn, but it is genuine – so it will be valid for use.
If a person has a brand-new, clean, crisp, R100 note but it is counterfeit, the government will reject it. Similarly, the Muslim can be ‘torn and crumpled’ in his character and in regards to good deeds, but due to his Imaan, he is accepted by Allah Ta’ala. The Non- Muslim can have the best of character and can be engaged in good deeds, but he is like that counterfeit note – and will be rejected by Allah Ta’ala.
2.) No one is saying that this man will not accept Islam. We make dua that Allah Ta’ala guide him to Islam, but presently, he has no intention to do so. As such, marriage will not be valid to him.
3.) Allah Ta’ala advises us with that which is in our best interests :
“And do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters) until they believe; and a slave woman who believes (i.e. in Tauheed) is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she may attract you.
Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes (i.e. in Tauheed) is better than an unbeliever, even though he may attract you.
Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness…’
[Surah Baqarah 2 : 221]
4.) You mention his level of respect for you, but he has no respect for Allah Ta’ala. Which is more important? Would you prefer to live with a man who does not recognise Allah Ta’ala, does not respect Allah Ta’ala, does not love Allah Ta’ala ?
5.) It is not a matter of worrying about society. It is matter of worrying about what Allah Ta’ala likes and dislikes for us and whether our actions will please Him or displease Him. Also, worry about the consequences that will inevitably follow in respect to living together – different religions, different cultures, living in a relationship that will not be valid, bringing up children in confusion of beliefs, influenced by different families and so forth. You have to think long term.
6.) Yes, you should also consider your parents : You would cause them tremendous hurt by doing this. Consider the disgrace and embarrassment they will feel. …Then you will be deprived of their duas and blessings. How then will you enjoy any kind of happiness?
7.) If he is sincerely interested in accepting Islam – that is, he believes with all his heart that this is the true religion, and not so that he can marry you, then it would be a different matter altogether and also rewarding for you.
8.) Make dua for his hidayat. Send him suitable literature on Islam, but terminate contact with him. Do not communicate with him. If he wishes to find out more about Islam, refer him to an Aalim.
9.) You say that you want to “form an Islamic home” – How do you expect to do this by living with a Christian man ?
10.) Trust, trust, trust in Allah Ta’ala. Insha-Allah, He will open doors for you to fulfill your desire to settle, form an Islamic home and please your parents. There is a time and place for everything and everyone.
11.) May Allah Ta’ala grant you a most suitable Muslim husband, with noble character, and a husband that will offer you happiness and contentment.
12.) For a marriage proposal : Read daily before sleep : 111 times ‘YaJaami’u and your mother can read ‘YaLateefu’ 111 times. Read Durud Shareef 11 times before and after. Make dua. You can also read Surah Dahr every night (29th juz, 2nd last Surah).
Was-Salaamu alaykum wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakaatuhu
Yunus Patel (Maulana)