Archive for February 11th, 2010

February 11, 2010

Muslim / Christian marriage – please repond via comments…..

by Rod Smith

I am Muslim and my husband (5 years) is Christian. Initially I was crying all the time – about why my family don’t they accept my husband –feeling guilty about how I made others feel and hurting my family in the process. Recently I planned a party for our child and wondered if my family would come. Days before I got messages from cousins declining. It really hurt us. My husband called the party off and in the tenth hour I managed to secure some family and friends to save the day. One cousin said I put the family in an awkward position by inviting them. My own mum won’t come to my house but is all nice when my husband gets to her home. Her not coming to my home annoys me. I cannot have that hard conversation with her because I’m afraid of where it will land up. Since last year I decided to make my own nuclear family work for me and I haven’t missed the extended family too much. Should I write them off? Should I invest more heartache or must I continue with my husband and two kids? (Letter shortened)

Jean Hatton

What a courageous couple you and your husband are to join your lives, coming from two totally different cultures, beliefs, and histories. You must love each other very much! You probably didn’t realize exactly what you were getting into when you married, did you? It sounds like your family is having so much difficulty adjusting to something they never thought they would have to deal with. Religion and culture are two powerful and influential foundations in our lives. Your family must feel that you have moved to another planet where they do not belong. That’s part of the cost of the choice you made to marry a Christian. I commend you for your choice of ‘making your own nuclear family work for you.

I would suggest that you not ‘write your extended family off’ but look at their struggle realistically and accept them in the battles that they are going through. Don’t stop inviting them to important family gatherings and celebrations, but always give them a choice about attending, and then accept their decisions…drop your expectations on their seeing and accepting you and your family like you want them to.

It is far from easy for them. Heartache and energy have to do with expectations which will set you up for more and more disappointments.

You won’t be able to change them.

It might be a good idea if you asked your family if you they would like to continue receiving invitations – perhaps they would welcome the response of you knowing how difficult it must be for them and be released from ‘having to attend’.

A Muslim man writes: When I read your letter, I felt great disheartenment, I have neither met you nor do I know you from a bar of soap, I felt the way I did simply because you are a Muslim and I am striving to be a Muslim. We have no other connection. From your family’s point of view they must feel a hundred times more sadness than me.

I don’t think you should ignore your family and “carry on”. There is a problem, you have sought help, follow through and resolve the issue. There is an ideological disagreement between Islam and Christianity, without going into great comparison between the 2 systems of belief…the 2 cannot co-exist in a single family unit. I think that you might not be “living” Islam, you might acknowledge it’s teachings but have not fully implemented it in your daily life…this is why you have been able to remain married for 5 years.

The solution is to engage your husband in what he believes, he must do the same with you, until the 2 of you come to an agreement on which is the best path. Ask questions of each other and if you do not know, seek out the answer from people who have knowledge. You haven’t said anything about your children, what do you want them to believe in? The path they choose is up to them, but certainly you want them to believe in 1 system of belief or the other. I must state that you should take my advise with a pinch of salt, as I want to be a Muslim, I am prejudiced in favour of Islam.

A Muslim woman writes: My sister who is a muslim has a Christian boyfriend. She wants to marry him, but not in a church. Islam will not recognise their union whether in a court of law or in the church, neither will it sanction a marriage between a christian man & the muslim lady. The Muslim lady who “married” the Christian man knows this. She was already ready to accept this when she married the man.Why does she want approval from her muslim mother who understands the law of Islam.She made a decision which had nothing to do with religion but a love for a man.Why does she frustrates herself in wanting to force her mother to go against her Islamic beliefs.

Religion is one of the biggest conntributors of quarrels. However for most of us who are staunch in our beliefs, we are not going to go against it. My advise to the Muslim lady, is live your life however you want with your set of values, but do not infringe your so called values on others and expect them to shun the teachings of the Quran for your happiness.You know better.