This is a post I have been thinking about writing for quite some time because I have a lot of thoughts on this issue (the reasons why may be obvious from the rest of this post) and I wanted to get them down and get some feedback from other Muslims. Here is how I want to focus this topic:

  1. Before Marriage – Stereotypes/Obstacles
  2. During Marriage – Culture Clash, Confused Kids, and Bewildered in-Laws
  3. Societal Ramifications (focus on living in the US)
  4. Parting Comments

Before Marriage – Stereotypes and Obstacles

No matter your background, an interracial marriage will be met with obstacles on both sides. It is especially the case for the generation of people whose parents were immigrants, and they themselves were raised here. To even broach the idea of an interracial marriage will spring forth 100 year old stereotypes of other cultures you never even knew existed. It is particularly sad when these are directed at other Muslim groups. For example, a Pakistani trying to marry an Arab will no doubt hear many “Arabs are this…” or “Arabs are that…” type of comments.

Even those who marry within the race will often face problems in marrying outside the tribe, or people from a specific part of the same country, so much so that some people even consider these marriages to be against the norm.

Muslims who are the first generation to be born and raised in the West face a unique dilemma. They must harmonize between finding someone who is suitable religiously, and culturally. The cultural aspect can get confusing because while a person may be Indian, they have more in common with a Bengali person who grew up here also as opposed to an Indian person from 'back home.'

It is that point though, that parents have a tough time coming to grips with. It seems some have missed the fact that their kids have a distinct culture that's different that what they think they taught them. This is why it is frustrating to see many marriages being held up because someone's parents are looking from a family who is from the same village back home.

It is good to see the trend of our youth overlooking the racial/ethnic lines in marriage, and trying to marry for the deen, however, the obstacles are often great. Many families are not accepting of such marriages, and many face great difficulties in pursuing them. The hardest part is breaking stereotypes that people have formed, or been brought up with. These are literally ideologies they may have held for the vast majority of their lives. The culture and environment their kids have been brought up in though, does not hald fast to these same ideals.

During Marriage

This is where the toughest adjustment comes, and the cultural differences must be overcome. For purposes of this article, we will go ahead and assume that alhamdulillah as far as the deen is concerned, both parties are masha'Allah practicing and on the same page in regards to their religion. It is what comes outside of that which can cause problems.

The first problem is, if I may term it so, latent cultural tendencies. By this I mean that once a person is married, they are now in a stage of life that they have not experienced before (assuming its the first marriage). Since this is the case, the only 'experience' they have to revert back to is that of their own parents. A person might not realize these things before marriage, but after a kid the husband may start acting a certain way, and due to the way he was brought up, he will have certain expectations as to what his wife should do as a mother. The wife, having been brought up differently, may have the opposite expectation. This is a situation where the culture has caused a clash despite the fact that neither one may actually be a cultural Pakistani, or a cultural Arab in the traditional sense.

In-laws are another issue that comes up. Different cultures have vastly different expectations of their sons-in-law or daughters-in-law, and an interracial marriage will bring about an abrupt adjustment period for them. Language barriers can also be an issue here. It is unfortunate that this aspect of an interracial marriage is often the most overlooked despite the heavy emphasis in Islam on preserving the family ties. Deen may very well be an extremely strong bond in preserving your marriage, but does that same bond exist with your spouse's parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and other family members?

Kids add another dimension, and quite possibly the toughest. The husband/wife must be prepared to deal with difficulties their children may endure from being of mixed-race. There's also issues of what languages to teach them, and how to communicate in the house. It is important for these issues to be agreed upon before getting married. Everyone has seen families where the mother and children communicate in one tongue, and the father is often left out in the cold and ends up disconnected from the family.

Societal Ramifications

Obviously interracial marriages are not for everyone, not everyone desires one (most probably don't), and not everyone is cut out for one. With that said, it is encouraging to see a rising trend in these marriages. We are after all, one ummah. Our cultures do enrichen our ummah, but they cannot come before our religion. To see more couples, and mixed-race children is a very apparent way of breaking down some barriers and stereotypes that exist within our societies. It exposes Muslims of one culture more intimately to those from another, and in the end I feel it increases the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood.

It is also important in our times, to not let ourselves become segregated too much, otherwise we will end up with masjids separated out like the “black churches” or “white churches.” I know that exists to some degree now, but alhamdulillah I think most of the bigger masajid in bigger communities are very diverse (even if the board members might all be from one country, but that's a different story).

Tariq Nelson made a pertinent point on his blog,

I am of the controversial opinion that increased interracial/intercultural marriage is one of the ways that will lead to a meshing of a singular American Muslim identity. This would eventually lead to more of a blending in this country, culturally and genetically, of the many Muslim cultures as well as the American one. Intermarriage is one of the ways people that were once even somewhat hostile can become one group.

The most important role interracial marriages may play in this is the affect that they will have on their family and friends. At the very least it will force them to look past their cultural identity and see a first-hand example of a family that is insha'Allah putting their religion above all else – about making themselves Muslim before being anything else.

Parting Comments

First and foremost we should ask Allah (swt) to purify our intentions and grant us the tawfeeq to make all of our actions for Him and for Him alone. Marriage in general is not a goal in and of itself, but it is a means of worshipping Allah by trying to establish a family upon the Sunnah.

If someone chooses to pursue an interracial marriage, they really need to “check yourself before you wreck yourself” and make sure they are ready to deal with the consequences of their decisions. I have outlined just a small sampling of the obstacles that one might face. People really need to do some self-introspection and see where they stand, see what their maturity level is, and know what they can handle before getting involved in anything.

Once a person does become involved in an interracial marriage, the most important thing is to have patience. A lot of things will come your way, but you must persevere through them as a Muslim should. Remember also that all your actions, and your family in the public eye, will be under much more scrutiny than most. One of the saddest things is the attitude people have towards interracial couples of “let's see how long that will last.” People will be expecting your marriage to fail. It's not right, but it's a reality.

Know that it will take time for the families of both parties to integrate and become comfortable with one another. The key is for both people to be willing to put up with that and work towards their ultimate goal of insha'Allah having a good Muslim family. Even outside of family, you will deal with smaller things like trying to fit into social groups that exist in masajid and communities, or being looked at as the 'token interracial couple' of an event, etc.

But insha'Allah if it is successful, there is a huge potential for making da'wah and helping to make impact in society. Also, don't forget the fringe benefit of having super-cute children masha'Allah :)

These are just some brief thoughts I had on this matter, really I think a whole book can be written on this subject, but I did want to see people's attitudes towards it. Would you consider it for yourself? What about for your children? What about for your siblings? How do you feel when you see an interracial couple?

195 Responses

  1. iluvmyhubby

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Interesting article, Masha’Allah!

    I’m actually part of an interracial marriage. Some of the points you mentioned above were quite pertinent, but Alhamdulillah, with both of our immediate families being very chilled out, and identifying more with being Muslim than Arab/Pakistani, it was pretty easy for us, and a lot of these things never came up.

    To be completely honest, I myself had preconceived notions about Arabs, which although sometimes true, are nonetheless, extremely stereotypical. Also, I thought interracial couples were weird. :) My husband, similarly, had stereotypical views on Pakistanis.
    When we got married, it was much much easier than I had imagined. The families compromised a lot and it was even more interesting to infuse the 2 cultures together.

    Now, its been almost 2 years, and we haven’t really had any cultural clashes or problems. I think when the family cares more about Islam than their race, things just fall into place, and you don’t even realize that you’re of a different race.

    As for kids…..haven’t been there yet, but I’ve already planned on teaching them Arabic and Urdu. The Urdu by dropping them off at my parent’s house a lot. :P The Arabic, leaving them with my in-laws. Our parents like this idea also.

    The cool thing is that my best friend just became part of an interracial marriage last weekend, so I can give her lotsa advice.

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    • Oustanding Muslimah

      What a good idea – sending the children to your in-laws so that they learn both languages especially since they have the capacity to learn about 5 languages ( i heard?)! More languages, the better. Alhamdulilah.

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    • Zeynab

      Assal alaikum sister,

      I am facing many problems regarding interracial marriage. I’m from a bengali family and my partner of 7 years is half iraqi half moroccan. My family have strong views on interracial marriages and are against it, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on what i can do to make them agree and compromise, My partner’s side are okay with the whole idea but my side are typical asians wo expect me to marry someone within the same culture,
      Your advice will be appreciated :) x

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  2. iluvmyhubby

    Me again. I somehow skipped over this part in the post:
    ” One of the saddest things is the attitude people have towards interracial couples of “let’s see how long that will last.” People will be expecting your marriage to fail. It’s not right, but it’s a reality.”

    Wow thats sad.
    I actually had no idea people thought that way. While we were engaged, people at the Masjid did make a lot of harsh comments, but my friends never told me. Later I found out, (from some kids!!)and was quite surprised.

    I think theres waaaaaaay more reasons to stay together in an interracial marriage than to split up (apart from the normal reasons you wouldn’t split up). Such as: 2 types of yummy food. 2 countries to visit where you have family (when you finally take a vacation).
    Like you said, cute kids.
    Unlimited clothing options (my hubby wears Arab AND Pakistani clothes, whereas before he would never, ever “betray” his culture..).
    Learning another language faster and easier.
    And, it could go on….

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  3. AllahuAkbar

    Assalamu Allaikum,
    Good article mash’Allah! I agree with a lot of stuff that you just mentioned. I was considering an arab brother for marriage and after a year long discussions/odd confrontations/confusion, I decided to back off.
    I agree with all the pluses of inter-racial marriages but it requires a lot of patience to climb up the bariers and achieve life-long happiness…

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  4. Ruth Nasrullah

    Asalaamu alaikum, brother. Very interesting and well thought out article. My thoughts: it doesn’t sound like you’re talking about interracial marriages as much as intercultural, and it also strikes me that the issues you discuss are of most concern to immigrants and first-generation Americans. Not that the issues aren’t valid – they’re just not broad enough to really encompass “interracial marriages” in this country. For what it’s worth, I also have the impression you’re writing more about south Asian-Arab mixed couples than any others, since those are the only examples you mentioned. It’s still food for thought, though, and some good general advice.

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  5. Hassan

    Salaam, from a FOB point of view, I can see that the generation born and raised here have their own unique culture. A person born here in a Pakistani family or arab family etc, would have a new culture mixing american culture with traces of their parents culture. So it would be kind of hybrid culture.

    And sometimes its not parents who hold you back from marrying into different culture, its person himself or herself (for valid reasons as well). We have to realize that the marriage is not something trivial to experiment with, its matter of whole life hopefully. And the person hopes and want least sort of problems in it, and want a harmonious marriage.

    So if a person feels the cultural differences is going to cause such issues, why take such risk? Why be miserable for all life (or even few years) to sort things out? What are incentives to go this route?

    Now as a parents, we need to realize our kids have their own culture, and we should find something suitable for them within their new adopted culture. So you are right, a pakistani american may have more in common with arab american than a pakistani from back home, because his her culture is different now.

    I am not advocating against interculture marriage, I am just saying if couples cant feel comfortable with each other, then dont experiment. Wallahua’alam

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  6. Amad

    Sister Ruth, I believe that Omar is talking about both. Interracial marriages can actually become more difficult when they add an intercultural aspect to it.

    And Omar speaks out of personal experience, being that he is married to a sister from a different race completely (and different nation of origin), while he is himself is a 1st generation American of Indo-Pakistani origin.

    Finally, I agree with Hassan, FOBs and ABCDs just don’t mesh together that well, even if their origins are from the same village in a remote area of Pakistan. The ABCD (modified to American-born-cultured-desi) would just fit better with an ABCA (ABC-arab). I have seen too many marriages break apart when the origins are taken into account more than the culture.

    comment slightly edited by ibnabeeomar

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  7. Ruth Nasrullah

    Br. Amad, thanks for clarifying that. Br. Omar, if you don’t mind, I’d love to hear more of your personal perspective. I definitely didn’t get from your essay that you were talking about marriage between significantly different race backgrounds like yours – actually, significantly different in almost every way except religion (and that’s assuming your wife was a born Muslim!). If it’s not too personal, I’d be interested in hearing more about your personal experiences.

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  8. ibnabeeomar

    yeah i meant to make this post somewhat general in nature, but yes my primary point was of people from different races altogether, for example white-hispanic, african-pakistani, etc.

    but yes it does have the tilt of first generation/immigrants because thats the best perspective i can offer. i think that a lot of things would be different, for example, in a white/black marriage where both families have been established here for a few generations would probably not experience the culture shock that first generation families would experience, because their ‘back home’ cultures are still a very vivid part of their lives.

    one positive that comes out of it, is it really does give a person a new appreciation and exposure to other cultures, etc (just within islam) that they might not otherwise have had.

    br. hassan i think you are basically making the same general point that br. tariq made in his (new) post, and its a good point.

    regarding this question:
    So if a person feels the cultural differences is going to cause such issues, why take such risk?

    then its really something out of your control sometimes. if a person can’t deal with it, then yes they shouldn’t. the problem is sometimes people are immature and they think they can handle things but can’t. the other problem to me is people who oppose the idea simply out of principle. i think that its important to take each situation on a case by case basis. sometimes the sister might just flat out be worth the risks. sometimes you might just not be able to find someone suitable from your own race. there’s lots of reasons and variables.

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  9. ibnabeeomar

    sr. ruth, what kinds of experiences are you most interested in hearing about? hopefully other people can comment on that as well inshallah

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  10. HasbiyAllah

    Alhamdulillah my family is full of inter-racial marriages, even my own grandparents, may Allah have mecry on them, are interracial.

    Within my family, i’ve only seen it ‘get bad’ with one couple, and the brother’s family (arab) were giving my cousin a very hard time and now that they have kids, it’s gotten worse and better at the same time. May Allah make is easy for them and grant them righteous and pious children. ameen

    Because of that situation, my dad has an issue with arab brothers–not necessarily with the brother but with the possibility of being shunned by his family and/or other arabs.
    I cannot say that I totally disagree with my dad, but I’m not willing to go against what my parents want, and again it depends on the situation.. wa Allahu ta’ala ‘alam.

    I also agree about the stereotypes–I think that a lot of parents are just “scared” by other races because of stories they’ve heard…like for example, “a black brother will marry 2 other wives” or “an arab will hit you” or “a pakistani will make you take your hijaab off at the walima”, audubillah. I think people have taken certain situations and made them the norm for all the people of that race/culture.

    I am also saddened when I see younger people intersted in getting married think that their parents are just being down-right “racist”. Our parents are not against us, they have concerns, and as an adult one should be able to address those concerns and talk about this issue beforehand. I think that the youth should talk to their parents about interracial/cultural marriages before they get involved with a brother or sister who is a different race. InshaAllah to lessen the shock value and so the parents and the child are on the same page.

    On the other hand, I think a lot of parents are totally open to mixed races (like my mom) because of the pretty kids :-) mashaAllah and for other reasons. wa Allahu ta’ala ‘alam.

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  11. Mujahideen Ryder

    I actually disagree with the ‘Before Marriage’ part. My fiancee is Yemeni, and I’m Guyanese. [Yemen is in the Middle East; Guyana is in South America (actually considered Caribbean, so I'm West Indian)]

    Her ancestors are Arab and mine are from the Indian subcontinent. Alhamdulillah, all thanks is to due to Allah that both our parents are very open and have accepted us.

    My parents didn’t give me any problem at all. They were like is she a good Muslimah. That’s all they cared about: deen, piety. My parent’s aren’t even super religious either. The same for her parents.

    I think it all has to do with the type of parents you have and how open they are. It doesn’t matter how pious they are but how they will react to other ethnicities and other nationalities.

    But then again, West Indians generally are really open regardless of what faith they are. :-D

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  12. tahsinthree

    Marriage is something both partners need to work at continuosly irrespective of who you are marrying – your first cousin or someone from another world altogether. Put it like this: you want a good relationship with your boss or your friends, you work at it and ditto with your spouse. Of course, with your spouse you can blow off now and then, and follow it up with remorse and repentance but still it needs to be worked at. Believe me, marriage is hard work and it better be worth the work you and your spouse put in.

    I believe that the national language for all Muslims should be Arabic. ( I am Pakistani). I like what ‘Iluvmyhubby’ plans to do regarding her children. We can never learn enough languages – for Dawah and to get on with others.

    To the ABCDs and the ABCAs (thank you, brother Amad for the update of the younger generation), go for it! May Allah bless your intentions and deeds!

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  13. Seeker

    Now what is ABCD/A….?

    I guess you didn’t read all the comments– ABCD refers to American born confused desi (desi=indian subcontinent folks). The A at the end is for Arabs. The new politically-correct version introduced here replaces confused with cultured :) -Amad

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  14. UmmTaymiyyah

    I think its easier for two people from different cultures who grew up in the west to get along better.

    Your marriage has to be best on Quran and Sunnah to be able to grow and you have to have a common respect for another.

    Take time out to learn about your partners culture even learning a few words of the other persons language will make it seem like your trying to be apart of the family.

    You and the in-laws wont always see “eye to eye” but make an effort to understand their point of view,but remember its your marriage and you decide how you wont it to be.

    Marriage is hard work, you just have to be willing to make an effort.

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  15. Niqaabis

    As salaam ‘alaikum

    Jazaakumullaahu khairan

    that was an interesting read and it has given me an answer to something I was looking for

    baarak Allaahu feekum

    Wa salaam ‘alaikum

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  16. Tariq Nelson

    One comment on the masjids being seperated like “black” churches and “white” churches.

    As a person that was once Christian, I can tell you that I would not have fathomed dropping by a “white” church on the other side of town much less go to one while I am traveling.

    This has not been the case as a Muslim as I can drop by any masjid (regardless of cultural domination) and go in and pray with no problems even when I am out of town. We do have some cleaning up to do in this department, but I must say that masjids are still a vast improvement over “black” churches and “white” churches

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  17. Amad

    I have to add a few important points:
    There is a certain romanticism that young Muslims have, especially teens and 20-something, about marrying from the other ‘type’… like Desis wanting to test the Arabian waters, and vice-versa. It just may seem cool and different. Then there are also the ‘stretch-reasons’ such as “if I marry an Arab, I’ll learn Arabic”, not realizing that most Arabs don’t know decent Arabic themselves! So, this feeling of ‘exoticness’ and wanting to be ‘different’ from the ‘uncle-generation’ is pretty strong among the youth. And I have to admit that I had similar feelings back in my teens/early-20s as well.

    So, if there are those wanting to explore the ‘other side’, then my advise to you is to think many times before jumping into such an arrangement. Not that there is anything Islamically wrong with it. And not that it is not a noble goal to feel the need for a Muslim ‘melting pot’. But there are other ways that this can be achieved, in lieu of putting your life’s serenity at stake.

    To start with, marrying within your own ‘tribe’ poses much less of a challenge; it increases your chances of having a fruitful marriage. Marriage is a like a huge life-long (if it lasts) obstacle course. There are so many issues to overcome, so many incompatibilities to smoothen, so many people in your extended families to deal with, that it is MUCH easier if the parents of the couple can interact COMFORTABLY. Yes, I am sure Arab parents can deal with Desi parents, but generally speaking, immigrant Arabs/Desis like to socialize in their own cliques. So, they may be able to survive yes, but perhaps not thrive. When the two extended families don’t mesh as well, then the couple just don’t have the support that they otherwise would have had. Also there are are other things, like food types, like cultural habits, etc. that can create obstacles of their own So, in short, my personal advice (generally speaking) is that if you can find one of your ‘own’ to marry who has the Islamic qualities you are looking for, then prefer it over the exoticness of finding one from the ‘other side’.
    -uncle Amad :)

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  18. Abu Bakr

    These are good points but they really do vary from person to person. I’m a Desi and I like desi cuisine, but I could just as easily switch over to Arab food if I had an Arab wife. Also, while its true my parents prefer to associate primarily with Desis, they actually get along pretty well with the Arab families in our community. And to be honest, for me personally, although I can make my way through Desi social circles, its not exactly something I relish.

    So each person should consider his own circumstances. The important thing in the end is to go into any situation with open eyes.

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  19. Amad

    Getting along vs. actually enjoying and wanting that sort of company are two different things.

    Of course, I agree with your comments Sh. Abu Bakr… there are many exceptions to what I believe is still generally true for MOST TYPICAL Arab/Desi IMMIGRANT parents.

    I think, like other cultures and races that came before us, first-generation Americans born to Muslim immigrants will/are becoming more homogeneous such that the second-generation will have it much easier… I can see it in myself being that I came here as a teenager, and that my best-friends are Arabs… so I don’t see my children having much difficulty in that regard. Wallahualam.

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  20. inexplicabletimelessness

    As salaamu alaikum:

    “I have to add a few important points:
    There is a certain romanticism that young Muslims have, especially teens and 20-something, about marrying from the other ‘type’… like Desis wanting to test the Arabian waters, and vice-versa. It just may seem cool and different. Then there are also the ’stretch-reasons’ such as “if I marry an Arab, I’ll learn Arabic”, not realizing that most Arabs don’t know decent Arabic themselves! So, this feeling of ‘exoticness’ and wanting to be ‘different’ from the ‘uncle-generation’ is pretty strong among the youth. And I have to admit that I had similar feelings back in my teens/early-20s as well.”

    LOL, as a teen I totally ditto that! :) Especially the part about the Arabic.

    May Allah guide us all, ameen.

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  21. AnonyMouse

    As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu,

    Good post… and something I need to think about, considering that right now, I’d rather marry an Arab than a fellow desi…

    My parents are those who don’t think much of culture and focus more on deen (al-Hamdulillaah), but my grandparents are a bit more attached to our culture – they’ve been sort of hoping I’d marry within “our people”, but honestly, from what I’ve seen of “our people”, I’d rather not! :S

    May Allah guide us all to making the right decisions, and grant us all pious righteous spouses, ameen! :)

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  22. tahsinthree

    ‘I think, like other cultures and races that came before us, first-generation Americans born to Muslim immigrants will/are becoming more homogeneous such that the second-generation will have it much easier… ‘

    I agree; that is why the ABCDs, the ABCAs and also the ABMs (all American born Muslims) and the ABCMs (American born converted Muslims) have a better chance to make it work and to unite the Ummah. They has much less cultural baggage and prejudices from the old country. What little they have is handed down, and insha Allah will not pass it on to their cute children.

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  23. Abu Bakr

    Br. Amad:

    Yes, i see your point, and brother, btw, theres no need to call me shaykh. I’m 99% sure you are probably older than I am

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  24. unlissted

    yes alot of black american men are marrying arabwomen…….yemen,morocco,egypt,jordan,saudi arabia…maritania….The brothers claim they are obediant and stay in the marriage,plus they know arabic and the quran……wowwww .that’s alot to compete with

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  25. Umm Adam

    Also the ABCMs (that’s a new one) don’t really care about what our extended family thinks of who we marry, because the issue with us will always be deen and not culture or race. Most of us are estranged from our families and limit the interaction of our children with the extended none Muslim family. I am in an interracial marriage. My husband is pink and I am caramel and we have creamy babies (rofl). Really, he’s white, I’m black and his family (well his mom) wants nothing to do with me because I am black and Muslim. His first Muslim wife was white and his family encouraged her apostatacy (they actually put her in touch with the people who helped misguide her), so really for the convert I think think it all boils down to our personal preference and deen, when we decide who we want to marry.

    I’ve also bent over backwards to learn my dh’s culture. I have perfected bland cardboard tasting food and you can find my children running wild screaming and crying throughout any grocery or toy store with no discipline whatsoever (not even the ‘wait till we get to the car/home’ look)!

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  26. Musa Maguire

    This is definitely something that should be discussed, though I’m a little disturbed by the uncritical use of “race” in distinction to “culture.” Race exists as a lived experience because racism exists, not because of biology Cultural differences are something to consider in marriage, but what exactly do y’all mean by racial difference? It’s a bit troubling.

    I’m afraid that I don’t have much patience with the racism and cultural chauvinism among immigrants. Many American converts, like myself, came to Islam because it is the solution to racism. And nothing broke my heart more in the immigrant communities than to discover the rampant racism therein.

    Additionally, as converts, we automatically go through a process of separating culture from deen, which is not the case for those born into Islam.

    I don’t want to underemphasize the importance of cultural compatibility. It should be taken seriously in choosing a spouse. But as a whole, these race/culture issues are a plague in our communitites.

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  27. behindacurtain

    Before Marriage – Stereotypes and Obstacles

    One thing I’ve noticed about all the interracial couples I know is that they met through Islamic events or friends of friends manly because in the recent years masajids and Islamic schools have become more diverse especially in the larger cities so much so that you could have 20 friends each from a different part of the world. This has created a more tolerant and culturally sensitive generation.

    As far as parents go and bring up the idea of marrying someone out side of your race, as you all know everyone is different. From what I have seen the more religious the family is the more likely they would support you.

    For me personally being a Somali sister who grew up in North America, married to a First generation American of Indo-Pakistani origin. I thought getting my parents; mainly my father to agree to let me marry outside of my Tribe much less out side of my race all together would be virtually impossible. But after having several long discussions with my father and him seeking consultation from elders in my community many who’ve known me since childhood, he agreed. SubhanaAllah what pleased me most was why my father agreed he told me about this hadith “If someone with whose piety and character you comes…….( can’t remember the rest of the hadith) and said that this is why he agreed.

    I think anyone who is thinking about entering into a interracial marriage really needs to think long and hard, talk to prospective spouses ask questions about the family and how important culture is, your expectations, your goals for the future, how you plan to raise your kids, if this person eventually wants to move back to their country, what types of cuisine he expects you to cook for him, etc.

    Whether same race or interracial, one thing I would advise anyone in a marriage is to make lots of dua and have patience and learn about each others roles in Islam. This is the key to any good marriage

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  28. Umm Ayub

    SubhanAllah what an eye opener!

    I know for sure living here in the UK and Alhamdulilah with an increase in converts, alot more sisters want to marry out of their race, but once again its the family that disagree, simply due to his race/culture. Should we just compromise and carry on letting our families believe their old myths about different cultures Or shud we attempt to dispel the previous generations misconceptions? Last time I checked, we were one Ummah, and still are. Alhamdulilah regardless of race/colour/culture etc.

    However I do have to add that some of the problems mentioned had never occurred to me before, but surely if all this is dealt with by educating our youth & elders, these problems wouldn’t arise, bi’idhnillah,

    Nowadays, when sisters say they want to get married, they have to hear the ‘wait till you finish studying etc’, which is a whole other issue…hence there is alot of much needed education, not just in this department, but in all aspects of our deen…

    JazakAllahkhair for the beneficial article.

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  29. Aziza Margari Hill

    Salaam alaikum,

    I have to agree with Musa Maguires contention that there is an uncritical distinction between culture and race. Are we still going to use colonial categories of race? How do we understand culture, when there is constant borrowing and renegotiations of culture. It seems as if we consider those static categories when they are so dynamic. For example, a few commenters on this blog pointed out that migration can create cultural differences. One’s cultural orientation can change in a lifetime.

    There are many Muslims that argue that marriage is hard enough to add the challenges of inter-cultural/inter-ethnic relationships. People bring their own cultural baggage even if they marry someone from their same background. When you marry someone from a different background you exchange the sets of issues that you would have with someone from your background for another set of issues.

    I think the saddest thing for me, as a convert, was the dissapointment when I confronted racism in the Muslim community. America has a long history of addressing issues of racism and it has been subject to so much resources and critical thought. On the other hand, Muslims are just barely addressing these issues critically.
    This is why I am thankful for postings like this.

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  30. Hassan

    Salaam. Many people commented that there is lot of racism in muslim community. Are you guys suggesting not marrying into other race as racism? or Is there something else? If yes, then what is it?

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  31. ummtaymiyyah

    Speaking for myself, i don’t think its racsim if you choose not to marry into another culture. Its all just based on everyones own perference

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    • Nadiyah

      No, its racism if you believe one shouldn’t marry into another race

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  32. Aziza Margari Hill

    Salaam alaikum,
    Choosing to marry within your own ethnic and cultural community is not racism. But often individuals cite racist assumptions: this group abuses their women, that group’s women aren’t good women, this other group are lazy, etc. One can be racist and still marry into another group. For example, I know white men who have racist views agains Asians, but are married to Asian women. I also know of a Black man who marries (under dubious circumstances) Arab women, but dislikes Arabs and generalizes them all the time.
    But for the most part, hatred of another ethnic group does prevent you from wanting to marry them.

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    • africana

      You’re absolutely right! i’ve seen the same phenomenon with white converts who think that being muslim gives them the right to speak in generalities about the group to which their husband belongs.

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  33. nothing

    Ms. Ruth , would u mind to write something about inter religious marriage . I am muslim and I am in love with a person who is Christian (Atheist actually ) .I love him so much .Though , he is an atheist but he respects my religion . He is the nicest person in the whole earth .I need ur input .Although I am born Muslim but I don’t have deep knowledge abt Islam.I would appreciate ur input .Thanks again .

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    • Mehdi Sheikh

      Firstly, the basic fact is that a Muslim woman simply cannot marry a non-Muslim, regardless of how “nice” he is. Even for Muslim men to marry a non-Muslim woman from the Ahl-Kitaab carry strict conditions which I believe is becoming near impossible to fulfill.

      But besides that point, I am a little surprised as to how you are allowing yourself to be deluded enough to think that an atheist actually “respects” your religion. The very fact that he is an atheist means he does not believe that God exists and so all religions are falsehoods, and if someone is giving the impression that he “respects” something that he knows to be false, then he is looking for some other benefit in this relationship and is merely tolerating “falsehood” so as to reach his ulterior goals. Thats like saying that a devout Muslim has respect for Hinduism. There is a vast difference between “respect” and mere “tolerance”.

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      • inlovewithamuslim

        Is this to say that if you were in a similar situation yourself, you would simply discard the relationship? try putting yourself in the shoes of a couple like this lady and consider how hard it must be to be told she cannot marry the man she loves simply because he does not share the same religious views as her. shame on you for being so judgemental

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      • john

        an interesting point.as atheism is not disbelief in god, but the belief that there is no deity.the person could believe in god,just not the personification of one as a deity.but to assume disrespect is slightly ignorant.the person hasn’t determined where they stand on their own spirituality(atheist/christian does not sound like a definite choice).maybe he’s open to wider possibilities?

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    • inlovewithamuslim

      Sister I know you were advised to leave the relationship, but you should know you are not alone in this situation. I am in a similar predicament myself (though in some respects very different as i will explain). My boyfriend is a Muslim,and I am an athiest myself. I know I cant marry him because of this but i do love him deeply and would love nothing more to be married to him. I, like seemingly your boyfriend, am incredibly respectful of his faith and would consider learning more about islam, perhaps then i will understand it more and even become a muslim myself. Anyway, what i wanted you to know is to go with your heart and if god is supposedly forgiving, surely he will forgive for marrying a non-muslim

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  34. Ruth Nasrullah

    Asalaamu alaikum, nothing. I’m honored that you’ve asked me to respond to your question, although I’m not sure why you asked me specifically…but I’ll do my best.

    I’m not sure a Muslim-atheist marriage even is an interreligious one, as the atheist has no religion.

    The best way I can answer is to tell you what I would do. First of all, as a Muslim woman, I would follow the Islamic guidance that restricts me to marrying a Muslim. Second, I would not marry an atheist even if I loved him with all my heart and soul. Love for Allah should come first and foremost, and to commit myself to someone who doesn’t even acknowledge His existence is an insult to God, really. Also, Allah tells us in the Quran not to take unbelievers for friends and protectors.

    Loving someone is a beautiful thing, but it can be fragile, too. Romantic love fades; it’s an emotion like any other and can wax and wane depending on circumstances. Marriage is about working together in a partnership to support a family, and that in itself is a challenge not everyone succeeds in.

    I can’t advise you as an imam would, but as a Muslim and a woman I think you would be wise to let go of your friendship with this man. The relationship is clearly haram. And Allahu alam. God knows best.

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  35. Umm Shu'aib

    As Salaamu Aleikum wa Rahmatullah
    Masha Allah very interesting!
    I am in a interracial marriage, me being kurd from Iraq and hubby from Sudan, we are both immigrants, and live in Sweden.
    I have really problem with my mum not accepting (still after 3 y of marriage). We have 2 wonderful cute kids. And we really didn’t face any cultural clashes, Al Hamdulilah!
    I just love to meet interracial couples=)

    Jazakum Allahu Khairan
    //Umm Shu’aib

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  36. mirajmom

    Salam,
    After many years in an inter-racial;intercultural, and intergenerational marriage …the bottom line to success is simply loving Allah and being there for the spouse even when the spouse flees from you…people grow at different times..marriage is a refelection of faith. There have to be peaks and valleys..it does add stressors becasuse the roles become magnified..and in-laws are bothresome…if a spouse has reverted the in-laws do not always recognize this…and the children are pulled towards e.g. christmas..there are days when you wonder why and at other times you know it is wonderful…what makes these unions strong are the children…they are just so beautiful..
    in summary, these unions are difficult however..if there was only one man and one woman left on earth…in nine months there would be three…

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    • nafeesah khan

      salaam mirajmom, i am an indian in love with a black muslim, u can imagine indians and racism, my parents hate blacks, though they have been in africa for over 20 yrs, how do i convince them, n if they dont agree, wats the next step, i see no difference btw races all that matters is deen to me

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  37. imnoperfect

    salam…
    very good article!i really love it.
    im considering a multicultural marriage.
    we’re from different part of Asia, studying n met in the UK.we’re thinking of getting married, to prevent bad things to happen, but its not easy.ive experience some of the “before marriage obstacles”.kind of stressfull as people keep reminding us how hard life would be during the marriage, clash of culture etc.i dont know, but we love each other and keep trying to convince our parents.u know, its kind of hard living alone in different country, n i think im mature enough n ready to devote my life for a husband, n unfortunately he’s from different culture.im still in dilemma, i would love some advices.
    thanx a lot.

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  38. someone

    assalaamu alaikum,
    i’m arab, my husband is pakistani. the people who “matchmade” us were arabs. the day i mentioned to my father that a friend of mine has suggested a pakistani brother for marriage, “what do you think dad?”, he said ” let him come, we will see him and if there is any good in it may Allah make it easy”. four years later, we’re married and with children, we have ups and downs and the only reasons that stop us from hurting each other knowingly-or not- is Allah, then our knowledge of islam; the laws in the quran and the sunnah of the prophet SAW- the fear that Allah is All-watching and All-hearing.
    The times when we do have problems, from children to inlaws, are the times when we are fainling in practicing our religion correctly. At times like that, there is no one to turn to better than Allah for help and then seeking to find answers in the Quran, the Sunnah and by asking the people of knowledge what to do – not the parents or the inlaws – this can cause greater disaster.
    For any marriage, inter-racial or cultural to work, there must be fear of Allah in the hearts of both spouses towards other humanbeings. this taqwa begins waaaay before marriage, with other people around you; family and friends. So if you want to start preparing for marriage i suggest you fear Allah regarding all the people in your life right now, and try to fulfill their rights over you right now. This builds you character and your habits and your skills in living with other people. once you get into a marriage, you will see parts of yourself you’ve never knew. The sooner you get aquainted with your self and train your nafs and your desires (from anger and impatience to hardwork and perseverence) the more skill you have to make any marriage work. But at the end of the day, IT IS ALLAH WHO puts love in the hearts of people for one another and it IS ALLAH who makes a marriage work or not. You’ve got to believe that and make ALLAH pleased with you so that He makes you pleased with your marriage and your spouse and your life.

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  39. Muhammad Siddiq Chughtai

    I’ve been studying this topic for a while now. I agree with alot of waht was said. I think people have to learn to look past superficial qualities such as race, etc.. (Which btw mean, that you can still marry someone of the “same race” or “culture”)

    But may I ask one thing? Try applying the same logic you used for interracial/inter-cultural marriages to inter-religious marriages. Is it so different? Someone said we are all part of “the Ummah”. Then are we not all human beings? I realize its a taboo topic. But think about it. Don’t get too emotional by what I have just said and let reason guide your way. JazakAllah.

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    • Mehdi Sheikh

      We may all be human, but first and foremost we are the creation of Allaah. We are His slaves and we were created with a purpose. Those who disbelief in Allaah and His Messenger are denying the very reason for their creation.

      I think instead of “studying this topic” you should busy yourself with actually studying Islaam, because some of the statements you made above may seem innocent but are tremendous in their effect.

      We do not use emotion to judge things, but at the same time we do not use our flawed human rationality to understand or act on an issue on which Allaah and His Messenger have already spoken about.

      Also, the fact that we are “the Ummaah” does not mean anything significant other than that we all fall under the Shariah of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), it does not me that we are united as one entity, just that we are all going to be judged in accordance to how we obeyed or disobeyed the deen conveyed to us by Muhammad.

      For you to say that we are all one people and all the same, would imply that Allaah sending his prophets and Messengers to give us guidance was a pointless thing to do, since from your word it can be understood that our deen does not really matter. May Allaah protect us from such evil notions.

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      • Peace

        Mehdi, it is people like you that make a bad name for Muslims. Allah is tolerant. Why can’t you be tolerant? Are you better than Him?

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  40. jamel

    why is it you never see an arab woman with an african/black man?

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  41. nur.ul.aain

    Great perspective and even greater responses, alhumdulillah. As we’ve seen every situation/experience is different.

    The bottom line is: It all comes down to your deen. If you marry someone to whom deen is important then they will let go of cultural norms in order to see the practice of the sunnah flourish in their marriage.

    Alhumdulillah I bear witness to that. I myself am Pakistani and my husband is Palestinian. When we are together we make up our own culture. We take what we like and see benefit in from our respective cultures and practice that. Striving to be the best spouse and follow the Deen to the best of our ability is what makes our marriage amazing.

    But marriage is marriage, you can be married to someone from your own culture and end up divorcing them for whatever reason.

    All I know is that Allah SWT has already written for us our companions regardless of ethnicity. We should just pray that He SWT blesses us with righteous spouses so that we can rectify that state of the Ummah by first starting with our families.

    Wasalaam

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  42. Muhammad

    After reading everyone’s comments I am very pleased to see that muslim brothers and sisters from all cultures are coming together. I have heard it’s easier for Pakistani sisters to marry an Arab brother but very hard for a Pakistani brother to marry an Arab sister, is that true? If any brother or sister could help or guide me on this subject.
    Wasalaam

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  43. Ummaziza

    I agree with those who have alluded to the fact that interracial marriages (since skin color doesn’t make the person different in anyway unless their color has made a remarkable difference in their lives *some might argue that for them it has*), are not as difficult as inter-cultural ones.

    No matter what color the person is, if you share experiences, beliefs and goals (which is essentially what culture helps form) there is really very little else to separate you.

    Let us all stick as closely to the
    “culture” of the Sunnah and most of our problems in marriage (and in masajid) will fade. The things that the Quran, the Prophet (sws) and the first three generations did not leave examples or express rulings for are rarely “marriage-breakers”, it is usually behaviors, norms and beliefs that contradict Islam that make such unions difficult.

    Wallahu ‘alim.

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  44. Phantom

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      • Mehdi Sheikh

        While “Phantom”‘s comments were clearly bigotted and idiotic, the Prophet was never married to an Egyptian. Maryam the Copt was not his wife but one of his slaves, and there is nothing reported that proves that they were married.

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    • Peace

      And where did you get this information Phantom….. Please tell me exactly where it says it is haram to mix races? idiot

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  45. Colonel

    Asslamo Allaikum,

    Islamically there is nothing wrong with marrying someone outside of your ethnicity & in my humble view it would go a long way to bridge gaps and bring various strands of our community closer & that can only be good for the Ummah.

    My only reservation is with the “Exotic” nature some of our youngsters seem to view this issue as, mixed-race marriages are fraught with issues, which are adequately discussed (above) and can be overcome (Insha’Allah) with effort; however they are NOT for everyone.

    Lastly Kuff (compatibility) in marriage is a concept enshrined and espoused by the Islamic Shariah, and you ignore Kuff at your peril.

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  46. Amad

    salam “Colonel”… I agree, in fact if you scroll up to my first comment, the “exoticness” attraction is definitely a problem in terms of what it ignores in terms of the differences.

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  47. YaFatima

    Salam Alaikom.
    This is a very interesting discussion. I want to marry a pious African american brother, I am of Arab origin. I am having problem with my father with giving a blessing.He uses the Istikhara as an excuse (asit came out bad) but he had’nt given him a chance to present himself. Also he thinks I need to marry equal to me and culture is important…*sigh* what does one do? Please pray for me …and tell me what do you think or speak of experience it would help very much

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  48. foreverloyal

    ” i think that a lot of things would be different, for example, in a white/black marriage where both families have been established here for a few generations would probably not experience the culture shock that first generation families would experience, because their ‘back home’ cultures are still a very vivid part of their lives.”
    This is true in my case. We faced no opposition from either side of the family, although one person expressed that they would have “preferred” a “same-race” marriage.
    We have been married happily for some years masha’allah.

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  49. angel_x

    I am in love with a half white, half jamaican brother currently residing in jamaica. however there is a number of complications. first of all he is from a christian background and although my religeon permits me to marry a muslim, christian or a jew i have a keen interest in educating him with Islam. I understand it will be a lengthy process and because of this I don’t want to lead him on. Reason being I am of Indian origin and my family is highly respected in our community. The fact that he is half black would be the worst thing i could do in my mums eyes. She is forever complaining about stress and has very high blood pressure and my family are always using the excuse that my not being married at the age of 26 is a big contributional factor towards her health. I am truly stuck because I cannot imagine being with anybody else and although my religeon eliminates all barriers of race I could never forgive myself if something happened to my mum or if my family disowned me. At the same time I will never stop thinking about him or loving him and If I marry somebody else it will be for the complete wrong reasons.

    Can anybody offer any advice?

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    • Mehdi Sheikh

      I don’t know where you get the idea that you are allowed to marry a non-muslim (christian or jew). Muslim women can only marry Muslim men.

      Clearly this is a haram relationship and I would advise you to fear Allaah and stop it.

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      • sandra walker

        hello ,i have a keen interest in web sites like this one due to my own interacial relationship. iam of the church of england religion and my fiance is an arab muslim, religion is not even an issue that has caused us any dissagreement in our 2 years together although i dont have the same beliefs in islam as my fiance i respect he has a right to his own religious beliefs and he mine .what concerns me is the content of some of these posts re muslims marrying atheists /christians etc.. i cant believe that in 2011 when their are that many problems in the world re -religion that some of you are stating that it is completely unnaceptable to marry someone of different religion as stated in one post .. “this is a haram relationship and you should fear allah”!! really… surely you shouldnt fear allah or any other god for giving love to another afterall we are all human and hopefully with enough intellect to overcome racist , predudice, barriers without people putting up more barriers. i pity the author of that post ..this is 2011 lets try to make the world a better place instead of causing a bigger divide !!

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  50. pointwelltaken

    A see a lot about religion being the thing to go back to in case of a problem. What if the person has different religious preferences like a more Salafi perspective vs Ikhwani point of view to Islam. Different methodologies…

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  51. ibnabeeomar

    pointwelltaken – that’s a good issue, but that’s something that’s not unique to interracial marriages.

    Allahu Alam but it sounds more like an issue that needs to be worked out before actually marrying someone :P

    i would think though, that a couple with some level of respect for the deen would be willing to compromise on a solution thats proven to them from quran/sunnah

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  52. Latifa

    Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

    My husband sent me this link. He thinks women can express their feelings easier than men. He might be right about that …. Although he is only 29, my husband is a very wise man so I am not going to argue about that.
    My friends once told me: Just close your eyes and get married, you are almost 28 and you are living in a Non Muslim country!”
    Now let me tell you more about my husband: he is a wonderful brother, following the Quran and Sunna, praying at the majed, fasting; he is kind and funny, gentle and patient, intelligent and beautiful, both outside and inside.
    Briefly: he was exactly the man I wanted to marry with, but … according to my friends I wasn’t in the position to chose because of my age.
    Well, we prove them wrong! My husband is a wonderful man and I didn’t close my eyes at all. I questioned him during 3 days, the way a mother in law would question his future son in law.
    You might say we are both crazy but right after 3 days he proposed and I said “yes”. After a month we were both in front of the imam getting married.
    I guess you already started to ask yourselves what has that to do with the subject.
    Well …. My husband lives in US and I live in Romania.
    I bet you are still asking yourselves … my husband says I’m always assuming things. LOL He thinks that’s a Romanian habit.
    The conclusion: Actually I’ve got no conclusion… This man just made me the happiest woman on earth that’s the only conclusion I can take.
    I could say our marriage exceed the bounds of our countries … just to be on topic. You know … I could actually say that; because my husband crossed the ocean in order to see me; …. but … would it be right to say that?
    Does Islam know boundaries? Aren’t we all brother and sisters in Islam?
    Now for the “interracial” syntagm….
    Why do we even use this word in the first place? The word itself divides us in different races and colors. We should divide ourselves in sisters and brothers or better in Servants of Allah T’Ala.
    In case you still want to know what has that to do with the “topic” … well my husband wasn’t born in US he was born in Ethiopia and I’m Caucasian.
    I just told you this because I didn’t wanted you to think I am out of “topic”.
    Anyway … I do not think in these terms. I found a wonderful brother and I married him because he was good Muslim.
    Our families were both happy for us. And the question they asked was not “Is she African- American?” they only asked: “Is she Muslim?”
    What did our friends said? Well, with our friends was a little bit different …
    Well, they said many things … but I must confess they are all right about one thing: We will have beautiful kids together, Insha-Allah!
    I truly hope I am not offending anybody in here.
    This is just the way I am! I just hate to divide people. We don’t have different colours and different races, but we do have different backgrounds and cultures and most important we are all the subjects of The Almighty.
    La illaha illa’lah. Muhammadun Rasoullu’lah.
    May Allah Reward us all!
    Your brother and sister in Islam: Abdourahman and Latifa

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  53. Amad

    Jazakumallah khair abdourahman and latifa for the wonderful story. May Allah keep both of u very happy content with each other.

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  54. Latifa

    Assalamu Alaikum
    My advice for angel_x:
    I think you gave the response youself:
    “my religion eliminates all barriers of race”.
    Just look into your heart sister and you will see the answer. I you don’t find the strenght to put that into your own words just read my post to your parents. I am a convert too and my husband was born Muslim, we complete eachother he is patient and teaches me, Mashallah, we prayed together and he is always willing to answer at my questions related to Islam.
    I wish you all my best, may Allah guide you. Just look into your heart and pray for guidance. ( Istikhara Prayer)

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  55. Latifa

    Assalamu Alaikum, sorry for my spelling I was in a big hurry.
    On the 6 th row of the abbove post pls read If instead of the first “I”. I guess I was too excited about the topic.
    I know I also made some mistakes in the first post too, lol, my husband said I am very excited when I am writing about something I like.
    I’ll try to be more cautious insha-Allah.
    May Allah Reward Us All

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  56. Muslimah_B

    Assalamu Alaikum
    Im a 21year old pakistani girl, who really wants to marry a somali. My mum and dad would never let me marry him, i have not actually talked about him to my parents but this is something which would be totally out of question. I am also hesistant to even tell my parents about him because of the reaction i would get. Personally, I dont see a problem at all, with us both being Muslims Allhamdulilah, but i pray my parents accept him Insha’Allah
    (Please pray for me) If anyone has any suggestions please post them..Thankyou.

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    • Kahlid Latif

      AsSalam O alikum sister…
      I am from Pakistan but i am a guy trying to get married to a somali sister…her parents dont agree for now, pray for me they agree InshAllah.
      Its been 2 years..i hope it all worked out for u.
      If ur parents are religious u could talk to them abotu the deen of the brother. Also, u would have to tell ur mom first. otherwise it wont happen. Reaction is the best thing. Because then u can move ahead. Coz rite now u are not sure how ur parents think. After the first reaction u can try convince them. If not then u can talk to an Imam… to try to tell ur parents. Also sister make a lot of dua’a. have Patience and InshAllah everything will work out.

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  57. Peaches

    For long as I can remember, my mother would tell me and my siblings ” Not to take the easy way out of life. Her statement made me think about being a college where after attempting to avoid math and science classes, I eventually would be forced to take( and for the record, they were never my favorite classes, nor the strongest areas in academics).

    Let me also tell you a little bio about my life and remind some of the critics why they should run away from life’s problems. I grew up in a majority racially mixed neighborhood in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. Even though there are some people who view any part of the deep South as a haven for racist( which I don’t think is an accuate depiction of the South ), My experience with my White and non White neighbors were positive. Ironically, with my people , they were far negative because the thought that I was too” White” for them. That is one example I dealt with in my past let give you some others:
    1) I was the victim of a violent crime by a Black man
    2) My paternal grandmother made me feel less than a human because she was ” “colorstricken”, praised long so called ” Good hair and in general she was stuck on weight for cosmetic reasons and didn’t high hopes for me
    3) My parents wen’t through a embarrasing divorce in which my afther remarried his current wife because of money( he took the easy road out with another African American woman, that what his example was)

    My feelings about my own people had gotten so bad until I told my AA mother that I didn’t want to marry an AA man because of all of this and I was sooo sure that no Black man would marry a Black woman who didn’t resemble Vanessa Williams , that grandmother praise on women like her or that one would walk out on me at one point I would intentionally put myself in racially mixed environments, churches, schools, you name it, I wanted to be mixed.

    I’m now in my late thirties and since then, I glad to say that I no longer harbor those feelings. Honestly, those were some fairly hard times for me and if there is anybody who should be oppposed to marrying Black men it should have been me. I could have went through life with anger , sadness and depression for life, but I chose to fight my battles. I didn’t want to take the easy road inl life because eventually it will catch up with with you.t’s the same with interracial marriages. No matter what race you’re spouse is , you’re not going to escape life problems and if you want your marriage to last you’re going to have to commit and respect your spouse( unless you’re experienceing abuse) that’s the bottom line.
    I got over my prejudice/fear of my race because I was making myslef looking like a fool. It would be like ” What color did I think I was?” I also came to my senses to realize that no every person was like the the people I mentioned on my post.

    Although I lived in a mixed neighborhood and was exposed to many different cultures in my life if there is one thing that I’ve learned from it is that you get to see the truth about poeple and the truth is that I seen the good/bad/ and the ugly in all of them. No man were no better or less than each other.If there are people who want to intermarry because they are in love with the person as a whole that is all good, but if it is because they want to gain one’s friendship or to pass their kids of as another race, I have problem with it. I wouldn’t want a man to fall in love with me because of my Blackness. It would be based on pretense and not the real thing.

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  58. Olanr

    Alhamdulillaahi for this nice topic. I’m happy to know that muslims are willing to marry outside their cultures. I’m just wondering, if people in an intercultural marriage decides to relocate to their native country (husband’s), how easy is this for the wife? Take for instance, a black african man who takes his arab wife to live in his native country, say Ghana. It might usually be easy to ignore all the external factors while you are both in a foreign country. We all know what happens in our native countries whereby it is usually hard to marry from a different culture even within the same country, so I am thinking what will happen if it is from another country entirely? Has anybody gone through this experience?

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  59. Sequoia

    “one thing that I’ve learned from it is that you get to see the truth about poeple and the truth is that I seen the good/bad/ and the ugly in all of them. No man were no better or less than each other.”

    Amen!!!!! This issue is always so interesting for me and I really think such an important for societies. While I relaize that sometimes marrying outside ones culture or country might casue stress and anxiety, I do feel it is a good thing. I agree with Peaches that one should not consider marriage to someone “only” because she/he is from a different culture, but I also think it is wrong to totally reject someone for these reasons. The great Dr. King jr. (MLK) stressed how content of a individual’s character was of great importance. We all know stero-types and prejudices exist in every community and every country. We also know sometimes our families are the guiltiest and perpetuating this. but Peaches brings up an interesting point when she heeds the advice of “not taking the easy way out”. For her it was realizing there was nothing wrong with her race. For others it might be there is nothing wrong for a Algerian to marry an Uzbek or a Persian to marry a desi. Of course our families worry about us and feel that it is “safer” to marry within our community. But just beacuse you are a Somali doesn’t mean you will be a bad husband to your Afgan wife. And just beacuse you are a well educated European also doesn’t mean you will be a respectful husband. We were born within our community…. (me into an American family of Irish heritage). But being Irish doesn’t say much about who I am. Nor does being American. It is not how we look or the words we say, but the actions of our daily lives. These actions and the content of our character can’t be measure in skin color or the country we were born.

    (Acknowledgement: I realize that dating and finding out about a person is very different than the traditional way of having your family find a suitable partner for marriage. But as I have not expereinced this, I plead ignorance. But I do have expereince dating women from other cultures and countries (and religions). I have seen how bringing these people into your circle (family/freinds) can slowly start to change prejudices people may have had.

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  60. anon ummi

    Muslimah B: I suggest you listen to your parents. They have a lot more wisdom than you and have much more experienc in the world. I am someone who didn’t listen to my parents and I regret it. You have no idea how difficult marriage is. Very few people can handle interracial marriages, its best to marry someone who is similar to you in culture, economics etc. You want to be in this for the long haul, 40, 50 years. Trust me, you should want your parents approval, you will need their support once married.

    Think hard about what you want in a mate and ask your parents to help you find a brother who meets both of your approval.

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  61. Muslimah_B

    Thanks for your advice anon ummi. But i am certain i want to marry this guy. I just want some advice as to how i could approach my parents about this. My parents think extremely backwards, therefore right now i know what the answer will be, they would not even acknowledge my feelings and my desires, even though he was the perfect man i could marry, it wouldnt be possible due to the fact he is out of the family.

    I know interracial marriages can carry alot of problems but at the same time i wouldnt want to be married to someone who i am totally unhappy with, and i certainly do not believe it when people say, you will begin to love the person once you get married. I dont see why anyone should have to do such a thing when you are already in love with someone and all it needs is your parents to accept. Plus my parents dont believe in out-of-family marriages, im definitely not marrying a relative!
    This is very stressful for me. I just need strong advice and support. Insha’Allah. Ameen.

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    • yulka

      I have similar situation, i’m uzbek and want to get married with african guy. And my mum totally against it. She told me to choose between them., him or my mum. Me and him we are both muslims, and we can undertand each other well, we know each other for 3years.But i’ll not stop fighing for my right. This is my life and i have right to live it the way i want. And of course i don’t want to loose my parents, I just hope they can understand me. My advise for u also try to fight for ur right, after it might be to late.

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  62. Muslimah_B

    Thankyou for your reply AnonyMouse – Well it is something I have recently been considering, but alot of my family and friends, including my father go to my local Mosque. Im not sure how to go about it if I was to go to another Mosque in another area and speak to an Imam/Sheikh there? :S

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    • nafeesah khan

      we are in the same condtion sister, my parents thnk backward tooo, i really dont know what to do too…i read in an islamic website that

      If the guardian refuses proposals for illegitimate reasons like the person’s tribe, race, color, status, the young lady has the right to seek recess from the court. If the judge concludes that the father is wrongfully preventing his daughter from marriage, he may take the guardianship from the father and act as the girl’s guardian.

      i have been doing alot of researchon possible options if parents refuse due to racism, and pls do keep me informed about ur situation, it will certainly help me

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  63. AnonyMouse

    Even so, I highly suggest getting into contact with the Imam/Sheikh in your area… al-Hamdulillaah, they usually have the wisdom to put aside their personal relationships with whoever’s involved (i.e. your father), and to give good advice about the situation.

    Just lay out the facts, and see what he has to say about it… I hope all goes well for you, insha’Allah!
    (P.S. Don’t forget Salaatul Istikhaara!)

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  64. ibnabeeomar

    muslimah_b make istikharah about it and talk to an imam about the situation, i think someone who knows your father might help because they will have more knowledge of the situation.

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  65. Peaches

    Sequoia,
    Thank you for your response . The more I look at those words in my post, the more ashamed I’am of them. Back then ,I was blinded by them. At that time,I could never see the rainbow because of this. Although my mother attempted to instill pride in me I just could never see it because the ill treatment seemed too great as I was too weak in handling them at that time. There were what I would call “contradictions of pride”as my some of folks on my father’s side are pro-Black, but then the color/hair jazz came up. I wondered and struggled how to love my African-American heritage when they seemed to be disrespectful of it?

    Far as my family background. my mother side it is diverse. There are people who are interracially,interculturally married others and a couple of them who have been married to people disabled and of different social backgrounds. Far as myself, I’ve never dated interracially, but have dated an West African native and have been approached by guys of his culture,my culture and of other races( You said that you have never dated. That is ok. as you said that you are from another cultural background. Far as myself, I haven’t dated in for a long time as finding a husband isn’t on my top of my priorities at the moment).

    Right now, I’m just trying to do my get my priorities in order.My mother’s friend insist that I need to date, but when I tell them I’m not up for dating, she thinks it is because of their racial backgrounds as the guys that she want to set me up with are AA’s but that is far from the case.

    To me, if you date, that means somewhere down the line you eventually want a spouse. I’m not interested in dating because I’m not interested in finding one. As I mentioned , my priorities are not in order and I would not able to make a very good spouse if they weren’t all together,( or vice verse, I would want those same qualities in him). I’m no longer an innerracist as it a form of self disrespect, but I would feel the same about guys no matter what background they derive from . I’ve been approached by non-Black guys or Black and I’ll tell you what, you couldn’t get some of them to take me out to a dilapated juke-joint if they wanted to because some of their poor qualities that I seen in them, but then there were also some that acted like real gentlemen, that I politely turned down .I feel that if God wants me to have a good man in my life in his own mysterious way he will let me know and if he just happen to be of my background or of a different one, I will open the door to him. That is how I see it.

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  66. Muslimah_B

    Thankyou AnonyMouse and Ibnabeeomar for your advice – I really appreciate it.
    I have had alot of people who know of my situation tell me that this marriage is not going to work out due to the fact that he is Somali and myself Pakistani. This i think is a very lame excuse!
    I have alot of faith in Allah(SWT) to make this work. Insha’Allah

    I will speak to my local Imam and pray Ishtikarah Insha’Allah, can anyone outline exactly what this prayer consists of? I have an idea, but i need to be sure.

    Please reply..Thankyou

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  67. ILoveMyArabHusband

    I am an African American woman married to an Arab man. I have experienced racism but from other Arabs. I just stay away from those people. Beacause at the end of the day you have to live your life. No one can live your life for you

    @Muslimab_B: I say sit your parents down and just tell them. If they still don’t approve just follow your heart. Your parents can not live your life. The only one that can make you happy is you. If I had listened to other people I wouldn’t have married my husband. He is the best man I have ever met. He still has his flaws but his good out weighs his bad. We mainly argue about cultural stuff. I was born and raised in America and he was born and raised in the Middle East. A lot of things I don’t understand or get but I compromise. He has even went to church with me and we were married a second time in the church. He is also Muslim. An interracial marriage is hard an intercultural marriage is hard. But both well it is very trying. LOL I married him after 3 weeks of knowing him. So a lot of the arguments are because we are still getting to know each other. I encourage everyone to get to know the person and their family if they are willing. If not follow your heart. Because I can say if I am not happy I have no one to blame but myself and would never say what if I had married him. I made the decision for myself and didn’t let anyone influence me.

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  68. Muslimah_B

    Thankyou ILoveMyArabHusband for your reply and advice, it is very much appreciated.

    That is what i have planned to do when the time is right, but i am very very nervous, anxious and scared about approaching my parents.

    Another factor which will make this situation worse for me is the fact that this man i want to marry is an ex-prisoner, and also not very educated and therefore is finding it very hard to find a job. I have spoken to my friends who said Islam doesn’t say that one quality you have go to look for in a marriage a partner is wealth, and whether they have a good job or not. Obviously it is going to effect things, but Insha’Allah Allah(SWT) will help him find a good job, even if it is just to out food on the table. Im not expecting a luxorious life from my marriage partner.
    But my parents will definitely look at his job and what he does in life.
    Allahmdulilah i have got to know this man well so that is not an issue. It is just telling my parents about it.

    And it is true what ILoveMyArabHusband said about it is only me that can make me happy, its what i desire that will make me happy not my parents choice.
    I just pray my parents will accept him Insha’Allah (please pray for me brothers and sisiters) I am in a difficult situation.

    Any more advice is most welcome.

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  69. Muslimah_B

    Thankyou Ibnabeeomar for the link on Ishtikarah.
    I am very greatful for everyones replies and advice.

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  70. Amad

    Muslimah_B, as a Muslim woman, you do need the blessing of your father. That is a requirement that is instituted in Islam for the protection of women. While it is not a requirement for Muslim men to get the permission of their parents, you will hardly find a scholar who will encourage marrying without the parents’ consent.

    From life experiences and talking to married people, I can tell you that there is a thing called “pre-marriage romance”, where everything looks fine as long as you can get to marry the person. That is why Islam discourages non-needed or superfluous interactions with the opposite gender because of what this may lead to, such as romantic feelings, emotional involvement and in many cases, physical engagement in forbidden actions.

    I know its tough to see this at this time, with all the emotions, but your parents would be correct to feel worried about a person with prison background, they would be correct to question his education, they would be correct to ask about his finances. If you were the parent yourself, would you have done differently? Wouldn’t you want to ensure that your daughter marries someone who can support her? Emotionally and financially?

    I can also tell you, from experience, that education is not just a way to better finances and livelihood. Education makes a person a better human being. It provides a person with different perspectives and teaches a person how to be a social creature he/she needs to be. There is usually a huge gap of understanding and perspective between an educated and uneducated person. Of course there are exceptions, but why risk it?

    I am not patronizing you sister. I am just providing you an important 2 cents that there is much more to life than having strong emotions for a person. Trust me, emotions can dissipate in a matter of weeks when reality hits. When a person has to struggle day to day, then all the feelings of love can vanish, replaced by anxiety and hard-feelings.

    So, my advice: sure, go talk to you parents. But then listen to them. You need their permission anyway, and they will only be thinking the best for you (after all, they have raised you, and have nothing to gain in hurting you). If they do not consent because of education and work, AND you really don’t want to leave this person, then tell him to GET educated, to GET a job, if he really cares for you. But then avoid contact with him to prevent further entanglement. If he really cares for you, he’ll do what it takes to marry you. Pay attention to the advice of someone who’s been there, done that (anon ummi).

    wallahualam

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    • J Alexander Lloyd

      “Muslimah_B, as a Muslim woman, you do need the blessing of your father. That is a requirement that is instituted in Islam for the protection of women.”
      …if by saying, “for the protection of women,” you mean “for the control and domination of woman by men,” I agree. 100%.

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  71. anon ummi

    Muslimah_B: I am begging you, DO NOT DO THIS!!!! You have absolutely no idea what you are getting yourself into.

    Here is the reality of having a husband who is an ex-con and not intelligent.
    1. Can not find good housing or job because of background checks and due to lack of intelligence can’t find a decent job.
    2. Instability as this person never grew up in a stable environment and does not know how to run a household
    3. Domestic abuse as most likely he will have a short temper, again because he has never dealt with real issues in a mature manner or seen positive examples.
    4. Your children will inherit his intelligence, most likely they will never be able to do higher education and will be relegated to being poor or struggling financially.
    5. Your children will be looked down on in the community one for being mixed but also because of the fathers reputation.
    6. You will not have respect for him because of his lack of education. Trust me a woman has to respect her husband which is why its best to marry a man who is the same class or higher. This is an Islamic concept of Kuff or compatibility.

    The man you want to marry should marry someone with the same background and issues. Or he should wait until he has proven he can be a good husband by going back to school for qualifications or starting a successful business with money in the bank before you marry him.

    You have no clue what this type of marriage entails. I have seen case after case of naive girls who think they are in love and now four or five kids later are so depressed and regretting the marriage.

    The only way interracial/cultural marriages work is if the spouses come from the same class and background or if the man is wealthy. And the parents are open to it so that you dont cut off ties.

    You are risking cutting ties with your family for a marriage that most likely will not last. Who will support you when you get divorced with mixed race children, you will have a very hard time getting married.

    I am from African background by the way so this not based on racist belief but inside knowledge of seeing several marriages like this. Its a very difficult road and you should think long and hard because it will not be easy at all. Is all that worth it for the fleeting feeling of love?

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  72. Muslimah_B

    Thankyou Amad and anon ummi for ur replies.
    I have started to feel scared about what you have said. I WANT TO MARRY HIM NO MATTER WHAT. Its for my future and happiness isn’t it? – I know the partener my parents choose will be in the family as this has been the tradition all the time, everytime. I am one person who does not agree with them marriages. To be honest the thought of it is pretty disturbing.

    anon ummi the 6 reasons you gave me as to why i shouldnt marry him, i didnt agree with all of them. I thought some were actually stereotypes. I have copied what you have said and responded to what i thought of that.

    1. Can not find good housing or job because of background checks and due to lack of intelligence can’t find a decent job.
    His parents have actually bought a house for us already, his sister and husband are staying there too. The job bit i agree with, but Insha’Allah he will find a job.

    2. Instability as this person never grew up in a stable environment and does not know how to run a household –
    This man is Masha’Allah intelligent, he has spoke about his intention and how he wishes to carry them out – I have disputed how it may be hard but he has got very upset as he says ‘if i really love you and want to marry you i would put my all into it’ and thats true.

    3. Domestic abuse as most likely he will have a short temper, again because he has never dealt with real issues in a mature manner or seen positive examples –
    With some people you can naturally tell what type of person they are and whether they condone violence etc, he despises that sort of behaviour towards women, im not just saying that, it is clear to me.

    4. Your children will inherit his intelligence, most likely they will never be able to do higher education and will be relegated to being poor or struggling financially-
    This what you have said sounds like you think this man is not intelligent and capable of studying, he is. He came to the UK from Kenya 10years ago, struggling to speak English, there was racism towards him at school, so when he fought back he got excluded, and didnt do anything after that but just stay out with friends.

    5. Your children will be looked down on in the community one for being mixed but also because of the fathers reputation –
    This somali man has not got a bad reputation Masha’Allah, he is just like alot of the boys living in his area as they are quiet alot of Somali men who have moved from Africa. He wants whats best for him an me if that takes moving away he is happy to do so.
    As for my children being looked down on because they are mixed, i completely diasgree with, Whats wrong with being mixed? There is so many mixed race Muslim children now, i have not seen them being discriminated against.
    He has suggested moving Yemen, Dubai or Saudia Arabia to make our children better taught about Islam. This emphasises on his good intentions Masha’Allah.

    6. You will not have respect for him because of his lack of education. Trust me a woman has to respect her husband which is why its best to marry a man who is the same class or higher. This is an Islamic concept of Kuff or compatibility-
    I respect him that is why i have made the decision i want to commit to him, i wouldnt have even considered that if i didnt respect him. The level of education shouldn’t have an impact of the way i portray him such as respecting him , trusting him etc.
    Alot of parents are not educated, does this mean they do not respect eachother?

    anon ummi have you actually experienced an interracial marriage?

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    • J Alexander Lloyd

      Four years later, I hope you followed your heart, regardless of the consequences.

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  73. Amad

    Muslimah, if you have your mind set, then I am not sure anything we say will unsettle it.

    If truly the issue of marrying within the family is your biggest concern, then you could tell your parents that they either should find someone you like outside the family OR let you marry this person. With such pressure, your family may give you more options that they AND you like. Sometimes when presented a choice like this, parents will suddenly become more flexible. But at least give THEM a chance.

    Again, I conclude that this sort of emotional attachment is what is the problem that is fuzzing your decisions, and that is why it is important to have that gender interaction discipline. I hope you can break away from it a bit to try to make decisions based on reality and practical issues than on emotions. May Allah help you.
    w/s

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  74. AnonyMouse

    Sis Muslimah_B, I strongly suggest that you think about the matter seriously and take into consideration the many concerns that present themselves… I also suggest asking the advice of experienced sisters and listening to what they have to say.
    An excellent place to do this would be the IslamWay Sisters forum: http://sisters.islamway.com/forum

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  75. Umm Reem

    Muslimah_b: it sounds like that the ‘emotional’ stage you are in right now, anything that is said against your desire will pretty much fall on a deaf ear.
    But still I leave you with one incident to ponder over though.

    Sometime ago a girl was in similar situation as yours (except that it wasn’t an interracial relationship), however, when she approached a shaikh for sincere advice, he told her that if she seeks a good ‘practicing’ husband and she wants her marriage to be “blessed”, then a man who is able to tell a woman whom he is not related (i.e. before marriage) that he loves her and he cannot live without her, is not the man to marry.

    This girl, may Allah bless her, took the shaikh’s advice sincerely to her heart and backed off and got married to a man her parents chose for her. Today she is happily married, mashaAllah!

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  76. Muslimah_B

    Thanks for your replies Amad, AnomyMouse and Umm Reem

    That is what you call a ‘love marriage’ – and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Different Imams and Sheikhs say different things sometimes.
    Insha’Allah Allah (SWT) will help me. Ameen.

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  77. anon ummi

    Salam Muslimah_B,

    No I am not in an interracial marriage but I know many who are and of those some that are very, very bad. The ones that are good are those that grew up together, same class and background, their parents approved the marriage etc.

    Your situation is not really about interracial marriages. Its about you being young, inexperienced,” falling love” and basing a marriage off of those feelings instead of real tangible proof this brother will make a good husband for you.

    Why would this brother even approach you if he didn’t have a job, sister it shows he does not respect you, I don’t care where he is from, you should not marry a man who does not have a job. It shows he has poor work ethic and will not be a good provider. As soon as he got out of prison he should have been trying to find a job, any job to get on his feet. It does not give a good impression of him.

    Look, I am sort of thinking of you as a little sister with giving you this advice. I have been married almost ten years. I married for love but wallahi, love can only conquer so much. When your bills aren’t paid, your children’s needs are not being met, you will lose that love and respect for your husband.

    I pray that all the comments here make you really think about this decision. The decision to marry for a woman is one of the most important she makes and can change the entire course of her life. I pray you make a sound, well thought out decision and that you also involve your family with that decision. Most of all make dua and truly, truly seek Allah’s pleasure in your decision.

    Assalamu Alaikum

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  78. Muslimah_B

    Anon ummi- Theres one thing you said that stood out to me, just because he approached me when he did not have a job, this DOES NOT mean he does not respect me. I’ve never heard anything so ridicolous in my life and im sure plenty would agree.

    He didnt love me from the day he met me obviously…We got to know eachother…I wasnt going to leave him just because he did not have a job, im not that heartless. It seems your more cultural-orientated rather then religion, im thinking more of Islam, which does not say the man has to be working/wealthy in order for the opposite to accept a marriage. Plus i disnt say i wanted to get married to him next week, i was just getting advice about how to approach my parents. Insha’Allah he will have found a stable job when we are ready for marriage.

    Nevertheless the comments you have made i did think about even though i didnt agree with most.
    Thankyou for your time.

    Assalamu Alaikum Sister.

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  79. riya

    Assalamo Alikum Everyone, Im a Pakistani, born and raised over there, but i was a teenager when my family moved to america. I always try to follow Islam and Islamic values. I am not married yet but I was thinking of marrying an arab guy who was born and brought up here. I have known him for last five years and he is a really good muslim. I also met his family who is very religious, outgoing and nice. Every time we used to have a conversation our cultural and family values came up to be the same…..we almost agree on everything. I just want to know from my other muslim sisters, who are already married and knows the ups and downs of the marriage, Is it a good decision to take a step forward and marry this guy??? I would really appreciate your help in this matter.

    Ma’salama

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  80. Amad

    waalikum asalam Riya.

    Looks like there is some compatibility from what you mentioned. I am not sure about what you mean by “taking a step forward and marry the guy”? So far, you seem to have had your family involved, so why not tell your family that you are interested in this guy? They need to approve of this, so you should start there.

    I will tell you that since your parents are probably typical immigrants, they will have a hard time with this. Because really desi families esp. believe the marriage is between families, not the guy and girl. So, when it involves Arabs, your parents may feel “left out”. Since you don’t seem to be emotionally involved (which is good and the right way), you need step back and not get too involved. Work on your family and see if you can get them to break the cultural barriers.

    finally, I’ll add that there seems to be this romantic thing that many youth have about inter-racial marriages, its the “cool” thing to do. I can tell you that the romance fades away quickly after marriage, and its all about practicalities and love for other reasons (not for coolness). And marrying someon from your own culture has a lot of benefits, and will help make your learning curve as a wife a lot easier. My advice is to stick to your culture if the religious conditions are met, otherwise religion trumps culture.

    w/s

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  81. riya

    Assalamo alikum,
    Once again thankx alot brother amad. Actually i was young when i came to this country and with the passage of time, my mentality did change in this culture. So by definition I m not an ABCD but still i do get confused alot. I really appreciated your help and concern. It is really good to know that i have older muslim brothers to help me out with matters like this :) I have one more question: How does Islam sees hokkah smoking as? is it good, bad, makroh or harmless!?!

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  82. Amad

    salam
    Sr. Riya, from the little research I was able to do on this, many scholars used to consider smoking as makruh (i.e. among those who didn’t consider it haraam) until the harmful effects on the body became clear and scientifically proven. At this point, most scholars have said that it is haram (see this page for a spectrum of opinions).

    Hookah smoking is as harmful, if not more than smoking, according to lung specialists. This is a good topic that I think I’ll write a little post about.

    wasalam

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  83. Sarah

    What about a non-muslim girl marrying a muslim? how would that work?
    For example im a white english girl and have a pakistani boyfriend whos muslim, now obviously his family doesnt know about me coz of the religion (its sad really..) But Ive just recently found out that his family is trying to get him married off into an arranged marriage. Obviously he doesnt want this, i thought they wernt supposed to be forced upon? Anyway my main point is, the fact that he cant even tell his family about me because hes scared incase they disown him. I would have thought his family would want him to be happy. I know there is the issue that im not a muslim, but if it came down to it, i would convert, because i love him so much. But the thing is i dont understand why i should have to convert when i dont believe in it, and also if i did, i would just be pretendin anyway so wouldnt that be just as bad? Dont get me wrong i do respect the religion and i would happily go along to the mosque and wear a headscarf in the company of his family. Its all very complicated but i hate the fact that neither me or him seem to have any say in this arranged marriage plans. He says hes gettin it sorted but I think hes just sayin that not to worry me. Is there any way that I could marry him n everyone could be happy? Ive been with him for over a year now, n i would hate to lose him to a stranger that he doesnt even know. Also the girl who they are tryin to marry him with is trying to refuse this arranged marriage.

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  84. Amad

    Sarah, Muslim men are allowed to marry Jews or Christians, besides Muslims of course.

    But it does seem that your Pakistani “boyfriend” is engaging in a relationship that is not only forbidden by his religion, but also is being hidden from his family. If he was really sincere, he would let his family know, and marry you. Our religion doesn’t allow pre-marital relationships.

    I don’t see why you should convert unless you want to convert, because there is no coercion in Islam. Similarly, no one can force anyone to marry anyone. But in Islam, we do give utmost respect and obedience to our parents.

    If he is really serious about you, he would introduce you to a few Muslim sisters, give you information about Islam, and then help you with the decision to become Muslim or not. Hopefully, if you become a Muslim, it may be easier for the family to accept you, but that should not be your reason for it.

    My advice to you is to separate yourself from him, learn about Islam independently, and then if you see the truth of Islam, then tell this Pakistani dude that he should tell his parents and marry you properly and openly. Otherwise, I am sure you can find many good Muslim brothers willing to marry openly, and not play games.

    I have seen quite a few of these situations, and often the guy chickens out, even if the woman converts. So, it is better for you to go on your own path. But I do highly encourage you to find out about Islam because it may be that Allah brought you into this situation so that you may learn about Islam.

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  85. Sarah

    Thankyou for your advice. I doubt looking into Islam will change my mind, I do know some of it as I have read some of the quaran (english version) but im not a religious person, I dont agree with Christianity beliefs either. Maybe I am just wasting my time with him…

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  86. pathaniprincess

    hey salaam ‘Muslimah_B’ hope you get to read this. I hope you are ok and well inshallah. I am finally married to a somali guy!!! and i am afghani. I’ll help you out lol….you could maybe email me and we can talk? just reply here so that i know you are still reading this blog then i will give you my email.
    Thanx.

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  87. sr

    I am trying to sort through a difficult situation. I’m indian interested in an african-american muslim brother. He and i have very similar views when it comes to islam and he is a practicing muslim. He and I are both highly educated and have successful careers. We are also very compatible. The problem is my parents. They are quite adamantly opposed to anyone who is not desi and yet they continually tell me to look for someone based on their character and commitment to islam. There is no question that the only thing ‘wrong” with this brother is his race/background in my parents eyes. I am not sure what to do because i am realizing how hard it is to find someone who I’m compatible with. And i’m trying to make my parents happy as well. Has anyone been in a similar situation that can offer me advice?

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  88. amuslimah

    One of the brothers, I believe Amad talked about marrying from your own. So I just wanted to comment on that. Sometimes your ‘own’ people’s ways and norms are really different from your own family.

    For instance, I am Pakistani. My mother happens to be more educated, secularly and religously,than most religious pakistani aunties. So they have a small circle of pakistani friends but there are certains ways pakistani kids are brought up that my parents simply didnt implement w/ us. So my youngest sibling especially (cuz he only grew up here) grew up in a very islamic american way.

    Anyway, the point is that as a family when we started looking into getting married, we simply don’t mesh well w/ the people of our own culture because of their background and status. The people we do mesh with within the Pakistani circles culturally are often never religious.
    So basicaly we are left with either marrying from a background within our culture that doesn’t culturally fit our particular family. Or we marry from from a certain class/status whose kids are parents are hardly ever religious and practicing to the level we would like. So basicaly ur kind of left with nothing to choose from.

    So not necessarily as a result but sort of sick of certain desi drama ordeals especially with mother in law issues, myself and my brother have chosen to marry within Arabs, whom we happen to get along w/ very well. Alhamdulillah both sets of inlaws including my parents are quite pleased w/ the matches. I’ve been married for about 4 years now and we have a son and we have alot in common because our backgrounds education wise, financial wise, and norms wise are very similar even though we are from different cultures. And same w/ my brother. His inlaws are so happy to have him in the family even though often you will find Arabs never wnating to marry Pakistanis. But the families are very comfortable w/ eachother because both are practicing and of a similar standing. And the kids grew up similary and in the same state.

    Interestingly enough, our third sibling married a pakistani brother who is practicing. But she faced issues with her in-laws in the typical in-law nightmare fashion. I, however, have never faced anything close to it with my Arab mother in law. In fact, I find that in the Arab culture, men are more in charge of their own ‘new’ family whereas in desi culture, it is very much a terf that the mother in law(guy’s mother) has a stake in so there is loads of interference. This is ofcourse a common thing in the culture, but obviously doesn’t mean that every single case is like that. Ofcourse there are Arabs with their own issues so im not putting down one culture over another. At some level I just feel like Allah has made it able for me to be married without having to deal with certain pet peeve type cultural norms within my own culture.

    So the point is….sometimes ‘your own’ can be something you yourself don’t click with or mesh with.

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  89. Taqwa_Ash

    Subhanallah…I know this is rather a very old post but, I never read it before.

    As for interracial marriages its no walk in the park like any other marriage would be. So, getting married and adjusting to a new person and their family is difficult enough, but when you add race/culture it brings a whole new twist i believe. This all depends on the family and individuals. Alhumdulilah even with both practicing Muslims and still growing in their deen it is challenging.

    Me being desi and going totally out of the norm of our culture and marrying American revert has been an interesting ride. His family is mashallah very amazing, loving, and accepting. My family on the other hand way on the left field. Even with that a side, its the every day things that you never anticipate that comes to surface the first couple of years of marriage because hoping within a couple of years both learns each others ways. Just how one person was raised and how “their mothers” did certain things and how you were raised and were taught certain things brings clashes and disagreements. Many things that are one way in desi culture is COMPLETELY different in the American and that’s something being “good practicing” Muslims you don’t think of. That’s where patience comes in.

    So, lots of adjusting, learning each others history/culture bring better understanding for one another, and lots and lots of patience. Its something obviously not IMPOSSIBLE but, its has its challenges, no DOUBT!!!!!!

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  90. pathaniprincess

    ‘SR’ sis sorry, i only just saw your post here today. I went through same situation as you and most other ‘desi’ girls omg it’s a long story lol!
    Heck, my family even gave me a week to change my mind! lol
    Also during the week i would have a meeting with all the family members, aunts and uncles mostly trying to talk me out of it lol but i never gave up!
    In the end they all turned up at my wedding anway, with video cameras!!
    Now i’ve been happily married to my husband for 3 years!
    got a little girl now, she’s nearly 2.
    Oh, so yeah, anyway you can email me to talk if you want. somasian2007@hotmail.co.uk

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  91. Selma

    I am Bosnian, married to an Arab man :)

    I do not believe in race but one human race, the shade od skin color is not what separates us but societal ideas and norms that are contradictory to everything that Islam stands for.

    Neither of our families had problem with us being together, quite the contrary they were happy that we are marrying Muslims and that is what should matter to all Muslims, regardless of their country of origin.

    Now, the language is a whole another matter but sometimes I think it is better that the only two people understanding everything is me and my husband – and I know I do not always tell him exactly what has been said and I am sure he does the same – harmonious and nice.

    One of the hadits of Prophet (pbuh) said that we should marry as far as possible from our own homes, in the order to spread Islam, share the beauty of it and let the cultures intertwine.

    Mashallah and salam to all of you brothers and sisters.

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  92. Ahmed

    Dear bothers and sisters,

    It has been almost a year now since I had brought up the topic of marrying someone of another race to my parents. I am a south Asian planning to marry an American girl. They are moderately religious people who are in tune with cultural stigmas back at home.
    While she is christian, she wants to convert. Regardless, my parents are still against the marriage.

    It’s been a tough journey with me. I have calmed things down for the moment but will bring up the issue again in the future. For all those wishing to take this path, need to understand that no matter what when getting into relationships of this sort there can never be a win-win situation. Something must be sacrificed, compromised, and lost. Time is the best healer, it is the only thing that can help someone in my situation. Nevertheless, be wise in your decisions and be sure that you have a sensible plan – it can make or break everything.

    Phantom – with all respect, I think you’re views are degrading to the true spirit of mankind. We are one, all children of one God. While difference is good and important – please don’t present your falsified views as that of God’s.

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  93. Amina

    I lived in intercultural marriage and I think our problem was more that we were not compatible then that we were from different countries. I come from Europe and they are not many practicing brothers from my country so I have very limited choice when considering marriage. But I still think for marriage to work most important is the iman, character and how compatible they are does not matter what culture or race they are coming from.

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  94. AhmadK.

    Assallamu Alaikum

    Hello, I have a question for any brothers/sisters with interracial experience pertaining to my unique situation. I’ve read all previous posts, and I can’t seem to find anyone who has dealt with my situation:

    I am a revert to Islam, living in America. My family is of Italian descent, and I practice Islam, however my parents dislike my choices. Regarding marriage, I am seriously considering marrying a Muslimah, who is born into Islam, and mash’allah, practices Islam as I do. However, she is half Indian/half Pakistani, and my parents (even though they are christian), even still tell me they want me to marry an Italian, christian girl. I am not sure if her parents would not support the marriage, but from what I have heard, I assume so. Aside from cultural/racial boundaries, we are on the “same page” regarding faith, and everything else… I feel my non-muslim relatives and parents could hinder this marriage and any marriage following islamic rule that I try to enter into. Anyway, my question(s) are: what are the specific boundaries/obstacles that can prevent this marriage, and how would my non-muslim family hinder my abilities to get married in general? Any experiance or advice is welcomed…

    Thank you, and Assallamu Alaikum to all.

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  95. Rou

    I may be responding quite late to this. but i’ve recently been involved with a brother who’s African (i’m Arab) and been wanting to read amore about interracial marriages.

    Honestly, i though all those problems you mentioned are problems that any home can have, even if they come from similar cultures, upbringing may still affect people. I just wanted to say that as muslims we really need to stop thinking ‘culture, tradition’ and start thinking ‘Islam, one nation’.
    If Islam is the essence of your life, you’ll find solutions to any problems that may arise. and differences bring richness, not alienation…Allah says ” Wa khalaqnakum shu’ouban wa qaba’ila li’ ta’rafu” – ” And we have created you numerous nations and tribes so that you may mignle and know each other” hence saying we all have strengths and brining those strengths and fifferences together is the most powerful thing we can do for this ummah. if we continue to believe that marrying outside our own races causes problems, then we will always harbour the feeling tha we are not all the same , not all Allah’s worshippers, not one nation!

    thank you for the article

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  96. MzSiddiqui

    I found this article to be the right step in the direction that needs to be taken to open up dialog among Muslims. I am Muslim, African American and my husband is originally from Bangalore. We have been married for almost 3 years. We have been though what a lot of couples have been though but Islam is what we hold dear to our hearts and it is the truth that knocks the brain out of falsehood. We have not only been tested but we are also the test for others as well. I feel that there is no way that you can totally prepared for everything that you may encounter but like this article mentioned….you have to have the patience to persevere though any obstacles that might come your way. As far as Syed and I….we are happy….but its others that seem to be the most concerned…and thats fine with me…people are always gonna have their preconceived notions and false assumptions. True liberation comes when you don’t feel responsible for how others feel about your own situation. I feel that Allah has already given us the biggest gift to mankind. Al-Islam ! I thank Allah for I feel extremely blessed to have a wonderful family. : )

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  97. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. as salamu alaykum. mashaAllah, 104 comments ahead of me! this comment is based only on the article and on the first half of the comments (by length, as judged by the scroll bar slowly inching its way down this very long page, alhamdolillah).

    as far as i got through the comments, i felt there was a common view that may be a misconception. that view was that any opposition from parents must be due to prejudice/bigotry when the objected-to potential spouse is of another ethnic, national, tribal, or cultural origin (and in one case i only skimmed here near the end, religious group).

    surely prejudices do surface, and sometimes in a more ugly fashion than others. i have seen it even when the two persons were from two regions of India not more than a few hundred miles apart (imagine NY vs Philly). but just as certainly every parent who wants their child to marry someone other than the child’s first choice is not a bigot. and even when the parent prefers that the child marry someone of the same ethnic or national origin, that is not necessarily shameful prejudice.

    i refer you to lectures on the subject given by knowledgeable shuyukh at TDC 2007 (you will need to register for web access, but you can download all the audio for free, mashaAllah).

    but for those too impatient to download lectures, you can settle for my summary if you like. :)

    1. marriages unite families, and so your parents have a vested and justified interest in wanting to be able to relate to your spouse’s family. you think you’re looking for your perfect match; well your family is also looking for its match.
    2. how is it that you are so invested in a person that you want to marry them without the endorsement of your families? “she’s the one, and no one else!” and how did you find that out? setting up a zero-sum game is not the way to approach your families regarding marriage. and investing too much of yourself in a person before marriage may even lead you to exceed the bounds of Allah.
    3. when parents do cow before their children’s vehement wishes, they often suppress advice that a child should have thought about. advice that could have prevented difficulties later on.
    4. never, ever think that you are doing your spouse a favor by marrying them. there are things you would regret more than saying to your spouse, “i could have married someone my family liked,” or “my parents were right,” but you would be pretty despicable to say them, too.

    several things unite these four points — besides being culled from several speeches, every one of them applies to all marriages: homogenized, pasteurized, and variety packs — and in every one of these negative situations, blame rests on the child who acts like a child and not like an adult. adults know they are part of a family, and adult Muslims give thought to birr al waladain. children throw tantrums. (okay, maybe the parents who raise temper-tantrum throwers share in the blame, at least i want to blame them, too.)

    and, someone can correct me if i am wrong, but i also remember these points:
    a. the best criterion for a spouse is their taqwa. eg, a man who has taqwa is unlikely to transgress against his wife, and vice versa. an interesting point made here by Ahmed Sidky — the person who wants a very religious spouse with whom Allah is pleased, that person should take a long hard look in the mirror and ask “what have i done to be worthy of such a spouse? how good a Muslim am i?”
    b. money is not everything, Allah increases the rizq of those who marry, and walis have every right to deny consent when they fear incompatibility over money or that the groom-to-be cannot support the woman in the manner to which she is accustomed. (as a side note, i cannot help but think of Torchbearers with Shaykh Waleed. how many sisters who say that money means nothing would be willing to make the sacrifice of the wife of the fifth rightly guided Caliph? they both had wealth, mashaAllah, and she gave up her own wealth when he did the same. and Allah blessed the Muslims by keeping her as true as he was.)
    c. when Muslims from other countries make America their home and the home of their sons and daughters, they have an obligation to make dawah. and part of that obligation is making sure that Muslims in this country have good candidates for marriage. constantly importing spouses for their own children does not fulfill that obligation.

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  98. Moodoog

    Asalamu Aliykum
    I tried to read all of the responses however there were so many and many were kind of repetitive.Here is the way I see it.
    predominantly, immigrant men and their families
    1. don’t mind if they marry white women
    2. do not want their women to marry African American men unless
    2a. they need a green card
    2b. he is an exceptional catch by any standard (a super professional who is also practicing deen and hafith of
    Quran) the movie guess who’s coming to dinner comes to mind.
    3. will marry an African American woman if he needs a green card.

    At the end of the day the African American Muslimah has the double whammy to deal with in America (Muslimah And Black) while trying to deal with every thing else living in the US throws at you.

    Masajid are often transplants from the home land and often lacka true sense of solidarity and fraternity that we hear Muslims brag about as being a major component of Islam.

    Islam will not take root in the US until our blood mixes.
    If the Sahaba and those that came after them had taken the attitude that many muslims of today have in regards to nationalism, tribalism and racism, Islam would have never made it beyond the Arabian Peninsula.

    Its important for every one to understand that there is a new Type of Muslim in the family the American Muslim. They tend to shed the idea of where their from and concentrate on where their at and how this place plays a role on where their going in the end.

    any way this was a great article, i didn’t mean to offend any one just thought id speak unequivocally.
    Salamu Aliykum

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  99. Mel

    Hi everyone!
    It is so encouraging to see such activity on this forum! I’ve been doing some searching about this topic because my soon-to-be fiance is Muslim, and I am not. We are a very open-minded couple and have had many talks between ourselves and amongst other friends (non-Muslims and Muslims alike) but I am wondering what your opinions are on our forthcoming marriage. I am extremely respectful and admiring of his faith, and am a spiritual person myself. We often have open and constructive dialogue about each of our views and we are happy to be able to interact on this level so respectfully. We have been together for several years and his family is still opposed to our plans. His mother has met me, and says that she adores me as a person but because of my non-Muslim status does not find me suitable, and his father will not meet me. I am so eager to make them happy and to please them, and I know many people who have converted to Islam in order to marry their significant other, but I find that one of the things that makes my life and my relationship with him stronger is that we have different views that we are constantly comparing and finding wonderful similarities in, however much they come from roots perceived to be “different”. I do not want to live under the guise of conversion, nor do I wish to make them unhappy when he formally announces his choice. Do you have any suggestions? (For your information, we would be exposing our children to Islam from birth.)
    Thank you for taking the time to read this – I really would appreciate your comments and feedback.

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  100. ibnabeeomar

    Mel – i have seen a similar situation with people that i know personally, and in those situations the issue of children is usually what either breaks the deal or leads to divorce (despite whatever agreements are made beforehand, the actual birth of a child changes everyone).

    aside from that though, in your situation it seems his family is not on board, and marriage is difficult without family support. the question that comes to my mind though, is what keeps you from becoming muslim? :)

    religion is really one of those things where both people really need to see eye to eye for the marriage to be successful, and hopefully have blessing in it from Allah.

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  101. Ridhwaan

    I am an Indian Muslim, and a 3rd generation South African. Considering South Africa’s past (apartheid) of racism you would expect Muslims to be free from racism since they were the victims. Unfortunately as a South African poem goes: “If you white you alright, if you brown stick around, if you black get back get back”. Complexion means everything to people of sub continental decent and as I look at my peers, it appears that time doesn’t seem to wash away this. The other aspect that needs to considered is for a man that is totally unbiased you are indifferent towards race, you look at what you see as important: character, physical attraction etc. but for a most women it is uncomfortable to approach a person of a different race. From my experience far more men are willing to deal with the discomfort than are women. And who wants to enter into marriage when their is discomfort at the onset. This is probably why there are so few interracial marriages amongst muslims

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  102. Muslimahaoh

    I think while it’s important to get the consent and support of your parents, I just think if your parents don’t like him or her soley based on his or her race or culture, than that is completely unislamic on their part. And thats also called racism. And racism in Islam is HARAM. The first and most important question someone should ask themselves when they looking for a spouse “Is he/she a good Muslim?” not “Is he/she Pakistani/Somali/w/e” To be honest, I”m very upset to see so many Muslims in fewer interracial/intercultural marriages. I’m a Somali woman and my parents have basically told me that I cannot marry anyone that isn’t Somali. It’s very frustrating for me because i grew in a community where there was no Somalis ANYWHERE and have had very little interaction with them (except for weddings and such, and everyone was related or no where near my age). If anyway wants to discuss this further, please email me at muslimahaoh@gmail.com.

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  103. elle

    Salaam to everyone who has been apart of this.
    I am an arab female who seeks to marry a pakistani male. Both of our mothers are against it and both fathers are for it. He and I were both born here (US) and alhamdullilah are very accepting of eachothers cultures. Right now I feel lost and really need guidance…its very hard to not have your mother accept it. Its very difficult right now… hopefully allah will intervene to make things better…any advice?

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  104. Bob

    Hello evry1,

    The situation is simple, we are all from 1 family-the basis of religion is the bringing together of the community to what it once was, and will be!!! Living in this modern society is meant to be constructive and not the opposite.

    Im in love with a Muslim woman-and it was love at first sight. My parents are both Christian, and I have no problem with her being my wife. Plain and simple this situation has got to be addressed because I dont want to cause her or her people any trouble. I believe that one day we will be together forever…ps im black

    Salaam

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  105. Spiderman

    I know I am jumping into this late, but I just need a little guidance. I am a white (non- religious) somewhat Christian American (I believe in god but not what people do in his name.. so I am kind of turned off) , and have been dating an Indian born raised in the ME (kind of like a catholic one though, does Ramadan and stuff but that’s about it) Muslim boy for over 4 years. We are planning on officially getting engaged later this year after I am finished with my degree. My parents love him but neither I nor my parents have had much interaction with his parents. They seem to be excited about the arrangement though. I am mostly prepared for the jeers, the stares, and this issues our (maybe) future children would have. We have talked at length about our respective roles (both work, share home duties), raising our kids (raised in Islam but knowledge of the “big three”) I am more concerned about the wedding. I myself would be happy with a justice of the peace sort of thing (so would he) but his parents insist on the formalities. He has had a hard time explaining them to me because he lived here most of his adult life and has only gone to one, so I turned to the internet, and am more confused than ever. I am hoping some things are optional (my pale ness would look ridiculous with tarmac paste and henna all over me). Also my father is not much of a social guy and would feel very uncomfortable in such a leading role at a wedding. Would you mind explaining the ceremony and this marriage contract (I’m guessing it’s like our vows) to me? And lastly I would be moving to Oman and was wondering what obstacles would we face there that I cannot foresee? Like I said he has lived here for so long even he is not familiar with what life would be like for me. I went to India and hopefully got a crash course but am not sure if that is a good reference point. If I have ramble I apologize.

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  106. Annie

    Assalamo alikum everyone!! i m a 22 yrs old Pakistani girl who moved to usa when i was 16 n lived there for a while, i m interested in marrying one of my Arabic classmate, he is a good muslim and thats y i like him (our liking is mutual), he was born n brought up in US. Now m asking for suggestions from my muslim brothers and sisters that can i marry this guy? i m so confused about this decision?

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  107. Fatimah

    Assalamualaikum,
    It seems that no one has given a response to someone’s post in a while but insha’Allah, someone will. I am, like many that have posted, a 20 something year old girl, pakistani as well, but I grew up in Canada all my life. I recently met someone who is Palestinian that used to be a classmate of mine and went to the same high school as I did. We come from very similar backgrounds and he is currently studying to become a civil engineer at another university as mine while I am finishing my Bachelors in Science in Nutrition.
    I am starting to have feelings for him because of how compatible I see we are; he has a very good personality, he is hard working and he has great morals.
    In the past, when I’ve involved myself with a guy as a friend, I’ve always ended up having feelings for them and having my heart broken with the knowledge that that person does not care for me in that way. This time, I wish to save myself the trouble with this boy by making my intentions clearer and in a way that is the most appropriate.
    What should I do? where should I start? Please help!! :)
    I am very pleased about finiding this article and the posts; it gives me much to think about… I am hoping someone will be able to tell me how to go about it :)
    Fatimah

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  108. ali

    Hi. I read some of the responses to this topic. Some of the women mentioned that wouldn’t mind marrying a pious African-American male. At the risk of sounding stupid, what is meant by “African-American?” For those that have used the term, are you referring to those men with historical roots in the U.S. or does that term include all people of African descent? In other words, when you use the term “African-American”, are you including West African(i.e. Nigerian, Ghanaian, Senegalese) as well as East African (i.e. Somali, Ethiopian,Eritrean) in addition to those people with roots in the U.S.?
    How would Muslim parents respond to say, a Nigerian Muslim or an Eritrean Muslim? Your answers would be greatly appreciated.

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  109. shahid

    Very well written article. I am a 26 yr old male from Pakistan who has been in the states for about 21 yrs. I have been here without my parents for most of my life. My parents just arrived a few ago and without ever discussing the issue with me they started speaking with families regarding an arranged marriage. I tried telling them about a girl that i deeply love with (never laid a finger on her). She is hispanic and is 90% on her way to becoming muslim. My parents on the other hand couldnt care less about this fact that i have known her for 6 years. Parents and i had a deep conversation about this but unfortunately they were more concerened about with they will tell their reletives than what would make me happy.

    My advice to someone thinking about this is to involve your family in your decision sooner than later. My mistake was that i told them too late. Maybe, just maybe, they would have understood if i had mentioned this sooner.

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    • Bilal Iqbal

      friend, marry her,
      dont do what your parents say,
      it will only make things worse in the long run,
      i say this as a fellow pakistani (born and raised in britan)
      i am married to my half english and half italian wife,
      we are great together,
      she isnt even muslim,
      my parents tried to ruin my life…..
      dont let them do it to you,
      i didnt and i wake up to my beautiful wife every morning and im glad to have her.

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      • sid

        Your Parents are your first teachers. Your wasilah of coming to this world. Your heaven in this world. You truly are misguiddd and should make amends with them at once. Allah s.w.t gave them sooo much respect. If your fathefs unhappy then Allah is unhappy and if your father is happy then Allah s.w.t is happy. Heaven lay under the blessed feet of our precious mothers.

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  110. goldieforeverandever

    salamaleikum, what an interesting topic. i find it strange but we seem to be drowning in deserts of contradiction. i can not understand how any intelligent, quran reading, god loving literate individual can overlook the fact that satan was disgraced for his ill conceived notions of racial superiority. interestingly enough, the name Adam is derived from Adim, which means earth coloured, and imam Ash Shawkani, author of fath al baari the commentary of sahih al bukhary stated that in his opinion the verse saying ‘we created bashar from hamain masnoon’ indicates that Adam was black. science with all her darwinian folly has even admitted the possibility and we are reminded of the beauty in diversity of colours and languages as ‘ayats of Allah’ ik surat ArRoom. and for those who wish to validate poisonous values by enshrining them in fabricated inferrences of quranic texts, we ask you this….have you heard the story of zaid ibn thabit? why Allah revealed the verses for his marriage the first time? have you heard the story of the sons of bukhatir? or that of julaibib? do you not know that bilal married the arab sister of a very prominent sahaba? did you not hear of how the prophet used to call umm ayman his second mother? do you know who usama bin zaid is and how he got married? or should we just obey your lies?

    its a shame that so much of the beauty in man has to be destroyed by tge evil of racism, it is a satanic tradition on the most literal and fundamental sense, or do you wish to declare a new religion in which the farewellbsermon on the mount is re written, in which salman alfarisy never reached madinah or where the graves of sahabah were not now in china or north africa?
    i do not disagee eith you on the grounds that your lineage is pure and your ancestors superior, but i am sad because their decendants are not as honest as they.
    when you leave your home country to set home in a land where everyone is different and you choose to live among people who practice different cultural traditions etc, when you educate and raise your kids there and plan to die in that land, to me it stinks of hypocracy if you start being culturally and racially pure when it comes to marrying your child to a fello muslim because they are hispanic, that didnt bother you when the chinese maid tended to you wife at child birth or when the african teacher schooled in all that thay know.
    if you were REALLY that concerned, you would pack up and return to your superior culture.

    it angers me a great deal because islam is beatiful, many have died to keep it that way, but nany would kill to do the opposite. disgrace.

    whatever the verdict, in the end you are all made of earth.
    respect yourself
    salam.

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  111. goldieforeverandever

    ps, i made a mistake when i cited imam ash shawkani as the author of fath al bari, the authorship belongs to the great imam ibn hajar al askalani, the correct book by shawkani escapes me at this present moment but we are all ignorant, just in different areas ;) and apologies if my post was harsh, i beleive in giving good advise,good advice sharpens a rusty opinion.
    salam

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  112. Abdul At-Tawwaab

    AsSalaamu Alaikum,

    On this the last day of this year’s Ramadan, may Allah forgive the muslims for our transgressions, save us from the torment of the fire and bless us all with Jannah inshaAllah ta’ala.

    Racism is a shameful and pitiful disease that unfortunately courses through the veins of brothers and sisters in Islam. I’ve read many of the comments on this blog and I am very ashamed at many comments I’ve read. May Allah forgive us and guide us aright.

    No matter whom in the religion of Allah you marry,one’s intention should truly be for deen. When you marry you are completing half of your religion. The deen is what should be investigated. Muslim men and their families no matter the culture or race or ethnicity should be preparing the sons and daughters to marry under the commandments established in the Qur’an and Sunnah. That being said, husbands or soon to be husbands, begin preparing for taking care of yourself, be responsible to yourself and guard your deen. How can a man have a dependent when he cannot take care of himself? The guidelines and commandments of the Qur’an and Sunnah regarding marriage have nothing to do with race, culture or ethnicity but with piety, taqwa. Do not allow yourselves to be decieved by Shaitan in arrogance that one,man or woman, is not acceptable for your child simply because of his or her race, culture or ethnicity. This is is simply insane. Did the Prophet (S.A.W.) forbid the Emigrants of Mecca from marrying the women of the Ansar? Or did He (S.A.W.) tell Bilal (radiAllahu Anhu) you can marry any muslim women but not the arab women. There are too many hadith displaying the Prophet (S.A.W.)’s wisdom and choosing mates for people, none of the hadiths I’ve researched had anything to do with race, culture or ethnicity in being reason why you should not marry but rather it was based on the individuals themselves and their conditions. In fact, in the last sermon of the Prophet (S.A.W.) he said,
    “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
    Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.”

    Translated in English.

    How can one say, marriage is hard and then mixing intercultural and interracial differences it’s even harder. Really? Allahu Allum is better to be said. Who says that two people married of the same culture, race, and ethnicity don’t go through all of the same hardships that a couple of different culture , race and ethnicity go through? Parents and children, in my opinion, should adhere to Qur’an and Sunnah first as the foundation and not allow their own cultural customs etc to be the overall ruling guideline for their judgment in advising and supporting a marriage, whether one culture, ethnicity or race, or multiple cultures, ethnicities or races are involved. Our Ummah is global and consists of people from all types of backgrounds, why do we divide ourselves into sects and rejoice in what we have? Allah named us Muslim, not Indian Muslim, Black Muslim, Arab Muslim or the like. Reiterating a previous statement, we should be looking to get married based on the standards and limits set by Allah and His Messenger (S.A.W.) ie. the Qur’an and Sunnah.
    Likewise, this “love” ” I’m in love with so and so and that it” should fought as well, because love can fade and what remains in some cases may bethe pieces of what was left due to ignorance and hastiness. Allahu Allum. Keep in mind that Allah is watching and everything should be brought back to Allah. Surely all decisions end with Him and He surely the Disposer of our affairs. (Istikhara is so very important for such a weighty decision)
    If we don’t build our communities based on Islam,how do we as muslims ever think that we can be successful? There are many things that occur within our communities which need to be changed and what’s funny is these things are similar to all or at least most ethnic, cultural and racial communities of muslims. And Allah knows best the condition of His creation. We must woship our Lord with all of our being and realize we are all slaves of Allah and not one of us are better than the other except by what Allah has deemed and by the standards and limits Allah set. Alhamdulillahi Rabbil- Alamin.

    My intention is to speak the truth, anything said by me which harms anyone it was not the intention and may Allah forgive me for it and to Allah I shall return. Anything that may lead anyone astray may Allah forgive me and protect me from that inshaAllah. May Allah be pleased with us and guide us aright inshaAllah

    AsSalaamu Alaikum wa Rahamtullahi wa Barakatuhu

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    • Abdul At-Tawwaab

      AsSalaamu Alaikum,

      In addition, by no means in me writing do I feel that my opinions are the laws and standards set by Allah ta’ala, they are my opinion based on my understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah. That being said , please take what I say with a grain of salt because I am not Allah ta’ala nor the Messenger(S.A.W.) but please do research and judge with what is best inshaAllah.

      AsSalaamu Alaikum

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    • Abdul-Azim

      Sister, please. I am Arab and I must tell you that It is NOT haram to marry a black guy because he is a man. We are all the same species! Why ask such a question? Why does skin color matter when it is Allah(SWT) who creates ALL life. Allah does not make mistakes. The world is not just for Arabs, Whites, Blacks, Browns, whatever. We are to be one people in Islam. What you want is a good Muslim man who will obey Allah(SWT) and treat you like you are supposed to be treated as the beautiful creation that you are. Allah(SWT) first, you and your children next and his job and work career third. We are NOT to have any prejudice in Islam although I know it is there plentiful. That is sad but you can do your part and not look to someone’s skin color that they have no control over. I say this because I have many Black friends who worked, worshiped, enjoyed family life and meals alongside me and my family in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and they were no different than I. And yes, my parents would accept a good man with Black skin into our family for one of my sisters because I was not raised with prejudice toward people.

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    • Adham

      Seriously….are you that ill-educated, or are you that gullible to those racist people who say things like that?

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  113. suhail khan

    their is nothing wrong with interracial marriage, I think everyone should open their minds and their hearts and welcome such marriages. i am from pakistan trying to marry my high school love who is from bengladesh. To me she is just a human, a muslim. In my mind their is no such thing as a bengali, pakistani, arab, indian or black or white. It doesn’t make any difference to me, but my beloved is scared of her family, because in their minds their is such a thing as pakistani and bengali, Which is very sad because it is becoming an obstacle in our marriage, and two young hearts and minds are under stress on a daily basis. Inshallah when i grow up and have kids, I will not let such stupidity become a reason to worry my young childs mind. it is shameful how our adults think in such selfish and ignorant way and become a reason for suicide thoughts in our heads If you are an adult and think this way, pleasee I beg you stop it now, you are becoming a source of zina and you are knowingly or unknowingly becoming a opressor. brothers and sisters make dua for me and her.

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  114. kiki

    There are no issues as long as you both leave unecessary cultural practises out of it and only practise Islamic teachings.

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  115. Bilal Iqbal

    I dont understand the whole race/culture/religion issue. So long as two people love each other thats all that matters, im a Pakistani muslim who was born/raised in in england, I mixed with english people much more, and my parents wanted me to marry a pakistani, but i couldnt live/love a pakistani, and my parent didnt approve of my girlfriend who i married at uni, she is half italian and english, she does not beleave in god, but she has respect for my religion and culture and she doesnt judge on it, we are happy and we’re both in last year of uni after 3 years of marriage, my parents dont know and will not speak to me after, but i dont care, i’ve been with her since year 11, and I love her, we never argue, I just hoped people went so steriotyoical :( its not nice, cos my parents wont talk to me, but i dont care. My life and i must live it as i want.

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  116. Adham

    Its sounds really good that for the most part people everyone has with interracial. I myself being black (born in Ethiopia and raised in Canada) and my wife white (Born and Raised in Germany) and I mean white…Very light Blonde hair, with Deep Aqua Blue eyes have had relatively good relationship. However we did have to hurdle over few missconceptions people had. Although my wife’s Family are Chrisitans, they have supporeted her decision to convert islam, but my family were a bit hesitant in getting to know her. For some reason most of my muslims friends (including my own mother) considered her as a 2nd class muslim, someone who is not a true believer or is doing it just for me or what have you. Let me tell you, most people who convert away from Islam do it for lack of knowldge or lazyness to follow it. But ALL those who come to islam (even after the way media potrays Islam, or those few stupid Idioligist do) come for its true teachings and have a just as good, if not better, understand of what it means to be a muslim.

    Ohh and talk about culture-shock, Family get together’s are quite something. Can’t wait to see how our kids look :D

    ohh and PS. Whites are not Superior over Blacks, Born-Muslims are not superior over Converts, and especially Arabs are not Superior Race in Islam ( …sister Yasmeen). Superiority Belongs to Allah (swt)

    ohh and I would also like to say….I gain strength from those like sister Yasmeen (not that I care about what people think of us)….but Please do continue spreading the hate, you are only making me stronger and yourself a lesser of a being in this day and age. I also remembered when I was a kid, and went to Hajj in Mecca that all the black people had their own seperate camping grounds I was 8 for god sake, and remembered that…and in Mecca of all places.

    Dont forget, it was an ETHIOPIAN BLACK SLAVE who performed the very first Athan for the first followers of Islam and to the prophet himself (pbuh)

    May Allah have mercy.

    Jazak allahu khair

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    • Bilal Iqbal

      Yes it was a black slave brother. and im named after him. :) Race/culture doesnt matter, or religion either, so long as you yourself continue to follow most of the religion, I do not say all religion as I know almost noone who follows all of the religion and the commandments. Why are parents like this? It makes my and my wifes life harder.

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      • MAK

        I beg to differ. Religion definatly matters. It’s the difference between Heaven and Hell! Imagine waking up with a wife everyday knowing that if she doesn’t change her views on God she’ll be in hell. Which loving husband would wish that for her wife? None, so ofcourse this is where teaching comes in and advising people of Islam. But how can we advise if we ourselves don’t know ISlam?

        May Allah protect us. Ameen.

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    • Bilal Iqbal

      Hey man,
      Im not ;) I love em :P
      hehe i love my wife :D
      so much!!
      and i dont care bout her religion/race

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    • Adham

      I am not either, I am just hating on ignorant people. I love my wife too, and it dont matter or race or culture….but religion kinda does, but not necessarily the level of deen so long as you have the basics down pat….hehehe

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  117. An Important Reminder

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    I have not read all of the comments being posted but I have read enough to notice that many are not aware of the Islamic conditions or requirements for choosing a spouse. Parents have responsibilites to make sure that their kids know who they can marry or not, keeping within the Islamic law. Clearly that is not the case! It is the duty of Muslims to remind others who may be in the dark and totally unaware.

    Islam has laid down different conditions for Muslim men and women.

    For Muslim Men:

    1. If the woman they are considering is either a Jew or a Christian, then she must :

    a) Believe in One God Only. (She does not believe Jesus as ‘the son of God’ [Naudhubillah] or Trinity)

    “Among them (Jews and the Christians) are believers but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” [Surah Ale Imran 3:110]

    If she does believe in ‘Jesus as the son of God, [Naudhubillah], then she falls into the category of someone committing Shirk or polytheism – check out point 2 for more understanding).

    Moreover, we find that the Jews and the Christians too associate partners with Allah (SWT). Says Allah (SWT) in the Glorious Qur’an:

    “They (Jews and the Christians) have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.” [Surah At-Tawbah 9:31]

    “They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.”
    Indeed he who associates other with Allah – Allah has forbidden him paradise and his refuge is the fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.” [Surah Al-Maidah 5:72])

    b) Be chaste.

    Relevant verses:

    …. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time, when you have given their due Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girl-friends. And whosoever disbelieves in the Oneness of Allah and in all the other Articles of Faith [i.e. His (Allah's) Angels, His Holy Books, His Messengers, the Day of Resurrection and Al-Qadar (Divine Preordainments)], then fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. (Surah Maidah: Ayah 5)

    2. With regards to marrying someone who believes in more than one God, you can only marry her if she becomes a believing woman.

    Relevant verses:

    “And do not marry Mushrik (polytheistic) women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she (Mushrik) might please you.” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:221]

    Mushrik = One who believes in more than One God or associates partners with God.

    For Muslim Women:

    1. A very simple point – they can only marry a Muslim men.

    “And do not marry the polytheist women until they believe. A believing slave woman is better that a polytheist woman, even though the latter may please you. And do not marry your womenfolk to disbelieving men until they believe. A believing slave is better that a polytheist even though the latter may please you . . .” [Sura Al Baqarah/2:221]

    If a sister is really wondering why the difference in ruling for men and women. One reason could be due to the fact that the decision of a husband tends to dominate the rules and regulation in a house. Another reason could be due to men being stronger than women, thus the muslim wife may suffer due to her faith or more likely to compromise her faith. Also children may be influenced by the religion of the father and father’s parents since they will be around them mostly. However, if a Muslim man is not foolish enough to get influenced by his non-Muslim wife, he may still be able to bring up his kids as Muslims while practising Islam himself. Please continue reading. I have provided a continuation later on.

    Now even if the man respects her faith? – She is still not allowed to marry him because Allah (SWT) said so. It is as simple as that. Regardless of any reason, a Muslim woman must not marry a non-Muslim man.

    If I am not mistaken, a sister (I think her username was Angel_x or any sister who falls into this category) is under the impression that she is allowed to marry either a Jewish or a Christian man. Sister, I do not know if you have gotten married to him or not, as late as it may be for any reminders, you are absolutely not allowed to marry a non-muslim men. Any marriage with a non-muslim man would be Haraam and INVALID! IFear Allah (SWT) and try to back out from this as soon as possible.

    I cannot go through all the posts one by one, so decided to post a reminder altogether.

    Often people are too busy trying to get what they want without consulting appropriate sources or atleast checking whether what they are pursuing is Halal or not. The people that you may be considering to marry, them respecting your faith is not the same as them believing in Allah.

    Reason before you leap.

    While all race is equal, in the eye of Allah (SWT), the only acceptable religion is Islam. Although Islam does allow men to marry a kitabi (Jews or Christians) woman if she meets the criteria mentioned above, would you not rather marry a Muslimah who will strengthen the practice of deen amongst your children and also at home. For some, love takes preference over practice of deen, so this may not mean much to those men/women. That is very unfortunate!I should also remind you that any ‘love’ relationship (Hugging, kissing, lusting, intimacy) before marriage is not allowed in Islam.

    If establishing deen is really your aim, then would you not rather marry a Muslim man or a woman who will help you become more practising? If you marry someone who commits Shirk or is not a Muslim, what are the chances that you will not be influenced by him/her and become less and less regular in your faith. You will be driven towards Shirk and haraam activities more and more. What about your children? While you are not around, what are the chances that your husband/wife will help your kids adhere to your Islamic tradition? What about, Allah (SWT) forbid, if you were to die early and leave your kids behind? What are the chances of them being Muslims? Brothers and sisters, think, reason and decide! Decide that which will please Allah (SWT) and keep you from Hell fire. Love of the dunya will not get you far.

    Think long term because…

    Ignorance is NOT bliss!

    Sources :

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/4681737/MARRYING-WOMEN-FROM-THE-PEOPLE-OF-THE-BOOK

    Also, it may be helpful to read up articles on ‘When a marriage may be considered invalid’.

    Lastly, any mistake or incoherency is due to the defficiency of the poster, which is me. Perhaps, someone more knowledage can correct me in the case of any error.

    If someone has already posted a reminder, then JazakAllah Khair!

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    • Amanda

      Typical! One set of rules for men, women are suppressed by a different set of rules. What a shallow uneducated view of the world.

      What matters is common respect, not race, ethnicity, religion, background, education, career….

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  118. sk

    Salaam brother and sisters,

    I read this article and have found it to be very true. I myself am a Muslimah revert, white female and grew up in britain all my life. All thanks to Allah I found my soul mate who is Bangali and also lived in britian all his life. Now we are wanting to get married and this has been such a hard task that I cried at times of the pain we where having to deal with. They most surprising and upsetting thing is I am being looked at of being a different race and not bangali instead of seeing it as Islam teaches us. I have’nt given up nor has my inshallah husband to be as we are so happy with each other.

    We are Inshallah getting married in 3 months and we are still having it hard, I think we will have certain members of his family giving us a hard time as they don’t agree with the interacial marriage. Never the less we will work hard to keep our marriage happy and inshallah Allah will guide us through all the hard times.

    I know I am and will be a good practising muslim (inshallah) and the same for my husband to be, we also know that inshallah our children will be brought up to be good, practising Muslims so I just dont understand why I can’t be looked at as a Muslim person and equal to everyone else regardless of race/wealth just like Islam teaches us instead of a white girl.

    He has told his family a year ago to allow them to adjust to it but a year later still no luck in exceptance. Any advice from anyone would help me and Inshallah Allah will give me strength and guidance through all the hard times.

    I wish anyone else who may be or have experienced such hard times due to interacial marriage but never give up hope as Marriages are settled in heaven but celebrated on Earth, The unity of two unknown souls written right from birth.

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  119. Sameer

    Salam,

    Jazak’Allah Kher for writing this article all the way back whenever you did! You’re still reaping benefits from it. I think you gave a very good insight, mashAllah.

    I am a child of mixed race, but I am also a revert in that I was adopted and chose Islam for myself. Initially, I admit that I chose it to feel closer to my mother but as time has progressed, alhumdolillah, all my insecurities have flown away and I am growing in eman as each day passes.

    What are your thoughts on this? You seem to have some insight to desi/arab unions. I am hoping to marry an arab girl. I am mediterranean/desi and have been raised by pakistanis – I would pass as pakistani if nobody asked, as I have grown in the cultures, am fluent in urdu etc.

    Obviously, I will not lie to her parents; I fear they will dislike me due to my heritage and the unfortunate circumstances preceeding my adoption.

    I am in the process of learning arabic, to try and overcome that barrier!

    I’m not asking for strict religious advice; just your opinion. If you do have experience in such cases, what can I do to try to prepare for what is to come?

    Shokran.

    Sameer.

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  120. Hasinah

    Salaam,

    I find this article very informative. I am white british muslim in the UK. I want to marry a pakistani muslim male. We met in school 6 years ago. His parents knew of me this whole time. He went to pakistan and got engaged 2 years ago..he was only supposed to watch his cousin get married. When he came back to the uk he broke it off. For last two years he has tried to tell them he does not want to marry her but they never listen. Few days ago he broke it off with me. His dad was getting very stressed and had heart attack. He blames himself and I feel like i want to go visit his family who only live down the road. None of my family are muslim, but I feel I am stereotyped but I live a good muslim life and my family accepted it very well. I just want to visit them and talk to them, not once have they made the effort. Me and the guy get along very well, truely best friends, never argue and know we could build a wonderful muslim family together. We are in our 20’s. I just wish his family would be open. Any one think its a good idea to meet his family and what should I say. I dont want him to pretend to be happy just for parents, this is not Allah Way. :-(

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    • Khalid

      Sister AOA
      i am pakistani and i suggest you dont go talk to her parents. It will make things worse. Every muslim parents these days(most of them atleast) want there kids to marry within there culture or the so called kind. What i would suggest is that you let the guy do his part. That is convince his parents. It will be tough but i know many pakistani families who have accepted a muslim White girl or from other cultures.. It will be tough though. Pray to Allah SWT.
      I was wanted to marry this African girl and her parents just said NO pakistani..lol
      so parents refusing at first is common..and then slowly they get used to the idea.
      InshAllah everything will work out

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      • Hasinah

        Thank you Khalid for your reply. Since my last post, he asked his dad to meet me. His parents agreed to meet with me in their house. Is this good thing, and what should I say. I dont think getting used to idea is an option. They have known about me for years but never met me. I am hoping inshallah this is a good thing, after all they could have said no. However they could be meeting me just to say leave him alone. Inshallah things will go ok.

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      • Khalid

        its good to hear things are working for you, i would suggest you just be yourself…InshAllah everything will be fine. InshAllah it will be a good thing and you guys would be together. I am sure InshAllah they will respect you and your family..Its a good start, also dont stop praying. InshAllah

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  121. zainab

    Salam alaikum
    I am a pakistani muslimah 37 years old.i was married 7 years back but he left me 3 years ago .I have a lovely daughter who is with her father in pakistan.i am working in saudi arabia.there is an arab guy who is in love with me.i have feelings for him too.but he is much younger than me.he is 31 years old.A difference of 6 years…which is huge….he wants to marry me..i am religious and so is he.Can anyone guide me what to do….we are in the same profession .being so much older than him makes me feel inferior.
    thanks

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    • MAK

      Wa alaykumus-salam

      Ya Zainab. You have already been married so you do not need permission of your parents to marry as far as I’m aware islamically. However a third opinion is definatly advisable.

      I’d suggest you bring yourself out of the box of “love” and look at things rationally.

      i.e. Is he a good Muslim, is he mature, can you see him taking good care of you and inshaAllah the family you have together.

      Also don’t let age get in the way. Khadija (r.a) the first wife of the prophet peace be upon him was much older than the Prophet and she proposed to him through an intermediarary.

      If both of you are compatible, then marry and don’t delay. Don’t let satan step in and make you feel inferior.

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  122. Leila

    Now what is the advice for a recent revert to Islam, who also happens to be black, and who is marrying a born Muslim, who happens to be Palestinian. What challenges do you foresee for our children? Or, even more simply, in the masjid, with his family and my own?

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  123. Jena

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Insha’Allah everyone is well. I would just like to say that all the previous post have been so helpful and have encouraged me to post on here! I would like to start with a quick background!
    I am 25 years old and a revert to Islam. I was born and raised in the United States to American parents. At my university I attended about 6 years ago, I was introduced into Islam by taking and Introduction to Religion course. After the completion of this course, I proceeded to take Introduction to Islam. I was beginning to learn about something that was so amazing to me. At first glance, interest sparked. With my newfound interest, I began to learn Arabic on my own at first then through my university. This allowed me to go deeper in Islamic studies. I then traveled and lived in Amman, Jordan for some time where I was able to learn more of the language and see Islam. After my travels, I came back to the States and reverted to Islam. I have completed three degrees from my University. Alhamdulillah I now have Bachelors in Middle Eastern Studies with a minor in Arabic. Bachelors in Religious Studies with a minor in Islam and Bachelors in Political Science. I work full time and continue to take classes on-line at an Islamic University. Alhamdulillah I have a strong deen but I am continuing to become more religious on a daily basis. I study, learn, and read Islam all the time. Insha’Allah I will always continue to have a strong deen. Knowing this little bit of information let me fill you all in on my situation.
    The Guy: Two years ago, I met a guy through mutual friends, the Muslim Student Association at my University actually. We talked always only at MSA events. These events were to promote Islam to the community or at weekly khutbahs. We did exchange phone numbers (knowing this is wrong) and only texted or talked in a proper manner. We did build a connection to each other and decided that we would like to get married. We continued to talk / text and decided that we would marry when the time was right. (Closer to him graduating from the University). Since we have met I have taught him so much. Not just about Islam but about life, patience, the world, etc. I am so versitle in my knowledge that I learn and read everything. I even studied Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism to make sure that Islam was the path for me. I love to learn and I teach him everything I learn. I have taught him so much about Islam and help him to strengthen his deen. This is done in email mostly but also at MSA gathering on campus we will have intellectual discussions.
    Now the catch: He is 23, I am 25. He is born to immigrant Palestinian parents, which makes him a Palestinian-American Muslim. I was born American. He was born Muslim. I am a revert. All this does not matter to him. He wants to marry me for who I am and for my strong deen. He as always assured me that his parents were going to love me and accept me because all they want for him is a good Muslimah with good deen who will take care him. (Which is me). Then he told them about me and told them that he wanted to marry me.
    Reaction: His mom and dad both said no. They told him that he could not marry me because I am not Palestinian and even though I speak Arabic (which the guy does not even speak / know Arabic) and have a complete understanding of their culture my family will not. Therefore, since they think my family will not understand them he cannot marry me. They are wrong though my parents already accept my decision to be a Muslimah and are willing to accept any culture I decide to marry into. The second reason was that I am to old. They want him to marry someone young, like 18 years old because that is the way it has always been. Now his parents are not strictly religious but they observe the five pillars and his mom reads Qur’an regularly. He says that he is going to keep talking to them because they just need to be broken in and let go of what they wanted / planned for him and let him have who and what he wants. He said that he will continue to talk to them.
    Should he talk to our local Imam? Our local Imam by the way is a white American revert who is married to a black American revert. How awesome is that for the spread of Islam. Our local Imam supports the spread of Islam through inter cultural marriages. Would it be a bad idea for him to talk to our Imam? Thing is I did stop going to that masjid after I reverted because I had to change job locations and there was another one that became more convenient.
    All I need is a chance for them to get to know me and just hear I am an American girl who converted to Islam. I do not even think they refer to me as a revert. Which is really hurtful and sad. I do not really know what my question is. I guess I just needed to talk this out.

    Salam.

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  124. Sabr (convert)

    Salam Alaikum Brothers and Sisters!

    To be honest I haven’t read all the comments, but the article was quite interesting. I’m a recent convert and have found that other religions are way more accepting of interracial marriages, despite the obvious doctrinal issues and pagan influences combined with the fact that there is no clarity in terms of the concept of God (but thats another show!)

    I completely believe that interracial relationships are way more prevalent in the US regardless of religion. As a recent convert from the UK, I’ve come up with arabs saying they would rather white or arab, then asians saying they want light skinned asians or whites, and blacks saying they want arabs or asians or whites, and europeans preferring not to have blacks?

    ISLAM DOES NOT TEACH THIS TYPE OF PREJUDICED BEHAVIOUR!

    I was so unaware of all the negativity pointed towards black people in general and women particularly-its so unislamic to be that hurtful! And extremely offensive. It seems like alot of arabs and others in general have deviated far away from Quran and Sunnah on this one!

    It seems like my cultural background and your colour only counted when I became muslim.

    I’m really not trying to get into the whole I’m black feel sorry for me thing, I’m just interested to find out what the problem is? No other race wants to marry us let alone our own race, and it’s hard enough finding a practicing muslim, and when you do find one he has some very questionable ‘preferences’?

    Lastly all this cultural clash stuff is the most amount of rubbish I’ve ever heard! I was in a very serious relationship with someone from a completely different culture to my own. He was a different colour and the only reason we split was because I converted and he was from another religion! I was willing to learn everything about his culture, and anything else he felt was necessary.

    I find alot of racism amongst so called ‘muslim’ arabs and indians, thinking their race and white skin is superior or something, when really we are all equals?

    Apparently the whiter your skin the better wife you’d be! How unfortunate! This is a serious sickness in this Ummah, and muslims you need to fix up!

    Question: How do you deal with the fact that the most powerful country in the world, the country you epitomise
    is run by a black man, with a black wife?

    Please let me know why so negative on the whole black thing?

    May Allah forgive me for any mistakes made here, and please forgive meme for any offense caused or any misinformation given.

    Ma salama!

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    • JJ

      Assalam O alikum sister,
      I got rejected from and African muslim family. Her parents didnt even wanted to meet my parents or me. They said to their daughter any one but pakistani.
      So people have problems with a culture or race that is different to theirs. Its not just people having problem with blacks or arabs or asians lol..it just seems like that..
      There are right and wrong people in every society. There are knowledgeable and not so knowledgeable people in every society.
      About Obama, we dun need his example InshAllah..we dun need to look upto him..
      Muslim scholars like Bilal Philips and Sheikh Khalid Yasin are Allhumdulillah examples of Muslims who are black and successful and liked.
      you are right Islam stops us from discrimination of this nature..May Allah Guide all of us InshAllah..we shoudlnt look at people as black white or brown or whatever..we are muslims..and thats all about it. It dosent matter if a black person is the most powerful person in the most powerful country. we shouldnt be liking black people because they have the “most powerful person”. We muslims should be liking them because of their righteous deeds and because they are muslims. inshAllah and vice versa..

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    • Embrace

      A.A I share your thoughts on this issue. It is sad to see muslims behaving in a racist manner like this. Unfortunately, Racial culture and the media is what contributes to the “fairer” skinned race to superior. Remember these are the end days and muslims have indeed forgotten the deen. During the time of the prophet, Disciples like Bilal (a former slave who was black)(R.a) were very close to him. Indeed my wife and i (I am an Indian and my wife is black) do get strange stares at us. Even when we go to the mosque, the indian muslims keep away from us. The only advice i have for you, is to kepp in mind that true religion does not have a race! keep well, ma’ salaam

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  125. Zuelaikha

    As salam alaikum..

    Reading this article again remind me of someone.

    I think interracial marriage is very connected to international marriage. Development of a country can effect this issue in the way that we never thought. Its so hard to explain even harder for those who face it to live their life knowing that they have got nothing to do to defend their self as you never knew and even has no control on who you will fall in love with. If you falls for someone from other country and their parents reject you for this reason (not from same country), who should you blame? Your parent? For some reason in our life, we need to put this ‘beyond-of-control’ things aside and just live our life happily as life is too short and complicated enough to make it more complicated.

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  126. Embrace

    Remember the way the idol worshipers say when you tell them that idol worship is wrong, “Our forefathers did it and so shall we”.

    In the same context, those who feel threatened by interracial marriages are simply afraid. So fear of the “unknown” holds them back, and they resort to “we must keep to our own, our forefathers will not accept such”.

    They say this not realizing that we did not choose our race when we were born, so just like we will leave all our earthly belongings on earth when we die, we shall too leave our race behind. This is the decree of Allah (swt). There are no white souls, no Indian or Arab souls. Its simply souls.

    So who are we by any standard to judge anyone from another race? There is no one better among us except the pious, in the eyes of Allah (swt).

    Therefore, those who resist interracial marriages do so in futility. It is a phenomenon no human can stop. Consequently, instead of fighting it, let us embrace it.

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  127. Carlos

    Remember, we are all of one race. If that were not the case, we would not be able to reproduce with each other.

    I am both the product of an interracial marriage and involved in my own interracial marriage. I can tell you that, if anything, being interracial makes you realize how much racial prejudice is a bunch of BS. Our differences, if anything, are cultural, not racial.

    If anyone, family or stranger, has a problem with you when you are walking around, holding hands with your interracial spouse, do what I do. Ignore them. And, if they make rude or sarcastic comments, tell them, politely, that they can go **** themselves.

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    • Halimabintyussuf

      I have to say I seen a lot of your comments and hate most of them and have even come to dislike you but this comment is pretty cool. Props.

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  128. Islam4life

    Salaam Alaykum,

    I really enjoyed reading this article and may Allah make all of our affairs easy Insha Allah. Islam is indeed spreading and nobody can stop the Decree of Allah.

    Most parents are just scared to lose their cultural identity and have put their cultural identity before the Muslim identity which is sad. I think for all of us we need to try and overcome this barrier only then will the Ummah rise again. Just focus on the pleasing of Allah and choose your potential partner wisely according to the traditions of our beloved Prophet (pbuh).

    Living in the UK myself, I know how hard it is to find a practising person that you feel attracted to. Especially when your Wali is not keeping his duty to find a suitable partner for his daughter, but instead leaves them up to their destiny and once they find somebody dismisses them on superficial things such as tribe, race etc. not knowing that we live in a secular country where the Haraam is easliy to get.

    Subhana Allah, I suppose it depends on the approach of the father (i.e. active or negligent). I remember back in secondary school, my friend was caught by her father while she was chatting on the internet, the following summer the girl was getting married to a guy she was pleased with and her father was happy with. Subhana Allah, look at the wisdom of this father. She has successfully completed University, is working, is happily married and has a child Maasha Allah.

    I wish most fathers could take this as an example. Most muslim fathers delay their children marriage just to finish University and to find work; and disregarding the harm Zina can bring!!

    I have heard many stories where people back in Muslim countries were unable to marry somebody from a differenct tribe, caste etc without examining the character and taqwa of the parties involved?
    Why are people so surprised that there is war in the Muslim lands and why we have tyrannt Muslim leaders? Remember the hadith of our beloved prophet: If someone comes to ask for your daughter’s hand and you are please with his character and religion, give in otherwise corrpution will spread.
    It is sad how this hadith is mentioned in many Islamic lectures but that Imaams do not seem to tackle this issue which is surely poisening our Ummah.

    The Wisdom is only with Allah and He knows what is best for us. As long as you follow His commands, nothing should harm you, just trust in Him and make your contribution.

    Salaam Alaykum,

    May Allah make all of our affairs easy! Amiiin

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  129. Embrace

    No one can stop the decree of Allah, We will leave our material possesions and our race behind when we die. Our ultimate abode is the hereafter, as this world is just a journey. Let us not lose sight of the hereafter. Marriage is a huge blessing in itself. Interacial mariages are feared by our parents just because the other party is an unkown to them. As long as one has Taqwa, is an upright muslim and is compatible (not racial culture but islamic culture), there is nothing wrong. I have 3 kids now and Alhamdullilah they are good upright muslims, despite their Indian and Arab mixture!!!

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  130. ANY

    Salamat. This is an amazing article and I am glad I read it. I am Muslim man in a similar position, and one parent (mother) who is aware of this is telling me that there is the possibility of my father disowning me for pursuing an interracial marriage. How does one deal with this? I know it is a loaded question, but it is a scenario that is not too far from what I have seen other people deal with.

    How would you suggest this be dealt with? Islamically, I know there is no wrong. However, your article highlights the potential obstacles, although they are ones that can be overcome.

    I look forward to your response.

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  131. Jameelatu

    Assalamu aleikum! just read your thoughts on intermarriage. Mashallah am glad am not the only one that thinks there is absolutely nothing wrong with inter marriage in muslim societies. Months ago,I was going out with an Iraqi guy, someone i have know for almost 2 years. We were best friends at first but then we found out that we had feelings for each other. I am African and because of that, i was hesitant to take things further with him because of the culture differences and because i am of another race. His parents absolutely hated the fact that I was not Arab. We were ready to make a committment and make everything work between us, but because of his parents, we had to go our seperate ways. My parents had no issue with the fact that he was iraqi, the only thing they cared about was the fact that he was a good muslim. Its been months now since we stopped talking and am still heart broken, but Allah (SWT) knows best. I honestly hope children of our generation learn that at the end of the day, it really doesnt matter whether someone is Arab, pakistani, African, chinese or whatever, the only thing that matters is the love the two parties have for Allah and for each other. Salam.

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  132. heart broken

    Your article made me cry. I am a revert and have found that the whole of my muslim communtity have not been very welcoming. I met a lovely man who showed me how beautiful islam was and he helped me to covert from being a christian to islam. We became very close. We talked about getting married having children. I understood we had different cultures as he is arab and I am mixed raced caribbean/white. My family excepted me becoming muslim and would have excepted him into our family but when things became more serious he started to back away. I thought he had just changed his mind and became very sad as I grow to love him very much and was excited about becoming his wife. But one day he came to see me and said he had got married. I have been heart broken ever since. He said he did love me but he had to do what his family wanted. I never met his family and he wouldn’t tell me they just wouldn’t allow him to be with someone of another race because he wouldn’t say something so hurtful to me. But I no thats what it was. This all started 4 and a half years ago and I have prayed, fasted, tried making friends in the community, I have even tried to find a husband but its no use. I contacted my local mosque to see if the imam would help but they just told me to go on a dating wesite which was just arful. So for the past 2 years I have been with no help and I miss him more and more everyday. I am now 35 and live with my three children from a prevous marriage with not much hope of ever getting remarried. I am so against the idea of preventing intergrated marriages its wrong. You should have the right to choose.

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  133. Sherry From USA

    I am an American mother who is afraid for her daughter and granddaughter. My daughter married a Muslim Indian man. The Muslim man has not told his parents about my daughter. They also have a baby together. What should they do? Should her husband tell his parents or should he not tell his parents. My daughter recently closed her facebook account and made a new one but deleted anyone she had before from the USA. What can i do?

    Signed confused mother of America

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    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Marriages should be declared to public as otherwise it may seem as the couple is living in sin. As a mother it must pain you to see your daughter cutting off her ties to people and Islam forbids cutting off blood relations unless it harms the faith of the person. Ultimately the decision is upto the couple whether they want to announce to his parents or not.

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    • nana

      I could not ignore a worried mother
      if your daughters husband is serious about her he should tell his parents and family about her
      keep in touch with your daughter always i think she might be considering to convert to islam so she is keeping away maybe in fear of what you would think
      i hope she finds the joy of islam

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  134. hakimullah shuaibi

    assalamunalaikom wrhmtalkm… dear brothers and sisters.. can u guys please tell me what should i do.. my whole life i have never listned to my family.. did what i wantd to do.. but i knew deeply inside me that some1 will change me… and the i met a girl half finnish half russian converted into islam couple of years back by her own choice…, somehow i feel for this girl.. i think when i c her i am bcoming a good person.. i am starting to love my religion and to thank allah for making me born into muslim community.. i thank god for what a beautifull family i have got all 5 sister an 4 brothers pray 5 times.. mom went wid big b to mecca… the thing is that i wanna marry this girl but my family wants that i marry an afghani women… advice me me plseeeeeeeeeee

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  135. adnan

    i am a bengali bangladeshi. my immediate and broader family is completely fine with me marrying non-bengali bangladeshis, indian and pakistani muslims. and i completely support that. i don’t support the views of this article that parents’ reluctance on interracial marriages is absurd. in the case of 2nd generation ABCDs (parents being FOB), it is important to consider that parents always try to hold on to their roots. Why? because of history, community, age-old traditions, etc. so that people do not have an identity crisis when growing up and rather have strong and proud cultural foundation. so this is possibly why my family encourages marrying within the south asian muslim community. but marrying within the larger muslim community is NOT a taboo at all though

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  136. john

    Assalamu Alaikum,
    i have been with my Mrs for about 8 years,her family are Nigerian and mine are Irish/Romany/Jamaican/Native American.our relationship with each other’s families is a good one, i have had a couple of odd cultural differences, but nothing significant.as my ethnicity is so mixed,maybe im more open.my mum was a hippy, my dad was a biker and i was raised to love all.sometimes we get odd disgusted looks,normally by asian people,i thought that might have something to do with caste system?(if anybody could shed light on this, i would be gratefull). i am not muslim by the way,just wondered about islam and started reading.

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  137. Hanan

    After reading most of the comments I think it’s safer fur me to say AWAY from Asians (Pakistanis). So much racism subhanallah!

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  138. Muslim sis

    Asalam alaikum!
    First of all, marshallah bro/sis you made a nice page about a theme I think its really interessting.
    I’m a muslim sister at 18 and inshallah soon I want to find someone who’s right for me.
    And I consider myself really open minded and I dont look at my self as racist coz Allhamdullilah our religon dont allow that.
    I have friend from almost all over the world, and I think they are all beutiful in their own way.
    When I see interracial couples I get so happy and I smile coz I really think its nice, and they have soo cute childrens!!! :D
    I really want to marry someone from another race, and I’m a strong girl and I’m sure with Allah’s help inshallah I will handle the difficulties.
    But..my parents however..is totaly against it!
    I dont know if its coz their not so open minded or what so ever.
    For some days ago I talked to my dad about it..and he said : your not gonna marry an arab, or someone else..only people from our culture. Because our culture is best. I got so shocked bro/sis when I heard that! How could he say that I thought! When the prohpet himself said: An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a black has no superiority over white, nor a white has any superiority over black, except by piety and good action (Taqwa). Indeed the best among you is the one with the best character (Taqwa)
    But Inshallah I won’t look at the bad side I will smile and try everyday to make my parents understand that the only thing people are better in is Iman.
    Inshallah, and I will fight for this, because I love to learn others culture and I’m a open-minden not judging person.
    Anyways..you’ve made a great page..keep the good work! and hope more and more people will stop being jugdeful and come togther in masjid to be 1 ummah <<3 :)May Allah bless our soul and lead us to Jannah, ameen.

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  139. Open Minded

    I am an indian girl living in Australia and have been in a relationship with a persian (iranian) guy for 3 years. He is muslim, I am not. However, we have the same basic beliefs and values. We both believe that living with compassion and acceptance, and just generally being good people is more important than being able to say we are of the same culture/religion. His family have accepted me and have also accepted my difference in religion, they are simply happy to see us happy and doing well together. I have been trying to get my parents to accept him for over a year now, unfortunately they are resisting because he is muslim and apparently in order to marry a muslim, I would also have to become a muslim. I am aware of this and do not have any intention of converting (I don’t believe that anyone should change their religion because they have to, it should come from the heart), as such, we are both happy to have a civil ceremony when the time comes. We have already had the discussion about how kids will be raised, what the expectations would be of each other and how we would integrate our cultures together, etc.
    I would like to know if anyone has had been in this situation or has any suggestions on how best I can approach my parents to receive a positive outcome. While I am committed to him regardless, it is also important to me to have my parents support if at all possible.

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    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Dear Open Minded

      A Muslim man is allowed to marry a non-Muslim woman on the condition that she is from the People of the Book (Jews & Christians) and chaste. Other than that the marriage is not allowed in Islam.

      You are correct that conversion for the sake of marriage is not correct, and you should convert only after you study Islam and accept it as the right religion.

      Best Regards
      -Aly

      *The Comment above is my personal view and does reflect the views of MM*

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  140. Usman

    Wow……I stand and salute you.Excellent. I don’t know whether you are a brother or a sister.This is the best comment i have read on this website so far. I was wondering too, if they can mingle with non- Muslim american culture with ease why not with a Muslim’s culture? Even the founding members and authors of this site overlook this. Strange.

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