Shall I marry a Christian girl I love and who loves me too?

Question:

I have been in a good relationship with a lady I love so much. I see her as the mother of my children. We are in our second year of courtship now. My only concern with her is she is Christian. She is not a devout Christian but nonetheless was raised in Christianity. She wants us to be married and loves me dearly. She is willing to learn Islam because I have told her of my concerns regarding her faith. She was the one that introduced me to Darul Fiqh with an article she came across. Please kindly advice me and send to me articles that could continue to encourage her towards Islam. I would appreciate it a lot. Thank you and ma’sallam.

Answer:

 In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 This is a very delicate issue which needs to be well thought out and discussed.  The implications of your decision can unfold into almost anything. 

At the outset, a courtship, affair, relationship or anything pre-marital is impermissible in Islam.  Whatever Islam has taught us is only for our benefit.  The system of Islam is the most beautiful system.  Islam protects our dignity, honour and interests.  Every ruling of Islam has compounding benefits.  We cannot invoke the mercy of Allah which we all so desire by committing acts displeasing to Allah.  Quite simply, if you intend to go to city A, but travel in the opposite direction, you will never reach city A no matter how far and fast you travel.  One must travel in the right direction to reach one’s destination.  Likewise, one can only reach peace, security, happiness and serenity by taking the route of Allah. 

Marriage is commitment.  An affair or an impermissible relationship is not a commitment.  Such relationships have ‘no strings attached’.  The man is not obliged to provide for the wife; the wife is not obliged to tend to the husband.  They do not live together usually, so the responsibilities, compromise and experience of living under one roof do not apply.  The couple usually do not have contact with each other’s family.  Therefore, the true lifestyle, nature and personality of a person can never manifest itself by being in such a relationship.  As much as this applies to you, it applies to the lady in reference also. 

True love only begins with marriage.  A famous quote reads,

“In the secular world, love is a madness which only ends with marriage.  In Islam, love is a madness which only begins with marriage.”   

There are many examples where a man and woman in a pre-marital relationship married only to break up thereafter.  One expects the post-marital relationship to be just as spicy as the pre-marital relationship.  However, when the knot is tied, reality strikes.  Characteristics, habits and practices of a person begin to surface which one was totally unaware of.  Some differences are such which cannot be compromised.  This leads to friction and a divide which is unbridgeable.  The end result is separation.

Your concern is a valid concern.  You need to deliberate on how she will gel into your family and lifestyle.  Your customs and traditions may or may not suit her.  Will she uphold your values? Further, your children which Allah will bless you with one day insha’Allah, how will she mother them and raise them? Will she be able to instil in them true Islamic values? 

With so many probabilities and the gamble being one with everlasting implications, acting upon emotions without calculation is unadvisable.  Evaluate, assess and analyse everything. 

It may work out, it may not work out.  The future is never certain.  However, experience, accounts and stories suggest such relationships are very fragile and are prone to breaking up. 

In any decision, it is necessary to seek divine guidance in addition to seeking counsel from the correct people.  With respect to seeking guidance from Allah, the following article is very beneficial on the method of performing istikhārah salāh (prayer for seeking divine guidance):

http://daruliftaa.net/General-Islamic/istikhara.html          

The predicament you are in at the moment is of great magnitude.  The decision you make will put you on course for the rest of your life.  Therefore, such a decision cannot be rushed. 

Speak to your family.  Seek their counsel and guidance.  Have an open mind and consider all the dimensions of your predicament. 

How genuine is this lady in her wanting to learn Islam? What if she decides not to embrace Islam?  She may learn about Islam, but that is not sufficient.  Ideally, you would want a practising Muslim wife who will instil Islamic values in your home and children.  Remember, it is the woman who shapes the home.  The man is usually out of the home winning the daily bread.    

The website called idealwoman is a website ‘by the women for the women’.  It has brilliant literature for women from all walks of life.  I encourage her to benefit from the services, lectures and articles on the idealwoman.  The full address is: 

www.idealwoman.org

I make du’ā’ Allah Ta’ālā makes everything easy for you and guides you to what is in your best interest.  Amīn.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Faraz ibn Adam

Student Darul Iftaa
Leicester, United Kingdom

 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

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