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How to Handle Hindu In-Laws at My Wedding?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

May 29, 2017

Question

As-Salamu Alaykum. One of my colleagues recently proposed me. He is a converted Muslim now but still doesn’t perform his prayers since his family doesn't know about his conversion. He knows the values of Islam and attends classes to know more about it. He approached my parents and everything is going well now on my side, alhamdulillah. In sha’ Allah, we are planning to have a very simple wedding just like Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had; we going to register our marriage officially and not going to make a huge wedding party like many other Muslims do (by renting a hall, inviting lots of people, etc.) The problem is that my fiancé’s parents want us to marry in a Hindu temple in front of statues as per Hindu customs. My fiancé and I are going abroad because his workplace is there. He doesn’t want to hurt his parents, but at the same time, he doesn’t believe in mangalyam or any customs that Hindus do. We have tried to convince them to register our marriage and wear the gold chain without any statues or logos on it. (According to his parents it is mangalyam, according to us it’s just a gold ornament which I’ll remove after the wedding and wear whenever I wish to.) Please, let me know if I would wear this gold chain of Mangalyam without logos or anything and a sticker (bindi) in front of his parents at the time of marriage, will it be considered haram? We do not believe any of these things and my hubby knows well that they are not going to protect us. We believe in the only Protector who is the "One and Only Allah." I know and feel it 100% percent. He feels that he needs his parents’ acceptance, too, for this marriage because Allah has given him birth through them and they are so good in terms of everything except their wrong belief in Hinduism. This is only for his parents’ sake just to make them happy at the time of the marriage day. Or should we not do this at all as it will be disrespectful to Allah? They don’t want me to fulfill any wishes or do anything related to Hindu customs in the future. They only want the day of our marriage. I know for sure that, in'shaa Allah, my hubby will support me forever and we will help each other to be religious husband and wife. I pray five times a day and I pray the nafil prayers as well to get guidance from Allah. Please help us how to deal with my in-laws.

Counselor

Answer


How to Handle Hindu In-Laws at My Wedding?

Answer:

As-Salaamu ’Alaykum sister,

Congratulations on your marriage and may God bless you and your husband, amin.

Your questions have important concerns and I will be answering as a psychologist, who specialized in relationships and family but not as a scholar of Islamic law. (Kindly find below some previous answers of our scholars on similar issues to yours.)

From a strict Islamic legal standpoint, being engaged in any rituals that are outside of Islamic practice is seen as unlawful or highly disliked. At the same time, if you and your husband are not actually saying any prayers or performing any rituals but simply being present in a service, this can be understandable. It is the same as me attending a church for a wedding; it is not unlawful for me to be there, as long as I do not partake in the rituals that could be contrary to my own faith.

As a psychologist, for your family’s sake, you want to look at the big picture. Your husband’s parents are already dealing with the difficulty of “losing their son to Islam”. Perhaps, for his parents partaking in a Hindu marriage is a step of cultural closure and an act of respect for their heritage. With many converts, I have worked with, the family has a tendency to demand the convert to partake in acts or ideas that reflect the family identity. When someone converts, the family can interpret the conversion as “our religion or culture is not good enough, we are not good enough.” Keep this in mind as you continue showing empathy and patience for your in-law experience.

If one day you would like his parents to be open to Islam, then consider this an act of compassion and understanding. They are more likely to appreciate Islam and see it as again in their family. Perhaps one day embrace it themselves. I think in the long run having a Hindu ritual for your in-laws, as long as you do not partake in any exclusive acts of Hinduism, should be a blessing to soften your in law hearts. If it becomes a pattern, where they demand more Hindu rituals and acts, say when you have children, it is important to delineate your boundaries with your husband early on.

As you said, after the marriage you two will have your own lives and be able to build a culture of Islam together as a family. Make sure you two invest in your spiritual growth and talk about future plans of children and how they will be raised as this is central to the religious and cultural differences.

Finally, remember that actions are defined by their intentions. Keeping good favor and kindness never hurt anybody but rather helped people get closer. It is better to error on the side of mercy and compassion than to error on the side of judgment and disconnect.

God knows best.

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Karim Serageldin

Karim Serageldin, founder of Noor, completed his BA in psychology & religion, followed by an MA in east-west psychology with a specialization in spiritual counseling. He is a certified life coach with years of teaching and community outreach experience. His practical work and research includes developing a modern framework of Islamic psychology, relationship, family and youth coaching. He provides seminars and workshops in the United States. You can contact Br. Karim at: http://www.noorhumanconsulting.com or facebook.com/noorhumanconsulting


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