Boyfriend Can’t Marry Me Because I’m a Non-Muslim

01 October, 2020
Q Hello, I have been dating my Arab boyfriend for 1 year. We met in USA and he wants to marry me. I met his family and his father accepts me, but his mom doesn’t want me because I am not an Arab or Muslim.

We love each other, and we want to be together. He told me to stay with him until he changes his mom’s mind, but I’m not sure if one day she would do it. I’m so confused, and we really want to be together.

I respect his culture and religion, I’m taking Arabic classes and I go to the mosque to learn about his culture and religion, but his mom doesn’t want me. I want to know if one day we can be finally together.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

Sister, it sounds like you are truly interested in Islam. I would kindly suggest that you put this first and foremost before anything else in your life right now.

I kindly encourage you to continue your Islamic studies. Talk to your “boyfriend” about what you are learning and remind him that it is haram as well to have a girlfriend.

Remind him that if he wants to marry you he does not need parental permission and it is best that you marry rather than carry on with a haram relationship.

While his mother does have an Islamic standing on your not being Muslim, she has no standing in Islam regarding your ethnicity.

The best situation would be that you see the light of Islam and take shahada. That would mean that you would revert to Islam and be a Muslim. However, I do not recommend that you do this, just to marry him and to try to satisfy his family.


As Salam Alaykum sister,

Thank you for writing to us. As I understand the situation, you have met someone in the USA and you both want to get married.  I’m not clear where you live. At any rate, you both want to marry however his mother refuses the marriage stating that you are not Arab or Muslim.

Permissible Marriages & Seeking Allah

In Islam, a man is allowed to marry a woman from the People of the Books. In the Qur’an, it states

As to marriage, you are allowed to marry the chaste from among the believing women and the chaste from among those who have been given the Book before you (are lawful for you); provided that you have given them their dowries, and live with them in honor, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines.” (5:5)

While I am not sure what your religion is, you really should fit into that category in order for him to marry you. However, you have expressed that you are going to the Masjid to learn Islam as well as taking Arabic classes to help you better learn his culture.

Boyfriend Can’t Marry Me Because I’m a Non-Muslim - About Islam

Insha’Allah sister, the best situation would be that you see the light of Islam and take shahada. That would mean that you would revert to Islam and be a Muslim.

I do not recommend that you do this, however just to marry him and to try to satisfy his family. I would only recommend that you take this path if you truly feel in your heart and soul that there is only one God-Allah and that Islam is the one and only true religion. This would mean that in your heart you know that Islam is the right path for you.

People that take shahada or become Muslim just to get married may not truly be dedicated to the religion or to Allah. It may be superficial as they are trying to please their potential spouse. This is never advisable. You must do what is in your heart.

Sister, it sounds like you are truly interested in Islam. I would kindly suggest that you put this first and foremost before anything else in your life right now. I understand that you love this boy, however, you are learning about Islam and insha’Allah, becoming Muslim will be the biggest blessing in your life. You can be sure that whatever Allah has for you regarding this boy will not pass you by it is meant for you.


Check out this counseling video:


Islam & Racism

You also brought up the point of this boy’s mom refusing you because you are not Arab. This is unIslamic and haram thinking. While his mom’s concerns regarding you not being Muslim are Islamic concerns and are valid, her concerns of you not being Arab is a cultural preference and is not from Islamic teachings.  In his final sermon the Prophet Mohammad, (PBUH) said

“There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a non-Arab over an Arab. Neither is the white superior over the black, nor is the black superior over the white — except by piety.” 

His mom is displaying racism and it is wicked in the “eyes” of Allah and it is forbidden in Islam to be racist. So while she does have an Islamic standing on your not being Muslim, she has no standing in Islam regarding your ethnicity.

Sister, you asked if one day you can finally be together and the answer to that is it depends on your boyfriend. As he is an adult he can make his own decisions independent of his parents. In Islam there is no compulsion, there is no forced marriage, and one is not to prevent a marriage that is Islamically acceptable.

I have a feeling that even if you were already a Muslim, she would still be unhappy because you are not Arab. Again, this is from culture and from the shaitan and is not from Islam. However, as people are imperfect, you may have some difficulties if you marry this boy because of his mom’s racism. Perhaps in time, she will accept the marriage but it will take efforts on her son’s part to show her her haram ways.

Follow Allah

Sister, I kindly encourage you to continue your Islamic studies. Talk to your “boyfriend” about what you are learning and remind him that it is haram as well to have a girlfriend. Remind him that if he wants to marry you he does not need parental permission and it is best that you marry rather than carry on with a haram relationship. Please inform him that as you are studying Islam, you are seeking to please Allah concerning this.

However, you do need to be either Muslim or of the People of the Books for you to be halal for him to marry. Only you know your status concerning this sister. If you do feel Islam is the true path for you, take shahada and trust in Allah to work out this situation between you.

I highly encourage you to get involved with sister classes at the Masjid as well.  Sisters can help teach and guide you as well and will be a blessing in your life.

We wish you the 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.

Read more:

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-parenting/the-family-home/the-challenge-interfaith-marriage-child-rearing/

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.