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The Forbidden Zone: Muslim & Non-Muslim Relationships

“I like you, but I’m not supposed to because of my faith.”

“My parents would never accept you because you’re not Muslim.”

“You don’t look Muslim to me so why can’t we be together.”

“I don’t care if you’re Muslim. We’re all human. What difference does it make?”

These are all comments one may hear between a Muslim young lady and a young man anywhere in the world. Young people attend school today, social function in groups and have social media as a form of connection. Thus, today’s youth can easily develop an attraction to one another and seek to pursue it.

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Outside of the gaze of parents, family members, and perhaps even friends, many young people connect and bond. However, at some point, the reality of the Muslim young lady’s circumstance kicks in. And kicks hard! She soon realizes, “I cannot introduce my parents to this young man nor marry him.”

This is a consequence of Islamic tenements not allowing a Muslim woman to marry a Non-Muslim man as she would lose her Islamic rights and privileges. The spiritual circumstance surrounding this matter is for another time and place.

Both sides of the story

For now, imagine how it feels to care for someone and not be able to respond? Form a mental picture of learning the rights of Allah supersede desires and having to accept this in a capacity you don’t identify with due to being of another faith, such as Christianity or Hinduism.

While respect for religious obligations and culture have priority, these events feel hurtful to the young people involved.

The Forbidden Zone: Muslim & Non-Muslim Relationships - About Islam

Some collect their faculties faster than others and move on. Many young people tell themselves, “I knew better! It’s never been a secret a non-Islamic marriage will not be for me.”

Taking accountability for what one believes to be your values and principles makes a huge difference in acceptance. Not discrediting one’s role and feeling, “Had I not gone to the forbidden zone, I would’ve been safe.”

On the other hand, many young people struggle. Matters of the head and heart aren’t easy to reverse. How do you get over liking someone? What do you do with the heartache you feel and missing this person?

First, let’s put it out there. When this occurs, within the brain, an emotional thirst grows in response to the loss of companionship. This stimulates brain activity equal to that which develops when addicts experience withdrawal from controlled substances. Feeling drunk in love is real and biological! Despite this brain activity, you can self-manage during this time.

First, put pen to paper and make a list of the reasons this relationship cannot move forward. Review the reasons matching your ideals and principles. Firmly gluing yourself to your Islamic conscience and beliefs makes all the difference in the world.

Truthfully, while a relationship with a non-Muslim may have felt good in the present, long-term, having a difference of religious beliefs, with two persons practicing their faith can be disastrous.

Some will say, “I’ve seen other couples do it.” Exceptions always exist, and it never means it is Islamically acceptable. Secondly, within those circumstances, usually both or one of those persons has greatly reduced or abandoned their Islamic practice. No one should sacrifice faith for a marriage, a spiritual union and contract created by Allah.

If you’re the person who was dumped, consider this. Your former friend had been contemplating ending the relationship before it was presented to you. For you, the parting came without warning. This was in the works. You just didn’t know. Relationships end before they actually end.

People pull away prior to saying, “I’m not going to do this because of my faith.” With a Muslim young lady, for the non-Muslim, there is an Islamic division between the two of you. Beginning friendships with this type of dissidence causes emotional hardship.

The Forbidden Zone: Muslim & Non-Muslim Relationships - About Islam

Next, review the compromises, explanations and sacrifices you would have had to make for this interaction to continue. Sacrificing respect for Islam, honor to parents and your Islamic convictions isn’t worth it. While you may feel sad, which is normal, adhering to Islam for the sake of Allah always has benefit.

A good rule to live by is to not follow the person on social media. Reminiscing, taking a stroll down memory lane, mentally perfecting this person in your head will not guide you to self-management. As a matter of fact, these actions take you to dark spaces you don’t want to go. Do not intentionally cause yourself unhappiness.

Look at this as growth. You had an Islamic experience causing you to grow, to demonstrate your love for Allah and to trust in Allah’s infinite wisdom. While you may ask,

Why would Allah allow this to happen and then take it away from me?” Challenge yourself to examine, while Allah decreed for it to happen, “Am I being tested and how can I use this to have Allah’s favor?

About Naaila Moumaris-Clay
Naa'ila Clay, the wife of the husband-wife counseling duo "That Clay Couple", holds firm to the belief that Islam, clinical interventions, old-fashioned wit & wisdom will get the relief for your head & your heart in relationships. Mrs. Clay has a slew of training, certifications, created marriage & premarital courses, co-authored 2 e-books and has an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling. You can contact her: or