“I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being – neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there’s no question of integration or intermarriage. It’s just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.”
Did that headline get your attention?! I knew this was a topic I’d write about right away, as it’s something most people are scared to ask about and also extremely curious in regards to. The mentioning of a religion can provoke a lot of people, especially one as misunderstood and scrutinized as Islam. This aspect of our marriage will be an ongoing topic I’ll blog about, and in writing about it and being honest and open I hope to clear up some misconceptions and answer questions that people may have!
*First of all, a disclaimer: I am not an expert on Islam (or anything really, for that matter). I am writing about MY personal experiences with the Muslim community, marrying a Muslim man, and how we are raising our family. In no way am I speaking for or representing anyone but myself. Most of what I say will be in layman’s terms and simplified for my fellow melanin deprived friends.*
A quick back story: my husband and I met when we were out one night; my best friend knew him in high school, we started talking, and there was an instant connection. As we started dating we discussed the fun and light things in life – music we liked, restaurants to try, etc. Sain was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, Canada so we had the same Canadian culture and experiences growing up, and it never occurred to me that he wasn’t a viable long term partner because of his ethnicity (Lebanese) or religion. He was just an amazing guy who treated me wonderfully and made me a better person!
As things got more serious, I realized that we were in love. Like, that actual “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” kind of love. So as the idea of marriage got closer I decided to research his religion, and what this life would possibly mean for me. I was born in a very small town with virtually no cultural diversity and wasn’t raised with any strong faith in my household growing up. Church was attended on and off, we didn’t pray at meal times – it just wasn’t an important part of our lives and therefore not an issue on my side.
So I’m just gonna throw this out there, and again, this is my opinion – Islam, Christianity, And Judaism – fundamentally very similar. Bold statement, and SHOCKING right?! Clearly there are some big differences of course, but let me clarify in some very simple points what I meant:
- Each believe in one God. And this is very important for those of you out there who do not know this: The word ‘Allah’ – means God, in Arabic. It’s not the name OF a God, or something like that. It’s just the Arabic word for God. Like the French word for cheese is ‘fromage”, if that makes sense? We all believe in the one same God, just worship him in different ways. How simple and beautiful. Did I just create the solution to world peace?!
- Most stories are very similar, if not the same. Noah’s Ark, the story of Adam and Eve – the big ones are all very close in description.
- Most of the same people are very important in each religion. Each person has a different importance of course, but for example – Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the son of God, but they do believe he was one of the Prophets, and therefore a hugely important person! The notion that Muslims “hate Jesus” is SO silly and would actually be against their practice, since they believe he was a prophet and therefore is incredibly loved! So all this “War against Christmas” stuff is quite overdrawn, and honestly just a way to create fear and division among us.
I could go on and on about this; other values that are similar include belief of heaven and hell, the Holy Book, day of judgement, etc – but basically what I’m trying to say is that the core fundamentals and ideas of the “Big Three” religions are very similar. We humans have way more in common than differences.
This is just the beginning of where I’ll be taking this topic. I have much more to share about what I’ve learned, obstacles we’ve experienced in our relationship, why it works for us and answer the questions I’ve been asked about our life. “Did you have to convert?What does he think of burkas?” (Yes, people have actually asked me that). As you can see – I’m an open book! So shoot me an email, DM, PM, anonymous comment or whatever if there’s anything on this topic you’d like me to cover in my next Marrying Muslim blog, and subscribe if you haven’t already to get updated when I do so. As salamu alaykum (Peace be upon you)!