Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My wife seems ashamed of my re-found Christian faith

I re-discovered my faith... Now it's tearing my family apart.

I re-discovered my faith... Now it's tearing my family apart.

My wife and I have been married for ten years and she is a practicing muslim, and I converted to marry her.  But in the recent years I have refound my Christian faith and was recently baptised, which has caused alot of new problems in our marriage.  I love my wife and am not trying to convert her to my faith but she seems ashamed of me now eg; she had me remove all her muslim friends from my facebook, made me promise not to take our 3 children to church, no cross or christian symbols on the walls of our house and ect...  I love my wife and our kids I don't want to lose them, but I feel as if she is pulling away from me and it's breaking my heart.  Any help would be greatly appreciated peace be unto you.


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14 Responses »

  1. I'm seriously on her side. Not trying to be disrespectful but I would do the same thing if i was her. It makes no sense to go from one religion to another. That's really bad, even God doesn't like that. If u became a Muslim before, than what's the point of you becoming a Christian again!!!??? I bet you'll become a muslimg again in some type of situation. I feel sorry for you.

  2. Assalaamualaikam

    Every person needs to take their own journey with their spirituality, but I wonder if your return to Christianity might be connected with the circumstances in which you converted to Islam. Entering a new faith is hard work. It's hard enough when you're doing it because you believe it to be the right thing to do, so I would imagine it's even harder on a person to convert solely for marriage.

    It's sad, but understandable in some ways, that some people in that situation then find themselves leaving Islam again - and I think it's something that communities need to be more proactive about. If more resources are available to people interested in Islam, and more support for people who accept Islam, then perhaps even people who aren't necessarily converting for their own sakes, might end up embracing and holding on to Islam, inshaAllah?

    It sounds like you've been searching for answers to spiritual questions of your own, and that led you back to your previous faith. Maybe because we cling to things which are familiar when we feel lost? But it may be that you could also find the answers you seek in Islam?

    I'd suggest that you take some time and study Islam more - not for marriage or for your wife, but for yourself and your own spiritual development. Your local mosque or community centre might have classes or resources for Islamic studies. You could also read sites like this one, where people discuss life as Muslims, and reputable academic sites. And go back to the Quran and read it (in whatever language is most accessible for you) - try to find a copy which includes commentary on what is written, so that you can get a deeper understanding.

    After that, if you are still sure that Christianity is the right faith for you, then at least you can say that you explored Islam with an open mind, and that you have a better understanding of Islam. InshaAllah though, you may find that there is something in Islam which still speaks to you, and you may find yourself returning to it?

    From your wife's perspective, though, she is in a very difficult and distressing situation. It's important that you recognise the impact of your actions on her and your family - I'm not saying that you need to pretend to be something you aren't, simply to keep other people happy, but we all need to be accountable for our decisions and our actions.

    Islamically, a Muslim woman cannot have a valid marriage to a non-Muslim man. While such a marriage may be legally valid according to the laws of your country, it would not be recognised in Islamic law. So, one of your wife's concerns may well be that, if you are now declaring yourself to be non-Muslim, that has implications for the validity of your marriage.

    You wife may also feel very hurt and betrayed. Her husband, with whom she promised to spend her life, has turned out to be a very different person from who she thought he was - a person's faith is a big part of their identity and of how others see them. She may feel that the trust between you has been damaged.

    She may well also be very concerned for the spiritual wellbeing of her children. It is one of the most important duties of a Muslim parent to ensure that their children are brought up in Islam - and now she's learned that their father is not a Muslim. She's absolutely right that the children should have an Islamic upbringing, and that they should never be attending churches or Sunday schools or anything like that. She's also right to insist that the house be free of icons of crosses, etc. - having these would go against Islam.

    I think you need to decide for your own sake, which faith you follow. This is an important thing to explore, not a label to put on and change as required. Take some time, study both faiths and find the path that's right for you. I sincerely hope that, inshaAllah, you return to Islam. As for your marriage, it is clearly stated in Islamic law that a marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man would not be valid. Depending on your wife's thoughts and feelings, she may well be unable to continue in this marriage - she would need to make her own decision about whether to go against Islamic law or to follow it and accept the end of the marriage.

    I urge you to give yourself a chance to accept Islam again, for your own sake.

    Midnightmoon editor

  3. Idk if to call you brother or sister, (Jamal/Amina)
    But that wasn't the type of help this brother needs.

    If you can't find it in your heart to help maybe don't say anything at all, obviously the brother needs help hence why he is here.. (Not to be judged)

    Brother Ryan,
    You seem to be in a very difficult situation and as you said you only reverted to marry her, if you had really taken the time to learn about Islam you wouldn't be in this situation, (I'm a revert my self)
    if you didn't do it from your heart it isn't valid.
    Now in this situation there isn't much you can do but try to understand your wife, does she know you only reverted to marry her??
    Did you guys talked about how the kids would be raised?

    Not much you can do other than talk to her and tell her you will not push Christianity to her or the children try to really learn about Islam from your heart.
    As a former Christian I know I couldn't go to church and feel like I'm in the right place as you know even Jesus said everything that breaths should workship God! If you really pay attention at church who is everyone worshiping? This coming from Jesus himself! So why all the songs and preaching mostly about Jesus?

    Your both took a huge risk

    May Allah guide you to the right path

  4. The likeness of Isa AS is that of Adam AS. God creates whoever He wills.

    Pagans and Jews both used the term "Son of God" for different meanings. Jesus AS was first called Son of God and Lord. After a while people thought he was always the son of God and eventually God Himself on earth.

    Then the problem arose, who was Jesus praying to in heaven while he was on earth? Some early Christians thought he was always fully man(Nazarenes/Ebionites), other Christians thought there were literally two gods(people who followed Marcion), the one of the Old Testament who was evil and the one of Jesus who was loving.

    Some thought Jesus was always God for every second on earth and others insisted He was God in human form.

    Eventually they settled on the concept of trinity which wasn't known to anyone before.

    Jesus AS never once actually claimed to be divine. The "Gospels" which are not historical but preaching accounts were written years afterwards. They are riddled with variances and contradictions no matter how strenuous the efforts of some Christians to reconcile, these contradictions are glaring and obvious and undeniable.

    According to the earlier three Gospels Jesus never directly says he is God. Why not record the most important revelation of all? It's only in John that he is said to have said this.

    Why not say it right and clear to everyone I am the son of God and God Himself on earth and one person of three in a triune God. Why let Christians argue over it for a hundred years, shouldn't the answer be very obvious?

    And why is the Bible which is riddled with contradictions and written by men of differing viewpoints considered the word of God?

    Don't through away Paradise and come on the final day with regrets when you find out you aren't saved but imprisoned in the fire of hell forever and the decision is made and it is too late to believe. Protect yourself from the fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for disbelievers.

    قَالَ لَا تَخْتَصِمُوا لَدَيَّ وَقَدْ قَدَّمْتُ إِلَيْكُم بِالْوَعِيدِ
    He will say: "Dispute not with each other in My Presence: I had already in advance sent you Warning.

    مَا يُبَدَّلُ الْقَوْلُ لَدَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ

    My word shall not be changed, nor am I in the least unjust to the servants.

    And also,

    يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ وَاخْشَوْا يَوْمًا لَّا يَجْزِي وَالِدٌ عَن وَلَدِهِ وَلَا مَوْلُودٌ هُوَ جَازٍ عَن وَالِدِهِ شَيْئًا ۚ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ ۖ فَلَا تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَلَا يَغُرَّنَّكُم بِاللَّهِ الْغَرُورُ

    O mankind! do your duty to your Lord, and fear (the coming of) a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true: let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the chief Deceiver deceive you about Allah.

  5. Ryan,

    First I'll state the obvious, that it's hard to find what to say when asked for advice for such a situation. It's also hard to see if the person asking for help is being as forward about questions as possible, or if in some passive way you're really asking if you made the right decision and not just how to soothe the turmoil now in your household.

    Assuming you'd rather continue with your decision to go back to Christianity and simply find a way to calm your wife down and get your family back in a state of homeostasis again, my advice to you would be that as you are now Christian, there will always be conflict in your house, as your house is based on the connection between you and your wife. As Midnight Moon said so clearly and precisely and very well, in Islam, a Muslim woman can not be married to a non-Muslim man. Now that you no longer identify as Muslim, obviously she is now faced with trying to hide what has happened in her home from as many people as possible until she can figure out how she feels about the situation, and what course of action to take. No one likes their dirty laundry (personal marital issues, etc.) out for all to see, it's very embarrassing and private the thought of others chatting about your intimate issues over coffee, etc. No one wants to be that person, and I'm sure she knew the rumour mill would start the second you posted anything suggesting you're no longer Muslim. Your name is Ryan, so I'm assuming you're a western revert. I'm not sure if your wife is also white/western, but chances are no matter her ethnicity, many of her friends come from abroad and your wife knows well and clear how much women from certain countries like to gossip, sorry to generalize but this is the truth of the matter. What you've done to her, is you've forced her to exercise some damage control in her life as well as in the life of your children and your family. This decision will surely ripple outward the second people catch wind of it. I would suggest that until you become FINAL (and I do mean final) about your decision (and please make that decision in a state of calmness so your critical thinking is in tact) then please don't talk to anyone about this. There is no one around you that will tell you anything that will be so earth shattering, that the skies will open and answers will rain down on you and help you make decisions. The decisions are yours, and being clear about things is easily done using resources that don't weave through your personal life. Please save her the trouble of explaining this to people until it comes down to "I am Christian now, and we are married. I'm never going back to Islam and that means our marriage is no longer valid in the eyes of the religion you and the kids still fallow. What will our next move be?" What ever that next move is, it's your responsibility to take accountability for your actions and accept either the gracious decision to tackle raising your kids in a confused household, or divorce (which honestly seems inevitable seeing as how I don't see anything for your future with your wife but conflict as things are now... how can a happy marriage survive that? Or maybe the question should be... are you ok with your wife being miserable just to stay with you?)

    All that messy business being said, I think the only and the best advice I could really give here, is to say don't forget that the Islam of today is nothing like the Islam that was first established. This was made clear to us, that as time goes on, the actual practice of Islam would become further and further from the original. Perhaps, there are things regarding tolerance, peace, justice, compassion and frankly common sense that you see in Christians, and Christianity that you can't find in Islam. I am a white western revert (born in California, Italian/irish bloodlines) and I always try to keep this in mind when ever I see things about Islam that i don't agree with, or hear Muslims say things or religious leaders issue fatwas, etc. that i don't think are particularly common sensical or compassionate. I always try to remember that my heart follows the original Islam, not the current day counterfeit, and that my Islam is compassionate, and makes perfect sense. It helps me find a grounded place in this ever evolving religion which really shouldn't be evolving at all. Perhaps, the Islam that you love, the one you wish you could see in the world and in your community is the original Islam, the one that rings true in your heart when you hear something that just sounds right as a humanitarian, and as a believer in God. We don't all have the answers, and not every Muslim in the world could clearly describe every detail of the religion we follow, which is why I try to stick with the basics and try not to deter much from there. The 5 pillars:
    Prayers and

    Apart from this, and trying to observe some sense of modesty in my culture, I don't sweat the small stuff. I say, if semantics are causing you to come to a cross roads which is fracturing your family, then I say leave the details for God, keep your heart right, follow the pillars and try to identify as Muslim for the sake of keeping your family together. If however, you've realized in your heart, you unwaveringly believe something devastating to your faith in Islam, like the notion that Jesus (pbuh) was actually God in the flesh, and Allah did have children, etc., then for you there's no real going back. I hope for your sake, that you don't "realize" things like this in a flighty fashion, drifting too and fro about such serious, life defining things which involve the lives of other people in your chosen existence, and that you've reached your decision ON YOUR OWN (not in duress under pressure from others, family who might still be Christian, a friend who learned your were Muslim and took it upon themselves to "save your soul" etc., those people have no right fracturing your family or swaying your personal decisions, it's intrusive and unethical). As others have said, don't proclaim anything to your wife and send her into a state of panic until you've made a clear decision for clear reasons which are clear to you and make sense to you, and of which you feel are worth the sacrifice of your marriage and the relationships with your kids whom are being raised Muslim. Use as I said, critical thinking and common sense to understand the consequences this will no doubt take on the people around you, own your decisions, be accountable, and react to their reactions as an adult, as a father, as a husband, and as a man.

    Best to you and yours InshaAllah

  6. I am sorry you are going through this brother,

    Its a very hard situation.

    You should not have changed your religion to marry a woman, because your true self will come out eventually. It seems like this is the case. love and lust keep a marriage together for short time, but its the shared ideas about life that keep us glued together.

    All you can do is have a sit down conversation with your wife and see where you wanna go from here.

    How do you want to raise your kids?
    Do you want to be together? does she want to be with you if you are not muslim?
    how will things look 10 years from now?
    Are you comfortable being yourself in your own home? or would you like some space?

    Just be frank with her about your feelings. and try to come up with a solution that works for both of you.

    Its a scary situation because you obviously care about her and your children, but its understandable in all marriages people drift different ways- and its up to both of you in how you want to keep yourselves together.

    I dont know if i helped at all, but wish you all the best in your future and know that God is always there- through the ease and difficulties that we face in life.

  7. Aslm. Midnightmoon have already stated what need to be said. One thing that was not clearly stated is that, islamically once you convert to Christian. Your marriage with her is over and there is no point of staying with you. Allah knows best

  8. dear brother please dont mind my words
    your question reminds me of the story of bani israel when they saw people worshipping and they craved to worship the idol, therefore they made a gold calf through samri.
    its just a craving of you attracting you towards Christianity.

    the main difference between Christianity And Islam is we dont believe Jesus as God, son of God or Mary as the Wife of God. Else islam is all about believing the Prophets including the last one and being a monotheist, so the only confusion i found here is that you crave to ask before the idol of Jesus or Mary. if you converting madfe you far away from Jesus then its wrong it has made you far away from associating man you can still listen to the religious songs praising Jesus excluding where the lyrics and songs are about shirk. No body is stopping you from loving, respecting or praising the prophet Essa.

    you said you reverted just to marry now thats very wrong, Religion is not a game. you have lost respect in the eyes of both Christian and Muslim community. whats done is done now. i advice you to pick just one line and not leaving that one. living a life of a hypocrite or a christian in both ways does make you a Muslim : a hypocrite is not a Muslim. Hypocrisy is not acceptable in any society. So be a Christian if you think thats right instead of being a hypocrite so what Quran says Allah dont like hypocrites and they wil be in the lower level of hell. take your own time deciding by your own self not by asking us or telling your wife and then stick to it. i i am not going to motivate you for Islam or Christianity here cause it will temporarily convince you . its you who have to decide and please religion is not above the love of the relatives be it a wife or parents.

    whatever they are telling you then yes the relationship is over from Islamic point of you but again i strongly advice you to stop living a life of a hypocrite.

  9. Dear brother,

    I may not answer your question directly but I would like to share with you from a convert point of view. I have been a muslim for almost 17 years; before that I was a devoted Christian. To be honest with you, even nowadays, I miss the elements in the church that the masjids are significant lacking of, such as spiritual relationship with God, fellowship with your brothers an sisters and the equality between gender, etc etc. I deeply think that Islam today is not what it was supposed to be. I do not see Islam is manifesting the love and the truth that it should have been. I have been moving in different places in US, until today, I still cannot not find a masjid that can give me a feeling of home. I am a nobody as being a “female” and a “convert” in the masjid. I am basically seen as not one of them. Not exaggerating here, the Imann in my masjid has never had a conversation or addressed to me personally or know my name even though I have been there more than 7 years. I understand where they are coming – a culture to keep women away from men due to the verse “lower your gaze”. I saw women cover all black and left a mesh in their eyes; I saw families isolating themselves from the “American”because they are kufir; I saw only men are allowed as board members; I saw families stopping girls to go to a good university or travel alone because women just not allow to do that; I saw women are confined to the house; I saw, I saw and there are so many examples. I can only see the rigidity, haram, halah, fatwah this and that. I feel suffocated and I cannot put myself to live in such a situation. My approach now is to stay away from those muslim and their culture.

    No matter how many times I heard that Islam respects women and has granted the right to women that no other religion had given long ago; the reality is the Islam today is still a male dominant, patriarchy and a closed mind community. I do not mean to sound negative but it is my personal encounter.

    However, one thing I cannot deny is that Islam has answered most of the theological questions that Christianity cannot answer. Certainly I miss the loving and caring side of the church but I cannot go back to worship Jesus again. I know there is only One God and Muhammad (PBUH) is his last massager. This is the base line that I cannot rebuke.

    You did not say why you chose to go back; however, if it is about people and community, I will suggest you focus on searching the truth. Also, one thing you may not realized or fully grasp the gravity of your present problem. Unlike Christianity, in Islam, your marriage is basically invalid once you leave Islam. Period. I understand it sounds so cruel and illogical but that is how Islam is seriously taking the stand about marriage whether you buy it or not. The stress that you wife is receiving now is tremendous. It is not only from her family but herself as well. The marriage is bind with Islam and it is not just love. I know you love her but if your decision is firm, I urge you to respect her wish and let her go. I saw a convert left her husband because she sees Islam is so important for her that she cannot compromise herself.

    There is a book written by Mustafa Akyol , “Islam without Extremes”, it helps me to love Islam again and I hope it will help you to look at Islam one more time.

  10. sister k we dont need mosques to have spiritual relation with Allah its what you feel in your heart its what you feel that Allah is listening, he will have mercy on you , he will help you, you feel love for the creator in your daily life, you help others to release their worries for the sake of Allah and humanity. . Allah is everywhere you dont have to go to the masjid to find Allah.
    not only offering prayer, reading Quran is ibadat but also remembering Allah is ibadat, being grateful is also a kind of ibadat.
    there is fellowship of brother and sister in Islam who says its not we respect women more than you people take off their clothes and encourage them to pose nude, wear bikini while going to the beach and even there is a movement that if a man can go without shirt in public why cannot women= gender equality? what a great type of gender equality you are talking about . we cover women we dont take off their clothes. our men protect our dignity our men dont encourage us to go to the clubs get drunk and have drunk S**. Pious women are valued in islam while bold and daring girls who can cross their limits are more valued in Christianity. you are living in a christian country where Muslims are minority from different regions and environment. what Americans did with Muslims they call us brown, terrorists and what else you are talking about , the most racist nation Americans, after 911 what kind of security do we have there they started to kick us out from U.S what kind of closeness you want? FBI raids at Muslim flats and houses just because the men use the first name as Muhammad and jews dont like it and doubt them terrorists?
    and please you are exaggerating my half maternal family is living in the U.S studying in the universities getting jobs even wearing western clothes what kind of statement is this? women living in the u.s are not allowed to get a degree in the university? U.S is not Pakistan the children are so much daring they call the police if any of the parent pressurize them in such kind of case and i have not seen any case like this.

  11. There! That's exactly what I mean. Lorelei Lee just showed me once again an example of what I meant about that kind of mentality. It is just so hard to engage a productive dialogue with people with a mind set like that. Imagine if a community is filled with people like that.

    If an individual/organization/community/society does not recognize or aware of where the problems are, there is no way that one can improve or move forward. I am not pointing finger to say who is better or who is wrong; my intention is to want a better and a healthier understanding of what is Islam about and should be. I think that may help the poster to rethink about his choice of going back to Christianity.

    I myself trying to understand the truth behind and what is exactly Islam teaching us and guide us in this life. For me, Islam is like a hidden diamond that is being covered with all sorts of impure layers; whether it is done by intentionally, unintentionally, with agenda or without hidden agenda; we need to try our best to recover it by peeling and washing those layers in order to see the beauty of it. I hope you understand what I mean.

    For the poster, you may overlook the complication of what your action will bring to your family, there is a wisdom of why Islam approach the issue like that - marriage between muslim and non-muslim. I believe midnightmoon has explained the complication involved. Now this is your call.

    • I read L's comment, and I totally see the blind, bitter intollerence paired with a highly unfortunate nievity and even a little angry anti-western sentiments thrown in for impact. Every nation has it's faults, however I found it sadly predictable to read her unpalletable comments regarding presumptions pointed at a nation harboring a bright vibrant Muslim community. Makes me wonder how many of the sites members live comfortably in the US or enjoy the privilege from a western education in their home country. That culturally driven kind of hate speech has become both sadly predictable and also sadly a familiar variable of hardline fundamental 21st century Islam. So far from what it once was, truly saddening really.

  12. Thank you all for your advice. It has been a while and now that the tide has subsided things are better! We have come to an agreement of sorts. We agree not to bring religion to the kitchen table so to speak, as for the children we accept to share our holiday's, they get Christmas and Easter, as well as Muharram and Ramadan. We decided that we truly love one another and our family, and as long as we love our children and are good parents as well as companions we can make it work.

    peace be unto you

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