Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Would this inter-faith relationship be allowed?

World Religions

Let me start off by saying that I am not Muslim. I am pagan, and am firm and devout in my beliefs. I was raised Christian, but sometime in my early adolescence I decided that it was not the right path for me, and I set out to find what was. In doing so I learned about, and tried, many different religions, including Islam. But that was roughly 15 years ago, much of what I had learned has faded, and I don't think I ever got quite far enough to answer this question.

I am 27, I have an ex husband (he chose his girlfriend insured of his wife, it was not my choice to end things) and a young son by that ex husband (he was born about two years into the marriage). I have been going to the library nearly every day to use the internet to look for work.

There is a young man I have met there whom I have seen every day I have gone, and we have spoken a bit, but not much. In that time I have learned that he is Muslim (which I learned from noticing him at his prayers). But for the last three days he has brought me a chocolate bar of some sort, and placed it on my table gently saying "this is for you." Or, as happened today, saying nothing, but smiling at me.

He's from India and I could almost guarantee he asked someone how you show a girl in America that you like her. I don't mind that he's Muslim any more than I would mind any other differing religion (which is, to say, not at all) except for the fact that there are some potential problems with a possible interfaith relationship.

But my bigger problem is I simply don't know how to even possibly proceed in such a relationship. I know the basic rules of never being alone, and not touching and such, but other than that I'm totally lost.

I know that interfaith relationships are allowed between Muslims and Christians, or Muslims and Jews, provided they meet certain requirements, such as being devout. Is an interfaith relationship even allowed if one person is strong in their faith, but it's a non-abrahamic faith?


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1 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    Interfaith relationships are allowed as you said, between Muslim men and women who follow a monotheistic Abrahamic faith (Muslims, Christians, Jews). Muslim men may not marry women who are believers in any other faith, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, matter how devout they are in it. Neither may they marry unbelievers (agnostics, atheists).

    Perhaps this man isn't aware that you're Pagan. Many immigrants believe all westerners who are non- Muslim are automatically Christian, and he maybe thinks you are marriageable.

    The other possibility is that he's not interested in you romantically at all, but just being kind for the purposes of dawah. Maybe he's already aware of your beliefs, (or at the very least, that you're not muslim) and trying to show you the beauty of Islam in a personal way.

    The best advice I can give you is to ask him clearly what his intentions are. Muslim relationships are very well defined and straightforward, so this wouldn't seem unfounded. If he indicates a romantic interest, the most honest thing to do is to let him know clearly what your beliefs are, and that you don't plan on adjusting them (if that's the case). If he continues to pursue you even after that, you can be reasonably sure that he is either weak or uncommitted to his own beliefs. Personally I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with someone who didn't have some level of committed faith, no matter what their belief was.

    -Amy Editor

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