Inter-racial (Christian-Muslim) Marriage Questions

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Inter-racial (Christian-Muslim) Marriage Questions


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Old 29th March 2010, 10:13 AM
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Default Inter-racial (Christian-Muslim) Marriage Questions

Just a quick (although somewhat long-winded) question on behalf of an English friend of mine.

Neil (that’s not his real name) has been dating an Egyptian girl for around a year, they do make a great couple, she’s a Muslim, although doesn’t practice and if anything is a practising Christian, however her parents – esp. her mother - are particularly religious and they don’t know that she’s been baptised into Christianity, as far as they’re aware she’s 100% Muslim, she’s 31 or so and still lives at home, her father is in Egypt with his latest 23 year old wife. They now want to move things on in their relationship and are talking about getting married; she says that the only way that this can happen is if he converts to Islam. Now Neil, although anything but religious is very hesitant about this, she says it’s just “a bit of paper” and mentions something about the Egyptian laws re. passports, sponsorship by father, that sort of thing as a barrier to their impending nuptials. It doesn’t help that he’ll have to ask her father for the girl’s hand, and his first question would not be can you take care and love my daughter, but “Are you Muslim ?” If the answer is no, the follow up will be “Will you convert?” If Neil refuses, then there’s no wedding, at least not with the father’s blessing and that makes a huge difference in Egyptian law (Sharia or otherwise).

As I see it there are a few issues here – let’s forget about the love thing, that’s a given – these are; what are the ramifications and the process by which “conversion” happens, can you, once converted, convert back– the pair of them this time (yes they do know what the Koran says about this). They also want to stay in this country for the time being, can they not get married - here or abroad - as different faiths – esp. re. Egyptian law as mentioned above?

Can anyone shed any light on the above; it would seem strange that any religion would have an “Omnipotent Being” as its head who would deny two people of their love for each other just because historically they were born into different so called faiths.

BTW I don’t want this to end up as a “My religion’s better than your religion” spat, just a few questions on behalf of two people who love each other.

Thanking you in advance.

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Old 29th March 2010, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy Capp View Post
Just a quick (although somewhat long-winded) question on behalf of an English friend of mine.

Neil (that’s not his real name) has been dating an Egyptian girl for around a year, they do make a great couple, she’s a Muslim, although doesn’t practice and if anything is a practising Christian, however her parents – esp. her mother - are particularly religious and they don’t know that she’s been baptised into Christianity, as far as they’re aware she’s 100% Muslim, she’s 31 or so and still lives at home, her father is in Egypt with his latest 23 year old wife. They now want to move things on in their relationship and are talking about getting married; she says that the only way that this can happen is if he converts to Islam. Now Neil, although anything but religious is very hesitant about this, she says it’s just “a bit of paper” and mentions something about the Egyptian laws re. passports, sponsorship by father, that sort of thing as a barrier to their impending nuptials. It doesn’t help that he’ll have to ask her father for the girl’s hand, and his first question would not be can you take care and love my daughter, but “Are you Muslim ?” If the answer is no, the follow up will be “Will you convert?” If Neil refuses, then there’s no wedding, at least not with the father’s blessing and that makes a huge difference in Egyptian law (Sharia or otherwise).

As I see it there are a few issues here – let’s forget about the love thing, that’s a given – these are; what are the ramifications and the process by which “conversion” happens, can you, once converted, convert back– the pair of them this time (yes they do know what the Koran says about this). They also want to stay in this country for the time being, can they not get married - here or abroad - as different faiths – esp. re. Egyptian law as mentioned above?

Can anyone shed any light on the above; it would seem strange that any religion would have an “Omnipotent Being” as its head who would deny two people of their love for each other just because historically they were born into different so called faiths.

BTW I don’t want this to end up as a “My religion’s better than your religion” spat, just a few questions on behalf of two people who love each other.

Thanking you in advance.

Putting religion and personal opinion aside, if her father's blessing is not important for her, they can get married in a non-muslim country without being converted to Christian from her side or Muslim from his side. Here, in UAE she will be hanged if she wants to convert to Christian and yes, as per Islam, Muslim man can marry non-Muslim woman, but it can't be vice versa. Man must convert otherwise do it in another country. My Uzbek friend married to a French guy in France as here in UAE the Court refused for the same reasons.

If they really love each others and will not stop in front of everything, than getting married in UK will be a good solution for them, but let your friend expect that in future he might have big family issues. If he decides in some time to divorce his wife or cheat on her, etc, poor girl will be destroyed. Both has to understand that she gives up her family for this marriage (if as I understand she will not be supported and she will go ahead with it, they might stop communicating to her).

Any further questions, please PM me

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Old 29th March 2010, 06:47 PM
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Putting religion aside, the ideal solution if he wants to be married in UAE is to convert to a Muslim, on paper. I do not think anyone would "audit" his Islam.

Excuse my limited knowledge, but I see no implications on his conversion to Islam ( and staying a Muslim on paper in UAE) as it doesn't affect him personally and professionally here or back in UK, where the religion one holds is not relevant or declared in any official documents.

That's as far as legalities go....

I think the most important remark was made by Ella

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Both has to understand that she gives up her family for this marriage
I personally would not support giving up on family to get married. I have seen many marriages fail although a result of great love stories. The risk is simply too high, and I understand that this may be a source of attraction , but we need to be careful in making the right decision for us and our partners, regardless of how we feel. However, this remains my personal view.

As far as religion go, it's very simple, we all have our different beliefs which we choose to live by. I do not expect everyone to agree with Islam as I'm also not expected to agree with everything in Christianity or other religions.

So Andy, with specific reference to your comment

Quote:
Can anyone shed any light on the above; it would seem strange that any religion would have an “Omnipotent Being” as its head who would deny two people of their love for each other just because historically they were born into different so called faiths.
Let's be clear, Islam and I would assume Christianity does not do that.

Being born to a religion does not mean choosing a religion. If she has never chosen Islam and choose Christianity as an adult, then she has never " converted" in my view. Regardless of what the law says , as laws are different in different countries.

But if one chooses Islam, Christianity, Buddhism...etc.. then he/she is expected to acknowledge all its rules and ideally abide by them. That's a personal view. And one of Islam laws is that you can not as a woman marry a man of another religon. You may want to search online for the rationale behind that from an islamic point of view, challenge and debate reliable sources, but ultimately, do not expect to be convinced, you shouldn't be, as with all the other belifes of Islam since you arent Muslim.


Moreover, and simply, the issue here is not about religion, but about whether the family is accepting her choice of religion. The same family issues are faced by expats wishing to convert to Islam.

Coming back to what we do for love:

Love is very important and is a terrible, terrible thing to give up or lose. However, if we have a belief, or a principle/value that we live by, and that we choose wisely, I do not agree with giving that up for love. The only reason we would be giving up a bile/principle/value, is by being completely convinced that it's wrong, not just because we love someone.

For instance, if one of my principles is not to marry an alcoholic ( my ex was) , then I wouldn't give that up just cause I love her. The most I would do is try to change that, but if it doesn't happen, then it doesn't happen.

This is different than sacrifice btw: for example, if I need to move to a country and work for half of my salary for the woman I love, that is sacrifice and it's different than giving up a belief/principle.

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Old 29th March 2010, 07:27 PM
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Andy ,
am Muslim and married to a christian and to marry me he had to convert to islam in dubai which it is only peace of paper , what i did is i showed my family the paper and told them that he is studying islam and he will practice islam whenever he is ready . of course he never did he is realy love each other they can work it

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Old 29th March 2010, 08:12 PM
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Andy ,
am Muslim and married to a christian and to marry me he had to convert to islam in dubai which it is only peace of paper , what i did is i showed my family the paper and told them that he is studying islam and he will practice islam whenever he is ready . of course he never did he is realy love each other they can work it
Same thing as one of my Indian colleagues just did so he could marry his Iranian wife here in Dubai and be able to sponsor her.

To Muhannad: wow, what a beautifully explained answer and thanks for that. I think is information like that that can help to reduce the sense of separateness between people from different religions as it does make a big difference to read rational and objective from people who are clearly practising a religion and are well informed, but do respect others and make an effort to share their knowledge without imposing views. We need more of that especially here in the Middle East.

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Old 29th March 2010, 08:16 PM
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Same thing as one of my Indian colleagues just did so he could marry his Iranian wife here in Dubai and be able to sponsor her.

To Muhannad: wow, what a beautifully explained answer and thanks for that. I think is information like that that can help to reduce the sense of separateness between people from different religions as it does make a big difference to read rational and objective from people who are clearly practising a religion and are well informed, but do respect others and make an effort to share their knowledge without imposing views. We need more of that especially here in the Middle East.
Thanks for the compliment. Appreciate it.

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Old 29th March 2010, 08:53 PM
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This was a very interesting topic. Interesting to read.

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Old 30th March 2010, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for the replies, and everyone has so far been very civil.

I'll pass on the details/url...

Anyone got anything more to add?

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Old 30th March 2010, 09:58 AM
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On a purely theological question, as "God" (regardelss of faith) is omnipotent, do they all sit next to each other "up there"? Or does each faith have its own heaven and they aren't all interlinked?

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Old 30th March 2010, 10:17 AM
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On a purely theological question, as "God" (regardelss of faith) is omnipotent, do they all sit next to each other "up there"? Or does each faith have its own heaven and they aren't all interlinked?
who are they all? gods? maybe in hindu religion there are many gods but in Islam and Christianity there is only One with one heaven and one hell

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