2 religions, 1 relationship


#1

hello everyone. i've been in a difficult situation for some time now. i've asked God for guidance & forgiveness, but it's still hard staying optimistic about my future w/my girlfriend. we've remained completely faithful & are madly in love. but she just spent 2 months in palestine restoring her own faith & when she came home she said it was time to face an issue we've swept under the rug from day one: our religions. it'd be easier for me to say i'm just not sure what to do anymore. a muslim woman is forbidden to marry a non-muslim man. no matter how hard it's been, the one truth we keep telling each other is we've never regretted falling in love. i'm not searching for sympathy, but do any of you have a similar story of yourself? some kind of inspiration for us? we're hurting. thanks for reading & God bless.


#2

I'm well versed in Islamic studies. Thus, I know where you're coming from. Within Islam, Muslim families would prefer if a Muslim man marry a non-Muslim woman because the woman would eventually be influenced by the man's beliefs if she cared about him enough. They, however, as you said, don't like their women marrying a non-Muslim man because they usually lose their faith.

If the worse is to happen, trust in God because He will guide you to the right person. He won't forsake those that listen to Him. You could easily become the most amazing friends with this Muslim woman if that is what god wills. Muslim's have great respect for Allah/God so your faith could become stronger because of her.


#3

[quote="horizon729, post:1, topic:204575"]
hello everyone. i've been in a difficult situation for some time now. i've asked God for guidance & forgiveness, but it's still hard staying optimistic about my future w/my girlfriend. we've remained completely faithful & are madly in love. but she just spent 2 months in palestine restoring her own faith & when she came home she said it was time to face an issue we've swept under the rug from day one: our religions. it'd be easier for me to say i'm just not sure what to do anymore. a muslim woman is forbidden to marry a non-muslim man. no matter how hard it's been, the one truth we keep telling each other is we've never regretted falling in love. i'm not searching for sympathy, but do any of you have a similar story of yourself? some kind of inspiration for us? we're hurting. thanks for reading & God bless.

[/quote]

The first question I would have to ask you is, what are your religious beliefs in this matter? Under Islamic law, Islam is passed to the children through the father like Judism is passed through the mother. Therefore your children would not be considered Muslim. If you're Catholic, you have an obligation to raise your children as Catholic; how will she feel about that if you marry?


#4

[quote="Angel_Bradford, post:3, topic:204575"]
The first question I would have to ask you is, what are your religious beliefs in this matter? Under Islamic law, Islam is passed to the children through the father like Judism is passed through the mother. Therefore your children would not be considered Muslim. If you're Catholic, you have an obligation to raise your children as Catholic; how will she feel about that if you marry?

[/quote]

we discussed having kids & the religious issues that would surface. me personally, i don't want to impose religion on my children like that. even though she'd want them to practice Islam as much as possible, i feel Catholicism & Islam can work together as a way of life. i.e. if you consider what Catholics AVOID in life & what Muslims focus on DOING in life to be good. remember, Mohammad Rasul was very much influenced by the Bible. i really respect tradition n' all, but i feel religion is secondary in a relationship.


#5

[quote="LeSavoirUneArme, post:2, topic:204575"]
I'm well versed in Islamic studies. Thus, I know where you're coming from. Within Islam, Muslim families would prefer if a Muslim man marry a non-Muslim woman because the woman would eventually be influenced by the man's beliefs if she cared about him enough. They, however, as you said, don't like their women marrying a non-Muslim man because they usually lose their faith.

If the worse is to happen, trust in God because He will guide you to the right person. He won't forsake those that listen to Him. You could easily become the most amazing friends with this Muslim woman if that is what god wills. Muslim's have great respect for Allah/God so your faith could become stronger because of her.

[/quote]

i don't think she'd lose her faith if we married. i've been praying everynight for us & thank God for the time He's given us. i feel He has pointed me to the right person, despite our religious differences. maybe that's why i was single my whole life because it wasn't right being with anyone but her. but thanx for replying, it's greatly appreciated. God bless.


#6

[quote="horizon729, post:4, topic:204575"]
we discussed having kids & the religious issues that would surface. me personally, i don't want to impose religion on my children like that. even though she'd want them to practice Islam as much as possible, i feel Catholicism & Islam can work together as a way of life. i.e. if you consider what Catholics AVOID in life & what Muslims focus on DOING in life to be good. remember, Mohammad Rasul was very much influenced by the Bible. i really respect tradition n' all, but i feel religion is secondary in a relationship.

[/quote]

It's your duty to teach your children about Catholicism. Nothing bad can come of baptising your children.

Religion's actually first in a relationship. Why? Who's more important to you, God, or a chick?:shrug:

I guess I don't have much to say. Though I used to have "crushes" on girls whose religions varied from Hindu to Muslim to Greek Neopagan, none of that worked out as none of them liked me back. You could say that it was "meant to be" that I ended up with a Catholic.


#7

Um, I am going to go out on a limb and say that it is your responsibility as a Catholic to have your child baptized. If you have concerns on this matter please discuss them with your parish priest.

“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.””

I have a feeling that you are trying to get a rise of this community with this type of comment. How can you honestly feel this the way you should feel??? I hope that you discuss this line of thinking with your parish priest.

May the Gifts of the Holy Spirit be with you during your period of discernment.

God Bless,

Jeff.


#8

My advice... part ways as friends.
Love is more than a feeling... and right now you are feeling on top of the world when you're with each other. But feelings rise and fall like the tides. There will be times when you need to choose to love even when you don't feel like it.

Religious view can be swept under the rug for a while, but they will come back with a vengence later on!

It's difficult enough to make things work out between different denominations let alone between different faiths.

The best thing for you and your future kids is to marry someone else who is Catholic. Kids who's parents are split on their faith may just decide that all faiths are equal or that none are true. You don't want that on your hands... trust me on that!

For that matter I don't recommend that Catholics marry Protestants either. Marriage is hard enough as it is... you don't want to be fighting about God you want to be together on God. God is the 3rd person in the marriage...


#9

Can I share my discernment? I had a very very close friend who was Mormon. We have such a natural connection, we seemed to be soul mates. I know he definitely felt that way. We were so compatible in so many ways... except religion.

We never dated. Why? Because I respected him so much I respected his religion and would never want to put him in a compromising situation dating a Catholic. Yes, as a friend I evangelized to him, but it was not right for me to date him and get his heart involved in that manner. I respected him too much.

When discerning, "feelings" - not just feelings towards your love interest, but feelings towards "God's will" must come secondary. They are important but cannot fully be trusted. If my friend and I went on feelings, we would have thrown caution to the wind and married. But the differing religions showed us clearly- it was not God's will. Catholic marriage is a sacrament meant to make us Saints. It is holy. Religion is central. "God's will" is that we honor him and our faith in him above all.. .even "soul mates."

I am now marrying a wonderful Catholic man. We are planning a life together. We are ready for the Sacrament, relying on sacramental grace, and ready to raise our kids together without confusion. I have no regrets... none... that I am with my Catholic fiance instead of my Mormon friend.

Be careful.. the issues you present need to be worked out before marriage... not after.


#10

[quote="horizon729, post:4, topic:204575"]
we discussed having kids & the religious issues that would surface. me personally, i don't want to impose religion on my children like that. even though she'd want them to practice Islam as much as possible, i feel Catholicism & Islam can work together as a way of life. i.e. if you consider what Catholics AVOID in life & what Muslims focus on DOING in life to be good. remember, Mohammad Rasul was very much influenced by the Bible. i really respect tradition n' all, but i feel religion is secondary in a relationship.

[/quote]

Bold is mine.

Whoah my friend. Religion is as much part of a person's identity as is their national origin and their ethnic heritage. If it were as "you feel" you woiuld not be having this conversation with your girlfriend. But's not as you feel. The reality is the faith is more central than one thinks, even the lack of faith.

Whether you have faith or you lack it, it defines you and it determines the choices that you make. The Muslims have a very honorable reason for their concern in this matter. They share this concern with Catholics and Jews alike. Religion is not an accident that can be relegated to what we feel. It is what it is.

We can lie to ourselves and tell ourselves that it's not important or that it's secondary to a relationship, but the reality is that most relationships are built upon a shared belief system. When that is not present, they collapse.

This happens in marital relationships, relationships between friends, and relationships between nations. Religious beliefs is the most powerful of all beliefs in human beings. I'm speaking now as the son of a Catholic father and a Jewish mother. This was never a point of compromise in my family. It was either or.

Either you accept my faith or I will not marry you. That was the either or between my parents. Eventually, they had to accept that one faith would dominate the home and the other would take a back seat, but that both could not and would not co-exist as equals. To do so would be a show of lack of faith on the part of both persons. It would show a lack of faith on the part of my Catholic father to believe that Judaism and Catholicism were equal. It would be a lack of faith for my Jewish mother to believe that they were equal. Since each had to maintain the primacy of his/her faith, the only option was to decide which faith was going to dominate the life of the family and the second party would practice his/her faith privately.

This was a hardship for both. I suggest that you rethink your position about faith being secondary in a relationship. If you intend to marry a person of faith, it's not going to be secondary. It will dominate who she is and how she relates to you, your children and your world.

In addition, Catholics and Muslims believe that marriage is a union that is blessed by God. Therefore, there is no marriage apart from religion. Neither accepts the validity of civil marriage or a godless marriage, unless the couple are non-believers. In that case a civil marriage is valid and binding for life. But for believers, Islam and Catholicism agree that a marriage outside of religion is invalid, a farce.

You have to talk to each other and you have to come to some kind of agreement on what faith is going to dominate the family, not a compromise. We cannot compromise on faith. You cannot have a Muslim-Christian home. There is not such thing.

There are some truths found in Islam. But there are not ALL truths found in Islam. Let's begin with the Trinity. Islam denies the Trinity. Islam denies the necessity of sacraments. Islam denies the Divinity of Christ. What we have in common is out pre-Christian faith and our moral code. The two faiths are not inclusive and cannot co-exist in a home. They can co-exist in society as a cooperative brotherhood. But a marriage is not a cooperative union. It's deeper.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#11

thanks for the inputs thus far. i can't justify my reasons on why i said religion is secondary; i didn't mean it like that. sometimes when her & i are caught in a moment we forget things. we're still having a hard time dealing w/everything. God bless.


#12

[quote="horizon729, post:11, topic:204575"]
thanks for the inputs thus far. i can't justify my reasons on why i said religion is secondary; i didn't mean it like that. sometimes when her & i are caught in a moment we forget things. we're still having a hard time dealing w/everything. God bless.

[/quote]

I'll comment on the text in bold. Take it from someone who has been in a few relationships and has been married for 10 years: these feelings will not guarantee the success of the relationship. Romantic emotions come and go, ebb and flow, like the tides of the ocean. You sound young and in love, and I've been there before many times. It's perfectly normal and human and good. But think about these two questions for a few minutes every day:

1) Given that these romantic emotions and experiences are transient, will this relationship withstand the test of time with all of its problems, sins, trials and challenges?

and

2) Upon what foundation will the relationship stand up in place of these fleeting emotions?

Current studies on the reasons behind divorce reveal the following factors for divisiveness among couples: Finances, Religion and Children. Most couples can get their money in order and work together for financial success and decide how children will be welcomed within the marriage, but religion is a different matter entirely. There is no guarantee that either spouse will convert to the others religion out of practicality alone, that would be a disingenuous conversion and would not last very long. It's better if both parties talk about these things before considering marriage. Marriage is for life; it's not glorified dating.

It is possible that a mixed marriage (religion-wise) will succeed, but the numbers speak against the probability. One of the two will eventually move towards the other's faith (or lack of faith) or the marriage will fail. In some rare situations each party will develop healthy boundaries between them and work on sharing the common goods found in each faith, but how often does this work? I don't know.

God's peace and blessing on your discernment,


#13

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