Inter religion marriage


#1

Hi everyone,
well i am a 29 year catholic woman, in love with a Muslim man. He is a wonderful person, caring, concerned, sober, intellectual, while i have been up till the time ive met him a true hippy… doing all the wrong things in live… lived on the edge always… till i met him and he showed me how to be sober… act my age… be responsible basically… honestly we have no issues in live as we both feel that we compliment each other…
now the problem… we have been talking about getting married, and initially we decided that we would raise our kids as good human beings and would speak to them about religion but would leave the option to them to chose the ideal religion they wanted to follow when they would be of a mature age. This seemed fair as we both are of different religions… suddenly due to pressure from his family… he has come back to me saying that when we do have kids, they have to be Muslim… This has shocked me… firstly i am completely in love with this man… but then again i think of my parents… and feel not rite to the values they brought me up in terms of faith and religion… the original option of letting the kids chose their faith was ideal but suddenly this has shocked me…
i am confused, saddened, hurt, and still in love… and want to spend the rest of my life with him… but would like for our children to chose their faith to avoid complications…


#2

First children are not supposed to choose their faith, but rather are to be taught their faith.As a Catholic,it is your responcibilty to teach your children the catholic faith.Please talk to your Priest.


#3

A hard situation.
I have to say, I know some christian-muslim marriages, where it was up to the children to decide on which faith to belong to, and the children from these marriages are neither Christian neither Muslim, but something third or nothing.
I don’t know how much religion means to you, but for faithful Catholics there are no options - the children must be Catholic.
The same thing is for faithful Muslims.
So, one of you must renounce your religion.

I apologize in advance for being so direct and cruel, I can only imagine the pain you and your boyfriend are going through.
May the Holy Spirit lead you through this situation!


#4

I don’t envy you at this point in your life. Speaking to your priest is a good beginning. I am in a similar situation but we already have 3 kids and my DH after 15 years decided to go back to his church.

I will caution you that regardless of your choices someone will be hurt and feel resentment. This really is a senario where someone doesn’t win—each persons faith (if they strongly believe) is just too huge to compromise on.
Add kids to the mixture and every choice takes on a bigger meaning with more potential for problems.

I love my husband so much but realistically if I knew then what I know now - I would have made sure that one of my requirements in a spouse is sharing the same faith. I would not have married him for the difference of faith reason alone. It is that huge.

I am sure others will have a different perspective but this is just what I have experienced.

My prayers are with you.


#5

My advice: Walk away-- now.

You have to understand that it is an **absolute **requirement of the Muslim faith that children be raised as Muslims. You will also be pressured to convert to Islam. And, Muslims don’t think the way non-Muslims do… even if he seems very secular right now, he may get more zealous in his religion, and the Koran will tell him what to do on this-- it basically says YOU as a woman have no say in this.

And, of course, if you don’t already know it-- you as a Catholic are obligated to baptize your children and raise them in the Catholic faith. And, it’s a great sin to hand your children over to be raised other than Catholic.

This is an issue too large to just ignore and hope for the best. I am sorry you fell in love before considering the impossibility of the situation regarding his religion.

I really think you need to part ways. Find a man who shares your beliefs.


#6

wow. could you be any more biased? if you truly knew anything about islam you would know that your above statements are false. it’s very interesting how catholics claim to always be attacked and that there are always false allegations towards their religion. when clearly here you have shown bias against a religion based purely on your own opinion and ideology. it’s alright for catholics to get “zealous” in their religion but no one else. and you truly have no idea of the role of women in islam, obviously because your statement is untrue. study to show thyself…with the knowledge of SOMETHING!

to walk away from someone she’s truly in love with, oh it’s that simple. God is good and he can work it out for both of them in the direction that was meant for them. keep your BIASED opinion to yourself, it would be the Christian thing to do.

all i get from this board is hate hate hate. and how everyone else is wrong and only you guys are right. sheesh!


#7

Biased? I don’t think so. If they stay together and get married, it would only lead to arguments and a definate strain on the relationship. It is best to bring up children in one faith. If he is adament about the children being muslim, then take a closer look at the relationship.

If you are uncomfortable now, getting married would only be a heartbreaking disaster.


#8

What jumped out at me was the comment about him giving in to pressure from his parents.

The two of you had already come to a decision together, then he went behind your back and changed his mind, at their urging.

If he is unable/unwilling to stand up to them for your mutual decisions, what else will he do? What will be next?

This tells me that he will put his family first, and you second or worse. This is not how marriage is supposed to be. If he is unwilling to stand up for you to them, and defend your (mutual) decisions, as well as your personal ones, then he is not prepared for marriage, to you or anyone else.


#9

I am not biased at all.

It is not opinion that Muslims are required to rear their children as Muslims. It is fact.

Not at all. He should be zealous in his religion and she in hers.

They are mutually exclusive propositions, and therefore marriage is not a solution in this situation.

You are long on rhetoric and short on facts. In the Muslim religion, a Muslim man married to a Christian woman must raise his children as Muslims. The woman can practice her own faith, but he is required to raise children as Muslims.

Yes, it is. God comes first.

The observation that two people canot take mutually exclusive religions and compromise them is not biased.

He wants to raise them Muslim, she does not. Moreover, each are required by their respective religions to raise them in that religion. King Solomon proposed to cut the baby in half. That is what this type of marriage would do-- cut the children in half and pit two religions against each other in the home.

Speaking the truth is not out of hate but out of love. If I think marrying him would be a mistake, I am obligated to say so. To give her platitudes that are false may lead her down a path she will regret for a very long time.


#10

Normally, when the topic of inter religious marriage comes up, I’m one who supports the union. But…

A few things seem problematic here. The largest is that each of you have as a requirement of your faiths that you raise the children Catholic/Muslim. Marriage, while about compromise, can’t overcome this without forcing either of you to turn your back on your faith. Regardless of whose is right or wrong, marriage should support growing closer to God, and if one forces the other to turn his or her back on God, whether a true understanding of God or an incomplete understanding as Allah, this is a problem.

My heart sunk a bit when I read your post that you each planned to let your children decide which faith they would follow. Do you also plan to let your children decide whether they will drink alcohol, smoke pot, shoot up with herione, join a brothel? A child’s eternal salvation is far more important than anything physically they could do to harm themselves, but you plan on letting them make their own choice there?

Another poster had said that if it is truly love, God will work it out. In this case, I think you need to be patient and see if God works it out for you before any commitment of marriage. Joining him know, when he’s clearly not out from under the desire to please his parents in all things, will lead you to heartache, or worse…

It’s a hard cross to bear, but it sounds like you and he may need to take a step back and be patient, and trust that God will lead you both to the same conclusion, be it to welcome him to the Church, or go your separate ways.


#11

Perhaps, as a non-religious person I am biased, but I’m floored to see you’re comparing choosing faith to doing hard drugs. I fully know how most will answer this question, as it is merely a disagreement on my part in terms of faith, but here goes…

What is really so wrong about presenting two religions? So many people, religious or not, unintentionally perpetuate issues of intolerance and ignorance in relation to other people’s beliefs purely because they’ve been raised under one belief system and never had the opportunity to learn about others. Furthermore, it seems to me that presenting more than one option could affirm stronger faith later in life. For instance, if her children were raised knowing Christianity and Islam inside and out, not only will they be on their way to being well-rounded individuals, but they also have something as a means of comparison so they can truly say they know they’ve made the right decision.

Of course, I am of the opinion that no religion is any more valid over another, so perhaps my input won’t go very far here. :shrug:


#12

hi everyone… well firstly… let me tell u about myself… ive seen alot so far in these 29 years… and no matter if i were brought up Christian or non Christian… i could still choose whats not right… a classic example is me itself… i am in a dilemma now over marrying a muslim man… my life history in a nutshell…
brought up a catholic… but because of the nature of this catholic household… i went astray… parents are god fearing truly… but i as their child still went astray… talk about drinking n drugs… did it all… and continued to do so till this person came my way… we both actually did the same things… only thing he realized sooner while me… realized only when he came into my life… wat does dis say…???


#13

To me it says that you are confused about your life, and that you are grateful to this man for helping you see your errors and turn your life around. But, you are also possibly confusing this gratitude with the stuff that life-long marriages are made of. I have no doubt that he’s a good person, and he’s helped you to be a good person. But, keep in mind that there is more to marriage than being a good person.

If you really don’t see religion as an issue, and would be fine with your children being Muslim, then proceed. BUT, if you are not 110% sure that you want to have your children grow up Muslim then you need to rethink this.

Perhaps the place to start is to pull back and examine what YOU believe. You say you were raised Catholic, does that mean nothing to you? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is God and your Lord and Savior?

*What do you believe? *


#14

Your input and voice are very important, religious or not. Everyone has something to offer here, so please don’t stay away from us scary religious folk :slight_smile:

I definitely think that as a non-religious person that this comparison would shock you. It probably shocks others here too. But, for people who put their faith in a religion, religion is more than a set of beliefs about how to treat others. Most of the major faiths believe that we do not cease to exist at death, but rather spend the rest of eternity as our life has earned (for lack of an easier explanation).

Catholicism, other forms of Christianity, Judeism, Islam, Hindu, Mormon, Buddhism, etc, focus on how to best lead your life on Earth, so you spend Eternity in a good way. Boiled down to the basic, these all teach in different ways that if you spend your life ignoring God and His rules (which each faith defines differently), you will spend Eternity after death being ignored by God, or punished. So, religious choices are more than just a way of thinking, or where you go on Sunday (or Saturday). They are choices deciding where you will spend Eternity.

So, what seems odd to me is that parents work very hard to be sure their children don’t do drugs (and rightly so!). The parent is trying to save their children from a few hours of trouble that could harm their future. But, parents are willing to let their children “find their own way”, which could lead them into an eternity of trouble. Seems quite a paradox…


#15

Again, all religious aspects aside, I’d seriously think about this.
He’s not devoted to you, not as a future husband should be.

His parents will be a major force in your relationship, not always for the better. With him overriding your joint decision for thiers, things don’t look good on the marriage/relationship front.

I see a lack of respect and dedication here, and it sends red flags to me. Tread slowly and carefully.


#16

From a play, this comes to mind… “A bird and a fish may fall in love, but, where could they make a home?”

Will this lay down his life to see that you get to heaven? If not, keep him as a friend and choose to fall out of love.


#17

2.6.11.1 Abrahamic Religion (Jewish or Muslim)
from www.inthespiritofcana.org

When dealing with a marriage between a Catholic and a person of an Abrahamic religion, i.e., Jewish or Muslim, ministers should be aware of the sensitive issues facing Catholic-Jewish and Catholic-Muslim couples. In general, the Jewish community discourages Jews from marrying non-Jews. Islam permits Muslim men to marry Christians and Jews, but does not permit Muslim women to marry non-Muslims. Extra pastoral care prior to and following the wedding is essential. The Family Ministries Office has information about support groups for Catholic-Jewish and Catholic-Muslim couples in metro Chicago.
Procedure

Muslim: An imam or other Muslim could be invited to participate in the ceremony, but the Catholic priest or deacon officially witnesses the exchange of vows. Should a dispensation from the canonical form have been granted, am Islamic celebration could be planned. There is no traditional Islamic marriage rite other than the witnessing of the contract. Usually the marriage does not take place in a mosque.

If you decide to marry and wish to say connected to the Catholic faith in all ways…then you will need to contact your parish priest for A dispensation for disparity of cult. A dispensation from canonical form is also required if the couple will be having someone other than a Catholic priest or deacon witness their vows. To obtain the dispensation, the Catholic party will be asked to affirm in some way (verbally or in writing) that he or she will promise to do all in his/her power to see that the children of the marriage be baptized and educated in the Catholic Church. The other partner is to be informed of these promises and responsibilities; the non-Catholic partner may feel a similar obligation because of his/her own religious commitment. No formal written or oral promise is required of the non-Catholic partner. In carrying out this duty of transmitting the Catholic faith to the children, the Catholic parent will do so with respect for the religious freedom and conscience of the other parent and with due regard for the unity and permanence of the marriage and for the maintenance of the communion of the family.

There are also special preparation classes for couples who are not of Christian faiths…particularly Muslim and Catholic,Jewish and Catholic. There are many differences that must be shared to understand the nature and sensitivity of these situations.

First of all, Pray, Pray, Pray. and also explore this forum for many different discussions regarding this issue.

My old nun used to say to us. Love is Blind, Marriage is an Institution, therefore marriage is an institution for the blind."
Don’t be blinded by love, emotions, feelings…get information, so that you make your choice one that you can live with for the rest of your life. Hopefully, you will not walk away from the faith of which you were baptized…because Jesus is the Way, The Truth and the Life…He who comes to HIm will have eternal life!


#18

Hi “smc10”,

I will give you my humble advice from a Muslim person prospective finding his way into Christianity.

  1. In Islam we allow polygamy marriage (up to 4 wives at a time) with unlimited divorces, if you would live in a western country, then your husband would find it hard to marry another wife, but if you intend to live in an Islamic country, then there is nothing can prevent him from marrying another one, so you have to keep that in mind.

  2. Under which law you will marry him, under the Christan law or the Islamic law, because that makes a big difference later on, specially (God forbid) on the divorce cases.

  3. Are his parents with him in this western country, or they are staying in an Islamic one, because from time to time he has to visit them, and you might find it difficult to accompany him always to that Islamic country, specially if his parents are Islamic extremist.

  4. If you will live in an Islamic country after marriage, then prepare yourself for massive amount of Muslims that trying to convert you to Islam.

  5. You have to keep this in mind, if you will live in an Islamic country, and your children raised as Muslims (i.e., written in their IDs that they are Muslims), and they have reached 18 and choose to change their religion to Christianity, then that will be dangerous for their life, I suggest you research Islamic law regarding converters.

  6. In Islamic religion the inheritance calculation is very complicated, the wife will get a very low percentage if she has many children, I suggest you research on the Islamic law of inheritance.

  7. I suggest you start testing him, ask him what he think about Christians and Jewish, what he think of the Christian religion in general, whether he would enter a Church or not, check his behaviour, is he violence, does he hate lots of people.

  8. I suggest if his family is in the west with him, then go and set with them and talk, I know you would say that I will live in my own apartment and I don’t want them, but in our Islamic religion we would not leave our parents and relatives no matter what, so the relation between the son/daughter and the parents should always be tight.

  9. Pray for the God to show you the true path.

I wish you a happy life,:slight_smile:
Sam


#19

Dear SMC.

I feel really sorry for you. I have also tried being in love with someone I had to leave because I knew that once REALITY and daily life set in I would be absolutely miserable in a marriage with him.

I would urge you to start reading the Gospels. Start with Luke or John and read… It’s my simple advice. People here say you gotta baptise your children Catholic because that’s a rule…
I say: Don’t deny Jesus… Yeshua Ha Messhiah the true Son of God who gave His Life for you on the Cross so that you may live in freedom and real love (in a sacramental marriage eg) and be with Him forever. Believe in the Truth. He is the Truth.

You say that your children can make their own choices when they are grown. But you know that a human being who is not taught about truth and morals grows up in anarchy and meaninglessness and will repeat all the mistakes you have made your self. The other view is simply an optimism on behalf of the human person which is both unchristian and lacks logic.

Truth cannot stand with indifference or with a lie… Please meditate on that… there is nothing which is neutral in this world or in the spiritual world.

I would also suggest that you read some testimonies from Muslims who have become Christian. It will put some things into perspective and may be somewhat a shock. Being naive and innocent and always believing the best about people and their ideologies/beliefs can be a virtue but it can also be plain ignorance …and when you have children you have to be responsible. answering-islam.org/Testimonies/index.html
I might come off as harsh. That is okay. I believe you really have to end the relationship and find your own worth as an individual in Christ. I say that also because I have studied islam at university level and read much of the Quran… My take is that it is far from harmless…

Many muslims in the arabic world have dreams about Jesus- the Son of God and thats how they come out from darkness into light. I am sorry to be blunt… but islam is not light.
The revelation which to a muslim reveals the “uncreated” and absolute word of allah curses those who believe Jesus is the Son of God. This is no minor detail.

In my country we have had some cases where a muslim husband obducted his own children taking them back to the middle east in order for them not to learn the christian and secular values… We have also had plenty of violence and honour killing done by muslim fathers, brothers etc who felt powerless in front of their sisters and daugthers who became too “western”.
If you think there is no serious difference in religious views… including the roles of women and men, their unequality and rights then you really really owe it to your self and your life to read into it before you proceed with this man.

And yes, like the others here I think that when your boyfriend listens to his parents to this extent then thats a HUGE warning sign. You have to understand that muslim families are very close and have a great honour to protect… being “private” in the western sense is not something that works in many islamic cultures…

Please… pray to Jesus… put the situation in His Hands… there is no other foundation in life you can have for your self and your children which would bring more peace, joy, truth, honesty and beauty.


#20

I think all inter-religion and faith marriages should be considered strongly prayed about. Love is not enough especially when you have two faiths that are devout (such as Catholicism and Muslim) I even think there can be problems when a Catholic marries a Protestant – especially once babies start coming along.

There are some cultural differences here as well that you should strongly look at. I’m not meaning to be disparaging about ANY culture, but these are not things that you should gloss over.


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