My old secondary school student who is a Muslim with fanatical parents is in love with a Christian young man. After the expected reaction her parents have agreed only to let her marry him if everything will be done in the Islamic way. This is not possible for the guy, and my consent is needed.
My option of a court wedding too halted because how the reception will be organised on neutral grounds is a another matter. The lady is willing to convert after the marriage but wants to go with her parent’s blessings. Dear Devaan, please kindly advise.
I think this is one of the most challenging questions I have ever had to tackle. However, I left no stone unturned in coming up with my response. I got the views of many Muslims and they all agree on one thing: Nigeria is one of many countries where a Muslim woman is prohibited from marrying a Christian. You will understand why I have worded this statement this way further in my response.
Coming to this particular issue, I think her parents have been incredibly magnanimous in even agreeing that the marriage take place at all. There is nothing strict or fanatical about their stance. They are trying to conform to the dictates of their faith.
However, their suggestion that he carry out Muslim rites conflicts with his own faith especially since he has no intention of converting. They also don’t want their daughter to be wedded in Church. Yet the two are bent on marrying each other.
To me there are two options , simple, though not necessarily easy: they can damn the consequences and just go do the Registry marriage (which is recognized by both church and state) or forget each other and move on with their lives.
This whole business of “soulmate” in my view is a fallacy. You can love someone new if you give yourself the chance.
Love evolves, sometimes it grows, sometimes it wanes. They may not always feel so passionately about each other as they do right now. What happens if they go ahead with the marriage in that case?
At the moment he claims she can remain a Muslim. What happens when kids come into the picture and start receiving conflicting instructions on how to worship and which “God” is better?
Remember, many men tend to be absentee parents in Nigeria. How would he feel waking up one day to realize his children are leaning more towards Islam by virtue of their association with their mother? How would she feel if the reverse is the case? Is she willing to turn her back on her parents and the teachings of her faith which prohibit to some degree (I understand the Quran teaches that Muslims should NOT marry pagans, but males and females alike may marry “people of the book” i.e Christians and Jews and that some Muslim countries now recognize this and have started allowing Muslim women marry Christians and Jews). Nigeria is replete with inter-faith marriages, and only those in them know whether they are working.
I think they both need to know what they have is real, not some weird infatuation that will soon fade, BEFORE taking this leap.
However, as I said, if they are truly that deeply committed to each other, Registry Marriage is it.
I wish both of them the best.