I am in love with a non Muslim man. I am torn apart, what can I do?
I converted to Islam in August 2012, alhamdulillah, but before that I was dating a man. We are still dating and he is not a Muslim. He supports me, takes care of me, and even though he isn't Muslim, he helps me wake up on time for Fajr. I have made dua'as asking for Allah (SWT) to guide him and to help me. I am torn and I am hurting. He hasn't done anything wrong that would give me a reason to leave him. I love him and he loves me. We plan on marriage. Is there anything I can do to make this relationship work? I don't think he will convert to Islam, so I am at a loss.
We offer our heartfelt congratulations on your conversion to Islam and we pray God to keep your faith steadfast.
Love is a beautiful sentiment which God instills in people’s hearts to care for each other. The ultimate source of love is God Almighty and from God’s love stems all other forms of love which we see in our lives. From the Islamic perspective, there are two kinds of love. The first kind is divine love and this love has to do with the love of God, His prophets, His revealed books and His decrees. The second kind of love is the natural intrinsic love that humans have for their families, children, friends, spouses, neighbors and the world at large. The first kind of love always forms the fine base and the accurate measure for the validity and continuity of the second kind of love. For example, God emphatically commanded us to love and care for our parents, children, friends, neighbors and be kind to humans at large; this means that the second kind of love corresponds to the first kind and therefore it is a lawful love.
On the other hand, when natural intrinsic love contradicts divine love, following this intrinsic love becomes more of a desire or a whim. As genuine as your love for your boyfriend is and as caring as he is for you, marriage is a different story. Marriage is all about sharing every aspect of your lives and one of these important aspects is religious inspiration and spiritual growth. There is a special bond that grows gradually between the man and his wife when he leads her in prayer and when they both share supplications to God. There is a sense of religious fulfillment which is instilled in the hearts of the couple when they attend Friday prayer together and be an active part of their religious community. When children are involved, marrying a Muslim man becomes essential as he plays a leading role in their spiritual upbringing by being a role model in praying and other religious activities which allow children to follow suit.
Muslims aim at following Prophet Muhammad’s footsteps and trace his fine actions because for Muslims he is the ultimate embodiment of perfection on earth and he is our gateway to attain God’s pleasure. Reading the Prophet’s biography leaves one at awe on how gentle, caring and loving he was to all people around him, wives, children, friends and even foes. It would be totally unfair for you to ask your man to follow a Prophet that he doesn’t believe in.
Love and care are important qualities in a potential husband but without compatibility and harmony in other major aspects which the couple will share; love will suffer from a major setback as the needed nutrition which keeps the flame of love ignited will eventually fade away.
Marriage in Islam has a higher aim around which the couple’s lives revolve. Both parties are placing God’s content and pleasure right at the center of their lives and aim at reaching this goal through their intimate relationship with each other, through raising their children with the concept of love of the Divine, through being an active participant and a contributor in the larger society in which they live. This higher divine aim which the matrimonial relationship in Islam aims at achieving strengthen the bonds of love, mercy and compassion between the couple and this divine wave of love flows into the hearts of their children as well.
From a legal perspective, It is permissible in Islam for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman (Christian or Jewish) and not vice-versa. Though this may seem unfair, the rationale behind it becomes clear if the true reason is known. All legislations in Islam are based upon certain wisdom and a definite interest to all parties involved.
Marriage in Islam is based upon love, mercy and peace of mind; a family must be built upon a firm basis to guarantee the continuity of the marital relationship. Islam respects all the previous heavenly revealed religions and the belief in all the previous Prophets is an inseparable part of the Islamic creed.
A Muslim man who marries a Christian or a Jewish woman, is commanded to respect her faith, and it is not permissible for him to prevent his wife from practicing the rites of her religion and going to the church or synagogue. Therefore, Islam seeks to provide the wife with her husband's respect for her religion which in turn protects the family from destruction.
On the other hand, it will be unlikely for a non-Muslim to respect his Muslim wife's faith. This is because a Muslim man believes in all previous religions and Prophets of God and respects them while a non-Muslim does not believe nor acknowledges the Prophet of Islam; rather, a non-Muslim considers Prophet Mohammed a false prophet and usually believes in all the fabricated lies made against Islam and its Prophet. Even if a non-Muslim husband does not explicitly express this, a Muslim wife will constantly feel that her husband does not respect her faith. There is no room for compliments regarding this matter; it is a matter of principle. Moreover, mutual respect between spouses is a fundamental element for the continuity of their marital relationship.
Islam follows its own logic when it prohibits a Muslim man from marrying a non-Muslim other than a Christian or a Jewess for the same reason it prohibits a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim.
A Muslim believes in only the Heavenly revealed religions; all other religions are human made. So, in the case when a Muslim woman marries a non-Muslim, the element of respect to the wife's religion will be non-existent. This will affect the marital relationship and will not achieve the love and mercy that is required in a marital relationship.
We understand that not marrying the man you love is not an easy decision but knowing that God only seeks what makes you happy in both worlds and having deep faith in God’s fine judgment will make the matter easier on you God willing. Also you have to believe that God is the one who instills love in your heart and if this man is the right one for you, God will guide his heart to Islam and make him a righteous husband for you, but if your man stays adamant on his position then this would be a clear sign that he is not the one for you and you have to be assured that God will instill in your heart a new love for a man with whom you can share your life in this world and in the hereafter. Your feelings of being torn apart between God’s love and the love for the man you want to marry is a real hardship but your heart won’t find ease unless a reconciliation is made so you don’t have to choose between them anymore. May God guide you to what is best for you in this world and in the hereafter amin.