Okay, so you’ve met the man of your dreams, and he’s totally into you, too. He’s dark and handsome, and wildly exotic. He speaks of faraway lands in a way that mesmerizes and he looks at you as though you’re the only woman on earth. He has an intensity that has swept you off your feet. After a whirlwind relationship, he wants to marry you as soon as possible. Oh, and he’s Muslim. Should you marry him?
[h]Does He Love You?[/h]
That depends. There are several things you should consider first, though. The first thing to realize is that many Muslim men are on a “wife hunt.” As unromantic as that sounds, it is true. Marriage is considered “half the religion” and most men are eager to settle down and start a family. As refreshingly different as that is from what you may be accustomed to, it is still a good idea to proceed with caution. You should also realize that “being in love” is not considered a prerequisite to marriage in Islam. That is not to say that your Muslim friend doesn’t care about you or even love you, but it isn’t necessary. For many Muslim couples, love is something that grows and develops over time. Some Muslim men choose a potential spouse who meets certain criteria. Perhaps you are shy, quiet, or conservative. Maybe he thinks you would make a good mother. Or, maybe he is in love.
[h]How Do You Feel About Islam?[/h]
Another thing to consider is your own feelings about Islam. Please do not make the mistake of assuming that religion is a minor detail– Islam is never minor. Islam is a major part of every aspect of life, and you must understand that going in. Too many non-Muslim women are caught off-guard after the wedding. Even if he doesn’t appear to be very religious, you should still learn about Islam. If you marry a Muslim man, Islam will play a large part in your life, even if you have no intention of converting.
Another thing you should know is that many men become more religious after getting married. Even non-practicing Muslim men often return to the faith with zeal after marriage. Add a child to the equation, and most men make a complete return to their roots.
[h]Can You Raise Muslim Children?[/h]
Speaking of children, you should know going in that any children you have will be raised as Muslims. This is non-negotiable. In Islam, children follow their father’s religion. Whether you ever become Muslim or not, you will be expected to raise your children in the Islamic faith. Think about this carefully. Do not allow your feelings for this man to cloud your thinking. This is a serious matter. Are you okay with not sharing your faith with your children? Many Muslim man start out with accepting Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, but become more strict as the children get older. It is not unusual for a father who once played Santa to suddenly feel guilty and not allow Christmas celebrations at all. As children get older, Muslim men often feel an urgent need to instill religion in them, especially if the wife is a non-Muslim.
There are other factors to consider before agreeing to marry a Muslim man, and we will discuss them in another entry. Hopefully, I have given you something to think about. Please understand that I am not trying to dissuade you– many Muslim men make wonderful husbands and fathers. I simply want you to know what you are getting.