Interfaith Marriages

For the Love of Huma – Jewish-Muslim story

For The Love Of Huma:

The Jews should be proud of this man Anthony Weiner and Muslims ought to be proud of Huma Abedin.

Personally I admire this couple for coming together for love which transcends all other created differences. It takes a lot of maturity to accept each other despite the differences and we need to salute that maturity in every couple.

Politically he is a staunch pro-Israeli, and ideologically Huma may to be pro-justice and would be fair to the Jews and Palestinians. Both have demonstrated their ability to discern the personal, political and religious difference and have based their relationship on love.

Despite the differences, they are setting an example of co-existence and we need to encourage them, we need more of them, through many such interfaith marriages, we can perhaps bring about peaceful coexistence to the people of Israel and Palestine. Isn’t that a dream of every Jew and a Muslim? If not, then I am wrong.

I am pleased to invite the couple to get married – Jewish, Islam and interfaith way here in Dallas on May 2nd, 2010. No system will negate the other, indeed, they reinforce the value of bonding between each other, every religious way.

The role of conservatives ought to be to hold on to the values of peace, justice and co-existence. However, in truth those who claim to be conservative are indeed extremists opposed to the very values that are conservative. God has communicated through Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, Krishna, Buddha and all the spiritual masters the values of co-existence, inculcated via values like the ones spelled out in the Ten Commandments in one form or the other. God wants all of us to get along and live in harmony; no faith preaches hate, chaos, ill-will, malice or chopping God into pieces for each faith to consume a piece of it.

The conservative Jews and Muslims, nay, the extremist Jews and Muslims will start issuing fatwas against these two beautiful human beings and attempt to stick their version of the religion on them, which has been dished out by the middle men, and not God.

“Observant Jews view intermarriage as religious treason” and oddly the “Observant Muslims” claim that it is religiously unlawful for a Muslim woman to marry a non Muslim man”. Why do they call themselves “observant” when they are not, they should call themselves stick in the muds.

To be religious is to be a peace maker, one who mitigates conflicts and nurtures goodwill. That is the purpose of all religions, to bring sense to mankind and live and let live.

The foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim congress have embarked on creating events that builds bridges between the people, these are model events to mitigate conflicts and nurtutre goodwill. We are entering our XIII Annual Thanksgivign Celebrations this year, V Annual Unity day USA, III Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides and the first event of Religious Weddings. All the links are listed on the left panel of this site.

This is precisely the program we are working on Religious Weddings in Dallas “The purpose of this event is to familiarize the public, civic and religious leaders the rituals and essence of wedding in each faith tradition. It is to highlight the relationship between two individuals regardless of the faith they don. Don; they will in the different costumes and ceremonies encompassing the following faiths as the time allows within three hours of duration.”

Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer and speaker on pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His websites and Blogs are listed on his website
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The politics of coexistence:The congressman and his intended, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who is Muslim.
by Adam Dickter
Assistant Managing Editor

In the course of his long political career, Anthony Weiner became accustomed to eager inquiries when he walked into a Jewish senior center without a wedding ring.

“They all want me to meet their granddaughters,” the rail-thin, youthful politician told me as we walked into one such senior center on Brooklyn’s Ocean Avenue years ago. “And, they want to know what I’ve eaten today.”

At the time, Weiner was running for Congress with posters that read Anthony David Weiner, lest the man with the Italian given name be perceived as a non-Jew and lose advantage to any of his three rivals, Noach Dear, Melinda Katz and Daniel Feldman.

The unusual moniker and his reluctance to meet those granddaughters or to put on
a few pounds have never stood in the way of Anthony Weiner becoming a darling in his own religious community, mustering both political support and serious financial backing in a district that includes some of the most heavily Jewish neighborhoods in the country. They include Forest Hills in Queens and Flatbush in Brooklyn.
But now Weiner, 44, a six-term Democrat with staunch pro-Israel leanings, is entering uncharted waters with his announcement that he’ll soon be married. To a Muslim.

“OY,” commented one reader on the blog Yeshiva World News in reaction to the news.
“Hashem Yeracham [May God have mercy],” wrote another.
“Never liked that bum,” wrote a third.

At a time when Jews and Muslims in America are searching for better ties, Weiner has announced he’ll tie the knot with Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton. No wedding date has been set.

Born in Michigan to an Indian father and Pakistani mother, Abedin, 33, grew up in Saudi Arabia, where her father founded an institute on interfaith understanding and her mother taught sociology. She returned to the U.S. to study at George Washington University. An internship at the White House in 1996 led to a job with the then-first lady, and she has remained at Clinton’s side through eight years in the Senate and now at the State Department.

Fluent in Arabic, she is considered one of Clinton’s top advisers on the Middle East. She is also known for her flawless appearance in a life filled with grueling schedules. “She is timeless, her combination of poise, kindness and intelligence are matchless,”Clinton told Vogue of her aide in 2007.

The following year Abedin served as traveling chief of staff in Clinton’s presidential campaign, during which she reportedly began dating Weiner, who was a key supporter.

Some right-wing backlash is probably inevitable, and some may wonder if his choice is any of our business. But this is an age when politicians’ careers and love lives are becoming increasingly seamless.

“It’s an oxymoron to say you have a private life when you’re a public official,” says William Helmreich, a CUNY Graduate Center sociology professor and author of books on New York life. “If that’s what you want, choose another profession.”

Perhaps feeling otherwise, Weiner did not return a call seeking comment.
In a 1998 interview he said he belonged to Beth Sholom of Kings Bay in Brooklyn, which describes itself as liberal Orthodox, but he has since moved to Forest Hills. Like many New York politicians, Weiner has been known to appear with a yarmulke at Jewish events and sprinkle terms like Eretz Yisrael into his speeches, but has never presented himself as observant.

So it shouldn’t surprise that he is joining the legion of prominent Jews who love gentiles. Public figures like former Comptroller Alan Hevesi, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg lost no discernible Jewish support for marrying or dating outside the faith. Even in heavily chasidic Williamsburg David Yassky’s intermarriage hasn’t cost him that voting bloc in his two successful City Council campaigns.

But the volatile tension between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East, and the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, gives this latest love story involving one of the most pro-Israel pols on Capitol Hill a sense of awkwardness, even at a time when the first U.S. president with Muslim ancestry (albeit a practicing Christian) sits in the Oval Office.

The media has tread carefully on the Jewish-Muslim angle, more seduced by the political-powerhouse factor. “Another D.C. Power Couple Moment,” was the headline of a Washington Post story.
Some might see the two as a new James Carville-Mary Matalin, if you cross out party affiliation and add religion as the potentially divisive force their love overcame.

But if there are any questions about Abedin’s impact on Weiner’s foreign policy, they may have more to do with her loyalty to Clinton who, in the eyes of many, has morphed from Arafat fan as first lady to Zionist as senator and is now seen by many to be waffling as secretary of state in an administration hell-bent on a peace agreement that includes squeezing Israel on settlements.

“I don’t think he’ll be one-tenth as influenced by his wife’s opinions as a Muslim as he would be by Hillary Clinton and [President] Barack Obama’s opinions on the Middle East,” says Helmreich. “They’re the sources of his power [as a Democrat.]”

Concerned about a particular Middle East bill or resolution viewed as harmful to Obama administration policy, could Clinton call on Abedin to lobby her husband to back down?

“She might,” says Helmriech. “But if she does, you or I will never know it.”

The mayor of New York has no impact on Middle East policy, and City Hall is where Weiner has set his political sights. To get there he’ll need to hold onto and build his Jewish support.

Observant Jews view intermarriage as religious treason. One Yeshiva World commenter, Mastergary, wondered if “the timing of this news release [was] meant to coincide with the parsha in which some members of Bnei Yisroel sinned with midyanite women (in particular Zimri and Kosby) and [brought] down a plague?” He was referring to the portion of Balak, in which two Jews suffer for taking mates outside the tribe.

But even those who oppose intermarriage on grounds that it is harmful to Jewish continuity — and believe that its proliferation among prominent role models exacerbates that problem — have to weigh a potential protest vote against consideration of who serves their community’s best interests.

“I don’t think anyone focuses or cares or is interested,” says Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who shares part of Weiner’s district. “No one has really mentioned it. I wish him luck.”

Shlomo Perl, an Orthodox Borough Park businessman who held a fundraiser in his home for Weiner’s re-election in 2000 and contributed to his mayoral campaign in 2005, said Weiner “has always been a friend of Israel and admirer. I’m sure now he’ll do the same things. I’ll support him if he runs for mayor again and also for his re-election to Congress. I’m not one who judges a person’s character on his personal choices.”

There could even be a political dividend.

“It may in fact be good for Weiner in a citywide race for people in Manhattan to see him as more ecumenical, whereas they might have seen him before as an outer-borough, very parochial candidate,” says Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf. “Hopefully people won’t look at them as a Jew and a Muslim, but as two people who love each other.”

Imam Shamsi Ali of the Islamic Cultural Center on the Upper East Side said he had no opinion about what the union portends. “It’s a personal choice between those individuals, and I don’t think I have anything to say other than, may they be happy.”

Another imam, Mohamad Al Hussaini of London, an interfaith studies teacher who was visiting New York this week, said that despite strong communal stigma Muslim out-marriage is growing to a larger extent than many people realize, as popular culture prompts greater engagement with the outside world. “The challenges faced by the Jewish community are followed almost step by step by Muslims,” said Imam Hussaini.

And so, with America’s Jews and Muslims lobbying against each other in Washington, and with recent acts of attempted terrorism against Jews prominently linked in the media to Muslims, coexistence builders in the two communities share some common ground, perhaps in trying not to like each other too much, and not in that way.

Secular Jews may soon see marrying Christians as so 2008. And it may not be long before Anthony Weiner is visiting Muslim senior centers, with a ring on his finger, showing pictures of his dual-heritage children, as grandmothers invite him to sit down and eat something.

Please feel free to write your comment below


91 thoughts on “For the Love of Huma – Jewish-Muslim story”

  1. Mike,
    You are making a big mistake when you define religious people that way. I believe religious people are simply who adhere to their religion, whether a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim. So when that religion clearly says a Muslim woman is not allowed to mary a non-Muslim man, then that person who follows this law is not to be blamed. I think you should be honest with yourself and others by admitting that you promote to get rid of religions as a practice that limit people from following their desires. Otherwise your views will be viewed as a none sense.

  2. You admire something that is strictly prohibited in the Quran, a Muslim woman marrying a non-Muslim man?

    Khalid Ahmed

  3. Ali Abu Talib

    I see where you're going with this Mike. But dig. A pro Zionist hooked up with a Palestinian? Come on. That's like a Ku Klux Klan member having an affair with African American. To be in love with one's oppressor is not setting any example other than capitulation based on hormones. If he was an Anti Zionist Jew I could see it. But a pro Zionist Jew? Damn! That's like an American Indian woman in the 19th Century hooking up with some Buffalo Soldier. For what? Cuz he's cute. Kind to her? No. Tolerating our uniqueness as you misnomered our differences does not extend to these kind of fundamental moral and ethical differences. Accepting as a mate a person who fundamentally believes that "his people" have an inalienable right to his mate's land based on a belief that his people are genetically the chosen people of God, even though over half of them don't even believe in God, is God Damned Sick. I'm sorry. I believe in the oneness of humanity. We are one. But we are not all equal morally and ethically. And some of these difference can be tolerated. And some can't. Oppressors must not be tolerated by the people of conscience any where in the world. As for Iran, Hell! Dude's picture is plastered everywhere. So is Osama Mubarrak Obama's. He's in the news, on he radio. His party spent a hundred million dollars to get elected. If we are to tolerate differences, let's tolerate an overwhelming majority of Muslims who wish to be ruled by Islamic Law and not secular promiscuity and licentiousness.


  4. Ali,
    Thanks for expressing your opinion, you have made some good points. However, my question to you is – will things change if no effort is made?

    I hope you were not inferring Jews as Zionist (extreme ones), it would legitimize that Muslims are islamists (extremists) they are two different things. Jews are no different than you and I or a Hindu; caring for people and getting along and it is time for us, the moderates, 95% of the every group to speak up and bring sanity to the world.

    I am assuming Huma has a sense of justice and her presence may mitigate political radicalism in him, as opposed to marying another radical and exploding.

    Best wishes
    Mike Ghouse

  5. Mubashir Inayat

    Just heard on the radio, an Israeili ex general and a prominent statesman being interviewed (sorry, did'nt get his name). His words seem to reflect the views of religious and orthodox Jews. In short, the general honestly and sincerely believes:

    God gave them the land (thousands of years ago).
    Man has no right to chop pieces of that land and give it out to non Jews.

    Israel has no fear of a settlement. Some of these conditions are so tough that no same Palestinian is going to agree to them like. They must agree that Israel is Jewish people's land. They must be completely demiliterised. Those who were made refugess as a result of Israel's creaton will have no claims on their ancestoral lands or the right to return. That the land will be divided according to Israel's prime economic and security concerns, etc.

    Asked if that is how religious Israelis feel then why agree to a settlement at all? General replies that politicians have to behave according to world pressures and that in reality history shows "their" land's border have been constantly shrinking and expanding. In other words a compromise will have to be made.
    To top it off certain conservative Christian groups feel the same way and side with the Jews' claim of that land being the Jews because God gave it to them.
    So in a nut shell when both sides (Muslims and Jews ) feel that they are acting on God's wishes (one by "retaking the land" and ther who would rather fight and die for injustice done to them than live in subjugation and in cantons as second/third class citizens) how can there be a peacful resolution?

    Looks like this is a fight to death in the name of God. For the Muslims a terrible injustice was done to the Palestinians and they have every right to justice. How do you explain this to the other side who feels they had to do all that to get back what God have to them?

    A truly sad story.


  6. Mubashir;

    God is all loving, caring and a just being. It is fallacious to believe that he would sign a deal behind others back to favor some, we don't need a god like that. God looks to each one of us, the seven billion of us the same way; mercy and beneifiience. He favors no Muslim, no Jew, Hindu, Christian or otherwise.

    The self appointed religious leaders for their own gain, think they have bribed god or made him feel guilty to side with them. Heck NO

    God does not take sides nor he favors one over the other.

  7. Thanks for sending this Mike. In answer to your question, "Despite the differences, they are setting an example of co-existence and we need to encourage them, we need more of them, through many such interfaith marriages, they can perhaps bring about peaceful coexistence to the people of Israel and Palestine . Isn’t that a dream of every Jews and Muslim? If it is not, then I am wrong.", yes, you are wrong.

    Peaceful coexistence is, indeed, the dream of every Jewish person. But an interfaith marriage is not a dream of any Jewish parent nor of any Muslim parent.

    I wish this couple well, sincerely, but their future is filled with challenges beyond those of any newlyweds, and beyond those of of people that marry when they are of college age and very flexible. The article did not mention whether Huma is a practicing Muslim. If she is Muslim by heritage, but not practicing, they have a slightly better chance but it would be challenging even then. If they have children the strains will grow. Interfaith marriages aren't like inter-racial marriages. In interracial marriages the different skin tones blend producing beautiful children. In interfaith marriages the faiths can't blend in the children. At best the children can grow with an understanding or tolerance of both faiths — while the child is raised in one of the faiths – or no faith.

    In our case, we have three wonderful son and daughter-in-laws whom we love. We are blessed. None of them share our religion. When one of them told us they wanted marry our child our reply was joy and congratulations and best wishes – and included that if they were Jewish they would be absolutely perfect. All our children, and their spouses, know that and as they continue to mature and raise families of their own they understand it better. We're blessed that they all have strong marriages – perhaps because religion plays a minor, or no, role in their lives. But their heritage and upbringing have instilled a strong sense of the ethics that we wish was at the core of all religious teachings.


  8. Mike, I doff my cap to you for your brave efforts.
    FYI, mother Parsi/Zoroastrian, father Bene Israeli Jewish. Sister married to American Protestant, brother married to Assamese Brahmin.

    Gulu Ezekiel

  9. Things will not change without effort. But the effort has to be aimed at eliminating the oppression, not trying to somehow justify it. How can it be that in this day and age people think that the land grab of 1948 was justice. There were many Jews then and there are quite a few now who are against the Zionist State. It is my opinion, and many, many share that opinion, that the two state solution is nothing but a ploy. First, it will never happen. Secondly, if it does happen the peace will never hold. Arabs are not American Indians, and they have international allies in ever country on earth. People everywhere who are Abrahamic monotheists consider that land "holy" land. More than half of the Zionist Jews who formulated the Zionist State were atheist. They allowed a gay pride parade in Jerusalem. Brother Mike, regardless of what our multi cultural secular mind thinks of gays, and lesbians; regardless of what we in The West think of atheists, the selling of pig meat and alcohol, you have nearly a billion people who want to keep that land Kosher, Halal, and Abrahamic. I will send you one of my essays called "Israel's Right" To Exist. Tell me what you think of it.


  10. There is nothing wrong with an inter-faith wedding as long as both the partners continue to retain their original faiths even after the wedding and the children born out of that wedlock are free to choose a religion of their choice once they reach the age of 18 (or, for that matter, not to choose a religion). While they are still young, the children should be taught the tenets of both the religions. (My marriage to my partner is of this ideal type). Unfortunately, in many cases, one or the other partners usually manages to persuade the other to accept his or her religion and generally if one of the partners is Muslim, the other partner gets converted to Islam. If that happens to call it an inter-faith wedding is nonsense.

    Best regards,

  11. Dear Anonymous friend;

    There is a change on the horizon and the signs are all over. However, one should look at the couple's choices, it is not only in religion, but in many aspects of life one yeilds to the other for the sake of harmony. Their focus may be harmony within the family rather than which religion.

    I hope the society gets to a point where, it does not matter what faith one believes in, as long as the core values of justice and peace are in their heart and their practice.

    What difference does it make it to you or me how Huma or Anthony exprssess their gratitude to the creator? We need to be more open to the freedom of choice. If it affects it is political and not religious.

  12. “The conservative Jews and Muslims, nay, the extremist Jews and Muslims will start issuing fatwas against these two beautiful human beings and stick their version of the religion on them, which has been dished out by the middle men, and not God.”

    What two people do with their lives is their business. But to say that Islam allows a Muslim woman to marry out of her faith is nothing but sheer ignorance of Quran and Sunnah and Islam itself. The fatwa is given by Allah in His Book, not dished out by the middle men.

    “Do not marry unbelieving women until they believe. A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she attracts you. And do not marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe. A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though if he attracts you.” (Al-Baqarah, 221).

    And there is no two ways to interpret the above Command.

    Surprisingly, they want all their misdeeds to be blessed by Islam. But why!!!

    Bint Waleed

  13. God is for all times and so is his wisdom. Thank God we have the freedom to learn and understand concepts that were limited in the scope, but are actually universal.

    A distinction was made between those who believe in a creator and those who reject the creator (or associate the creator with others). Do Jews, Christians, Hindus or people of other faith not believe in God? Don't the Atheist, Buddhists and others not believe in accountability? They all do, they also believe that some thing caused the world to come into being, that something we call God.

    Perhaps the wisdom behind the distinction was to understand those who rejected God in medieval times, they usually did not care for the moral values of the humanity and as such they became a source of chaos, that stereo typing does not apply as universally today as it did some ten centuries ago.

    I just ask you to consider the possiblity of misunderstanding and misinterpreting God's word. God is wise, all embracing and cannot be narrow in his appeal. We the humans tend to want to own God and box up his wisdom. Let's give got all the freedom he is.

    Jazak Allah Khair

    Mike Ghouse

    2:221 (Asad) AND DO NOT marry women who ascribe divinity to aught beside God ere they attain to [true] belief: for any believing bondwoman [of God] [208] is certainly better than a woman who ascribes divinity to aught beside God, even though she please you greatly. And do not give your women in marriage to men who ascribe divinity to aught beside God ere they attain to [true] belief: for- any believing bondman [of God] is certainly better than a man who ascribes divinity to aught beside God, even though he please you greatly. [Such as] these invite unto the fire, whereas God invites unto paradise, and unto [the achievement of] forgiveness by His leave; and He makes clear His messages unto mankind, so that they might bear them in mind.

    Although the majority of the commentators attribute to the term amah, occurring in this context, its usual connotation of "slave-girl", some of them are of the opinion that it stands here for "God's bondwoman". Thus, Zamakhshai explains the words amah mu'minah (lit., "a believing bondwoman") as denoting "any believing woman, whether she be free or slave; and this applies to [the expression] `believing bondman' as well: for all human beings are God's bondmen and bondwoman". My rendering of the above passage is based on this eminently plausible interpretation.(Quran Ref: 2:221 )

  14. Mike:

    On the one hand this may be viewed favorably and in the short run (no
    kids) it may work just fine. However, it is my experience, in the
    long run (when the kids get here) they more than likely will be
    subjecting themselves and their posterity to a lifetime of unnecessary
    "stress". No matter the faith, I am convinced that is better in the
    long run to marry within the "faith" than outside the "faith".

    Keep up the good work and the efforts to view and share the "good" in
    every situation.


  15. Thanks Tony,

    It is a reality we have to learn to deal with. Let's pave the way for those who want to take that route…. may be couples like these will set the example of living a life of harmony.


  16. Mike Ghouse,
    Sorry to say but the fact is that you are confused in many areas. First of all a women is not supposed to date or mary by her own will as the best guide is the one who created her and if she goes beyond HIS (the creator's) orders, how possible is that she will be treated the same way with the one who follows HIS orders. In this way favourism is there in GOD rules as this will be the most fair thing – is to appreciate one who do right (mean obeys GOD orders) and punish the other who do wrong (do not obey orders of GOD).
    In Islam and true Muslim society, a woman must have to get permission from (wali) a guardian usually father, in case father is dead, her uncle or brother or if she is widow and have a son who is mature- must get permission from him for marriage.
    This marriage of a Muslim girl with a Jew man will not be considered as marriage even though they do the formalities. This will be considered as fornication throughout their marriage life which is HARAM (forbidden to a highest degree) in Islam.
    To understand Islam from a different abgel, please listen this link
    Obaid Khan

  17. Mahmudal Hasan

    If this dating is at the expense of a fundamental Islamic principle, then I don't welcome it. Islam prohibits extramarital relation and Muslim women are not supposed to marry a non-Muslim. Justice to the Palestinians also demands that they are entitled to preserve their religious identity and values.


  18. Arif Khairuddin


    The child out of this wedlock would not be Jewish, bcoz per Jewish Jurisprudence, the child's mom has to be Jewish for the child to be Jewish. Well it is a good start. I hope that this start gets extended to work place where the Jewish hiring manager starts hiring muslim recruits. This start gets extended where Jewish girls in America marry muslim boys. This start prevents people like Perle and Wolfowitz to architect other wars against muslims.

  19. Server Mohammad

    A sincere advise to you to keep me off your list of sinful and shameful emails. I do not wish to be part of this so-called, bound to failure, co-existence propaganda, where 2+2=4 is right and 2+2=5 is also right.

  20. Shamim Siddiqi

    Dear Sever Mian, ASA

    Why you want to withdraw yourself from what Br Ghouse is doing. He is at the least trying to assemble all the heterogeneous elements of the society at one platform which no body is doing currently.

    Br Ghouse's job only is to be friendly with tem, create intimacy on individual level, and gradually try to bring them to one common denomination that our Sustainer is ONE. He is very kind and Merciful. He created this universe and what it contains for us with total freedom to put them to our use with only feeling that we all are accountable to Him the way we use His bounties. This is the genesis of Islam and I am sure Br Ghouse is already working on that line though process is slow.

    This is all that Islam advocates. It is the matter of Hikmah how one approaches the mankind. It is a matter of difference: how you sell your product? You just find out how to help Br Ghouse in his pursuit to get the desired results. I have already offered my humble services to him in this respect. I am waiting fro his respsonse.

    Have you any idea to come over to NY?

    Uncle Shamim

  21. I think it is wonderful for two people to hold their feelings for peace and love for each other higher than politics. When two people have so much love and respect for each other as well as understanding of the differences in their individual backgrounds and upbring, there is hope yet for the world. It becomes difficult to understand cases where one partner insists on the conversion of the other while claiming to love the other. Can one truly love a person and yet reject that person's upbringing and background? And religion does form an intrinsic part of a person's background, does it not? It is just a question of respecting another religion. I will pray that this marriage of souls works out well. God bless both of you.

  22. Arif Mohammed Khan

    You deserve all Kudos for creating this awareness about harmonious existence of diversities which is absolutely essential for a peaceful and prosperous world. I have read all the comments particularly those critical of this union carefully. May I invite the attention of the critics to the history of Mongol invasion of Baghdad – an occasion when when many Mongols took Arab women including some Royals who wedded Abbasi princesses. Historians say that it was under the influence of these Arab women that the hostile invaders turned into friends and defenders of Islam, a situation aptly described by Allam Iqbal in following words:



  23. And those Tatars attacked caliphates and the other muslim dominions because their kings were themselves married to christian wives before!

    I have a point to make. Is anybody other than Muslim who believes in Allah through Christianity and Judaism a disbeliever?

  24. Salam Bint,

    You are not reading people's posts carefully. Br. Ghouse said about Muslims marrying "Jews and Christians" and you are quoting the "do not marry idol-worshipers" from the Qur'an. It's not the same thing.

    Can you show me if the Qur'an forbids Muslims (in the sense of Muhammadans) to marry Jews and Christians (actually people of the Book)?

    If you show more wisdom and less haste and impulsive emotion, that will make you more credible!


  25. Dr. Habib Alambay

    You are absolutely correct,both the religions are compatible and it's the politics of the displaced (designed by the british who cut countries at will as if it was their fierfdom) Moreover we the world at large are paying the price for Hiler's inhuman treatment of the jews

  26. Arif Mohammad Khan

    From Arif Mohammed Khan with Regards

    You deserve all Kudos for creating this awareness about harmonious existence of diversities which is absolutely essential for a peaceful and prosperous world. I have visited your blog and was surprised to see the comments objecting to this inter-religious union. May I invite the attention of the critics to the history of Mongol invasion of Baghdad – an occasion when when many Mongols took Arab women including some Royals wedding Abbasi princesses. Historians say that it was under the influence of these Arab women that the invaders turned into friends and defenders of Islam, a situation aptly described by Allam Iqbal in following words:


    Recently I have done a small piece on Quran and Conflict Resolution and I am sending the same for your perusal.

  27. Arif Mohammad Khan

    Recently I have done a small piece on Quran and Conflict Resolution and I am sending the same for your perusal.

    Quran on Conflict Resolution
    Arif Mohammad Khan
    Right from the dawn of civilization the mankind is faced with the challenge of managing conflicts, violence and wars. No civilization has succeeded to end the bloodshed but the quest for peace continues in various hues. There is general realization that conflicts cannot be resolved completely but can be managed through the instruments like negotiation, mediation and facilitation to avoid violence and loss of life.
    Quran has dealt with the subject of conflict resolution in a peculiar manner that accords with its basic emphasis on reforming and building the individual as a necessary prerequisite for building a reformed and better world.
    Quran says that there is something Godlike in man: “Your Lord said to the angels; I am about to create man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape. After I have fashioned him in due proportion and breathed into him my spirit, fall you down in obeisance to him (15.28-29). This divine nature of man is attested by a Prophetic tradition that “God created Adam upon his own form”.
    However Quran also acknowledges that man is selfish and greedy and has the propensity to do things evil. It says: “Behold your Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said "Will you place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood” (2.30). In numerous other verses Quran talks of the sanctity of human life and of the divine covenant which obligates man not to shed blood and uphold peace and justice.
    Conscious of the dual inclinations of man the first thing Quran underlines is the quality of patience and perseverance and says: “O you my servants who believe! Fear your Lord: good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is Allah's earth! Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure (39.10). It is important to remember that in no less than 93 verses Quran has exhorted the believers to exercise patience in the face of adversity and provocation.
    It is true that on the legal plane Quran allows the victims of persecution to fight back in self-defense subject to the condition that they retaliate only to the extent they have been harmed but even on this occasion Quran reminds them of their moral obligation to keep in mind the merits of forgiveness. It says: “And if you punish, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted. But if you endure patiently, verily, it is better for the patient ones. (16.126)
    Quran emphatically asserts that the good and evil are not alike and exhorts the believers to repel the evil with good. It says: “Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: then will he between whom and you was hatred become as it were your friend and intimate. (41.34)
    Quran further says that the existing conflicts should not be viewed as permanent enmities and a continuous process of building bridges must be in place by dealing kindly with those who indulge not in persecution: “It may be that Allah will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom you (now) hold as enemies” and that “God forbids you not from dealing kindly with those who fight you not for your faith, nor drive you out of your homes (60.7-8).
    Strangely the history of last 1400 years shows that the Muslim authorities in the conduct of public affairs have largely ignored the Quranic principles of conflict resolution and these teachings have remained confined to theory or at best academic discussions.

  28. Not many in Asia and tradetional societies approve this. In India honor killings abound and the state just shuts its eyes.

  29. For a Muslim it is necessary only that he/she marry a believer. What faith the spouse chooses to profess his/her believe is surely immaterial

  30. Love is everything. No constarints. Heck with the Islamic laws; Maybe have premarital sex as well if you are deeply in love. Why not indeed! Perhaps this is what is meant by "reformed islam", a new islam for new Muslims and I guess it is time for the likes of me to depart[znh]

  31. In Judaism, the children take the religion of their mother. Will their children be Muslim ?

    Here is a better one…She will now be know as Huma Weiner. FUNNY NAME…Huma Weiner.

    Khalid A. Ahmed

  32. Khalid,

    No name is funny, every name is dear to the one who has it. Some of our names are funny too from others point of view. The Qur'aan says something to this effect " if you sling mud on others, you have an equal chance of getting on you" in refernce to maligning other faiths. How wise!

  33. Mike ASAKWR,

    I am sorry but in this particular instance I cannot agree with you at all. While I appreciate your sincerity in bringing inter-faith understanding between various communities, I just cannot see how you can lay a claim on divinity by articulating a viewpoint that is contrary to God's Word. The Quran is unequivocal with regard to inter-faith marriage and completely forbids a Muslim woman from marrying a non-muslim man.

    By virtue of being a Muslim, one has to remember that he/she has submitted his/her will to Allah and indeed has no right to prevail over his will. It is only by one's implicit submission to the tenets of his/her faith can one acquire real peace in life. I don't believe the Muslim lady Huma is acquiring peace by transgressing God's law and I don't think you will be able to bring harmony and peace in this world by promoting a dogma that has no sanction from religion.

    Mike my friend, I sincerely believe you will be able to achieve better results by focussing on inter-islam dialogue rather then the so called inter-faith understanding. Allah SWT has said, "We are the best of people ever, evolved for Mankind enjoining what is right, preventing what is wrong" 3:110. It is time we start being the best of people by being useful for mankind and setting an example as standard bearers of Islam and remember our standard is our Prophet Muhammad (SAS).

    As Muslims it is our responsibility to work towards delivering the message, beyond which we need not worry. We have utmost regard and respect for people of all faiths and we do not make a distinction between people on the basis of their faith. InshAllah if we are able to emit an Islamic personality in the manner in which we conduct our affairs, I am confident it will be sufficiant for us to live a wholesome, peaceful life regardless of where we are and what we do.

    Jazak Allahu Khairan

  34. AA,

    Syed Adil,

    Please read the comments above, I am yet to find the verse in Qur'aan that explicitly prohibits one to marry from other faith. It does talk about those who do not believe in creation… while you mentioned that Quraan unequivocally forbids interfaith marriage… please find me the verses in Qur'aan, if not, Islam does not forbid… Islam is about creating peace and harmony.

  35. Mauri' Saalakhan

    Salaams: I'm afraid you are wrong on two counts, brother. To begin with, there is a reason why the Islamic tradition frowns upon a Muslim female marrying a non-Muslim male. (The majority consensus among the scholars is that it is forbidden.)

    But that issue aside, how could a (conscious and committed) Muslim married to a pro-Israel Jew be considered a healthy example of "co-existence?" I find it difficult to embrace that stream of logic. It is for this reason (in addition to the first) that I strongly disagree with your position on the need for more such "interfaith marriages."

    Mauri' Saalakhan

  36. Dear Mauri,

    It is a healthy thing to disagree and indeed, the prophet encouraged us to debate, as it enhances one's understanding of subject.

    The issue you raised was political – not religious, the issue between Palestine and Israel is about justice and politics and not about religion. Both religions emphasize on justice and and both books say unequivocally that saving one life is like saving the whole humanity… so it is not the religion, it is the politics.

    Don't you think Huma will at least argue with Anthony about Justice… isn't that needed in a healthy relationships. Even if she doesn not focus on it, it is what Most people do, don't they.

    How many Muslims are concerned about the plight of Muslims in Darfur, plight of Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan and elsewhere… why isn't it a main stream Islam topic?

    None of us can pay attention to every issue of the world, we can what we can. We should not have any problems if Israel is not an issue to Huma.

  37. Arif
    Well said and you have understood the subjecgt matter well. Thanks for the couplet from Iqbal's poetry, appropriately injected. Here is a rough trans-creation.

    There is a lesson from the mongol invasion,
    that one finds the way to religion through beauty.

  38. Dear Brother Mike,

    As always, i am deeply touched by your care and gentleness toward all your brothers and sisters. May Allah/God/Hashem bless you for your sincere efforts to build bridges across the scandalous chasm between children of the same divine Parent.

    Dear sisters and brothers who have responded in this discussion, thank you for helping us all to understand your beliefs and your point of view. In each of your posts, i hear the passion with which you love the One God, and the deep devotion with which you follow your faith. I am profoundly moved by your love and your devotion, and i am in awe of your courage in expressing it, despite the misunderstanding, struggle and pain that can come back to you from those who don't agree. May God/Allah/Hashem bless you with all good things, and continue to grant you this wisdom and courage.

    I praise God that this discussion fulfills a dream of mine (and, i'm guessing, of Brother Mike's): that we all will "talk WITH" one another, rather than "talking about" people we don't understand (in ways that widen or extend the gulf between us), or "talking AT" people we are not willing to hear.

    Even–or, perhaps, especially–when the posts do not agree, we are (Praise God!) continuing the dialogue; we continue to learn from one another, and to come to understand one another–even if we continue to think one another to be in the wrong. This dialogue among individuals is an exciting development toward understanding and peace–if we "regular people" wait for heads of state to negotiate peace, it will never happen. If, however, we come together and listen and talk and share our lives, we will come to care for one another, and peace will be the result.

    I have, for many years, been praying daily for all my sisters and brothers, Muslim, Christian and Jew, that God continue to lead us to understanding and peace. This blog, and the dialogue it engenders, looks like a wonderful next step on that path. May the One God, the most kind, the most merciful, continue to give us love and peace to share with one another.

  39. Muslim men can marry Jewish and Christian women. But Muslim women are not allowed to do so, unless the Jewish, Christian or Hindu men convert to Islam. This is one of the reasons for many Christian men's conversion to Islam!

    There's no forbiddance regarding this in the Qur’an. If it is NOT forbidden, it may be allowed–though not a very wise thing to do. I would go a step further, that, the ayah that says "Do not marry unbelievers….because a believer slave is better than an idolater" may not be totally haram, though it will be against the "advice" of God to the ignorant. Remember God does not say "Worship Me because I am better than other gods". He commands us to worship Him because He is the ONLY one who must be obeyed.

    Take a look at the "Jilbaab" command (actually a Divine advice to women), for example, where God gives the reason of His advice "…so that they (the believer women) may be recognized as believer women and not be molested/bothered (by hooligans/unbelievers)".

    I think the Muslims should be careful in labeling everything in black and white as "this is haram…" when the Qur'an does not make it haraam. Having said this, please note that ALL advice that comes from Allah has a sound reason behind it and it is good for us, the ignorant, in the short or long run.

    I don't believe that a Muslim stops being a Muslim if he marries a non-Muslim woman–even an idolater, or vice versa. I personally would never do that because I believe God's advice is the best one and it is for my own good–but would I be thrown into the Hellfire for marrying an idolater woman? I don't believe so. I have seen the punishment being defined for not spending in the way of Allah, or for committing “fahisha” but I have never seen any punishment being defined for marrying an unbeliever woman even though we do see Allah’s advice against it! We are told that it is the ultimate totality of our Muslim conduct–the totality of good and bad deeds and our belief in Allah, His books, and Hismessengers, and His angels—that are still with us— that will earn us the Paradise or the Hell. Marrying ANY woman–mushrik or Muslim, Jewish or Christian–is not one of those good or bad deeds. If it were, Allah would have said that clearly.

    However, there are some men and some women that we are clearly FORBIDDEN to marry in the Qur’an!!!! Asghar, can you tell me who are those men and women?


  40. Wa alaikum salam,

    "Quran uses the word mushrikeen not only for idolators, but for all disbelievers."

    True, but are you saying that the Jews and Christians are "Mushrikeen"? If so, how come Allah disallowed marriage of the Muslims (Muhammadan Muslims) to the mushriqeen but He did allow the Muslims (Muhammadan Muslims) to marry the women of the People of the Book? Also, He, the Most High, did not "disallow" Muslim women to men of the People of the Book just as He did in case of Mushrikeen.

    5:5 (Y. Ali) This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues

    There is a lot of praise in the Qur'an for some of the People of the Book who did not oppose the Message, rather stuck to their own Books in the right sense:

    3:113-114 (Y. Ali) Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous. Of the good that they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knoweth well those that do right.

    So, the Jews and the Christians, and other "People of the Book" are treated differently in the Qur'an than the "idol-worshipers" and the "rejecters of the Message". Many of them are treated as "believers (mo’mineen)" (see 3:110)!!!!

    So br. Ghouse is absolutely right—just as anyone who STUDIES the Qur'an with a sincere heart— not just RECITES it to earn "thawaab".


  41. Omair Farooqui

    Salaams Bro. Ghouse-

    If Mr. Weiner does not accept Islam before marrying Sr. Huma, I differ with your assessment.

    If she marries him, her "marriage" will not be recognized under Islamic law and therefore her cohabiting with him will be considered fornication – which is strictly forbidden in Islam and against the Shariah as interpreted by an overwhelming marjority of the ulema.

    Under such circumstances, how can we "encourage" them? What good will her fornication bring to the Israeli and Palestinian issue and how will that bring peace to the Middle East? And God forbid, why would we "need more of them"?

    Omair Farooqui

  42. WAAS,
    Dear Omair

    Islam requires one to marry a beleiving individual and praise the lord, indeed both of them believe in the creator God. Further more islam does not want any compulsion in matters of faith, neither conversion is required to marry.

    Infact, Quraan advises the individual female to retain her freedom and follow her own faith in God. If you disagree, please find me a verse in quraan that says otherwise.


    As far as Sharia is concerned, please read, particularly the information on the left panel.

    Thank you.

    Jazak allah khair
    Mike Ghouse

  43. shersuleman
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    My dear Mike,
    As-sallammu Aalaykum wa Rehmatullahi wa Barakatu Hu,

    I guess, you got carried away in your peace overtures and blessed an otherwise 'deviated' marriage of a woman (who happens to have a name Huma: of course she does know what being a Muslim implies!) with a Jew. I concede her right to wed anyone and profess any belief system. However, she or anyone cannot subscribe to Islam as faith and marry a Jew particularly a staunch pro-Israeli, remain his spouse and also be a pro-justice person.

    Any pro-Israeli Jew stands for the injustices perpetuated on a weak and abandoned people – The people of Palestine; by the powerful and mighty so-called christian but Imperial WEST. It is a chapter of history that is gory and written by ruthless injustice. Surely, the fall of their ascendancy will also re-write the turn of history. Br. Mike, the Odyssey of Mankind is long and turbulent yet it is heading towards the shores that belong to a promised land of peace which cannot exist with justice!!!

    You confuse LOVE with mutual attraction between a male and a female; latter is good enough to make conjugal choices. However, humans are known to be making such choices for other reasons also i.e., material or other gains etc.! So, please do not become an unwitting salesman of confused Pluralism or any peace movement. There cannot be any peace when the captive and hapless Palestinians are being subjected to acceptance of tyranny and subjugation by the mighty sole Super Power, her western stooges and the terrorist State of Israel. I am sure you have not lost conscious and courage in pursuit of your peace overtures or salesmanship of Pluralism!

    Further, I wish we all knew the reason why of venerable Huma in choosing to marry a pro-Israeli Jew! I knew of some Muslim girls having married Hindu lads in the pre-partition areas that are now in Pakistan and of course, many such girls must be marrying Hindu lads in India. but then, we know the reasons and do not proceed to sell these as inter-faith amity!! I am surprised at your interjections," Both have demonstrated their ability to discern the personal, political and religious difference and have based their relationship on love which transcends all other created differences:" as if you have personal and intimate knowledge of both!!

    Again,your exclamation, "Despite the differences, they are setting an example of co-existence and we need to encourage them, we need more of them, through many such interfaith marriages, they can perhaps bring about peaceful coexistence to the people of Israel and Palestine. Isn’t that a dream of every Jews and Muslim? If it is not, then I am wrong. "My dear Mike, you are out rightly wrong; No Jews dream like that and of course, Muslims haven't yet started dreaming! Interfaith marriages are not known to have survived the motivating drives; in any case, these are always 'freakish' happenings and will never make a healthy precedence for anyone in his or her right state of mind.

    Justice amongst members of a polity and justice amongst nations can bring peace. You tell me another 'potion' your wise mind may have invented! Marriages or international relations based on divergent interests, end up in conflicts. Pluralism based on meeting of the minds and hearts will lead us to peace and harmony amongst people and nations. Justice is of essence and it implies end of all wrongs.

    Fond regards: Sher Suleman

  44. Mike,

    YOU ARE RIGHT when you concede – and even bless -the union of a Muslim American woman of Indo-Pak ancestry to a Jew (or a Hindu or a Christian or Zorostrain or Baha'i……. etc); I believe in freedom of choice, of conscience and of action (that includes right to apostasy)as long as it does not hurt anyone else.

    YOU ARE WRONG, however, when you soft pedal the extremely toxic attachement of US Rep Anthony Weiner to the brutal, militaristic and fascist state of Israel!

    AND YOU ARE DEAD WRONG, AGAIN, when you dismiss the Zionist thinking that justifies brutality, confiscation, expulsion, dispossession, humiliation, exploitation and killing of an innocent people in the name of holocaust!
    AND YOU ARE FRIGHTFULLY WRONG when you dismiss, with a wink and a nod, the real significance of – and a deep, very real and pervasive mentality behind – the seemingly innocuous phrase "Chosen People". This doctrine of exclusive "Covenant with God" cannot be understood unless you peruse every word, every phrase, every sentence and every chapter and verse of the Old Testament.
    According to the Hebrew Bible, God commissioned Joshua to exterminate every gentile man, woman and child, nay anything that walketh or runneth, creepeth or crawleth etc., to uproot every tree and burn every blade of grass in the land to Canaan, before taking it over for Jewish settlement. He proscribed "any traffic whatsoever" with a gentile as a direct challenge to His commandment, fraught with grievous punishment to the tribes of Israel! 'Gallows ten cubits high' (Book of Esther) were their olny answer to "Enemies of Israel" (which included every member of humanity who could not claim a Jewish mother!) God even refused his mercy to his most devoted servant Ayyub (Job) because, he Alas! was not Jewish.

    Now I am not implying that every Jew today subscribes to the doctrines laid down in Torah, I do wonder about any Jew (or Christian) who sends money to – or extends moral, milirtary, diplomatic or any other kind of support for – Israel because such support only reinforces Israel's stranglehold on the beleagured people of palestine whose fate, as Israel sees it, is final, wholesale expulsion from historic Palestine (which, by the way, does not stop at Jordan or Litani rivers – they are only temporary frontiers of EretzYisrael.)
    I hope you can clear your head and call a spade a spade. Let us be resigned to loss of a talented woman from our ranks but do not get carried away in the unrealistic hopes that she might somehow detoxify Weiner.

    Inayat Lalani

  45. Mohammad Suleman

    Bernie !

    What Mike was saying, I believe, is that "………peaceful coexistence to the people of Israel and Palestine . Isn’t that a dream of every Jews and Muslim? …. He is right on this. Your statement about your children that …".We're blessed that they all have strong marriages – perhaps because religion plays a minor, or no, role in their lives. But their heritage and upbringing have instilled a strong sense of the ethics that we wish was at the core of all religious teachings." ….It needs correction.

    Let me explain. 'Heritage and upbringing ' are animalistic and innate qualities and cannot alone be a source of ' human ethics' we are talking about. On the other hand 'religion' through inspiration, is the only source of ' instilling strong sense of the ethics ' through correct Knowledge and Teachings from day one. If its dispensing process gets corrupted by human intervention for reasons of their own, we cannot blame or ignore the source (religion) altogether. Our ethic, ( heritage and upbringing ) did not ' appear ' from a vacuum. We may deny it, but there had been and still is, a connection and a link with the divine ( religion ). And that is what differentiates us human from animals.

    Mohammad Suleman

  46. Dr. Javed Jamil

    Dear Mike

    Syed Adil isright on the spot when he says that such marriages neither have the sanvtion of God nor do they need to be encouraged in the name of Interfaith. Interfaith in itself is no religion. Interfaith is good only as far as it attempts to avoid conflicts and hatred. Every system has the right to preserve its uniqueness. Marriages are not allowed to dilute or weaken the great ideological and social system of Islam. Quran permits, not encourages, a man to marry a woman from among ahle Kitab, but not a Muslim woman to marry a man from among them. The reason is very simple. If a Muslim man marries a Christian or Jew womna, the woman is exposed to Islam, and the chances are that she would sooner or later recognise the truth that while Judaic religion was an important milestone in Divine Journey of Guidance, Islam is the Final destinatuion. On the other hand, if a Muslim woman marries a Christian or Jew, she isexposed to an atmosphere dominated by them, and she might be forced by the circumstances to go back to an eralier milestone from the position of Destination.

    Your ideas of Interfaith are based on fallacious premises, and you need to have a rethinking on them as early as possible.

    Dr Javed Jamil

  47. Javed,

    I understand your desire to conserve, so is the desire of people in every faith. There is nothing wrong with it.

    What is missing is the critical thinking in this context; an understanding of the essence of an issue rather than seeing things in black and white or literal terms.

    The marriage relationship is between two individuals and the ideal of the marriage is to live in harmony, regardless of one's faith.

    As a Muslim, I am constantly searching to grasp the universeness of Islam; it is an all embracing "faith". I do not want to reduce God's word to mere rituals and rules; there is a lot of wisdom in it.

    Qur'aan is a book of guidance and not the laws. I do not see a prohibition that a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man. All it says is to marry a believing man – some one who believes in the creation and a cause of such creation.

    Who does not believe in it? The Atheists subscribe to the idea of a causer. The conservative desire to see everything in Black and white sets up an exclusive men's clubs mind set.

    Qur’aan being a universal guidance lists 25 prophets while giving a number of 124,000 denoting that no one on the earth, no tribe was left out by his Grace. Then it lists Jews and Christians as the people of book and gave us intelligence to believe that every faith has a book, and almost all of them are people of the book. Further more, the oral tradition religions serve the same purpose as the ones with the books – to bring tranquility to an individual and strive for a balance in the society; spiritual, biological, environmental and other balances. Qur’aan by its very nature is inclusive, it is something Muslims have not opened their eyes to, it is time we do.

    To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill.

    May God take us from darkness into the light.

    Mike Ghouse

  48. Dr. Javed Jamil



    You said: The marriage relationship is between two individuals and the ideal of the marriage is to live in harmony, regardless of one's faith.

    The truth isthat marriage is an institution created through the Laws of God, and Islam allows marriages only within certain boundaries. Marriage of a man with a woman is only allowed, not the same sex marriages. Ideally, both should be Muslims, and both must be on similar ideological level. But Quran permitted marriages of Muslim men with women from ahl-e Kitab because it helps a woman to understand Islamic faith, and can create better bridges with people of other faith, who can have a chance to know Islam better.

    You said: As a Muslim, I am constantly searching to grasp the universeness of Islam; it is an all embracing "faith". I do not want to reduce God's word to mere rituals and rules; there is a lot of wisdom in it.

    Islam is of course a universal religion, but universality certainly does not mean accepting erroneous ideologies, defaulters of law and criminals. Islam’s ideology is aimed at making a cleaner, healthier and more peaceful world, and that aim can be achieved only through preserving and following the Islamic System.

    You said: Qur'aan is a book of guidance and not the laws.

    Mike, when you say this, you exhibit a total lack of understanding of Qur’an. How can somebody say that Qur’an is not a book of Laws? Qur’an clearly tells about Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Prohibitions, which set the Islamic Legal System. Quran gives clear legal directions about crimes and their punishments, about marriages, divorces, inheritance, about economic system—in fact about everything.

    You said: I do not see a prohibition that a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man. All it says is to marry a believing man – some one who believes in the creation and a cause of such creation.

    A Muslim cannot be a Momin (Believer) but every Momin is a true Muslim. How can a believer be a “Believer†if he does not submit to all the commands of God, rejects His Final Book and Final Prophet.

    Brother Mike, most Muslims are getting fed up with your continued attempts to dilute Islam in the name of your version of “Universality†and “Pacemakingâ€. Better have a serious rethinking about your views and aims in life before a stage comes when majority of Muslims abandons you and your approach altogether.

    Javed Jamil

  49. Javed,

    I submit Islam is about freedom and Islam is about free will. In a simple dialogue that we are having, where each one has an opportunity to learn or at least be open to another point of view, we must continue the conversation in that frame work.

    Perhaps 1% of Muslims individuals (as opposed to group) is conservative and limits Allah’s word to the word itself and not want to give room to its wisdom. The other 1% is ultra liberal, where everything is subjected to experiments. Then the 98% of Muslims are moderates – the ones who follow the middle path of Deen and Duniya that the prophet advocated. Qur’aan gives us the freedom of choice and there is no compulsion in the matters of faith.

    Being a conservative, you draw the line around Islam and limit its universality where as the liberals do not have any lines. But most of us, the 98% of Muslims are moderates and are open to understanding with non-restrictive boundaries.

    World Muslim congress is a moderate forum and as moderate Muslims we have room for the conservatives as well as the liberal. Most of the human race is moderate by nature.

    Your statement is apt “Brother Mike, most Muslims are getting fed up with your continued attempts to dilute Islam in the name of your version of universality” Javed, please correct that to most ultra conservative Muslims, as most Muslims like to see the moderation in our approach and live and let live. I do not need any one’s support, as long as God is pleased and my mentor Prophet Muhammad smiles at me, I am content.

    By the way the ones who are fed up with me are: Ultra unbending conservative Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Christians. I pray that they honor and respect every human that God has created and further pray that they learn to get along with each other. The qualities of ultra conservatives, be they be Muslims, Jews, Hindu or a Christian are same.

    We are an open forum and believe in Allah’s word that he could have chosen to makes us all Muslims and he intentionally created diverse people, nations and tribes so we can know each other and live in harmony. That is all God wants his creation to live in peace and get along with every one.

    We differ, and I respect the difference and welcome you to share your thoughts, even though they border on maligning the moderator. Islamic pluralism begins here; I do not subscribe to the ideas you follow, nor you subscribe to follow what I follow, lets’ learn to accept the otherness of each other and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

    Jazak Allah Khair

    Mike Ghouse

  50. Honestly the views of people who see things in black and white is unsettling I
    would have rather prefered terms like it is "preferable" or the "consensus" is
    but the radical mind of orthodoxy does not allow for flexibility in the
    fundamentalism of Islam.

    I am concerned that some how the message being conveyed by the conservatives is
    Muslim women are the property of Muslim men only and therefore it is better for
    them to marry Muslim Men only and Al Mushrikoon (Non Believers), Jewish or
    Christians men are measured with the same Yard stick and some how believing
    Slaves by default are Muslims so exceptions can be made by those fiqah who
    translate and interpret the Quran this seems outright sanctimonious and flawed
    in Islamic prejudice with nom regard for Islamic Ethics, on one hand Islam
    justify s most heinous immorality of Slavery but can not see love as a
    transcendental value what kind of Islam or peace does this foster amongst human
    beings, Sorry I find this very troubling what happened to those who say Marriage
    is a social contract in Islam or Marraiges are made in Haven, I suppose Allah
    has to supervise all marriages personally to make sure no one converted to Islam
    under the false pretense to marry a Muslim women—amazing how human spirit can
    be cornered into dogma of Sharia where Gods mercy is defined by scholars of
    questionable credentials.

    Regards Aziz

  51. Dear Mike,

    If I may put in my two cents worth.Intermarriage is not encouraged and sunned, and one
    of the most worrisome and least understood subjects of any religion…..also, it's most
    complex from an emotional point of view.

    Same faith parents in any religion feel when their child marries someone outside their faith he or she is breaking the millenia-long religious code of continuity and they do not want to allow that to happen.Interfaith marriage always has faced the challenges of raising an interfaith family,or coping with interfaith relationships in their extended families.Let me give you an example.There was an interfaith marriage – cross-marriage, if you will because they both profess same religion, Islam – between sunni muslim and shia Ismaili muslim. Sunni boy fell in love with a shia Ismaili girl.Both had no problem, until their child was born.Now, sunni boy wouldn't mind if shia girl went to her jamatkhana and prayed there.But, sunni boy wouldn't allow mother to take her child to her jamatkhana.But,sunni boy would take their child to mosque.If this is not compulsion, what is.( You would find hundreds of cases in India where Muslim men would marry Hindu girls to make their children muslims.), than hindu men would marry muslim girls and make their children hindus.

    Yes, exception is made for Muslim men to marry Jewish and Christian women because they are "People of the Book." But,what about their children. Don't you think Muslim men would want their children to be muslims.

    Only in United States there's a rapid rate of intermarriage among people of different faiths.These facts are indicative of the high degree of assimilation and tolerance that is practiced in this country.This is taken as evidence of the declining role of faith and
    culture identity.Surveys show many do not identify themselves with any religion.

    Finally, Mike if we look in the long run, beside coping with feelings of guilt about having left the fold and defied family, it also interferes with continuity of one's race and religion of family.


  52. Dear Hasni,

    There is no doubt about the problems and the difficulties with interfaith marriages.

    Of the many, let's look at a few choices;

    1. Ban interfaith marriages; that is not going to happen.

    2. Do nothing, don't even know about it and go on with life and every one knows, it is not possible; we watch TV and listen to news, which is not going to alter our lives a bit.

    3. Find solutions; give room to people to grow. Those who go for it, let them experience it and let's not make it difficult for them. Imagine what we used to call "love marriages" was uncommon when we were growing up, indeed, it was looked down upon it. It is had its own growing pains, and it is stabilizing now.

    4. Nothing in the world would ever be homogenous, that's how God has created the world. There will ALWAYS be Baha’i, Buddhist, Wicca, Christian, Muslim, Jews, Hindus, Buddhist, Secular, Atheists….. so there will always be people who will not have problems with pluralism and interfaith. But no single group will have a monopoly, if they do, it is dangerous to humanity and God has made a declaration – If I wanted the whole world it could have been one… but the creator chose diversity, it is insurance for continuance of human race.

    5. ?


  53. Zahid Jameel, Sydney

    I find it interesting to note that how, many sincere Muslims tend to jump on liberals such as Mike Ghouse when they tend to dilute the Islamic principles. However the same Muslims tend to maintain silence when some conservative Muslim leadership/institution act/speak against the principles of Islam.

    It is not uncommon to receive fatwas from institutions such as Deoband as well as many so called imams, moulvis and sheikhs on issues affecting the lives of ordinary Muslims (very often women) which are against the basic laws and the spirit of Islam. Similarly these people tend to shy away from any criticism of Mullahs governing some Islamic nations/socities. Some actions of Iranian clerics were neither Islamic nor humane in recent crisis. Some extremist clerics are currently causing havoc in many cities and towns across Nigeria.

    It is important that we be honest and speak out against any one who tend to twist the Islamic principles, whether they happen to be on this side or on the other side of the fence. Truthfulness will help us in influencing the young mind in having clarity of Islamic principles. Otherwise they either tend to become extremist or rebellious to be so called liberal. A momin can not be either of the two as he has to be truthful, honest and God fearing.

    Zahid Jamil

  54. Shamim Siddiqi

    Mohtram Javed Bhai, ASA

    Your concern about our beloved brother Mohtram Ghouse Bhai is 100 % correct. His liberal approach to Islam and accommodating spirit of all faiths together have confused and blurred his vision about Allah's Deen altogether. Unmindfully, He is, in fact, on the course of creating another Deen on the pattern of Akbar's "Deen-e-Ilahi", a jumbled up different believes, dogmas, concocted facts of history and so many other things to build a "Cosmopolitan" society for neo-Americans that pleases the Jews, the Christians and Ahley Hanud. It will be an ultra-modern edition of Islam for Americans of 21 century and he will be their "Guru", the "Kabir" of America. The White House, the arch enemy of Islam, would love this edition.

    However, such efforts in the past have failed and this will also meet the same fate sooner or later. From Dawah point of view, I have offered him a course to get the best out of this "compilation" of religions but how far he will act upon it depends on Tawfeeq that comes only from Allah and if one begs for it.

    So, please leave him to his inevitable fate. You have more important jobs to do for the growing calamities of Ummah. Why you want to add another headache to that long list.

    When the next issue of IM&W is coming? It must come with a great thud. I hope so.

    Shamim Siddiqi

  55. Dr. Javed Jamil

    If "same Muslims" maens or includesme, then I must clarify a few things:
    First, I am known in India to have clearly expressed my viewsagainst several fatwas issued by Ulama here and against several of the common held views. I wrote several articles against Fatwa on the famous Imrana case, against the principle of "Triple Divorce", against conservative interpretationsof iddah, and against some of the notionsrelated to Family welfare issues. I often target the Ulama for not showing enough concern for the larger problemsof humanity, and for not running a campaign against the Forcesof Evil that are bent on commercialising and glorifying human weaknesses; But in my approach, I avoid being harsh to the personsor groups. I mainly focus on specific views.

    Second, In the case of Iran, the truth is that therre was a deep rooted conspiracy to destabilise Islamic Iran, and the conspiracy still continues though by now the conspirators seem to have resigned to the defeat of their campaign. Maybe, some Iranian authoritiesmight have committed some mistakes in dealing the crisisthat threatened the very existence of the Revolution. But by and large, considering the scale of conspiracy, thingshave passes off quite peacefully, at least for the time being.

    Third, I have always had good relationswith Mike Ghouse whom I respect asan elder brother. But I have felt concerned how his approach is sidelining him among Islam lovers. So whenever I feel he haswritten something fundamentally wrong, I do not hesitate to criticise his writings. In the recent past, you must be remembering, you wrote a letter in which you were extremely critical of Mike.

    Dr Javed Jamil

  56. Shamim, and Javed;

    First of all, I am not a liberal, certainly not a conservative stick in the mud (lakeer ka faker) by any stretch of the imagination. I am an assertive moderate and align with 98% of the Muslims who are moderates and want to live a balanced life between faith and the world. Please refer to my previous response defining the moderate.

    Secondly, you are intentionally or unintentionally creating the idea that I am promoting another religion – that is baloney! Please do not do that, it may suit some of your friends to develop ill-will towards me, but you know that is not the truth. Islam is my religion and God willing, I am committed to remove the layers of myths of exclusivism and explore the plurality of Islam, as God is about all universe and all beings.

    Thirdly, you are displaying the insecurity of the Muslim Neocons, who like Jewish, Hindu and Christian Neocons live in the fear that all others are their enemies. White house is not an enemy of Islam neither America is. In fact, Islam is understood much better in the United States, India and all the nations where there is a greater degree of freedom to express, the one given by God than most of the self proclaimed Islamic Nations, where there is ruthless suppression and arrogance. It is America’s freedom that lured you and me and we have to honor and cherish that value, which is also an Islamic value.

    Arrogance is another vice of the Neocon Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews, all in one breath. Every one is wrong to them; every one is their enemy and every one against their faith. They are gripped with this fear and need to come out of it and live a normal life.

    May God give us all the wisdom to live a moderate life.

  57. Mike Gous,
    Are you supporting a Muslim woman marriage with a Jew or of any other religious faith ? if this is so , then you need to correct your understanding and knowledge of Islam – Pluralism and Co-existance does not mean that one should defy the commandment of Allah ( swt ) and teachings of Prophet ( saw )– if this is what is lauded and propagated by you then you are part
    of the Fitna and need to revert to Islam.

  58. I agree with Shamim Siddiqui Mike Ghous need a refresher course in Islam and he needs to be guided – He is almost stepping out of the fold of Islam mindlessly – God may help him.
    Islam in it's spirit encourages Pluralism but it does not mean it has no boundary and allows any one to do any thing carelessly.
    Hesham Syed

  59. Mike
    Why did you remove my comments ?
    As said , you definitely need better and correct understanding of Islam – Since your intention is right – God may guide you – Please do not interfere in to the Islamic Jurisprudence and defy Prophet ( saw ) teachings or God's commandment simply because you are gaining popularity for your Pluralism approach but a misunderstood one.

  60. Whatever happened to "All" born Muslim?? If Jews and Christians are the "people of the book", makes NO difference if they are Married to one another…..Man or Woman………….they all worship the same God. Or are people suggesting that the Muslim Allah is different from Jewish Allah or Christian Allah? if so, then that is blasphemy!

  61. To my Anonymous friend ,
    Allah is ONE and there is no other religion approved by HIM other than Islam – The religion what is called Christanity or Judaism or any they were all Islam and their prophets were named as Muslim in the final book revealed.The differences have been created by all other religious clergy and not by Muslim – Prophet Muhammed ( saw ) status is of the seal and of final prohethood and the message contained as Quran is the most comprehensive and authentic message existant in this world – Any one who follows Quran as interpreted and taught by the Prophet ( saw )is following the truth and is on the right path and any who defy Prophet Muhammed ( saw ) and his messages or teachings are out of the fold of Islam and follow their own man made religion – If this is understood every thing will be clear and confusion will not exist.This is what Akmaltu lakum deenukum means -So dont place Islam the religion or deen of Allah at par with man made or amalgamated religions of the world. Human beings or Jinns have no other choice than to follow Islam and the final Prophet Muhammed( saw )for a profound obedience to Allah ( swt )- this is the final verdict upto qiyama ( last day )-If ProphetMuhammed ( saw ) has forbidden marriage of Muslim Woman to Non Muslim Men or Men of other Books, it is forbidden up to Youmal Qiyamah and no one can reverse what is decreed – This leaves no point or space for any more argument or objection – Hesham Syed

  62. Mike-
    It seems you have your hands full with the above criticisms; however I would like to say kudos to you. I will admit I know very little of the Jewish or Muslim faiths, but I do know Christianity. They to do not believe interfaith marriage is acceptable. They believe one should be equally yoked with their partner. But the hatred that is caused between faiths by saying you must discriminate against who a person can and can not marry is very sad. I see your point on the unity of the human race no matter what faith, creed, or color. It is a very American concept to have the freedom of choice. Whereas it seems other countries are ruled by one faith based segment of the population, America really isn't. I know some see the US as a Christian country, but we are a nation of all faiths, that are all equal. I have a question, the text is mostly about Muslim women marring, is it correct to assume that applies to Muslim men as well? Just curious.
    Thank you for your insightful blog.

  63. Thanks for sharing this; this is in fact a great reading. We have few online readers who will like to read this stuff. We will pass it on to our valuable readers for more feedback. Thanks and please post us and leave a comment back and well link to you. Thanking you. muslim dating

  64. I think many of you commenters are mistaking the label 'muslim' (as in'Huma Abedin is a muslim woman') to mean practising, even believing muslim. Out of the 1.6 billion muslims in the world, a figure quoted by various studies, what are the chances that all of them actually practise the religion, pray all 5 prayers, fast every day of ramadan etc? What are the chances that all 1.6 billion of them read the Quran let alone in its original language? Or follow Shariah to the letter? And finally what are the chances that all 1.6 billion of them, in their heart of hearts, actually do indeed believe in Islam or even in God (and don't just make a 'show' of it for cultural reasons)??

    I'd wager that many of these 1.6 billion so-called 'muslims' are only counted as such because they have 'muslim'-sounding names or come from 'muslim' families. So basically only 'muslims by heritage' rather than actual practising, believing muslims. In this context, I don't think it's too difficult to understand why Huma Abedin would date/marry outside of the religion, chances are she may be just a 'muslim by ancestry' or 'cultural muslim' rather than a practising muslim. As such, the question of whether her marriage to a jewish man is accepted by Islam may not be especially important to her, especially since she seems to have had a civil marriage in the first place (and not a religious ceremony).

    The marriages of secular/cultural 'muslim' women to non-muslim men here in the west is a fact of life and I don't think any religious arguments about permissibility in Islam will do anything to actually dissuade these marriages, where both partners are basically secular. Religious arguments for/against intermarriage only work with people who follow the religion to begin with.

  65. I wonder how many folks here, particularly the men will critisize Weiner for his adultery? You seem to be all over the differences in their faith thats for sure! What about BIGGER ISSUES like matters of the heart and being unfaithful to a spouse? From book of Christian faith: If a man lust after a woman even in his mind ITS ADULTERY. He not only lusted in his mind–he texted several different women! It makes one wonder why he married this beautiful lady in the 1st place! To make a political statement? because she looks like a freaking model and he, most likely a former nerd, had to prove to himself he could snag a beautiful woman? What a waste for her!

  66. u mess the point: we are not talking rituals of marrying in church or before an imam…we are talking about an unlawful marriage from an Islamic legal point of view. An Islamic marriage between a Muslim man and a Muslim woman is a civil contract.

    The reason of the non-permissibility of interfaith marriage in Islam is it does not want to impose Islamic law on a non-Muslim husband…and a Muslim wife loses her rights as Muslim woman…because she is no longer under the umbrella of Shariah.

  67. The following is a false and misleading statement: "Peaceful coexistence is, indeed, the dream of every Jewish person." "Coexistence" here means the six million indigenous occupied Palestinians should be grateful for the 65 year old isrli occupation !! "coexistence" means the occupied should simply accept the jewish occupation- no a tenable situation at all as we have seen for the past 65 years.

    As Huma tragic mistake of marrying a Zionist who supports an apartheid occupying jewish regime in Arab historic Palestine, am confident she will come to regret it…sooner rather than later…because once a jew always a jew…it just won't work.

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