Interfaith Marriages

Interfaith Happiness in Utah

The Bride’s parents did not want to participate in the wedding, and she was in a dilemma about what to do; she did not want the wedding to be spoiled either.

I spoke with her parents and assured them that the couple chose an inclusive wedding with Nikah, civic, and Christian traditions. It took a few conversations for the mother to accept the interfaith marriage. Over the years, I have spoken with hundreds of parents, and all they want is assurance that Islam does not prohibit their daughters, in particular, from marrying any human soul. And that marriage is between two souls and not two Muslims, Christians, Jews, or others, as the Quran says (30:21). Of course, I also unpack verse 2:221 for them, one of the most misunderstood verses. 

I chose Islam as my religion 25 years ago after criticizing it immensely. Fortunately, I found over 50 verses that call on the reader to think and reflect on every verse. God does not want us to be blind believers. I am a confident Muslim, and I say that if it is not common sense, then it is not Islam.  

 I cited the prophet’s covenant and shared a contemporary understanding of the verses from the Quran. They finally agreed to participate. The Bride was apprehensive but relaxed with the assurance that the wedding would go smoothly. Indeed, the parents enjoyed participating in the wedding and blessed the couple several times. It has happened over 100 times. 

The families’ blessings gave the couples a sense of fulfillment, and they were thrilled. I’m happy to see the families come together.

A Handful of Catholic and Muslim parents insist on the conversion of their son or daughter-in-law to be, and a few Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish parents believe in myths about the other and are reluctant. We have much myth-busting to do as a society, and I plan to do a series on the topic. We have started with Hindu-Muslim marriages and are about to complete a piece on Sikh-Muslim marriages. Of course, the issues are light regarding Jewish and Christian interfaith marriages. 

Most people don’t see their religions smothered with culture. However, two families have come aboard after three months of engaged conversations. One of them had disowned their daughter for marrying a non-Muslim, but I kept up with them after the marriage, asking them to accept the couple. The good news is, a year later, the Bride called me all excited that her father came home with her favorite food for her and a suit for her husband. A Christian father finally accepted his Hindu daughter-in-law, and a Hindu family saw the myths they had subscribed to and finally extricated (Moksha) themselves from it. A Jewish mother also disowned her daughter for marrying a Bahai man.  

My reward is the joy of seeing families reunite; it is part of pluralism work, that is, respecting the otherness of others in religion, race, ethnicity, culture, language, and at the workplace. My mission is to open people’s hearts and minds toward each other. 

The picture is unrelated to the story, but that’s how happy the brides and grooms feel when everything comes together. 

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