Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Monday, January 14, 2008

You don't want to be a Muslim?

Ok. So don't.

My little cousin is dating a Muslim. I am currently the only Muslim in my entire family (that I know of) so this would make her a non-Muslim. Christian to be exact, Lutheran if you really want to get specific.

When she saw me at our family Christmas party she came over and gave me a hug and commented on how pretty my hijab was. And then she confessed that her boyfriend is a Muslim and that he wants her to be a Muslim.


I asked her if she believed in it and she said no. "Ok," I said, "so don't be a Muslim."

Just to let all of you, who believe that Islam was spread by the sword, know: we don't want forced conversions. We don't accept forced conversions. If someone is forced to convert without belief and against their wishes then its quite obvious that they are not really Muslim. End of story. We don't have the baptisms where someone's outsides are washed and they magically become Christian like the Roman Catholics did in the New World. Its an internal choice made from the heart and if its not your choice then you're not Muslim, even if you just do it to make your significant other happy.

I have an issue with men who date non-Muslims and then pull out the "I can't marry you because you're not Muslim" card when they want out of the relationship. I mean, this breaks all sorts of moral codes above and beyond the religious striction against dating. I myself have been at the receiving end of this line although it was not said as a way out but as a sort of blackmail against me.

"I love you but I can't marry you unless you're Muslim."

Oh really? I ended up converting, but it was not for him. In fact I remember saying to his face "I'm going to become a Muslim, but this doesn't mean I'm going to marry you," and I later turned down all the proposals he made for me. So you're not going to marry me unless I'm Muslim? Well, I'm Muslim and I'm not going to marry you anyways.

I converted for myself, for my heart, for my love of God, and because I knew it was right. Sure, if you look at the percentage of women who convert because they married/dated a Muslim its very high. In fact most Muslims when they first meet me assume that I converted for my husband and their first question is "where is your husband from?"

But that doesn't make it ok for a man to say that he won't marry his non-Muslim girlfriend unless she converts. Whats the point of having a spouse who says they're Muslim but really aren't?

On the upside my cousin told me that her boyfriend has never said "convert or else" and has even gone so far as to say that he would marry her no matter what but that he wants their kids to be raised Muslim. Spouses of two different religions bring up a whole other set of problems for their children, but we'll leave that for some other blog. I'm happy to know that he makes her happy and treats her well no matter what religion she is.

And thats good for him because I'd take him out at the knees if he ever tried to force her to convert.

For right now I'm content to be a source of knowledge and support for her when she has any questions. I'd love for her to be a Muslim, but only if she herself decides thats what she wants.

Its the only right way to do it.


Yasmine said...

Assalam Alaykum sis, Glad to find out there is a spanish speaking sis out there. So cool :)Alhamdulilah you are a MUSLIM !

Salam, yasmine

ammena said...

insha'allah sis :) insha'allah