Fatwa: # 18529
Category: Character & Morals
Country: South Africa
Date: 1st March 2010

Title

I am an Indian, my husband is a Pakistani, and we both reside in the USA. I converted into Islam from Hinduism, and have been practicing it faithfully, although I confess ...Can you please advice me on how I can make my marriage better, and also what I can do to make Islam a bigger part of our lives?

Question

 

I am an Indian, my husband is a Pakistani, and we both reside in the USA. I converted into Islam from Hinduism, and have been practicing it faithfully, although I confess I am at times neglectful about my Islamic duties. My husband too is neglectful of the deen; it would appear that we live by Islamic principles; but to be honest, we are living by Pakistani cultural principles. I regret this because I feel that our marriage would be a happier one if he were stronger in practicing his faith.

 

Coming to my question: Indo-Pak issues creep up into our marriage. I am not at all political, but I do love my country, as well as Pakistan, and I always strive for peace and understanding between people of both countries.

I have faced a lot of criticism from my family and friends in India on account of my choice to convert and marry a Muslim and Pakistani. My husband often derides India, and makes very provocative remarks about India and sometimes about Hindus. I have told him that his comments hurt me, and asked him not to make such comments; but he says that it is I who need to learn to accept criticism and that I should not argue back (he perceives it as me being disrespectful). When I try to show him articles about Islamic recommendations for relations between husband and wife, he says that when I have done all of my Islamic duties as a wife, then he will behave like a good Muslim husband. Or, he replies that we don't follow Islam 100% so he doesn't want to read Islamic advice on this issue.

 

I don't know how to resolve our Indo-Pak issues, but we are otherwise a happy and loving couple. Can you please advice me on how I can make my marriage better, and also what I can do to make Islam a bigger part of our lives?

Answer

 

In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


Assalāmu ῾alaykum wa Rahmatullāhi Wabarakātuh

 

Jazakillah for writing to the institute.

I think you have hit the nail on the head.

Your marriage and Islam as your deen are more important than the origins of your countries.

As Muslims, we are Allah Ta'ala's most excellent Creation.

As a woman who has reverted to Islam you are even more blessed and special.

You have a very special place in this world and I urge you to take up that place as it belongs to you.

 

I would say that at the moment, shaitaan is your greatest enemy.

I am not sure how much literature you have read on Islam.

I wish to make you aware that when you became a Muslim, you became a greater threat to shaitaan as you swelled the ranks of Muslims.

He will make every move and create enough traps to wreck your marriage.

What a clever ploy to get the two of you at each other's throats over your countries of origin!

These artificial boundaries were created by the white colonists to divide and rule people who lived in peace.

They plundered countries and yet, several centuries later, here we are, inconsequential and trying to prove which artificially created boundary is on top.

Will these differences add anything positive in your lives other than to go on perpetuating what the colonists and shaitaan did/want?

You are living in a third country so how can the good/bad of the original country help your marriage to be successful in any way? It Is not as if your arguments are going to make any great changes for either country. I think you get my drift.

My suggestion is that you just completely forget to get involved in these arguments which tend to be futile.

You could however turn it into a positive for the two of you.

The Muslims in India and Pakistan are fortunate that the Sahaaba made the journey to that subcontinent.

Islam reached your husband's family and you eventually that is what is important. He was born a Muslim and you consciously chose to become one.

 

Your desire to practice Islam is loved by Allah Ta'ala. Alhamdoelillah, you are aware of the principles as you say.

I don't know how long you have been married.

Since your husband is resistant to practice Islam in its true form, I suggest that you do not push him at the moment.

It may be a better idea to start learning as much as you can and start putting into practice whatever you learn.

This will be more fulfilling for you. You cannot force him to practice even though it bothers you Insha'Allah as he sees you practice more and more, he will be bound to follow you.

I know of many women who reverted to Islam and who took their religion seriously. The husbands eventually followed them in becoming more serious about their practice also.

This is why I said to you that you are a special woman. You are now a Muslimah and you do not have to worry about the criticism and opinions of other people, be it from your family or his family (or even your husband).

Your main objective should be to gain Allah Ta'ala's pleasure and secure that special place in the hereafter.

 

You are at a stage where your heart is attached to Allah Ta'ala and you seek His pleasure.

We who are born Muslims tend to fail in this area as we do not take our responsibilities seriously and we take the deen for granted.

You will often find that as your knowledge and interest in Islam increases, some of the born Muslims may feel very threatened by you.

Then we become defensive and look for flaws in your character.

Let me assure you that these are just defensive tactics as we know deep down that we are not carrying out the commandments of Allah Ta'ala.

If you show us the Quran and other literature which says "This is how we should conduct our lives as Muslims", we attack your character or tell you that you do not "know this that and the other" or we tell you that " you are not even observing this that and the other."

Sister I have many revert friends and I love being with them I have learnt and continue to learn a lot from them.

If you have a masjid in your area, make contact with sisters who will be willing to help you to learn more about Islam.

You may find the going a little difficult (or you may not).

If they feel threatened, you may meet with some resistance. Please don't let it bother you.

Do not give up as you will always find someone who does not feel threatened and who cares about fellow Muslims. If you let us know where you live, we will try to put you in touch with someone, Insha'Allah.

 

Obtain the Quran with an English translation and get in touch with someone who studies the Quran and also the Hadith. Attend classes if you can.

Check out with a sister if you are performing your salaah and ablutions correctly if someone didn't teach you previously.

Basically, learn as much as you can so that you start practicing as much as you can. Your heart will feel the contentment and matters about pieces of land will become insignificant in the scheme of things. You could also obtain CD's of Quranic recitation so that you can learn to recite the surahs in your salaah. There are lots of lectures on Islam available on CD also.

Turn them on strategically so that your husband hears them. You do not have to say a word.

I have a friend in Canada who was married to a Muslim for 16 years but he didn't teach her anything about Islam. He fasted every Ramadaan and she joined him not knowing why he really fasted. She decided to find out. she started reading up about Islam, she discovered that she had to perform salaah and she learnt to do so herself as she didn't know about salaah as her husband never performed salaah. She then discovered a few months later that a Muslim woman had to be covered up. She started wearing a scarf and covered up her arms and legs. This had a major effect on her husband and he started performing salaah for the first time in 16 years. It dawned on him that he had been neglecting the most important aspects of his life as a Muslim.

 

I wish to point out to you that Islam is a very simple and easy religion to follow. Allah Ta'ala is most forgiving and Most Merciful even though we become negligent and sinful. As long as we turn to Him in sincere repentance and give up the wrong, we are forgiven. Allah Ta'ala loves us more than any mother can ever love her children.

Insha'Allah, you will be an inspiration to your husband and to your children. Put all your trust and faith in Allah Ta'ala.

May Allah Ta'ala grant the two of you common grounds in the most magnificent space in Jannah, ameen You may continue to correspond with me if you wish.

 

And Allāh Ta῾āla Knows Best
Wassalāmu ῾alaykum 

 

Social Dept.

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Dārul Iftā

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