Sikh-Muslim Marriage with Equality
Salman: My wife is Sikh and I am a Muslim. When we got married, she never said the Shahadah because in Islam that is a form of accepting Islam (which is the mainstream view) so she did not say it and we had a simple ceremony in the court, because we belonged to different religions.
We had a reception after, just to celebrate and it was fine. No one in our families had a problem with that, and we are happy. But I think it depends on the spouse in question, these kinds of things should be discussed before the wedding ceremony so that both parties know where they stand. My thinking is more open minded and liberal, so I will never ask my wife to do something which I know I could not do. If I cannot change my faith, who am I to ask her to do the same? That’s hypocrisy. She is Sikh and will remain Sikh and I am still Muslim. We are happy and I don’t think someone should say it just to “please” their spouse’s family, because I think your faith is a part of who you are, and even though I am Muslim, whatever you are raised as, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, etc. you should stay within your faith because it is your identity.
My wife and I will teach our children the main tenets of BOTH our faiths. And we have even decided on names which are found in both religions. I was always raised liberal and my wife is also tolerant, so we don’t see anything wrong in celebrating holidays and customs from both faiths. The more the merrier is what I always say, who wouldn’t mind having more excuses to celebrate? Before we got married, my wife actually asked me the same and I told her nothing she believes contradicts my own beliefs. We both believe in One God, and we share the same language and homeland, and giving to charity, being a good human being is the foundation of all great religions. I think I did get lucky because I get to learn new things from her side of the family everyday. But if I’m honest, religion isn’t really what comes across my mind when I’m with her, I just see her as the woman I fell in love with and I don’t really care at that point what faith she belongs to or what faith I belong to. She completes me and I thank God everyday for her.
Amrita: I am not here trying to say go and marry out of religion. All I’m trying to say is that it’s wrong to assume that anyone who does is a shame on their culture. I always thought that above all God was love, and in my own belief I only believe in one God and that God is everyone’s, not just the God of a select few. Why are others so concerned about my children? My husband and I are happy raising them, and contrary to your narrow-minded beliefs we do speak the same language and are from the same area back home. My family accepted my husband and vice versa because they knew him from the time we were young, and know he is hardworking and a kind individual. Why do you only look at a person’s faith and nothing else? I did not hide anything from my family and neither did he, nor did we get married against anyone’s wishes. I don’t think anyone has any right to wish ill upon my children or say that they will grow up confused because they are not. They know their culture, we celebrate holidays, they know their language, and I don’t need to justify to anyone that my children are happy.
Interfaith marriages have been happening since the times of the Mughal empire, it’s not something new, but people nowadays have 2 sides… either they are accepting or very radical and intolerant. Whether you like it or not, the world is changing and the youth is taking steps to wipe out the barriers that communities have built. I’m not saying convert and disregard your culture and traditions, but to say that whoever falls in love with someone from a different faith is stupid and doesn’t know about their culture is ignorance. I don’t think it works that way, love is different. It doesn’t matter what faith you belong to, I’m simply saying that we should refrain from saying ill about another’s.
My husband and I are from different religions and we are very happy. I love him a lot and our families support us and we are both learned in our own cultures and traditions. Neither one of us converted into the others faith nor do we fall into the traps of society and what people think. No one has ever won the world and they never will.
Salman says: on July 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm
My wife and I are not by any means fundamentalists or dictating that we are true in our faith. We are just simple human beings who love each other and made it work in our marriage.
Please do not insult my wife. I do not appreciate it as she has not said anything to you.
Our families are fine with our marriage and we are living quite happily.
I also ask you this, how many humans in todays world are actively following their religion to the T? Or simply the products of hatred, ignorance and misunderstanding because of it?
I say this again, I love my wife and yes she is Sikh and I’m a Muslim. If I’ll be sentenced to hell because of this, then so be it. I cannot leave her because she was not born into the same faith as me, we have been through a lot more than any so-called bollywood movie could imagine. You do not know our personal struggles or the hardships we have overcome. I have prayed for her for 10 years before marrying her.
Please do not say negative things about our marriage because you do not know us personally.
You are free to your own opinions but you generalize entire groups of people which is never logical. -Salman.
Salman says: at July 12, 2012 3:19 am
I feel that there are extremists in every religion though to be honest. I am open minded yes but so were my parents who accepted my wife how she was. My own father, despite reading Quran everyday and praying 5 times, sits with my wife whom he loves as a daughter and even takes her to the Gurdwara so that she does not feel like she is married somewhere where she is not accepted. Instead of saying Allah hafiz or something in urdu, he says things like Rab rakha because they accept my wife. At times I am still surprised to this day how much my parents adore her. She’s the daughter they never had, and my parents are quite religious. I don’t think that Islam has taught them to be cruel, in fact my father is the most religious and he gets along the most with my wife. -Salman.
Salman says: on July 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm
My wife’s parents thought the same of me as well, and I will not lie but many Muslim men do say things at first but things change later. It’s not just a Muslim thing, but for many men, they want their traditions, their name, their religion to be carried forward in their kids, sometimes they don’t think of their wife in this at all.
I would first meet his family and see how they are towards you. Do they treat you like a daughter? Do they make you feel wanted in their family and does this family make you feel included?
Sometimes love is blind and we look only at the guy or the girl, but try to look at the whole picture of what you are getting yourself into. Your parents are not wrong for being cautious and I could understand my father in laws worries as well when I first spoke to him about marrying my wife but the more they got to know me and the more they saw how happy I made my wife, they started to open upto me and trust me.
Try to get approval from one side of the family first, and then create a dialogue. If your parents have issues with conversion, etc. have them meet your bf so he can clear their misunderstandings.
Also I want to stress this , please talk to your bf and his family about what you want in this marriage, meaning how you want to be treated. I told my parents clearly before we were married that my wife would never be Muslim and to never bring that up, even after we had kids. So make sure your husband has the guts to back you up in front of his family. If he doesn’t, he’s not worth it. -Salman.
Salman says: on July 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm
Singh, Do not marry a woman who says she loves you but then already is making demands. Ask her if she will convert for you? If she says no, then how can she expect that from you in return?
Your religion is your right and something that is your identity. I don’t know how religious you are but once you convert, what’s the guarantee that she won’t say stay Muslim?
Converting and reverting are not jokes and her family might take it seriously. If she cannot be with you as a Sikh man then she is not wife material and is not loyal enough to stand by you in the long run.
I know what she faces for marrying a non-Muslim but if she truly loves you , she should not be putting restrictions on you. -Salman.
Salman says: on July 12, 2012 at 3:12 am
Kajol, I’m a Muslim man married to a non-muslim woman and I have personally never asked her to convert.
But what I have to say is, converting to any religion is personal and should be done for the right reasons. Marriage is not something which should obligate you to change a part of who you are. I’m sorry to hear that instead of trying to accept you how you are, he wants to change you. Marriage does come with compromises yes, but it should never change who you are as a person. If you are already doubting him so much and your relationship then take a step back and ask yourself, will you be truly happy with this marriage? With another religion down the line? Do not convert if you are doing it just to be with this guy, because chances are his demands will not ease with time but only get worse.
Women, especially Indian women, fight everyday for approval and acceptance and any bit of free thinking in a marriage. I personally cannot change who I am and never expected that of my wife. She is what she is (a Sikh) and I love her how she is and my family was also told by me that she would never change her religion. If he truly does love you, then why cannot he change for you? Why always the woman? Sometimes love can blind us but do not compromise so much in your relationship that you lose sight of what’s important to you
All the best. -Salman.