A Battle of Faith & Love

Love, Life & Religion

The Battle..

January 2007

You can call me chickpea. I’m a 20-something year old female living in the Northeast – in the NYC metropolitan area. I’ll be graduating from college this May, and am currently applying to law school. My family is Muslim, and I was raised accordingly. My parents are fairly moderate in their practices. My views on religion are a bit more open-minded than my parents, and while I consider myself Muslim, there are many people that would tell me I am wrong. I do not cover.

You might be wondering – ok, where is the struggle with religion & love?

I have been in a relation with a wonderful guy since July 2005. He is not Muslim, and for that matter, not religious at all (he was raised in the Soviet Union). We’ll call him Ivan. My parents know that he is my friend, but I have not told them anything beyond that. I’m pretty sure that they know something is up, but I try not to worry about that too much. What I do worry about is coming clean to my parents. I will be graduating from college in less than five months, and I want to tell them by then.

The true battle lies in the fact that I love Ivan. He loves me. But he’s not Muslim and doesn’t really have any interest in becoming Muslim. He respects my beliefs for the most part, although he doesn’t agree with some of the modern day applications of my religion. And in this respect, I don’t agree with these things either. Nevertheless, we’ve pretty much decided that after my graduation I will move in with him and he’ll help support me while I’m in law school.

For those who are not familiar with Islam and its “rules,” a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man. If she does, for all intents and purposes she has apostated from Islam and is no longer considered a Muslim.

At first I was afraid that my parents would disown me for being with him. Everyone has told me that my parents love me too much to do that, but I do know that regardless of what happens, things will be different. I don’t want to disappoint my parents – especially my father – because I’m the “good kid” (I have an older sister and younger brother), but I feel that I have to live my life and make the decisions I feel are right in my heart, and accept the consequences.



  zeeshanhasan wrote @

Hmm. A Muslim woman marrying a non-Muslim man is not usually thought of as an “apostate”; just someone who doesn’t obey traditional Islamic marriage laws. Well, lots of people don’t obey those laws these days. Perhaps better labels are moderate/liberal/progressive, or maybe just western/american?

  chickpea wrote @

Thanks for the comment, Zeeshan! I agree with you, that different labels should be used – or we should get rid of labels all together (ok, let me not go overboard!). Unfortunately there are a lot of Muslims that would consider me an apostate. Many use this verse as support:

“Do not marry [your daughters] to idolaters until they believer in Islam. A believering slave is better than a [free] idolater, though the latter please you. These call you to the Fire, but Allah calls you, by His will, to the Garden and to forgiveness. He makes plain His revelations to mankind, that perhaps they will think” (Qur’an, 2:221).

Now the question is who would qualify as an idolater. I’m not good at debating or analyzing issues like this, but I have read some articles on the the web about different interpretations on this matter.

I even came across this interesting article. The person is question doesn’t have the greatest history, but his view is very interesting.


I hope I make sense!! Thanks again for the comment, it’s nice to know that someone is reading this! I actually expected to make waves and have mean comments. So far everyone has been very nice and polite!

  Muhajirah wrote @

After reading ‘Losing My Religion?’ post on your blog, you see that the above verse that you have quoted has much wisdom.

Marrying a non muslim does not make you an apostate however it can lead to apostacy. Can you see how this situation is moving further and futher away from Islam?

Do you believe in Allah? Then why disobey him? Remember that this life is just temporary whereas the next is everlasting. Give something up in this life for Allah’s sake and He will replace it with something better in the next

I advice you to make sincere dua to Allah to guide you to what is right.

  Losing My Religion, Pt. II « A Battle of Faith & Love wrote @

[…] in Religion, Family, Islam, Love, Confusion, Skepticism. trackback I’ve already received a comment to my most recent post. Let it be known that I welcome all comments, as long as they have something […]

  zeeshanhasan wrote @

Qur’anic verses such as the ones you quote about not marrying non-believers were revealed in the context of Muhammad’s wars with the pagan Quraysh and the Medinan Jewish tribes. Considerable liberal/progressive Muslim thought over the last century has held the view that since that war is over, those verses no longer apply.

So it’s just a question of what you think is the right way to go.

Speaking very generally, many people find that their twenties are a period of questioning. Eventually, the questions are ironed out to an acceptable state. Just takes a few years. I only mention this because you say you’re in your 20s. I’m an old, bald, 36 year-old myself =)

  fiza wrote @

I totally relate with your situation. I too come from a muslim family with moderate values too, and am also considered the ‘good one’, having an older sister and younger brother too. No doubt, your parents wouldn’t be jumping for joy, but I can’t imagine any parent disowning their child. I wish you all the best, in whatever choices you make, and hope that it works out for the best interest of you and you family.

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