Stop Rejecting People for Their Race

By: Nashiha Pervin

It's the 21st century. Today, we're more liberated than ever. We can wear what we want, say what we want, and do what we want....oh...except if it's marrying outside of our race, because that's still a a big no-no.
But what gives? Why is that still such a taboo? We fought and climbed out of the times of idol-worshiping. We eradicated vile and ancient practices of live female-burials. We've acknowledged that there is no racism in Islam as we look back and see that one of the most respected individuals to the Prophet PBUH, was Belal. Who was both Black, a slave at the time, and the first man to give the Adhaan (call to prayer). Yet this unsettling racism and discrimination resurfaces whenever it's in the context of marriage.
I get it, different cultures have different customs. And with that comes different mentalities, practices and perspectives. But when was different ever bad? In Surah Al-Hujurat, Allah swt says "We made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, (the) most noble of you near Allah (is the) most righteous of you."
Wait so what was that again? Allah created us differently because He wanted us to learn from each other? Get to know each other? And ultimately decide who we should associate with in relative to their relationship with God? ....Well, on a scale of 1 to 10 how badly are we failing at that right now?
Do you know what else we're failing at? Recognizing how difficult we are making it for our children to get married. From 'they have to be of the same race,' to 'they have to be from a certain part of our country' to 'they have to be from a certain district'...I mean, with the handful of people they're left to choose from, they don’t really have a choice, now do they?
And with all the fitnah and temptation that surrounds the modern-day Muslim man and woman, your child bringing you someone from a difference race for marriage should be the least of your concerns. And before you raise a brow, remember that these were man-made borders, divided and sustained by colonizers. Why should we continue to perpetuate the division and segregation from the past? Let's learn from it. Let's rise out of it. And let's let it go.
Besides, can we please go back to the Sunnah? It's a genuine concern. The Prophet PBUH married outside of his tribe too. He married women older than him, younger than him, richer than him and women who were previously married. Almost all of his wives were widows too.
So are we really following Islam when we say no to marrying other cultures? Or are we allowing cultural impressions and biases pollute our beautiful deen?
I'm not saying some of your concerns for marrying someone outside of your race aren't reasonable. But Allah tells us that if a person of good character, regardless of race, comes to you for marriage and you deny them, corruption will spread in the world.
Look around.
Corruption is widespread today.
Makes you wonder...exactly how many good souls have we truly rejected?

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Luks

SubhanAllah, reading the sister’s comment, I had to write something for the first time. I’m also west African married to an English man. My mum surprised me by asking if it was what I wanted and said fine – I was shocked because my dad was the liberal one not caring much for what family members thought so long as we did things according to Quran and sunnah (he passed away may Allah forgive all his sins and, grant him Al-Firdaws and all our deceased aameen) – my mum saying that though made me feel like she was my mum and dad at the same time, I could not have been happier and her response really made me want to do everything I could with the help of Allah to have the marriage that she and my dad had, a beautiful marriage subhanAllah! Alhamdullilah, she said it’s the best decision she ever made especially after she got to know my husband – I swear my mum loves him more than me – I’m not jealous at all lol! It’s so true, he does his best to live the Quran and Sunnah and I’ve become a better muslim by Allah uniting us together Alhamdullilah (truly all good is from Allah). My sisters married our countrymen and it didn’t work out, it was really hard for me witnessing this because their cases were either the husband was amazing and the in-laws were a nightmare or the husband was just unbelievable (not in a good way) and the in-laws were lovely. So I made dua to Allah to unite me with someone other than my countrymen if it’s better for me and He brought my husband in my life. Alhamdullilah we are still together, may Allah continue to unite us in dunyah all the way to His Al-firdaws aameen. We and our kids, are striving in the path of Allah, may He make it easy for all of us and the Ummah aameen. The key thing is, we have to ask ourselves, is this person I or my child intending to marry religious? Do they love Allah and follow the sunnah? If yes, then make it easy for them to marry and the rest will follow. It’s so easy to sin these days so when your child especially if they are young (well marriageable age not 10) asks you to help them get married, then all parents worries should be are they Muslims, love Allah and follow the sunnah. People are amazing, my husband was not a muslim when I knew him but within a week, I told him even if I’m heads over heels in love with you, I’ll only marry a Muslim, this was something I was never going to compromise on, because I know that one day I’ll face my Rabb, my true(est) love and how can I disappoint myself when He has never disappointed me! Again I asked Allah to guide me and Alhamdullilah he accepted Islam and we married within six months! My in-laws were so understanding but they told me many years down the line that they were very worried because they thought we were rushing. They never showed me this, I have another mum and dad in them. The culture here although not everyone does this is that you tend to live together for a century, have the great grand kids before you marry lol. My parents brought me up well (I sin daily and may Allah forgive me and the Ummah aameen however, I remembered Allah when I fell in love and wanted to please Him first) and I thank Allah for that. I didn’t need my mum to tell me that I have to marry when I met someone amazing and that he had to be a muslim, Allah helped me to see the good in this man and Alhamdullilah Allah guided him to the religion of truth. Parents should trust the decisions their children make or at least have an adult, unbias , rational conversation with them – it’s our lives, I live with him, not my mum so let them make their own mistakes if needs be and may Allah protect all our marriages for the future of the Ummah depends on solid Muslim homes aameen and He is the most merciful of all those who show mercy. I have a 10yrs old daughter bi’itnillah (ie with Allah’s permission) I’ll be happy with whoever Allah chooses for her for truly the decree of Allah will come to past – all we can do is make dua and strive to have the heart of a true believer. Sorry for the essay lol! Alhamdullilah and jazak Allahum khyrian.

Adah

Mash’Allah this is absolutely beautiful and so true.
I am a west African Muslim girl, who lived most of her life in Portugal. I went to England back in 2000 to complete my University degree and whilst there I met my now amazing husband, who was in British Pakistani. Can you imagine what we went trhough to get married? A lot! But in end we did it, Allhamdullilah, and now we have 3 beautiful children. The most important thing is our love for Allah and for eachother- that has conquered any obstacle that was thrown our way!

Shama

round of applause

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