Don’t worry, this isn’t another post about sex. I won’t even write the word condom. Oh wait. Damn it!
I don’t know how many times someone, usually a stranger, has cursed my relationship or discounted my partner because he’s not Muslim and we’re actually dating instead of participating in an insta-marriage. People think that if I carry on with this person, I am dooming myself to spend an eternity in hell.
Who knows, those people might be right and I actually might spend an eternity in hell listening to them say, “We told you so.” I certainly can’t say what the future holds.
You know how many heaven points you just earned?
But I can speak on the present. Surprise, my partner isn’t Muslim. But when Ramadan came around early in our relationship he Googled the rules and discussed them with me so we were both on the same page. Some days when it was most difficult for me he would wait until I had finished eating to even start eating or mention food.
When Eid came around and I was alone because I’m the only Muslim in my family (#ConvertLife), he decided we would both go out and celebrate. He’s the one who gave me the first Eid gift I’ve ever received. Granted, he called it a ‘congrats on finishing Ramadan’ gift but that’s just cause he wasn’t sure if Eid had passed or not. It was a blue ukulele in case you were wondering.
When one day I was angry at God and decided to eat bacon out of spite, it was my partner that reminded me of my wrongdoing and expressed his disappointment that I’d stooped so low. We’re talking about a man who believes pig is one of the major food groups. He was actually unnerved that I would neglect an incredibly simple religious command over a bad day.
I’m sure that being with another Muslim person is a beautiful thing. But being with someone who cares about my imaan, is also beautiful beyond words. He doesn’t have to care. He doesn’t have to delay his eating while I’m fasting so that we can eat at the same time. He doesn’t have to double check what he’s allowed to do or say in front of my Muslim friends. But he does it anyway. He also remembers to put the seat down which is such a big deal! Nothing to do with faith but, gotta give credit where credit is due.
Muslim people are so quick to become legalistic when it comes to the sins of others. But where were my Muslim brothers and sisters when I was learning to pray and struggling through every word and motion? Where were they when I fasted alone and broke fast alone? What wisdom did they impart on me when the fear of rejection brought me to tears at the side door of the mosque? Where were they when I was trying to be a good Muslim?
I know that I’m a “bad” Muslim. I accept the criticism of other Muslims because 9 out of 10 times they know more than I do and are offering necessary guidance. What I do not accept is the idea that Allah will only bless me with children and a successful marriage if and only if my partner is Muslim as well. I do not accept anyone that says my relationship is a sin. Dios ve a todo – God sees everything. He sees the intention of people’s hearts when they do something.
Let go of the idea that we have the right to say “this is haram, this is halal.”
Some of you are in this type of situation right now. Maybe your partner discourages you from walking the path of Islam. If that’s the case then yes, rethink the decision you’re making. Because if Joe/Jane Schmoe doesn’t wake up every day and try to help you be a better Muslim then he/she doesn’t have your best interest at heart and you don’t have time to waste on them.
But if you’ve found someone that genuinely desires for you to achieve your goals both in Islam and in life, then why are we all stressing whether that person goes to a masjid or a church or a football game on Sunday’s?
I feel the need to remind you that being with a Muslim – or any kind of pious person – does not guarantee you a safe place in eternity. Can I preach for a second? Sarah was married to Abraham, one of the greatest prophets we have, and when an angel came to them and said Sarah would bear a son, she laughed and didn’t believe. AN ACTUAL ANGEL CAME TO HER and she was still a woman of doubt despite being married to a man that had so much faith he left his entire family and his homeland on the word of an unseen God. Let’s take it a step further and look at Lot’s wife. Lot and his family were the only people worth saving in a city full of sinners and degenerates. They were commanded to flee and not look back. What did homegirl do? She looked back at the city as it was in flames and turned to a pillar of salt. She was married to the most righteous man in an entire city and that was not enough to save her.
Let go of the idea that we have the right to say “this is haram, this is halal.” Let go of this insatiable need to lay out the exact legalities of life for everyone around you. We are humans and we are fallible. Even the greatest of scholars is not always right. Instead, just try. Try to do good. Part of doing good is not pointing the finger of cruel judgement at someone else trying to do good. Part of doing good is offering advice in private and not publicly shaming someone until they hate Islam.
Besides, maybe you date an atheist for a few years and one day they decide to become Muslim. You know how many heaven points you just earned? All of them. My haram partner just might literally be my ticket into heaven.