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How do I convince my fiancée to convert to Christianity?

Marriage Advice

How do I convince my fiancée to convert to Christianity?

This week’s topic:

I am a Christian and I have been seeing a Muslim girl for about four years now. We are both in love, I have proposed and she has accepted. The problem however is that she says she cannot convert to Christianity and for me I cannot convert to Islam. We are now stranded. We both want the relationship but she is not ready to convert to Christianity. I love her but religion is coming in the way, Please advice...


Your take:

Evans, I suggest you convert or defy all odds and elope with her. There is no other way as your in-laws will not give you any peace. However, in as much as you are in love with each other, I believe that same faith marriages are usually built on a stronger and more solid foundation. The Quran does not allow Muslim women to get married to non-Muslim men.

{Andrew Didy Chaplin}

Though religion should not be an inhibiting factor, my worry is whether the two of you are ready for each other. How do you expect to live as husband and wife if neither is ready to cede ground on a simple issue like when and how to worship! Marriage is more of sacrifice and compromise and if you are not ready for this then forget about your engagement and look elsewhere since it will become even more difficult as you move on.

{Tasma Charles}

Evans, love is blind so as long as you love each other. Forget your religion and go ahead. The most important thing is having peace of mind in your marriage. Find a counsellor to talk to both your parents for them to allow the two of you to get married.

{Susan - Malaba}

Love is a powerful feeling between two people and it defies tribe, financial status or religion. That is why no one has a right to come between the two of you but it is difficult because your religions are not compatible. Ignore all other voices and just follow your heart. At the end of the day, what matters is your happiness. There are many Muslims women married to Christians and have pleasant marriages. {Cyprian Mugofwa}

Marriage is a two-member institution to me, that whoever you chose to marry will be your own burden for a lifetime hence nobody should interfere with your selection. However, it is important to have your parents’ blessings so try and convince them to accept.

{Sarah Nyagah}

I can only say the Quran specifies that a man can marry a Christian or Jewish woman. Since he is the head of the household the expectation is that he will respect her rights and the children will take his religion. Really in actuality from what I’ve seen this is not the case. The woman has so much pressure put on her to abandon her beliefs that she eventually gives in or gets out of the marriage. This is not the same for a Muslim woman. The expectation is that they will get married to Muslim men. {Ahmed Arafa Salim}

Counsellor’s take:

Evans, there is a distinct difference between Islam and Christianity which you may very well know. In most instances, the Quran is straightforward, presumably to reduce instances of misinterpretation. The issue of marriages between Christian men and Muslim women is discussed in the Quran (Surah 5:5) where Muslim men are allowed to marry non-Muslim women mainly from the Christian and Jewish doctrines. This chapter however, remains silent about an Islamic woman marrying into another religion but this is clearly addressed in another section where such a marriage is only allowed if the Christian/Jewish man converts to Islam before the wedding otherwise such a marriage would not be recognised.

I had a long discussion with Sheikh Juma Amir, the Deputy Imam of Jamia Mosque several years ago and he was very categorical about this. In his view, a Christian/Jewish woman may get married to a Muslim man and while she would be encouraged, she may not be compelled to convert to Islam. Under such a setting, he was of the opinion that such a woman would easily fit within the Islamic set-up even when she continues practising her religion. It would therefore be much easier for you two to maintain your religion if you were the Muslim and she the Christian. Another principal consideration that is not negotiable is that all the children born of such a union shall strictly profess the Islamic faith.

In your setting, therefore, the solid fact is that if you want to marry that woman, the only straight way for you would be to convert to Islam. As a matter of principal, no Muslim family would allow their daughter to get married to a non-Muslim. Those who have done this have in most instances eloped which means in most instances they cut ties with their families. From your description, I doubt that this is an option she would even remotely consider.

From where I sit, your options may be limited in this situation leaving you with very little ground to influence things. You either cede your ground or move on to another relationship. That is the unfortunate truth about your situation.

As you think through this, bear in mind that religion is a very sensitive issue to all of us and that the stakes are very high for her. For her, it is not just about abandoning her religion rather it would also expose her to the risk of being denounced by her family members effectively making her an outcast. This is a difficult situation for anybody and as such it needs careful consideration with the better and much easier option of finding a Christian girl to marry.


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