Marrying the Right Man: Is a Kind Non-Muslim OK?

Question and answer details
As salaam alaikum, I am a Muslim women who loves my religion with passion, I am seeking a husband for myself it's been a shame that people now n days seem to be cultural more than Islamic, I have been approached by a Catholic Christian who has been very devoted to his religion, he has followed all laws of his religion, eating no pork no alcohol and he's not had sex... He has been looking for a wife in the same position, he says all I want is a good wife who respects herself and isn't evil, it's a shame I haven't come across a Muslim man who is this devoted. This man has offered my hand in marriage and has accepted to learn about Islam first I have told him reverting is for yourself only and not for a women I will accept him as a husband if he's fully in love with Islam like I am he says this will take time..I think of this as a duty towards Allah to guide someone towards Islam. I have guided him to visit mosques as much and ask whatever he wants to.. He asks me can he accept Islam and get married and then learn everything else like how to pray etc I told him I don't think that's permissible.. Am I right? He says once he devotes himself he will not back away... Please advise me as this is one man who has great qualities a Muslim man should have, thank you Allah hafiz
Dalia Salaheldin

Salams Dear Sonia,

Thank you for your question and trust in Ask About Islam.

Your question is a very important one, for it seems you are making a life-time decision here. Therefore, I suggest that after reading my answer, you would still consult a scholar for a fatwa for some specific details. I will address your question from the personal point of view of a Muslim woman, like you, considering a husband, not from the lawful-prohibited point of view.

You have repeated that you have never met a man of these qualities. So, this man sounds to be awesome! Well, we woman always think so “sometimes”. But we are not always correct, because God is more generous than our limited thinking. Don’t think under your feet, there is a whole horizon up there.

When I checked your data provided with your question, I noticed that you are only 26 years old. So, how many men did you meet in your life and why do you think this is the last man? Why do you think you will never meet a good man? You still have a long life to live and if God has destined for you the suitable husband, then you will meet him someday. Do not rush your blessings.

In case this man chooses not to come to Islam, trust in Allah that you will meet the right man at the right time. In case he comes to Islam, but you feel that he chooses Islam only for your sake, not for Allah’s sake, then here you really need to check with a sheikh for a detailed fatwa before taking your final decision.

It seems from your words that he is not fully convinced to become a Muslim yet. My advice is to give him some time and to be patient with him. In case he is interested, maybe you can find him, in addition to mosques, the company of some good Muslim brothers to be around him.

Hopefully they would become his friends, become part of his daily life, provide him with books to read and company to fill his life. They would be a chance for him to experience the life of Muslim men, not only of a man who is in love with a Muslim woman and wants to marry her.

Give him space and time. Clarify it smoothly to him that a Muslim is the one who surrenders peacefully to the one and only God, not to a woman. You do not need to wait for him to be fully practicing every minute detail before you marry. No Muslim on earth does practice every minute detail, whether born Muslims or reverts.

What is important in your case are three major points:

1. That his faith would be clear in his heart and that he would know why he is choosing Islam. It is important that he chooses Islam willingly, for the sake of Allah, not under the pressure of wanting you.

2. You have to face the degree of his Islamic knowledge and practice “when” you agree to marry him and to accept that he might not develop further. You have to be very strict with yourself regarding this point. Islam has recommended building families based on faith. But families are not to be built on expectations and conditions.

The day you marry him is the day you accept him as he is. Marriage should never be based on the expectation of “I’ll take you now and change you later.” Marriage should only be based on “I accept you as you are.” So, make sure you know the man you marry before you go into this marriage and to accept him as he truly is before you decide.

3. You have mentioned all the qualities that you think would make him a good Muslim - in case he chooses, willingly, to revert - but you have not mentioned one quality that would qualify him as a husband, father of your children, soul mate and lover. Actually, you have clearly stated that you think accepting him is a duty, in order to guide him to Islam.

Well, sister, in Islam, this is not what marriage is for.

Your heart is a heart of a woman.  Your family life is the core of the society. You, your heart, home and marriage are not the masjid, where new comers to Islam are to reside. You need to be clear with yourself. Are you interested in this man as a man? Of course his Islam comes first. But, the moment he becomes a Muslim, you need to make sure you are genuinely interested in him and accepts him as a man.

Please remember the divine words:

{Another of His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquility: He ordained tenderness and mercy between you.} (Al-Rum, Chapter 30 – Verse 23)

Young lady, you don’t need “a brother in Islam” in the house. You need your “soul-mate” to dwell with at your home. Do you think he is your soul-mate? You need a man to laugh, giggle, cry and grow old with. You need a man to share happiness, sorrow, prayers and laughter with. You need a man you trust with the upbringing of your children, who will carry his name. You need a man who you can get very intimate with and share every minute detail of yourself with.

Remember God’s divine words:

{… your wives… they are (close) as garments to you, as you are to them…} (Al-Baqara,  Chapter 2 – Verse 187)

Do you think, after becoming a Muslim, he is this man?  You really need to think clearly and decide for what you really want.

Never marry a man out of duty, as you mentioned. If it is a matter of duty, then all Muslims would’ve married silently and remain silent till the rest of their lives. But God has ordained marriage to be based on tenderness and mercy, which are the equivalents of love, but in more detailed wordings.

Look inside yourself clearly, sister. Dig deep and make sure you want to share life with this man for the right reasons. You have one life to live. Live it with the right man; the right Muslim man.

Hope this was helpful Sonia.

In case you have any other questions, please make sure to send us back.

My salams.

Useful Links:

Why Islam?

Why Is Islam Unique?

Advice On reverting to Islam

Reverts on the Path of Knowledge to Islam

Why a Muslim Woman Is Not Allowed to Marry a Non-Muslim Man?