Is it safe to date and marry someone from a different religion?
Can i date and marry someone that is of a different religion?
He is a Christian and I am a Muslim, can I date and marry him?
She is a Muslim and I am a Christian, can I date and marry her?
Inasmuch as love is a beautiful thing (I love love), religion plays a vital role in determining the longevity of a relationship. This is because there are factors involved to be considered. Religious differences is a major obstacle in a relationship especially when the two people who love themselves are ready to settle down; as in get married.
Ruth meets Hassan
At the onset, he and she (I would like to name Hassan and Ruth) just met at a wedding function. Ruth is all Hassan wants in a woman (her physique is on point). Also, Hassan is all Ruth wants in a man (he is tall, the ‘flat tummy Jesus’ kind of man, well-built plus he’s loaded with money, plenty money). They do the usual introduction.
He’s pondering, “Oh! She’s got a lovely angelic voice.”
She’s pondering,”oh! I love his accent.”
They exchange contact details. He buzzes her on WhatsApp. They chat into the night. Video call sessions begin. They are on the phone every now and then during their leisure time. He takes her out to lunch, dinner et al.
After three months of friendship (more like pre-dating), he officially asks her to be his girlfriend. Ruth’s so overjoyed. She’s been wondering when he would ask. They start dating. They get to know each other better. Well, when the issue of religion came up, they were cool with it; even though he was a Muslim and she was a Christian, their conclusion was that they serve the same God. They are in love and that’s what matters.
After two years of dating, he proposes to her. As expected, she accepts his proposal.
It is time to meet with her parents to make his intentions known to them officially.
Ruth’s father is a Knight in church while her mother is the Mother-in-Israel. He pays them a visit. Ruth’s mother welcomes his warmly. He introduces himself to her parents. His name rings a bell in her parents’ ears. In order not to be rude, her parents excuse them, even though her mother wants to tell him to take his leave.
After she sees him off, she gets home to meet her parents waiting in the living room. Her father’s legs are shaking (he only does that when he’s worried, disappointed or angry). Her mother’s arms are folded across her chest like somebody had died. Upon seeing this, she makes a move to head to the room to avoid what’s coming to her. Her mother calls her by her native name…
Mama Ruth/Ada: Ada, come and sit down.
The theme, ‘This is Super Story…‘ plays in her head. She knows an interview is about to ensue.
Papa Ruth/Ada: What did you say his name is?
Ruth/Ada: Hassan sir. Hassan Abdullahi sir.
Her mother interrupts.
Mama Ruth/Ada: What tribe is he?
Ruth/Ada: Yoruba ma.
Papa Ruth/Ada: Religion?
A silence that seemed like it would last for eternity rents the air.
Ruth/Ada: Islam. He’s a Muslim.
Papa Ruth/Ada and Mama Ruth/Ada exchange a glance.
Papa Ruth/Ada makes a sound with his mouth and stands up.
Papa Ruth/Ada: Woman! You better talk to your daughter.
(a child that is bad is always the mother’s child while the good one is the father’s child)
Mama Ruth/Ada: You know your father’s position and mine in church yet it is Yoruba you want. The one that is paining me most is that there is no Christian boy again in this world. You have not found a husband yet. You better end what you have with that Hassan. You see the way your father reacted. He has never called me woman since he got married to me. Besides, as our only child, I’m sure you would want our blessings.
Ruth picks up her phone and calls Hassan telling him that she would like to see him.
Hassan already knows that she wants to relay the feedback of his visit.
They meet as scheduled.
Ruth/Ada: You know I love you and I don’t see anything wrong in our religious differences; we serve one God. However, my parents do not support our relationship. I would love to have my parents’ blessings. I am yet to meet with your parents and I’m 80% certain that they share the same opinion with my parents. I am not sure I can continue this. You are a very good man. No man has ever loved me the way you do but I want to do what is right for us and our children.
Hassan stares in oblivion for sometime; deep in thought.
Hassan: How about we elope? Your parents don’t want this. My parents probably might not want this but we want this…
They did a secret court wedding. They hired people to stand in as witnesses. Shortly after which they relocated to Port-Harcourt.
A year later
Ruth gives birth to a set of twins (a boy and a girl). Hassan named them Hassan and Hassanat. Ruth named them Christian and Christiana. When the children turned three years old, they began to attend Jumat services on Fridays with their father and Sunday Church services with their mother. At school, Hassan/Christian attended Islamic religious Studies classes while Hassanat/Christiana attended Christian Religious Studies classes.
To celebrate their tenth year anniversary, Hassan took Ruth out to lunch while the children were at school. They placed their orders and were chatting while waiting to be served.
Hassan: It has been ten wonderful years with you, my love. You gave me two beautiful children. You’ve been very supportive. Even though I don’t appreciate you as often as I should, I’m using this opportunity to thank you for all you do and your sacrifices. I can’t appreciate you enough.
Ruth/Ada: It has truly been a great ride with you. You have provided for us and guided us. Thank you very much.
The waiter serves their order and they begin to eat.
Hassan: If I don’t take care of my family, who will? Don’t you know that you and the children are my investment? I work for you. That aside, I was thinking, it would be nice if you start following me to Jumat services. It would help us grow stronger.
Ruth/Ada: (begins to cough and quickly sips some water from the tumbler) Are you trying to say that I should convert to Islam?
Hassan: This is one of the reasons I love you; you’re very smart. That’s exactly what I mean.
Ruth/Ada: I’m sorry dear. I will not be able to do that. Besides that was not our agreement before we got married.
Hassan: Woman! I am the head of this home. What I say is final.
Hassan angrily storms out of the eatery.
Ruth is still in shock about what had just happened.
The next six months that followed that event were unbearable. There were lots of pandemonium. At every slightest opportunity, Hassan would scold Ruth. It started with hits, slaps and kicks ( just like Chidinma’s song).
Dear Reader, I’m sure you would advise that she leaves her husband and file for a divorce.
Well, she didn’t. She was against divorce. He started keeping late nights. Whenever the children asked about their father’s whereabouts, she would always play the ‘he is working late’ card. She knew her marriage had hit the rocks. She pondered on what to do. Going back to her father’s house wasn’t an option; she had severed all family ties. She didn’t have any friends either; she had the ‘my husband and I‘ mentality.
She thinks to herself, “It is either tonight or never; we will have to talk about this when he returns.”
At about 11:25pm, Hassan drove into the compound. She opened the door for a half-dead drunk Hassan to stagger in. The stench of alcohol filled the whole sitting room. She helped him to the bedroom and laid him on the bed. She pulled off his shoes and clothes while he drifted off to Dreamland.
If she had known…
A hot slap on the cheek brought her back to planet Earth.
Hassan: Woman! You’ve crossed your boundary this time! You violated me!
Ruth/Ada: … (still wondering what was happening)
Hassan: You took advantage of the situation!
(Ruth is still lost)
Hassan: I’m going to teach you a lesson you will never forget in your lifetime.
He pulls her by the hair from the bed to the floor and begins to kick, hit, punch and beat her.
Ruth/Ada: You this man, what is it? You have started again. Which sane man goes to the office in the morning and comes home late at night? Which responsible man drinks to stupor? Which responsible man hits his wife? you are just a coward. Your mates are making a living from boxing but you choose to hit a helpless woman like me; your own wife.
Someone’s head hits the wall. Minutes later, the hospital ambulance is heard in the compound. They check for a pulse but they can’t find any. Someone is being taken to the burial ground, only a few people are in attendance; all wearing black and the…
Hassan: … and we want this to work. So let us elope.
Ruth/Ada: Inasmuch as I love you, I wouldn’t want to elope with you. Our parents’ blessings matter a lot. It is better we end this and remain friends than elope and regret our actions years later. I am sorry.
Ruth makes to take her leave. Hassan holds her hand and pulls her to himself.
Hassan: I understand your decision and I respect it. I love you and I always will. We will still be friends. Let me drop you off.
We don’t always get what we want. Even though people’s opinions don’t matter when we make decisions; there are certain people’s opinions that matter when we make sensitive decisions.
You shouldn’t elope because your parents do not support your choice of spouse. You need their blessings. You can make them see reasons for your choice. There are homes where the parents practice different religions and they are still together.
To answer the question of whether it is safe or not to date or marry someone from another religion, I would say it is unsafe. From the illustration above, we saw a factor (parents).
There’s also the factor of the two becoming one and in agreement. Imagine the feeling when you and your spouse go to your place of worship together, receive the same Word at your place of worship and act on the Word. Imagine what you two can accomplish together because you are in agreement.
Do you think Ruth/Ada made the right decision?
What other piece of advice would you give her if she’s your friend? I look forward to reading your comments.
Thanks for reading.