Please Note: The views expressed in this blog are my personal views and understanding. These views do not represent Islam. Since, I am a Muslim, all the views expressed are seen through the lens of Islam as I see it. It may or may not coincide with Islamic teachings due to my personal shortcomings. This is a Muslim's blog, not a website teaching Islam. Everything good that is written is from Allah, every mistake below is from my own self.  TaqabbAllahu Minni wa minkum wa astaghfiruAllah, All comments are welcome.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Foreign \ Intercultural \ Inter-Racial Relationships- uniting the Ummah

I found this informative post on the blog of a sister in USA married to an Egyptian guy. You may visit her blog here >> http://ummlayla.blogspot.com May Allah bless her home n family, ameen

The following post is her writing, all credit goes to her. Its a real eye opening and thought provoking post, to try and make things work, and avoid frictions in marital relationship.

---quote begins (emphasis mine)---


I think there are many of us out there married to people from other countries in my generation. I applaud that, but I think you have to know that you will have to address your differences (and they do exist no matter how much you are convinced you are perfectly compatible in spite of being from different places). IMHO, if you are going to marry a person from a country and culture other than your own I think there should be a few ground rules... Here are a few I have thought of, maybe you have more:

1. Both persons should be amicable to living in the other's country. You never know where you will end up. The only exception I can think of is if one spouses country is just plain unlivable due to war, poverty, whatever...

2. Take off the rose colored glasses. Both spouses have to be willing to see their culture/country for what it is... Faults foibles and all... So be ready to really examine they "why" to how you do things and be flexible if the why has no clear answers.

3. Try to learn your spouse’s native language and have your children learn it too (usually one spouse already speaks the other's language and this is the common tongue for the household). If you are person speaking the his/her native language all the time try to imagine how your spouse feels not being able to speak to his/her own children in their first language.

4. Remember and be considerate of the fact that one of you will always be the foreigner. Before you say no to helping the other person with something remember how you would feel if you were trying to accomplish such a task in his/her country.

5. Make Islam (or whatever your core values are) the tiebreaker in all your decisions. There will be no "cultural norm" sometimes and you will need it.

6. When in doubt, talk it out. You can never assume that you have the same picture of a situation as your spouse (this may go for any marriage) and you don't want to get caught up in this... So make sure you see things the same way (or at least know how the other sees it) before making any life altering decisions.

7. Enjoy the diversity in your family and respect it. Don't let yourself choose one culture and make it the norm, let both cultures thrive. You will find there is good in both.

I'm sure there are more... Post them if you can think of any !

---quote ends----


Personally, for me every inter-racial or inter-cultural successful marriage i see reinforces in me the concept of Islamic Ummah and unity of mankind. Islam is the only bond which was successful in erasing these minor differences right from the beginning. When people were so divided on lines of lineage that, they had their own tribals 'gods', and Islam came and shocked the world by uniting the more divided nations of their time, the Arabs of Hijaz. There remained no difference between Hazrath Bilal the Abyssinian (RA) or Hazrath Abu Bakr (RA) who freed him. They remained no difference between Muhajireen and Ansar (Emigrants ,and their Helpers), the only thing which divided people, was their Taqwa or GodConsciousness, piety and morality.

Today, more number of intercultural relationships are being made compared to the previous modern generations. Firstly, due to direct interaction of various people in diverse countries like the USA. Secondly, due to the power of Internet, which makes your social circle greater than ever imagined, thirdly because people are unable to find their 'match' of similar ideals n personality in their local circles, and are overwhelmed to find them overseas.

But, as the sister pointed out and I shall never forget her words "TAKE OFF YOUR ROSE COLOURED GLASSES" : ) Yes, think it out, consider every aspect of it Positive and negative. Think about all the hardships you may face, and amount of patience n flexibility you will need. Personal aspirations and expectations from this bond should be made extremely clear to either party. Take your time, there is no hurry. But, once your in the bond of matrimony. Seek the blessings of Allah (swt) and use the sunnah of RasoolAllah (saws) to build a home of peace, happiness and security. For, of all the allowed things, the most hated by Allah is 'divorce' which is increasing at an alarming rate at the same time in Muslim societies too.


The bottomline is, Marry to please Allah (swt), choose your partner in the manner prescribed, for the qualities that please Allah, build your home to please Allah (swt) and discharge your respective duties to seek His pleasure alone. And when Allah's pleasure is put in the primary objective slot, inshAllah your home n family will be blessed by Him.

I pray He showers His choicest blessings on each Muslim home, and family and help us carry out our social responsibilities to seek His pleasure. Ameen



2 comments:

UmmLayla said...

Thanks for the hat tip. Intercultural relationships are a real interest of mine, and of course something I see alot of in the Muslim community. I have been reading back in your blog... You have some great thoughts. Keep up the good work!

husna said...

assalamualaikum

Subhanallah
I supported that inter racial marriage help to the spread of Islam and also built the unity of ummah.

Even in History, the spreading of Islam in South East Asia was due to inter racial married too.
Some of Arabs traders came to Sumatera and they have to spend 6 months for the monsoon's changing. Within 6 months, some of Arab traders married to local people and they spread Islam. Islam became to be so strong that time and the Muslim from various races were united under one kalimah syahadah.

There was no boundaries, visa long time ago but now there are too many rules and restrictions. In Malaysia, those who married with local Malaysian have to renew thier VISA every year, but the new policy was introduce where the foreign husband will only renew their VISA once in 5 years.

Congtratulation for good writing.