Is interracial and intercultural marriage difficult?

The Details of the Question

- I have been told that interracial or intercultural marriages often involve challenges, but my mom lets me marry the person I want. What do I need to know?
I asked a black friend about my age who lived with his family in an Arab country for many years whether it would be all right if I married one of his sisters, and he said it was all right, but that his sister and father should also allow it.
- I was told by my father and later by my mother that it was easier to marry someone of the same ethnicity, but my mother encourages me to marry whomever I want as long as they are Muslims.
- They said that if a woman in the United States could not share cultural jokes or speak the same language with a young man, it was permissible for her guardian (parent) to refuse her right to marry, but that it was up to the guardian. What is your opinion?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

First of all, we should state that, according to Islam, a Muslim woman can marry only a Muslim man; even if she marries a non-Muslim man, the marriage is not valid; the relationship is regarded as fornication, and if a child is born, it is an illegitimate child.

A Muslim man of full age who is qualified to marry can marry a woman of the People of the Book, who is also of age, with consent. There is nothing in the religion that prevents it. However, if the person to be married is someone who will harm the honor and dignity of the family, the parents have the right to oppose this marriage.

As far as we understand, your parents are not against your marriage to someone of another nationality anyway.

As it is known, in addition to certain rules such as fard, sunnah, haram and halal, there are also recommendations that are beneficial to follow in Islam.

As a matter of fact, our Prophet (PBUH) said, “Marrying someone who is religious will bring blessings”. (Bukhari, Nikah, 15; Muslim, Rada 4)

In this context, Badiuzzaman Said Nursi recommends that couples be equal to each other for a peaceful marriage. The first criterion here is religious equivalence. He expresses it as follows:

“According to the Shari’a, the husband should be a good match for the wife. That is, they should be suitable to one another. The most important aspect of this is with a view to religion.”

The more compatible the spouses are with each other, the more peaceful that marriage will be. This compatibility includes cultural compatibility, education and age too.

Therefore, cultural compatibility problems occur in marriages with people from different nationalities. This problem is not only the joke problem you mention, but also the problem of different perspectives on events, the world, marriage, family, women, men, and child education.

The most important thing you need to know regarding the issue is whether you resemble each other

- in your basic philosophy of life,
- in your view of the peace of the world and the hereafter.

Or how tolerant you are in your view of differences.

If the woman you are going to marry is from the People of the Book, that is, Jewish or Christian, how you will do your religious duties, when your child is born, according to whose belief and by whom is the child to be born to be educated are important. Therefore, if your child will be more likely to be influenced by his mother and will cause him to prefer his mother’s religion, this marriage must never be made.

It is also vitally important how to arrange your cultural and religious behaviors. For example, how should your relations with the root family be, how should the roles of men and women in the family be arranged, how should the money be earned and spent?

Because of the problems above and similar ones, marriage counselors recommend marrying someone who has the same religion and similar cultural codes.

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