It’s of no surprise being a Muslim female in her twenties that the subject of marriage crosses mine and millions of others minds ever so often. When will it happen, how will it happen, with whom? We are always wondering but will never know until it finally happens.
With whom, that’s the million dollar question. I’m not a hopeless romantic who envisions a tall, dark stranger who will come and sweep me of my feet, I do however have a vision and in that vision, I don’t see race.
Being in a foreign country and exposed to different people of varying races and nationalities, I welcome change and diversity. There are 7 billion people in the world of which approximately 1.8 billion are Muslim; African, Asian, European, Arab e.t.c that is a huge “marriage pool”. Why let something as minor as race lower your options?
I came back home for summer vacation with these thoughts once and I ran them through with my mother.
“What would you do if I brought home someone not African?”
To which she replied, “You couldn’t find one?”
I asked her again “Seriously Mom, what would do?”
Her response this time was “As long as he’s Muslim and a good person.”
I love my mom and I loved her even more then. Mind you I’m not actively going about looking for a “foreign man” but if a potential suitor does turn up I refuse to let race be a factor I consider. A marriage is between two people regardless of race, tribe or ethnicity.
In the Quran, Allah said:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. [Quran 49:13]
“So you may know one another” and one of the many people do that is through marriage. Leading by example, the Holy Prophet (SAW) was known to marry women from different tribes and religious backgrounds. His wife, Safiyah bint Akhtab (RA) was from a Jewish tribe and Maria (RA) was Coptic (Native Egyptian) who was initially a Christian.
Muslims sometimes get things twisted, not knowing how to separate culture and traditions from religion, until it’s at a point where it’s all tangled up and you can’t tell which is which. When it comes to something as serious and important as marriage we need to look at who is best in character for your child or sister or brother, not who’s part of your race, or tribe, or even social standing. Our religion doesn’t teach that. Young people have to know that it’s okay to look beyond what’s “normally” done. If you feel that sister could be one the one to help you complete your deen and strive for that Akhera, it shouldn’t matter that she’s white and you are brown. If the religion permits it so be it.
We were created to know each other, create bonds, break down racial/ethnic or tribal divides. Deen first the rest can follow.