If you are a Westerner about to marry a “traditional” Muslim – from a Facebook post

So, this happened on my wall the other day.  I have mostly been posting on Facebook instead of using my blog because I have been suffering worse than usual from brain fog and stress, and it’s easier for me to slap a few sentences together rather than having to come up with actual coherent paragraphs, but some days I just have a topic in me and it pops out.  Here it is, as it was when I posted it as a status update.  InshaAllah I’ll write an follow-up here on my blog in a bit:

Oh, before I go, some TRUTH for any non-Muslim or revert Muslim thinking to marry a Muslim man who is not from your culture:

WAIT!!!! Do you know what you are getting into? LISTEN UP. Take advice from women who have been there / done that. If you are dating or planning on marrying a Muslim man, know this:

A) If he is dating you, he is committing a sin in Islam, which does not allow free-mixing between unrelated men and women. If he is not doing his duty to God, there is a good chance he won’t do his duty to YOU.

B) Do you really understand his culture? Seriously, UNDERSTAND. For many men from “traditional” backgrounds (Arab, Indo-Pak, African), they do NOT consider women to be confidants and close companions. Go back and read that again: THEY DO NOT CONSIDER WOMEN TO BE CONFIDANTS AND CLOSE COMPANIONS.

What does this mean? It means that he may love you to pieces, but he does not consider you to be his friend. It’s a foreign concept to him. Men and women live in different circles and they come together for sex, food, and to talk about the kids. And YOU cook the food and YOU take care of the kids and YOU give the sex whenever he wants.

When he wants close companionship, he will head to the ahwa and drink tea and smoke hookah with his friends. They will discuss religion, politics, business, and often will complain about their wives and joke with each other about marrying four. He will get it out of his system and when he comes home to you he expects his tea to be hot and you to be ready for him.

Many traditional men can be VERY paternalistic and will treat you as if you are a child. You may have a college degree, hold a job or have a career, be able to change the oil in your car and fix the garbage disposal, but your husband will tell you it’s too dangerous for you to drive to your mom’s on a sunny afternoon or that he’ll do the shopping because he does not want you mixing with “kaafirs” in the marketplace. He will give you the stinkeye if you want to go out “too much” and will expect you to drop what you are doing to take care of him. Oh, and he hates Facebook and makes you feel bad about getting online.

THIS IS THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG. Now, I do have to make this BIG disclaimer: I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT MY HUSBAND. MashaAllah, he is a homebody who respects me and includes me in all his decisions and he is mashaAllah a good man.

So, if you are dating a Muslim guy or you are thinking about marrying one, do NOT think that love will conquer all. You better make damn sure to check him out, talk to him, give him the third degree about his philosophy on life. Do not yoke yourself to someone who is stuck in a cultural rut! He may be tall, dark, and handsome, but after six months of having to pick up his socks and never getting a break for yourself, you’ll be ready to strangle him and run away.

There are good, strong, practicing Muslim men out there, but there are also a lot of pretenders, and just plain old normal Muslim guys who are simply too different from you. He’s not “bad”; he just comes from a culture that views women very very differently that what you might expect. So now you have been warned. If you go ahead and ignore this and marry the guy and he turns out to be a chauvinistic cad, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

PLEASE feel free to share this around. Maybe someone will read this and be saved from making a big mistake.

Oh, and for those of you who are blessed with good strong husbands in your cross-cultural marriages who respect them and are friends with them, say alhamdulillah!

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