Post # 1
Hi, ladies and salam alaikm.
I have always had a “big picture” approach to religion. Was raised Catholic, but never really felt it in my heart. My fiance is moderately religious Muslim who definitely wants to pass it on to children (along with Arabic language and culture). I’m American but have been working in the middle east for a few years now. I agree with the the major principles of the religion, although I am continuing to seek knowledge about it before offiically declaring myself to it.
Has anyone else converted to Islam from Christianity, Athetism, or any other religion? Or, what are your experiences in converting to your fiance’s religion? Do people judge you? How have you adjusted? Has it forced you to make new friends?
My mother is a practicing Catholic and my step father is Jewish…have not told them yet!
Post # 3
If your practicing catholic mother married a Jewish man, you probably have nothing to worry about as far as that goes. She can’t really get upset with you for chosing a man who believes in a different G-d, since she did the same. How does his family feel about you? I think since you have come to Islam own your own and its meaningful to you, you should go for it! I’m strongly against converting for the sake of marriage, but that is not your situation.
Speaking for myself, I had an orthodox conversion to the jewish faith. I did it long before meeting my husband because it is the faith that i identified with. People do judge, but the vast majority think nothing of it. It was a huge adjustment, but all life altering desicions are! 🙂 I did make a ton of new friends, but that is just because i’m going to services and a variety of events geared towards jews. Im still just as close to my old friends.
My family has been supportive. If this is the faith that calls to you, go for it!
Post # 4
@AmrLoreen: i could have almost written your post, we’re so similar! catholicism (and any sector of christianity) is not for me. i left that faith in the 9th grade. i traveled to many countries and learned about many religions, although at the time wasn’t searching for one. just wanted to learn about other people. fast forward to where i am now, and islam sits well with me. to answer your question, people’s reactions have been diverse lol, but to me that doesn’t matter. i dont question their religious choices that i disagree with, so i just brush it aside when they do it to me. if you have any specific questions with the experience, i’m happy to share my experience.
Post # 5
I have no experience in this, but it might help your mother to talk about the similarities between Islam and Catholicism.
For example, Catholicism has the “loaves and the fishes” story, whilst Islam has a similar story about Mohamed eating at someone’s house, inviting the whole town and being able to feed them all on a small supply.
A school religion teacher once said to me that she believes that there is only one God/force/energy/whatever you want to call it, but that when we “look” at it, it’s like looking at a ball, you can’t see all sides at once. Because of this, we all see a slightly different part of the ball, some parts seem very different (Wicca and Islam for example) whilst others overlap (Catholicism and Judaism for example), but it’s still the same “god”.
I really like this sentiment and expand it in my own life. I really don’t think it matters which religious practices you follow because the core lessons of respect, caring for each other, looking after the less fortunate, not seeking revenge etc etc are all very similar. It just comes down to what you feel most comfortable with and what you know the most about in order to pass that onto your children.
It would be nice to be able to share religious practices with your husband and especially helpful if you are going to be living in Islamic countries throughout your life.
Post # 6
I’m reading The Butterfly Mosque, a biography about a young American woman who gravitates towards Islam and things Arabic. She goes to Egypt, falls for a moderate Muslim guy, and gets married. It is a decent read.
She talks about her attraction to Islam. She was raised atheist but her family wasn’t too shocked by her conversion and they liked her new Egyptian family.
Post # 7
@AmrLoreen: I’m Catholic also and married a Muslim man. I’m considering converting once I find out more about the religion so far I like what I know about it. When I got married my mother said to me “I hope you dont plan on converting” and I told her if I do its my choice and really none of her business.
Post # 8
I converted to Islam five years ago, and I met my fiance one year ago. I did not convert for him, but our mutual faith has been what has made us stronger! I was Muslim before I met my fiance, but the Islamic faith is something that places a lo of focus on marriage which can really benefit the couple.
As someone who converted, I only have one piece of advice. DO NOT CONVERT FOR YOUR HUSBAND. Convert for yourself! Convert because you like the religion, you believe in it, it is something that you can do because you want to! Converting to make your husband or his mom happy will only make you feel untrue to yourself.
If you are afraid of people’s judgement, know that this judgement is wrong, and you don’t need their support or friendship.
Post # 8
AmrLoreen: I am engaged and have been with a Muslim man for 3 years but I’m not converting. I’m Catholic. It hasn’t been difficult because the values and daily life of Muslims and catholics are very similar. The big differences are that Catholics believe Jesus is God in human form, and muslims believe he is a prophet. Also, Muslims believe in Muhammed as a prophet and Christians do not. So if those things are what you do not believe about Christianity, then it makes sense.
His family tried to pressure me a little, so if your situation is similar, then you will probably make his family happy. My family would be devastated if I converted though. Maybe if you can tell your parents things like “Even though I have a different religion now, I still value our traditions and will celebrate holidays with you” it would help. You want them to feel like you still relate to them and are not fundamentally different and incompatible now.
Post # 9
kxm1045: Dear, I noticed that your post is quite recent. I’m also engaged to a Muslim, I am catholic too. Our wedding is this comming October. We have a some issues regarding the reception ie. should it be mixed or should men and women be seperated etc.. Also facing some dilema whether or not to serve alcohol.
I wondered if you faced the same problems planning your wedding? I really dont want to upset anyone… both our families are so different!!
Post # 10
cookiebride: Hi! We are getting married in september. We are having a mixed reception with both genders. We live in the US so that is really normal here. Although my fiance’s family does have some gender segregated parties, they’re also used to mixed gatherings so it wasn’t an issue. We initially were planning on no alcohol, but my family and I weren’t very comfortable with that. We decided to serve water, tea, and coffee at the tables and alcohol at the bar (where soda is also served) by request only. So we figure it’s available but not really openly served so it’s a good compromise. Honestly, I think compromise is so important in interfaith relationships. A lot of times, it seems that one person gets everything and the other gets nothing, then the relationship implodes. We’re trying to meet each other halfway as much as possible.
Post # 11
kxm1045: thanks for your reply. It’s good to know I’m not the only one with this issue with alcohol. So many of my family are coming from Scotland and the idea of a wedding without alcohol would be crazy to them. We decided that alcohol would be available to them by waiter service on request. I’m still not sure what we will do about the first toast though. We are also having a mixed gender wedding. We were fortunate that our venue has like a separate lounge room right next door to the ballroom.. so we will have the option of a separate room for ladies who don’t wish to mix with the men etc. I’m trying to keep everyone happy… I will try to divide my time between the two rooms and hopefully nobody will feel left out 😂.
I hope you don’t mind me asking more questions…
Are you having any sort of religious ceremony? Are you planning to incorporate both cultures and traditions at tour wedding?