Interracial Marriage : Is It Worth It ?

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By Pure Matrimony -

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By Aisha Faiz from New York

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Marriage is one of the most important decisions in one’s life. How are you supposed to know whether someone is “The One,” or if you are just blinded by her beauty, akhlaq (manners), status in society, or you are just plain ole tired of waiting so long that you are infatuated with the idea of a “special someone,” no matter who that someone might be? That is a tough question. A potential spouse cannot be compared to a suit, or the new iPhone that is out in the market. You cannot “choose” a partner, then “return” her if you see that you two do not get along very well. Although divorce is a permissible yet disliked (by Allah) option, let’s hope that we do not marry with the thought that if anything goes wrong, we can always get a divorce. A few characteristics should be looked for in potential mates.

Deen Comes First
In Islam, we are all equal to each other except for those who have a higher level of taqwa (faith in Allah). As such, a man should not discriminate against a potential spouse because she is from a different country, has fewer (or a greater number of) degrees than him, or if she is not as wealthy or as beautiful as he wishes her to be. There is a hadith which states, “A woman is married for her deen, her wealth or her beauty. You must go for the one with deen, may your hands be in the dust! (if you fail to heed)” [Muslim]. This hadith applies to both men and women. We should not be preoccupied with how a person looks or how much money s/he makes per month. Beauty is important as you must be able to feel some sort of attraction to your partner. Wealth is as equally as important since you must be able to spend on your family and zakat. Nevertheless, deen comes first and should be the most important factor when choosing a partner. Beauty fades, money comes and goes (and eventually runs out), while a good person’s character gets richer by the day. It is important that we do not fool ourselves by judging a book by its cover. Just because a sister wears hijab and a brother dons a beard (perhaps because he looks quite handsome with it as opposed to having no facial hair) does not mean that they are doing it out of religiousness. It is your duty to ask around, or ask your elders to find out about this person’s habits and qualities.

Does Ethnicity Matter?
There may be a sister who abides by the deen, exhibits good behavior, has a good education, and is beautiful too…except she does not come from the same cultural background as you. Now what? I believe you should go about the matter as you would with a potential spouse who is of the same ethnicity.
Allah (S.W.T.) says:“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)” (49:13).
Therefore, it is clear that cultural differences should not stop us from marrying a partner of our choice. Allah does not care if I marry someone of the same race, or a different one, so long as we strive to keep each other on the right path. Allah will judge us for what is in our hearts, not our outward appearance. Nevertheless, we must be realistic about interracial marriage and its consequences.

Cultural Differences
Cultural differences are perhaps the number one reason why some people are afraid of marrying outside of their culture. What language will we speak? Maybe English, but what about our grandfathers who do not understand a word of it? What type of food will we eat? Which customs will we incorporate into our wedding—his or mine? What language will our children speak? Which culture will our children marry into—his or mine? Yikes. The list goes on and on, though the last question shouldn’t matter to such an open minded couple. The point is that interracial marriages can be very complicated. They can also be as simple as you make them. The husband and wife can teach one another his/her respective language. Though it is not a quick solution, it is possible. For the time being, if English is a common language, they can speak that. Language is nothing but a means to communication. Children can be taught both languages as children’s minds are like sponges that are ready to absorb knowledge. As a child, I was spoken to in Dari and Pashto as my mother is from Kabul, while my father is from Qandahar, Afghanistan. It was not difficult for me to learn Pashto, Dari, English, as well as understand Hindi just from watching Desi serials on television. Anything is possible as long as the couple and their families are willing to cooperate with one another.

Expect Many Stares
It seems that people are either fascinated by, scared of, or just curious about interracial marriages. Expect people to stare at you as though you have five heads and just landed from the UFO that came from Mars. You will have to learn to adapt to it. Sometimes some people may think to themselves, or even come up to you and ask, “Couldn’t she find a person within her culture? Is that why she degraded herself by marrying a ________?” People are inconsiderate but that does not mean you shoulddisregard a potential spouse.

Convincing Your Parents
Some of us are blessed with parents who have knowledge of the deen. The rest of us, however, are not so fortunate. Some parents are stuck with the old ideology that one should marry within the race as opposed to ruining their “pure” (insert appropriate ethnicity) bloodline. This sounds more like Hitler’s logic in that he did not want the “superior” ethnicity to be lowered through marriage to someone of an “inferior” culture. We should point out Qur’anic verses and Hadith regarding the believers’ equality before Allah and how one’s level of deen will matter on the Day of Judgment. Our skin color will not matter, neither will our superstitious manmade customs, ideologies, and “status” in society. Many parents, though aware of the deen, will not allow their children to marry outside of their race for fear of what “society will think.” Some questions I would pose to those parents are:
1. Do you live your life for yourself, or to please others? Is your whole life a façade, such as a staged play in which your family members’ every action is controlled?
2. Have you forgotten the purpose of your life? Allah (S.W.T.) says, “I have only created jinns and humans to worship Me” (51:56). That is the purpose of our lives, but marriage is a blessing. It is half our deen as our partners help us stay on Siraatul Mustaqeem (the Right path).  Please stop obsessing over how your child’s spouse should be an engineer, doctor, or lawyer.
3. Ultimately, does your child’s happiness matter to you, or your selfish desires of having him/her marry within the race merely to please society?

Please, do not turn down a potential spouse because of something like ethnicity, or the person’s profession. Granted, s/he should be able to earn a decent living, but deen is of utmost importance, and it is possible that you may not find a person who is religious and meets your other standards while also being of the same background. If your parents do not heed your proof from the Qur’an and Sunnah, then ask an Imam to help. Regardless, remember to be kind to your parents even if they do not agree at first.

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46 Comments to Interracial Marriage : Is It Worth It ?

  1. MaashaAllah..very well said..InshaAllah May Allah Accept all our prayers and Make easy the things regarding marriage…Aameen!

  2. u r right….but i love a girl who is ele kitaab and muslim tooo… she is shia and i am sunni we love each other .girl family has no problem but my mom and dad are against it….. although i respect my parents ……but whole life they were libral they have close friends and neighbours who are shia…..when allah has said that a muslim can marry a ale kitaab .why my parents are not understanding it due to socaity and cultural and confused mind…….:( i cant leave her nor my parents ..i am in a situation where i pray to allah ……pls pray that my parent get agree for my marriage with my her(the girl i love) she is alos ready to convert in sunni just for me but after marriage but still my parents dont get it ..her deens, her soul her thinking is beutiful like an idiol girl but still my parrents dont get it………:(

    • Salamu alaikum akhi.
      I have nothing against who you call ‘shias’, as long as they practice like the jama3ah, do not curse the sahabah, or hurt themselves, or believe in a ‘deep/hidden’ meaning of the Quran etc.. I do suggest however, as I would to my blood brother, to choose Wisely. There are PLENTY of women in the world.
      I know a sunni man (family friend) who married a lady from a ‘shia’ background, and his daughter ‘ended up’ with a ‘shia’ man, at the father’s displeasure (he had ‘no choice’ btw)
      So I myself would think about the long term effects of the deciisons I make. As a reminder, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said “it is sufficient that you lead astray those whom you are placed in charge of” I am sure she is a great woman as you described. Just for thought: why doesn’t she become ‘sunni’ now, before she marries you?

  3. thanks for sharing.. I hv one questn, is it haram to mary wth a person who is folowng anothr religeon?
    Pls do send rply on my mail id. Shukran

  4. Wat about inter-caste marriages like muslim-catholic or muslim-hindu…
    coz da big problem is dat dey drink n eat which is not halal in our islam…
    n is der any sawab in changing der name or caste after marriage? plz guide me through dis…

  5. rasheed Sheriff

    Should one be turned down by his spouse’s parents on the ground of physical disabilty? What if the parents’s refusal is based on mundane and un-islamic claims? Can one go ahead with the marriage since the girl didn’t share her parents’s view?

  6. Alhamdullillah. This article is brilliant and highlights some of the problems we face in society. Your aim should be to please Allah not society.

    I am writing a rap (only vocals no music) about this topic titled “show me your deen” which will address all these issues. This article really inspired me. JazakAllah

  7. Salam, thanks for all u doing to promote the live of young muslim. Is there no way someone can meet who to marry.

  8. rhohayda tootsie usman marohomsalic

    MASHAALLAH very well said, i have understood it well and i learned some hadiths from it, ALHAMDULILLAH I was able to read this article…

  9. Manzar khan: It’s permissible for a Muslim man to marry a Christian or a Jewish woman as they are considered “the people of the Book.” However, a Muslim woman can only marry a Muslim man. Allah says:

    “…The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time when you have given their due Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girlfriends…”

    [al-Maa’idah 5:5]

    I’m a Norwegian revert to Islam and I’m engaged to an Egyptian who was born Muslim. There might be difficulties we will meet in the future, but with an open mind and Islam to guide us we can overcome all the obstacles about cultural differences and such inshaAllah.

  10. Imam Daayiee Abdullah

    As-salaamu alaykee, Sister Faiz. Great article and a very good one and I appreciate that you have provided your readers with some very important questions to ask themselves and their parents. I think your advice is one of many alternative ways to see their marriage, as there are perspectives that range from ultra-conservative to more progressive views.

    As a personal note, I would like to say, based upon the picture used to show interracial marriage, were you just thinking in terms of people of color only marrying whites? People of various ethnicities inter-racially marry too. In my experience, more people of color marry than white and persons of color, but that can be regional/geographic too.

    I hope many gain from your words. May Allah continue to guide and bless us all, Amen.

    • Aisha Faiz

      Wa alaikum as salaam, Imam Abdullah.
      I’m sorry for replying so late. I was not aware that my article had been posted here too, otherwise I would have checked. Thank you for your praise, and these pictures were the only appropriate ones which I could find at the time. I am aware that it is not merely limited to people of color and whites. Jazak Allah Khair.

    • Aisha Faiz

      It seems that the original pictures that I had provided in my article were not used here on this site.

  11. Alhamdulillah i’m going to marry interracial, he is afro american and i’m indonesian, i have no problem with that, in fact, i feel blessed coz his deen and personality, pray for me guys thanks

  12. There are many benefits in Interracial Marriages . if you are a practicing Muslim:: will widen your Dawah activities between two countries/ can understand his/her culture. it will be helpful to give dawah.
    2.Acceptably of learning different languages will be increase of your children insaallah.
    3.Hazrat Umar Faruk (ra) appreciates Interracial Marriages!

  13. mizanur rahaman

    i hate love bcoz in 22th january,2010 i married a girl & this is my love married,i drink posion for her,i do everything for her,i do not gave any kind of blem to her,when i love her my family aganist of my love thatwise i drink posion,then my family accept my love & they gave our married………bt now the love is totally destroy…..she gave me divorce in 30th november,2011 for her carrier….!!!!!!!!my mom was died, my father is ill & i m only son of my parents. i have three sisters ,they all married………so my question is that “what is love?????”………my answer is love is a f++king thinks in the world…!!!!!…….about the reason of my life i hate loves & i do not believe in allha:(:(:(:(:(… i m so lonely & my heart is totally destroyed:(:(:(….!!!!!!!!

    • Salam,

      I’m sorry to hear this my friend, but do not blame Allah because of this, this is the test part in life.

      Sometime person need to learn whether what he do is right or wrong, because of the first you drink poison to get married that is not correct, you pick the wrong woman that is not correct also,
      you have to choose woman by her deen first, then love.
      be patient, and you will get what you need not what you want, Insya Allah

  14. ASA, any Muslim can marry any other Muslim from a different culture or country if they truly follow Al Qur’an, same is true for non Muslims marrying some one of another culture instead of their own, not race there is only one race (Human). Most Muslims chose to marry some one from their own culture or county this to me is not according to Al Qur’an.

  15. assalamu alaykum.
    brothers and sisters thanks for your comments. but. i have a different opinion which is no matter what race, color, origin or nationality your love partner is, what matters is the religion.
    i think today there is no kitaabi living on this earth cos of inxiraaf.
    what i believe no real muslim can marry anyone else other than a muslim.
    pls reply……..

    • I agree with you. I grew up a Christian and we did not worship Allah, even under the name of God. We worshipped Jesus, may peace be upon him and may the forgivness of Allah be upon me. There are one or two denominations of Christianity that do simply worship God with no other partners, but they are not very big so finding a Christian who does not place partners with Allah is very unlikely.

  16. That translation at (51:56) is slightly in correct. Allah ask to be “obedient” to him. Worshiping him is a small part, equally important part to be obedient to Allah is to be Humane. Take care of people (Haqooq-Al-Ibad).
    It may not matter in this context too much but its slight miss-intreptration that can be easily exploited. Just a little FYI 🙂

    • According to the translations of Sahih International , Pickthall , Muhammad Sarwar, Mohsin Khan -which are well known globally , the words ‘worship me’ is used .
      Others like Yusuf Ali , Shakir ,Arberry have used the words ‘serve me’ for the Arabic word ‘Liya`budūn’ in that verse. However, Allah knows best .

  17. muhammed kadir miah

    this is so true and i have always been trying to get people to understand this! I hope all brothers and sister’s out there best of luck and may allah swt bless us all with a perfect someone who ever they may be and from which ever background. ameen

  18. Yahya El-madani

    MASHAALLAH, i have understood about marry and children information, Thank you to Allah and promote make human (muslim or non muslim) understand about marry and children information insaallah AL HAMDUDILAH.

  19. u r all people of the foolish book. u hav double standards. liberal ones for men and strict ones for women.basically u r sick people and like your prophet u will all go to hell.

    • actually, it is not a double standard. it is based on one fact: there should be a head of the family, and like in many other religions, the head of the family is the man. so a woman is supposed to follow her man. therefore a muslim woman should follow the rule of a non-muslim, which is bad for her faith. it is a double standard, but it is necessary to preserve the faith. it is true that in islam there are double standards, but the logic behind most of them is easy to grasp.

  20. Asalaam Alaikum warahmatu allaahi wabarakatuh
    I am married to a brother from Pakistan and I am from Somalia. I don’t it think creates any problem for us, in fact we both are happy that Allaah has brought us together. Alhamdulillah this is Allaah’s blessing that despite our cultural differences we are happily married. This does not affect our marriage, people from our community have a problem with us, they stare at us, but this does bother us, we Lough about it. We both get on with each other’s family. I would encourage interracial marriage if it is done for the right reasons.

  21. nasra i have never seen a Somali Pakistani match thats quite interesting i am very pleased for u dear sister that u are happily married it dosnt, really matter that people stare if things work between u too
    i am a somali girl who live in the uk and i am planing in 6 days time insha allah to merry a german muslim man
    we are planing to make hijrah to egypt in the summer time insha allah
    and i am pleased but sometimes i feel scared coz everyone is expecting that the marriage will fail coz he is not somali people tell me my days with him will be numbered and it wouldnt work due to culture clash not that i am cultural
    my allah make it easy for every muslims who plan to merry

  22. Asalaama alaikum warahamtu Allaahi
    Ukhti do not worry, inshaa’Allaah with Allaah on your’e side and you obeying him you have nothing to worry about. What Allaah decreed for you will never miss you and it is Allaah’s will that marriages work out, so put your’e trust in Allaah because thousands of marriages from the same culture fail as well. May Allaah make your’e move easier for you. Aameen.

  23. yeah, that’s true, as long as Allah blessing with us, is not problem what country he from. what we need One religion ,love n trust each other. don’t care what ethnic they from. Good Luck for your Family sis..:)

  24. thanks for your post.It helps me out.I live in multicultural country with dominancy of Islam.I found a person which is not of my country but he has values, respect patience and caring for wife and others. Thanks for your post .Soon inshallah we will get married pray for us.

  25. Mizanur i understand you’re going through some difficulties an d its completely
    understandable but please do not despair. Have faith and remmber our
    purpose of life is only to worship Allah. Once that is established everything else will work
    out. I hope and pray that Allah eases your pain

  26. I suffer from the same problem but my parents are true practicing muslims but like many of us they have their shortcomings. I am originally from Nigeria and was brought up in the middleast. Recently, a brother came to know about me through some friends of mine but though we came from the same cultural background he rejected me on the grounds that my parents wanted me to marry within the same race. I was completely torn apart here was a practicing brother and I was turned down for something I had nothing to do with. My question is are all brothers like this will they all turn me down for the aforementioned reason? And a simple request please everyone make dua for me I love my parents but I do sincerely want to get married purely for Allah’s sake.

  27. This article is informative. could some one for the sake of Allah.
    I am Indian and iam inspired by an Indonesian.girl.because of. Her. Deen and chracter. she loves me very much but she is not. Beautiful. I would say not even average. Am deeply impressed and inspired by her devotation for the deen, but i worry if i marry her now just for deen and later if i didnt like her then what will happen. moreover my parents are also not in favour of my decision. they might become agree but it will take long time and i worry i could fall into the fitna .
    I am really confused and could not decide if any brother or sister could help me ill pray for him/her.
    May Allah Help all of us.

  28. Assalam o Alikum!

    Interesting topic this and interracial marriages on my point of view are just like normal marriages, it is the narrow minded people who create a deal out of it.

    Im married to an Indian Girl and my self im a Pakistani.

    how ever many issues did arose and yet my wife is asking me to keep the nationality of our future children as Indian, I made her understand that Nationality is not an issue, what should matter is that we be together happily InshaAllah!

    Being the father a Pakistani, the children have to be of Pakistani nationality as well, since the generation is known by the Father.

    any ways, I support Interracial marriages.

    in my case cultural differences are there but not much, Both parties should blend into each others cultures and respect the nationalities and cultures.

    May Allah guide us all to the right path, Keep the Married Couples Happy together, bonded in love, Grant the Singles with the best Spouses they can ever dream of. Aameen!

  29. Sharifah Nur Irdayu

    Thanks so much for all the information. However, what if I’m in love with a person who of a different nationality and also he’s yet to be converted to Muslim (he’s currently a Christian), how do I overcome this? Any help? Thank you!

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