Ask Ali: Prophets beliefs dictate Muslim marriage rulings

There’s no problem when a Muslim man marries a Jewish or a Christian woman, because he, as a Muslim, believes in all of the prophets.

Dear Ali: Why can’t a Muslim woman marry a non-Muslim man? To me, it comes across as gender inequality. FT, Dubai

Dear FT: I can’t believe that we never answered this great question before, and I do appreciate it, as it’s really important that we introduce Islam in a better way, explaining the logic behind the social rules and issues related to it.

There’s no problem when a Muslim man marries a Jewish or a Christian woman, because he, as a Muslim, believes in all of the prophets that carried the message of God and holy books. Hence, there will be no problem between him and his wife in this matter, especially when Islam as his religion commands him to be fair with his wife, even if she’s from a different religion. All Muslim men who decide to marry a Christian or a Jewish lady should abide by this.

On the other hand, both Christians and Jewish people believe only in their own prophets and both don’t believe in the Prophet Mohammed or any of the other prophets, which forbids a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim man.

This brings us to the social code of how parents would clash in the way of raising their children. Let me give you an example: when this Muslim woman tries to teach her kids to love and respect all prophets and believe in all of them, her non-Muslim husband will be against it naturally and will not agree, because he believes only in his prophet. This means he will interfere in the way she raises her kids and prevents her from raising them in an Islamic way. The mother will end up with only two options. If she does nothing about it, that will reflect a negative side of her and means that she doesn’t appreciate her religion – that’s almost taken as an insult. Or she would start arguing about the matter with her husband, which would raise new marital problems. This is one of the major reasons why many of the other religions also forbid women from marrying a man from a different religion.

At the same time, there should be no problem between a Muslim husband and a non-Muslim wife, because if the wife tries to teach her kids to love and believe in her prophet, her Muslim husband will not refuse that, because he already believes in her prophet and all the prophets. This is why Islam allows marriage between a Muslim man and non-Muslim woman, and forbids the marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man, not because it respects men and disrespects women.

Dear Ali: Does the tassel on the front of your kandura get in the way when you need to lean over to do something? DW, San Diego, US

Dear DW: No, the tarboosh or the tassel doesn’t really get in the way. We simply turn it to the back, so it will be turning slightly over the shoulder, but as it is tight it doesn’t really bother you, as it stays still most of the time.

Some media personalities tend to remove it, as it’s in the same area as their microphones, so it’s best to remove it during interviews so that it doesn’t make sounds.

When you get used to it, it becomes just a regular piece of clothing, like a cap or a tie.

Ali Al Saloom is a cultural adviser and public speaker from the UAE. Follow @AskAli on Twitter, and visit to ask him a question and to find his guidebooks to the UAE, priced at Dh50.

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Published: May 8, 2014 04:00 AM


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