This particular note is for interfaith parents, one of them being a Muslim. Eventually, I will be writing one for each faith group, time, or life-permitting.
First of all, it’s God who brings two souls together and places love and compassion in them. Quran 30:21 “And among His signs is that He created mates for you from among yourselves so that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you love and compassion. In these are, and for people who reflect.” ( Quran 30:21).
Please remember that the Quran is for humankind and not any particular group. Throughout the Quran, you will find it addressing humanity. Indeed, wisdom is abundant in the Quran for those who reflect.
Second, when two people fall in love, the ultimate milestone to their relationship is marriage. Yes, I am addressing the Muslim-Americans where it is natural for men and women who work and study together to fall in love.
Bibi Khadija and Muhammad (pbuh) worked together for years. She fell in love and decided to marry him. At that time, neither of them was a Muslim, and 15 years after their marriage, the Prophet received revelation to communicate to the world that there is one creator to whom we are all accountable. Indeed, “Accountability” created responsible societies where the chaos dissipated and cohesiveness started working. Anyone who subscribed to that idea was a Muslim. Thus, Muhammad and Khadija chose to become Muslims.
Third, how would they raise their children? Bibi Amina, Muhammad’s daughter, was presented with no religion until he became a Muslim, and his family saw the wisdom in it and followed it.
A Muslim is an exemplary citizen who cares for his fellow humans; that is all God wants. There are many examples to cite, but suffice to say that God created the universe in balance and harmony (Quran 55:5-11) and expects us to preserve that harmony. It is almost like a business owner who expects her employees to manage and protect her business; God is no different.
Fourth, Islam is about free will, emphasized at least a few times. Adam and Eve had a choice; Quran says that there is no compulsion (2:256) in belief; God tells the Prophet that his role was to give the message and it is up to HIM to provide guidance to people to receive that message or not; Prophet’s uncle and protector chose not to accept his message.
The Interfaith children ought to be raised with agreed-upon values between the couple. When the kids grow up, they can choose to be Muslim since their parents were “worth” emulating. That was the case with Islam. No one was a Muslim but chose to be one.
Finally, Islam should be a choice and not by birth.
Simply put, Islam is one of the many universal guidances for humanity to be accountable for one’s actions (to the creator) while caring for fellow humans. God created everything in harmony and balance (Quran 55:8-11), and we must preserve that for our good. That is Islam in a nutshell.
Please visit the essence and values of Islam link on top of the homepage at www.WorldMuslimCongress.org. They are also explained in the book American Muslim Agenda, available on Amazon.
Mike Ghouse is an interfaith and Muslim wedding officiant, an author of the book American Muslim Agenda and the upcoming book Madame President – a Muslim woman president in 2036 and an upcoming book on understanding the wisdom of the Quran. More about him at https://theghousediary.com/