Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I want to marry a boy who is ready to convert to Islam and practice more or less. But he says that when he visits his parents, he will eat whatever they have cooked, halal or not. His parents don’t buy halal meat, but he seems to be okay with this, and neither does he want to talk to them regarding it because he does not want to bother them. I love this guy but don’t know if I should marry him because of this food issue.
Thank you for your question. I think your doubts are well-founded, and I advise you to wait until he has been Muslim for a year before making your decision.
Converting to Islam is a big deal and can be overwhelming. However, with it comes extreme blessings and an opening in the heart, and he may well love practicing this religion after he converts, by the grace of Allah. He also has much to learn regarding worship, learning the Quran, reading Arabic, taking a marriage course, and keeping the company of Muslims. All of these studies should not be coupled with newly married life, as the combination can break one of the two. See these links for more information for converts:
Your focus here, instead of focusing on his food, should be on his overall shift into an Islamic lifestyle. He may be the best man for you, especially after praying istikhara, but until he converts and lives it, you should keep a distance and try not to get more attached than you are. Your god-fearingness is making you skeptical, and thank Allah that you have this because it is protecting you. Follow your intuition as we are told in this Prophetic hadith.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) asked, “Have you come to ask about righteousness and sin, Wabisa?” When he replied that he had, he joined his fingers and, striking his breast with them, said, “Ask yourself for a decision, ask your heart for a decision (saying it three times). Righteousness is that with which the soul is tranquil, and the heart is tranquil, but sin is that which rouses suspicion in the soul and is perplexing in the breast, even if people give you a decision in its favor.” [Ahmad]
After he has put in the time to learn and the effort to practice, pray istikhara again, consult those around you, and if it’s positive, marry him with confidence. Don’t rush into it; it will be a mistake, and from what I feel, he is not ready, nor does he understand yet fully, what Islamic practice entails. Please take the marriage course as well, and review your personally obligatory knowledge in the meanwhile. Take solace that Allah is with the patient and that ‘good things come to those who wait’.
Please see the following courses:
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.