Sameera asks, “My brother is in love with a Hindu girl. Trouble is that my parents are against it. To make matters worse she refuses to convert to Islam. What should he do?”

The Aunties’ Answer:
All the Aunties here at are worried for you and hope things work out for the best. We all think you should talk to your brother, alone, about this matter. We also all agree that you should not be confrontational with him but gently and politely explain your concerns to him. Our uncle says to be sure not to seem like you are challenging him or mad at him or else he will immediately write off anything you are saying. Our older, more traditional aunty and our big sister aunty have written you a response themselves, which we’re including below. Keep us updated! You and your family are in our prayers and thoughts.

From Big Sister Aunty:
Dear Sameera,
Your brother basically has to decide what his priorities are. Parents want to see their child happy, so if he lays down the law, and says they HAVE to accept her – eventually they will. Your brother needs to be 110% sure though that this is the right woman for him before he confronts your parents like that. The fact that she doesn’t want to convert to Islam is obviously bothersome to you. Now, your brother needs to decide if it is bothersome to him. If the answer is no, then fine. If there is any hint of him being bothered by it, then he will have problems later in life. What religion will the children be? What customs and holidays will be celebrated in the house? Will he have a problem with Ganesh and Krishna Idols all over the house? Will her family accept him? Interfaith marriages can and have worked, but it takes a lot of understanding and compromise on everyone’s part, which may or may not be possible. Ultimately, I think your brother needs to be absolutely sure this is the woman for him. Actually it should be an easy decision – either you know or you don’t. When I met my husband I knew right away I wanted to marry him. Talk to your brother, and be supportive of him no matter what he decides. I’m crossing my fingers for you that everything works out okay. Let us know what happens.

From Aunty Seeme (the older, more traditional aunty):
Dear Sameera,
Unfortunately, because of prejudice, culture, and history, your brother’s love of a Hindu woman is almost as bad as a death in the family. For South Asian Muslims, who lived through the partition of India, and witnessed Hindus with swords chopping off the heads of Muslims, they can never agree to or understand a marriage with a Hindu woman. (The same is also true for Hindus, who witnessed similar atrocities committed by Muslims.) It would be like asking the parents of a Jewish man to accept the daughter of Nazis in marriage.


First, ask your brother: does he really want to put his parents through this torture?

Second, explain to him that it may not bother him now, but, when his children start practicing Hinduism, or eating pork, it will be hard on him. They will be raised differently than him. No matter how modern he thinks he is, all desi and many Muslim men become conservative as soon as they have chidren and/or growing older. IMRAN KHAN, the famous cricket player of Pakistan, is a good example. In the last few years, he became so conservative that he recently divorced his young and beautiful convert wife JEMIMA, even though she did not want to divorce.

Third, explain to your brother that he will live without the community’s support. He will be shunned by them (and probably by his wife’s Hindu community as well), and no one will want to meet him or socialize with him. It’s not right, but people will say that, if we meet him, we are showing our children it is OKAY to marry a Hindu. Unfortunately, many Muslims are not yet progressive enough to understand and explain interfaith marriages to their children. Most communities struggle with this matter — not just Muslims. He may find that life long friends have abandoned him out of the blue once he marries her. If he is ready to take this stand, then he can do it, but most people cannot handle the alienation they will face from their choice.

Finally, if this woman REALLY LOVED your brother, SHE WOULD CONVERT. The fact that she won’t convert means there are serious issues with her parents too. Such weddings always end in divorce. So if he still decides to marry, tell him to hire A GOOD ATTORNEY to draft a solid Pre-Nuptial Agreement or Marriage Contract that specifies what is to happen in the event of the divorce, including what religion the children should be raised in.