Stop Rejecting People for Their Race
By: Nashiha Pervin
It's the 21st century. Today, we're more liberated than ever. We can wear what we want, say what we want, and do what we want....oh...except if it's marrying outside of our race, because that's still a a big no-no.
But what gives? Why is that still such a taboo? We fought and climbed out of the times of idol-worshiping. We eradicated vile and ancient practices of live female-burials. We've acknowledged that there is no racism in Islam as we look back and see that one of the most respected individuals to the Prophet PBUH, was Belal. Who was both Black, a slave at the time, and the first man to give the Adhaan (call to prayer). Yet this unsettling racism and discrimination resurfaces whenever it's in the context of marriage.
I get it, different cultures have different customs. And with that comes different mentalities, practices and perspectives. But when was different ever bad? In Surah Al-Hujurat, Allah swt says "We made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, (the) most noble of you near Allah (is the) most righteous of you."
Wait so what was that again? Allah created us differently because He wanted us to learn from each other? Get to know each other? And ultimately decide who we should associate with in relative to their relationship with God? ....Well, on a scale of 1 to 10 how badly are we failing at that right now?
Do you know what else we're failing at? Recognizing how difficult we are making it for our children to get married. From 'they have to be of the same race,' to 'they have to be from a certain part of our country' to 'they have to be from a certain district'...I mean, with the handful of people they're left to choose from, they don’t really have a choice, now do they?
And with all the fitnah and temptation that surrounds the modern-day Muslim man and woman, your child bringing you someone from a difference race for marriage should be the least of your concerns. And before you raise a brow, remember that these were man-made borders, divided and sustained by colonizers. Why should we continue to perpetuate the division and segregation from the past? Let's learn from it. Let's rise out of it. And let's let it go.
Besides, can we please go back to the Sunnah? It's a genuine concern. The Prophet PBUH married outside of his tribe too. He married women older than him, younger than him, richer than him and women who were previously married. Almost all of his wives were widows too.
So are we really following Islam when we say no to marrying other cultures? Or are we allowing cultural impressions and biases pollute our beautiful deen?
I'm not saying some of your concerns for marrying someone outside of your race aren't reasonable. But Allah tells us that if a person of good character, regardless of race, comes to you for marriage and you deny them, corruption will spread in the world.
Corruption is widespread today.
Makes you wonder...exactly how many good souls have we truly rejected?