In Beauty of Faith.Orthodoxy My Morocco

I am an Orthodox Christian married to a Muslim. This is what it's like.

   In this age of globalization when we are moving freely from country to country and can settle and find home a long way from our homelands, cross-cultural relationships and interfaith marriages are something very common but still something that is worth talking about. I am sharing my personal experience what is it like to be an Orthodox Christian wife of a Muslim husband.

   Why am I Orthodox?

   I was raised in Ukraine where all Abrahamic religions have deep historical roots so there are no problems with racism or cross-religious relationships. It is easy to find a mosque right next to a cathedral, or a church behind a synagogue. People are minding their business, praying and worshipping God whenever they need to. When you are walking through central streets you will see all the varieties of religious people - Muslim men holding their kids and chatting with their wives, Jewish children wearing kippahs and running somewhere, Orthodox priests talking on the phone while drinking coffee, silent Buddist protest and so on. Peace and harmony.  
   I have never doubted Orthodoxy - it is very understandable, clear and truthful for me. When I was 20 I started going to church regularly, read and educate myself. I made some friends among nuns, it was a great joy for me to help them in cleaning the cathedral, listening to their quiet voices. One of the best moments of my Ukrainian life. I was wearing a scarf for some time ( I do not remember why I stopped doing this) and did not use any makeup for 4 or 5 years. And of course, I have never had any thought about marrying a man of a different religion. Like we say in Ukraine: "A man thinks, but God acts.".

                              Why Muslim? Why him?

   I do not believe in a love at the first sight. I am old enough to know about passion and hormones. I know the term "chemistry" between a man and a woman. I mean we all have been watching American love movies, right? So it is logical you have to be sober for such a decision like marriage, and for interfaith marriage, you have to be super-long-term sober and think not twice but 1000 times. And when I say sober, I'm not talking about alcohol.  
   I knew my husband for more than 2 years before we finally got married, even though as a good Muslim he proposed me to marry him at the beginning of our relationship, but as we've been living in different countries and were trying to fix our marriage papers for so long ( there is a whole two-parts story how it was) I had enough time to make sure I made a right choice. 
   If I ever am asked why I married a Muslim, I would never answer in one sentence. There are so many reasons and his religion is at the end of the list. It's just happened that the man I trust and respect and who deserves to be trusted and respected is a Muslim. Positive things: he does not smoke or drink or uses drugs; he understands that his family is his responsibility and a marriage is hard work, not a romantic fairy tale ( but you both can work hard to make it a romantic fairy tale). Negative thing: he is jealous. Not all these unbelievable things like checking my phone or Facebook account, or forbidding me going out on my own; but some usual for Islamic countries things ( which I do not do anyhow because of my religious beliefs) like wearing open clothes or swimming in the bikinis etc. 

Our family

   Is built on respect and respect and respect. Before getting married I explained him very much clear that I would never change my religion or convert to Islam so there is no need to preach me. He told me approximately the same. So our coexistence is pretty simple - he knows when I am fasting and I cook him fatour after the sundown when he is fasting; he reminds me about my evening prayers and I help him to wash before his prayers etc. We eat mutton during Eid time, we color and eat eggs on Easter etc. 


   When I was at the university I used to study Religion. All the religions. A bit later I started being interested particularly in Islam and Christian cults. I am still very interested in them, but I have time only for the Bible and Quran from time to time ( I need to remind my husband about his duties for his wife according to Quran, haha ). I strongly believe that there are more things in common that connect us all and if we would bother ourselves a bit more to study each other's beliefs without a judgment but with all respect, we wouldn't have any religious problems to resolve and misunderstandings to fix. Plus:"There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one is able to save and destroy. But you - who are you to judge your neighbor?"James: 4:12 and:"Is not Allah the Best of all judges?" The Quran 95:8.

  Like I said before, I could not imagine I would be a wife of a Muslim man living in the Islamic country so far away from my Homeland but at the end, I am happy to be here at this time with this man. I wish us all to make right choices! Salam Alaykum!

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Viveena Rodrigues said...

It's a beautiful life story. I like how you've inserted apt quotes from the Bible. God Bless.

Laura said...

Thank you Viveena, God bless!