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Rosie99

New convert husband won't fast Ramadan

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Hi everyone, 

 

I'm new here, I'm not sure what to start with, but here's my situation :

 

I got married few months ago with a wonderful man. He's honest, kind, respectful, he always helps people, gives charity, he wouldn't harm anyone (not even with words). He really is a good guy.

 

However, the main reason he converted was to be able to get married with me. He always says he doesn't like "religions" (he grew up being Christian but gave it up years ago because he wasn't convinced at all by the Bible..), that they are misused, manipulative, and that there too many things he disagrees with. He doesn't say that about Islam (probably out of respect) but I'm sure he thinks the same. He does believe in God, he just thinks religions might have been manipulated by "men" and he's not sure he can embrace everything in Islam. He's admirable by many many things in Islam though (if not most of it) and he does believe in prophets. 

 

Truth is, from my point of view, he shares the same values as Islam. He's very healthy, he doesn't drink or smoke (he never liked it, even before converting), he stopped eating pork, he's a hard-working person and as I said earlier, he really is a honest, generous and good person. However, he doesn't pray (but my brothers born Muslim don't neither, and I'm not very disciplined myself, so can I really blame him/judge him?) and he keeps saying that he doesn't understand the purpose of Ramadan for someone who has no addiction or bad habits and who tries everyday to do good. He also thinks it's not healthy to fast from 6am to 9-10pm while working from 8am to 6pm + 3hours of public transportation...actually he thinks spending the whole day without drinking nor eating is simply unhealthy and that it's hypocrisy to say the opposite when in my country people work less hours in ramadan, sleep a couple of hours during the afternoon and eat too much and unhealthy food in Iftar... 

 

I am planning on doing Ramadan, like I always did (somehow, in my country Ramadan has more "importance" than praying, socially). And I read on many forums that a new convert shouldn't be forced into practicing, that it's okay to do it little by little over years, and that one should actually start by its own person and "lead by example", but I'm very scared he would never be convinced by fasting Ramadan... 

 

Can I have your insights on this topic please? 

 

Thank you! 

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As'salaamualaikum sister,

Just briefly, with the issue of fasting, you can show him some information that talks about intermittent fasting and the health benefits of it. This info is without religious context and and exists in the mainstream. Hopefully that will lead him to change his mind on what he considers to be unhealthy in the act of fasting. Work in small steps toward an end goal. He doesn't have to fast all the days, but a few so he can start small and do what he can. Its a very different world to step into when you have not grown up in it. Perhaps through him watching your actions and seeing that it benefits you he may decide to join in.

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First of all, welcome to the forum! We hope that you will stick around. We've become a quiet place as of late, but I assure you we are a friendly and welcoming bunch. 

 

People convert for all sorts of reasons, and marriage is quite a common one. It's no less valid than someone who is raised Muslim and remains Muslim primarily because of their culture or family - and this might be the case for a majority of Muslims. That said, you did marry him knowing that he's not all-in on the religious side of things, and therefore, I don't know that he can really be expected to feel passionately about certain rather demanding traditions that you selectively find to be of importance. Fasting for an entire month is a really major commitment - it requires a certain level of passion and confidence that someone who is not actually invested in or certain about Islam is not going to be able to sustain (I find it hard, too!).

 

I'm not really sure of any tangible advice I can give you here that might help - however, I would say this probably has to be a bit more holistic. If he's not interested in the rest of it (like prayer and belief), he's probably not going to suddenly become interested next year in fasting. Fasting just seems like a more extreme version of prayer & other forms of observance. Also, if he fasts, but doesn't have the belief down: what does it even matter? It might be a form of respect to you, but would that really be a form of worship?

 

Have you had a heart-to-heart with him about religion and why it is important to you that he at least give it an open-mind and an open-heart?

 

Good luck, keep us posted :]

Congrats on your marriage!

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Breeze, you are not qualified to copy paste fatwas, and to make it worst, you are copy pasting from a forum. Turn it down a notch or two, and delete your responses.

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2 hours ago, Breeze said:

Ok. I copied from my phone, the whole page came up. Just the last response? Eh, I'll delete all. 

Actually the responses are from a Quora site where there were others with the same situation. I didn't write these words are from me, rather this is what is written and take what you will from that. Also mentioned that if she needs scholarly advice to find someone who has studied Islam extensively. 

So there's a qualification in copying and pasting fatwas, may I find this? 🙈

If you want to discuss about guidelines on forum posting, we can do elsewhere. Let's not derail this thread.

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Hello everyone, 

 

First of all, thank you for your kind replies. I was scared of sharing my story and being "judged" or having very negative feedbacks. So thank you. 

 

I've been reading your comments and thinking a lot. Truth is, I always forget how hard it must be for someone who didn't grow up in a "religious" environment to understand Islam and to commit to its practices (it is sometimes hard for me too actually), and having my family ask me every time "is your husband ready for Ramadan? Is he gonna do it? He HAS to do it... Etc" just puts more pressure on me, but I don't want to be unkind to him and I definitely don't want to pressure him... I care much more about his afterlife than about what people might think (even though these "people" are my family, so it does affect me...). I just have this feeling that God knows what's in the heart and I believe Islam is about being kind and supportive and patient. I wish my family could understand that. 

 

Anyway, I certainly won't lie to them. If he's not ready to do Ramadan this year, then he's not. There isn't much I can do about it right now. 

 

I think that, first, I'm going to focus on my own practice (not skip prayers, not get angry...etc). And then, when it's time, I'll try to have a heart-to-heart with him about this topic. Inshallah he will listen and understand :)

 

Thank you again for your kind messages and for your wishes! 

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11 hours ago, Rosie99 said:

I think that, first, I'm going to focus on my own practice (not skip prayers, not get angry...etc). And then, when it's time, I'll try to have a heart-to-heart with him about this topic. Inshallah he will listen and understand :)

 

I think with this, the second part will follow. If he sees it having positive impacts on you and feels that you are finding peace through it, he might become more interested. Religion's a journey for all of us - no one is at 100% all the time. Perhaps you can involve him in that journey.

 

Maybe this will offer some hope: I used to be part of a group for converts, and a lot of people there had converted for the sake of their significant others. Whether they converted with any actual interest or passion in Islam, they had developed a personal and genuine faith over time. I think in all cases, it was because they saw that this was something important to their significant others, and they therefore felt that they should give it serious consideration, out of respect and care. But it has to start with you.

 

Good luck with the family. I'm sure that can be tough. I'll keep you in my du'a :-] 

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