Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Preacher's Wife

Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, AZ (c)Isn't it funny how our parents can make pretty good guesses about our future? My dad had figured out what kind of men my sisters and I would marry, or so he said. He had long thought that one of my sisters would marry a military man, and sure enough, she did. He thought he got my other sister right as well, but I'm not sure what kind of man he is. And for me, I got my dad to tell me, many years ago, what kind of man he thought I would marry. And he thought, for sure, that I would marry a man of the church, a preacher.

Funny how that works out, doesn't it? Obviously when I became a Muslim, marrying any kind of Christian was pretty much out of the question. And it's not like my husband is an imam. But I wonder why my dad figured I would marry a preacher? Because I had a passion for religion, maybe? Or just appreciated that quality in others?

It's not like I could be a preacher myself, because most (though not all) Christians don't have a place for women to be true leaders in the church, and certainly not to be preachers. So involvement in the church, specifically leadership, would probably have to be as a preacher's wife.

Now that I am married I can think back on this and really appreciate the respect for women in Islam, and how Islam has a history of women being scholars of the religion. And I can also think about what my dad's perception of me was then, and how (or whether) it has changed. Our parents know us better than anyone, so what was it my dad saw in me that led him to that conclusion? Because in the past few years I have tried to improve my knowledge about Islam, and I've even taken on some responsibilities in Muslim communities or organizations to help others, at least with respect to the religion. The religion is important to me, and it's important to my husband as well, a trait we share. So was my dad right or wrong?


mmmmmmmmmm said...

I really think you should disable Anonymous comments on your blog. Its attracting bots now.

Anonymous said...

Keep on posting such stories. I love to read blogs like this. Just add some pics :)

Jamilah said...

What are your thoughts on Muslim women being married to non Muslim men? What do you advise for sisters that revert when their husbands don't?

Amy said...

Salam Jamilah--

I think that it's not a preferred state, for a new Muslimah to be married to a non-Muslim, but I'm extremely reluctant to advise anyone in that situation. I'm not convinced either way, that it's permissible for her to stay married or that it's haraam, so in the past I've tried to offer the two different opinions to a woman in that situation.

Honestly, I think it's incredibly complex. Some women in that situation might have nowhere to go if they left their husbands, and Muslims aren't always ready to step up to take care of them. The woman might also have children who need to be cared for. The husband might allow her to practice, or he might not even know about it. Maybe she can explain Islam to him. There's just too many variables, every situation is different, and I'd say a woman in that situation needs much better advice than someone like me (neither a scholar, nor having ever been in that position) can offer.

So I'd recommend a scholar she could talk to in person (not someone online), and one who understands the plight that many new Muslims face here in the USA (someone who has been here a while, not a recent transplant), understanding that there likely is no infrastructure to support her if she leaves her husband.

Regular Baba said...


Subhnallah, I just this very minute found this email I wrote about you, Amy, almost 4 years ago.

Mashallah Amy is VERY inquisitive, and reminds me of Aishah(RA). Because Aisha was so intimate to the Rasul(SA), she was in a position to question him more deeply about anything he said. In addition, Aisha was very intelligent and for these reasons, was a great asset to the muslim ummah. Amy is smart and yes, very inquisitive when it comes to Islam. And she's young as well. Who knows, maybe she'll become a scholar one day Inshallah...?

Jamilah said...

Thanks for your answer Amy... It is a very hard situation and I've seen it turn out badly quite a few times. Husbands that have no idea that their wives have accepted Islam, or wives that are too influenced by their husband's religion to really submit fully to Islam.