Interracial/Intercultural Marriage??? Cultures and Education

  • View author's info Posted on Sep 13, 2005 at 08:04 PM

    My question to both sisters and brothers about Interracial/Intercultural relationship/marriage.

    1) Can this kind of Marriage work?
    2) How to resolve conflicts between families of different cultures (in laws)?
    3) Does the wife have to adopt husband's culture? Clothing, Cook food, Ethnic food, language, etc?
    4) Should the couple seek pre-marital counseling before getting married?

    Here is part of the article written by Dr. Mahfooz Kanwar, Professor of Sociology/Criminology, is a tenured faculty memberz in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Mount Royal College (Calgary, Alberta, Canada).

    "Historically, there are three significant factors that influence personality development which in turn, influences the success or failure of inter-cultural and inter-racial marriages. The first is human nature and those traits which make all human beings similar all over the world. The second is unique experiences which mold individuals differently making even siblings (including identical twins) different from one another. The third reason is cultural environments which
    make one group of people different from another group on a social level. This third reason, cultural environments, is the most influential factor that can shape a person's thoughts, actions and personalities. In a culturally-mixed marriage, when the honeymoon is over, cultural baggage begins to clash on some level even though the two individuals may still get along. It is almost impossible to externalize a life-time of internalization of a person's original culture."

  • 14Comments

  • View author's info Posted on May 07, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    I have a cristian mother and a muslim father,they were married for 48 years and when my father past away a few years ago my mother was realy lost  for a while.They loved and respected eachothers opinions,i can remember cristmas or newyears or ramadanevenings sitting around the table with cristians,muslims and moroccon jews,we hade often great,very animated discussions about religion,politics and so one.I consider myself lucky to been raised like that.The keyword as useull is respect for everybody's ideas even if yours are different.So,no i see no problems with interracial or interreligiuos

  • View author's info Posted on Apr 29, 2008 at 08:55 AM

    Good question. However, do we need to ask, can a regular marriage these days work? Even in the seamingly most perfect unions, divorce happens. Thus, I would expect that marrying someone outside of your ethnicity or culture could pose additional challenges. However, it all depends on YOU. Your maturity, expectations, faith, etc.
  • View author's info Posted on Oct 17, 2006 at 10:42 AM

    i dont see why inter-cultural/racial marriages cant work..i all for it! as long as both induviduals are understanding. I think that instead of getting married to someone of different culture they should both take some time to do some homework about each others' backgrounds...
    what i mean by this is to take some time out spending time with each others families befor marriage to understand the do's dont, whats expected etc.. so when marriage comes around their wont be a culture shock for one or both of them.
    Allah knows best.
  • View author's info Posted on Jun 19, 2006 at 12:11 AM


    I really appreciate the way you think & the way you replied most beautifully. I 110% agree with your thoughts. Both atleast have quite similar intellectual level to live peaceful life. This is not always the duty especially of a woman to sacrifice through-out of her life, if husband & wife r 2-wheels of a car to drive smoothly then how can one wheel move well with extra burdens. I think husband & wife both must respect each other's feelings, needs & should have respect the way both think, should be compromising. Did you ever hear in any past history that a man sacrifices more than a woman, no you will never find such history with any ratio a man sacrifices more than a woman though im also a highly professional person, i do agree with all whatever Pagaly said coz this is enriched naturally in a woman's nature to sacrifice patiently. Khuda-Hafiz...NABEEL
  • View author's info Posted on Jun 08, 2006 at 04:19 AM

    u know wot nageeb...i think that u should get married instead of thinking about hard work..n all that kinda of stuff...honestly..das jus text book stuff...the real stuff is when ur living it...hope u finf ur match my friend i really do..n hope she has the qualitys that ur looking for...when ur married plz get her to make a point on ur topic...will be nice to know how much u understand each other..anyway my friend get ur nose out of the books..and reply to this
  • View author's info Posted on May 29, 2006 at 02:53 AM

    hi just like to add my message...I'm married to a guy from live me it was a massive cultural shock for me when i got married to him....hes family is so disgusting...personally i think that its the education that matters and that one has to have a better knowledge of the religion you prat ice...i i really don't agree with marriages in other religions because as children our parents have brought us up to be Muslims and think on that path...just imagine if u was married to a non Muslim women and u had a son..then u wanted to circumcise him because of religion..wot would she say...all i can say is that I'm proud to be a Muslim and i think that when u don't understand your own religion than u get these kinda misunderstandings whether Ur a Muslim or not...look at the Taliban's...

    as for arranged marriages and love mar rages..well wot can i say...again its Ur understanding with Ur husband is not educated n I'm..there is no understanding at all..i have made so many sacrifices its unbelievable..but now i just cant be bothered...i strongly be live that the person u get married to should be of the same intellect as Ur for different cultures...i think that if u get married in to a Muslim family then Ur beliefs are the same because.... globally all Muslims live the same Ramadan eid...and so i don't think in that sense that u would get a culture shock..unless Ur in laws are like mine who say that they are Muslims but live a bohemian life including the mother in law!!!!!! .....however one of sisters above she thinks that its OK to marry in to non Muslim family...i wonder what she would say if she did marry a non Muslim and her daughter was getting ready to go out wearing a strapless short black dress?????...wot would she say to that????..personally i have a daughter n i know that i would never let her do this..because marrying the wrong person can affect Ur children...thank fully my children are not that effected at the moment...but i would be more worried if i found out that my children did nt have any respect and bond for each other..women should be able to respect each other and men should do the same as well..
  • View author's info Posted on May 22, 2006 at 04:13 AM

    1) Can this kind of Marriage work?

    HARD WORK: Holding fast to the notion that ?love will overcome all differences? can only do harm. In any relationship every difference will require an extra amount of hard work to manage. This doesn't mean that inter-racial/cultural relationship or marriage doesn't work. You just need to face the fact that you'll probably need to do more work than couples from more similar backgrounds: you have to make greater personal compromises and learn to approach difference in a CONSTRUCTIVE way.

    REWARDING: All those who have been through it know that racial and cultural dissimilarities can be very rewarding and deeply fulfilling. Inter-racial/cultural relationship or marriage keeps life interesting and offers countless opportunities for personal awareness, growth and learning.

    BETTER WORLD: The union of an ethnically different pair is a microcosmic opportunity to enhance global tolerance, cultural integration and peaceful coexistence.
    I read one book called Intercultural Marriage by Dugan Romano. It?s an excellent read. Romano lists the factors that can support the success of an intercultural or interracial relationship thus:

    1. Commitment to the relationship
    2. Ability to communicate
    3. Sensitivity to each other's needs
    4. A liking for the other's culture
    5. Flexibility
    6. Solid, positive self-image
    7. Love as the main marriage motive
    8. Common goals
    9. Spirit of adventure
    10. Sense of humor

    2) How to resolve conflicts between families (in-laws) of different cultures?
    3) Does the wife have to adopt husband's culture (clothing, food, language, etc)?
    4) Should the couple seek pre-marital counseling before getting married?

    I want to lump these 3 questions together as I think they are really part of a larger concern about UNDERSTANDING and ACCEPTANCE OF DIFFERENCE. I?d like to address these another time.

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  • View author's info Posted on Apr 01, 2006 at 01:28 PM

    living in the UK, i think we should be allowed to marry whoever we want, so what if a muslim girl marrys an english guy, as long as he respects her and cares for her...yeah?
  • View author's info Posted on Mar 22, 2006 at 11:20 PM

    I am in a intercultural relationship, I am american, he, Arabbic, and I am just facinated with the culture and the heritage! That must make me strange. I do believe that you can have a marriage, with two diffrent cultures, I know that I am and would be willing to learn his culture. If it would make him happy!! I love my boyfriend, and would do anything to be his wife.

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  • View author's info Posted on Feb 20, 2006 at 06:59 AM

    I think if the couple belong to different cultures, then one of them should adopt the other culture; The culture of where they live.
    And to me, I also think that the differences of cultures can make happy life.
    Don't you think it is boring to marry someone just like you, in every thing?
    It is interesting to take years discovering your lover(husband).
  • View author's info Posted on Jan 27, 2006 at 11:17 PM

    Salam Aleikum!

    How are you sisters(and brothers)? Is this the Khan family or what!!?? :) I see MariahKhan, SaraKhan and even a NicoleKhan... lol...

    Nice to see an active forum. I guess its the same for guys too Mariah! Not only the girls the guys are forced into marrying someone they cannot say NO to.

    Since we have no choice one of my friends found an explanation as to why arranged marriage was better. "If its a love marriage... we'd know how the girl was inside out so chances of friction and maybe divorce are high! But when its arranged, we dont know a thing about the girl! and by the time we get to know her, well... we'd have a kid or two and she'd be committed and less prone to divorce!". Its twisted logic i know! But its the only consolation i can give to the people whose parents would never care for an opinion of their child in matters like choosing their soul-mate.

    Its a bit early for me to think about marriage but i am considering the thought of maybe knowing someone i could marry(obviously by suggesting her to my parents!). She'd have to be so perfect! lol! Piety is something i could never compromise on and a fun loving nature would go well with that. She dont have to cook too well as long as shes close to God. Well a wife isn't just for cooking and washing clothes is she? In my view shes more for spiritual upliftment(like the prophet said). An added advantage would be a girl who i could discuss things of intellect with! but i could compromise on that too! lol... Looks are physical and its true that good looks catch u the attention of others, but it dont matter to me much cos it will be her spiritual and intellectual charisma that would catch my attention... Hope shes out there looking for me right now! :)

    May Allah who knows us from the inside-out help us find the partner who'd be devoted and overall contribute to a better religious and constructive life in the here and hereafter. Aameen!
  • View author's info Posted on Jan 17, 2006 at 02:20 PM

    hi Nicole,
    its good what you said i really wish my culture was also like that but its not and parents just dont understannd...your also right in saying it is not in islam because its not islamic its just silly culture and tradition but i pray that the people in our lifes will try and compromise the decision of marrige.
    i pray for you and your family.
    Allah Hafis
  • View author's info Posted on Jan 16, 2006 at 08:33 AM

    It should work out. I can't see why not as long as both parties have an understanding each other with all the differences. You do not need to give up for your husband's culture and traditions etc. I come from country whose population is approx 85% Muslim although we don't have such as a thing "arrange married". So in my opinion it is wrong to say that arrange married is Muslim culture.
  • View author's info Posted on Jan 12, 2006 at 06:27 AM

    Marriage? One word that?s freaks me out??.yes maybe I am One word that?s freaks me out??.yes maybe I am exaggerating abit but if you were in my shoes so would you..
    You see coming from a mixed background I have had some bad experience when it comes down to marriage.. I am next in line to get hitched anytime very soon but the problem is my parents make that choice and I have no say in it?I do not believe in people getting marriage without the approval of their family but I strongly believe we should be given that choice of whether we want to or not??? But arguments start when your parents strongly disagree with this and say you do not have the right to say no when we find you life partner. 2 of my older sisters were forced into marriage but after 4 years there are happy and have settled down now but I can not go through with that. Misery for years and then you learn to love that person as you have no choice.
    Our culture is so backwards and people are so uneducated and still live in last century.
    I really do not know what I am going to do as I had met a person who was the perfect match but I couldn?t go through with it as he was not from the same cast as me. I am so disappointed that our people do not mix within there own ummat but look for matches who are from the same cast...i feel so emotional when my parents ask me about any proposals because I cannot say no and if I do I am disrespectful towards them?why? I respect them but I want a choice to my life partner?I hope Allah talah will help me in every situation and dua for everyone for the best in life.ameen