March 12, 2007

Answers for John and Mary

Mary wrote: "I don’t get how Rayyan can be a doctor. Well at least a doctor with Male patients. She should only treat females."

No doubt there are some Muslim countries where there are male doctors who treat only men and female doctors who treat only women. However, this is not a universal practice around the world. In fact, I, a Muslim male, have a female Muslim doctor.

John wrote: "I have heard it said that while it is forbidden for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man, the reverse is not true. Did I understand this correctly?"

Yes, this is true; Muslim men are allowed to marry believing Christian and Jewish women per the Qur'an.

" the non-Muslim wife expected/allowed to continue in her own religious practices?"

The wife may continue in her religious traditions, although she will be encouraged to become a Muslim in time. Still, some do, some don't.

"Are there limits on what religions she can belong to?"

The Qur'an specifically says Christian and Jewish women. However, it wouldn't surprise me if Muslim men marry women of other religions in areas of the world where Christianity and Judaism isn't as common (e.g., South Asia).

"Would Fatima be less upset about her son studying with a ‘white’ girl than Babar was about his daughter’s study buddy?"

No, she would (or should) be just as upset. There's a hadith that says (paraphrasing) when an unmarried man and woman are in a room together alone, Shaitan is the third. In this particular episode, both Rayyan and Babar's daughter should have known better.

BTW, one thing that's grated on me a little is that Fatimah's name throughout this show is always mispronounced. Among Muslim women, "Fatimah" is pronounced "Fah-TEE-mah." Trust me on this; I know all too well. :)

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