Marrying a Turkish Muslim, should I convert to Islam?

You have met your the love of your life, he has asked you to marry him and then out of the blue bam! He asks you will you convert to Islam, it would please his family! You are unsure what to think, is this a deal breaker, will he not marry me if I don’t convert,will his family hate me if I don’t convert, then you think I don’t want to convert to Islam but what should I do.

Marrying a Turkish Muslimshould I convert to Islam

This is a question asked over and over, will you convert to Islam before or after we marry?

What I am about to tell you and talk about is from my own learning and understanding of things and for those that are more learned than me on this topic please do share and I am also going to share my view point on this.

Firstly it is Haram (wrong) to force anyone to convert to Islam, it goes against the Koran and no one should ever force you to convert. Secondly, if you are a man marrying a Muslim girl there will be more pressure as it is seen that the children take the mans religion and not that of the women. So for women who are non Muslim marrying Muslim men there should be no pressure.

And as I have already said there shouldn’t be any pressure as it is haram to pressure someone to convert to Islam.

However, lets live in the real world, of course for some there will be pressure to convert, often it is not your partner who wishes you to convert but his family. They want to make sure that you are of their religion, that their grandchildren are raised as Muslim and the last part is it is thought that if you convert someone to Islam the reward is you go to paradise (heaven) and so does that persons direct family. This part I think is a bit hazy and from what I have read, they also must continue to be good Muslims and do good deeds its not exactly the golden ticket to heaven.

Should you convert to please your Partner and family?

No, you shouldn’t, because religion is a personal matter and you must believe and understand the faith in which you are converting to, to do so its just to make an empty promise or tell a lie.

Though sometimes that lie has to be made, many have converted to keep the peace in the family as their husband is happy for them not to practise Islam but needs to make the show to please his family.

But be prepared to live the lie forever!

If I convert to Islam will I have to wear a headscarf?

No, you don’t but it is customary to cover and dress modestly but again this is part of your own personal choice and at no point should you feel pressure or be made to wear it and you should really think hard if someone is forcing you to do so.

What should I do if my partner is insisting on me converting?

I think if your partner is insisting on you to convert, then he is basiclly forcing you to convert to Islam and you both need to have a serious discussion about the issue and if you don’t want to convert and know you never will convert, you have to make this clear and you may need to rethink your relationship together, because if this is something that your partner insists then it will be forever an issue between you both and his family.

You both need to decided, if you will both be happy if you remain unconverted and will his family accept you. This type of issue can eat away at a relationship and destroy it.

Because if your partner insists you convert and practise then to do so through pressure means you will be forever unhappy.

I want to convert to Islam, what happens?

You have decided that you would like to convert to Islam, my suggestion is first you make sure you have learned all you can and understand as much as you can, talk to others who have converted and know you are making an informed decision.

Then talk to your family about your decision and make sure they understand it is your decision and you are not being forced or pressured in anyway.
Then your Turkish family will most likely organise for the Imam to come to the house you will recite a short prayer and the Imam will also say a few prayers and that is all that will happen.

A very simple and short service. You will of course be required to dress modestly and wear a headscarf as you would during prayer.

Overall it has to be your decision and that you want to convert to Islam, if you are being pressured or forced you need to ask some serious questions and decide if this relationship is right for you. Don’t convert just to please everyone as it is just a lie and you will need to live with it for the rest of your life. If it is something you want to consider take time to learn all you can and make an informed decision.

Have you converted I would love to you hear your thoughts on this and for those that haven’t converted have you had any issues?

© 2014 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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14 Responses to “Marrying a Turkish Muslim, should I convert to Islam?”

  1. 9th October 2014

    Kelly Gundogdu Reply

    I have been married for just over 11 years now and this was a discussion I had with my hubby before we agreed to marry, along with numerous other discussions on all sorts of things. Marriage should never be entered into lightly and you always need to make sure that you both want the same things. I got myself a copy of the koran and read it, I stated to my hubby before marriage that at that time I wasn’t ready to convert, i have always believed in god but never labelled myself with a religion, but may convert in the future. He had no problem with this and neither did his family – there was NEVER any pressure! Before moving to Turkey just over 3 years ago I wanted to convert but in England wasn’t sure how to, but when we moved here it was just so much easier, I wear a headscarf, I am learning to pray – still not easy. I am not the type of person to do something because I am told too I want to understand why things are done and have probably learnt more about Islam than my hubby!

    Religion is always a personal choice and should never be something you are forced into, if pressure is being put on you to convert then this is probably not a relationship you should pursue! I made my decision to convert as it was best for me, the fact that it made my hubby and his family happy are just an added bonus! After 11 years of marriage we must be doing something right!!!

  2. 10th October 2014

    Sally Isik Reply

    I have been with my husband for 5 years now. He never forced me into the religion nor did his family. When we met he asked me if i could atleast read about islam to gain some knowledge and i agreed to learn as i knew my future children would be brought up in islam and i had accepted that. As i read about the religion i had decided i would convert and my husband told me to take my time and wait until i was really ready as he was worried i was doing for him. I waited a year and a half and during that time I read so many books and went to lectures and i knew its what i wanted to do for myself. I eventually converted and after that we got married. A year after that i had a baby and decided to put the hijab on and learnt how to pray. I am not the type of person to be told what to do especially if pressured lol and if i was pressured i would have gone the opposite way. Now im so happy to be where i am today and thankful i reverted its the best thing i ever did 🙂

  3. 5th November 2014

    AyseFatma Reply

    I became Muslim, I converted to Islam but as you told, I am not pleased, because I do not like to wear scarf on my head, I can do it only to pray or to go inside the Mosque. I was forced to take the Islam as my religion, my husband told me “if you are not muslim, I can not marry you” I was very in loved so I accepted but I am not so happy, now I think that he is not openminded or he is old fashioned or he is very bigot and he did not loved me too much and now he made a Haram. He is not patient with me and I´ve grown up in other kind of society with other costums and other beliefs, therefore for me is too hard this position now. Now a days I am separated of him, but he wants me again in his side. I am not sure about it. I am afraid.

  4. 26th December 2014

    Anna Reply

    If you were a Christian, you could never convert to Islam. Islam denies the deity of Jesus Christ and also denies the belief that we are all sinners and that only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, son of God, can give us peace with God in this life the next life. To women from a Christian background who are willing to abandon your faith, remember these words of Jesus Christ: “Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Gospel of Matthew, 10:32-33). Earthly marriage is wonderful and rich, but it is fleeting. Your eternal life is forever, and God loves you too much to let you stray from his truth. All that said, I wish all of you peace and beautiful years!

    • 14th February 2016

      LOL!!! :) Reply

      I respect U !!! AMEN !!!! UR RIGHT !!!!!!

  5. […] To read Kerry Arslan’s full blog post titled “Marrying a Turkish Muslim, should I convert to Islam?” and visit her blog, please click on the following link. http://turkishlifecafe.com/turkish-living/marrying-turkish-muslim-convert-islam/. […]

  6. […] Kerry Arslan’ın İngilizce olarak “Müslüman bir Türkle Evleniyorum, İslam’a dönüşmeme gerek var mı?” adlı tam blog yazısını okumak için, aşağıdaki bağlantıyı tıklayın. http://turkishlifecafe.com/turkish-living/marrying-turkish-muslim-convert-islam/. […]

  7. […] To read Kerry Arslan’s full blog post titled “Marrying a Turkish Muslim, should I convert to Islam?” and visit her blog, please click on the following link. http://turkishlifecafe.com/turkish-living/marrying-turkish-muslim-convert-islam/. […]

  8. 13th February 2016

    Kim Reply

    Kerry, you are absolutely right, there is no compulsion in religion at all and I have never met any Turkish man who thinks it’s ok to force his foreign woman to do such a thing. Islam is very clear about this.

    However:

    Women are considered easier to break and more likely to be obedient, so that is why Turkish men frequenty and freely marry non-Muslims, because they are “allowed” to.
    Not so for the Turkish woman!
    Of course, a Muslim woman may marry a non-Muslim man — it’s not as though it’s illegal — and although I have heard of one such marriage, I have NEVER seen it personally, here in Turkey. What does that tell us?

    I see so many foreign women with Turkish men and the Turkish women sticking to their own…
    I am quite amazed that the foreign women who get involved with Turkish men rarely consider the imbalance implicit in this. I am sure many a foreign man would fall over himself for the lovely Turkish women here.

    As for the foreign women married to Turkish men, I have never even met even one who has kept her own name after marriage; they all seem to rush to change their last names to their husband’s.
    They want to please him, they want to please his family, they want to please, please, please.

    And, it seems for some, they seem to learn submission to their lord and master (i.e. husband) quite quickly.

    • 13th February 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      You are right there are some woman who bend under the pressure. I do know 3 men married to Turkish ladies and one gentleman was already convert before they met and they are such a sweet couple and he is devoted to her. There is nothing wrong with taking your married name, its is tradition around the world I don’t see this as brow beating or submission. I choose to use my maiden name and married name in different areas of my life. Though I am trying hard to use married name more but I forget! I don’t think you are defined by a name.

      You need to meet the ladies of my husbands family, they run the show for sure, I am not scared of the men in my family but I wouldn’t dare cross my SIL’s and neither do the men. I think often you have to look deeper than the surface. It is so often in these men orientated cultures that in fact the woman quietly have the power.

      What often worries me is the western woman/men just see the religion and not anything else, we want to see misery and want to think that they are controlled. There is a lot of women living like that but there are also many who are not and live equally with there men. It’s very easy to lump everyone in the same basket.

      As for those who submit to their husbands ways, I think they would do this no matter who they are, that is their character and the way they view themselves. Unlike some of more independent and fiery women.

      It’s a dangerous thing to judge.

    • 27th April 2016

      Virginia Reply

      I didn’t convert and I didn’t change my name!!. “Nobody can change me, I will change only if I want. If you don’t love me as I am now, it’s better to break up”, that’s what I said to my Turkish husband when we were just boyfriend and girlfriend.
      10 years together…

  9. 17th February 2016

    Kim Reply

    Kerry, I am not lumping everyone in the same basket.

    I didn’t say it was ‘wrong’ to take the man’s name. Please see what I said.
    Just because it is a common practice in different places doesn’t invalidate my point. Lots of people do it automatically without thinking. I questioned that.
    And if it’s only a name, then why doesn’t the man take the woman’s last name too, to unite them also in name? It is a choice but little is made of the Muslim practice of the woman keeping her name. If memory serves, it might actually be a Western tradition to change to the man’s name, part of Ataturk’s reforms. I might be wrong, though.

    I probably told you a little about myself before, that I come from a very mixed family. Both my father and mother come from Muslim families, who married with
    Jews and Christians. And Hindus, too, on my South Asian side of the family.

    Yes, I realise that I might sound like a Western Woman, but I do not speak out of ignorance. Or some kind judgement based on that.

    I, in turn, was also married to a Muslim, a man from Ghana, and I am familiar with who rules the household in that family. His mother! I still quiver at her memory. Yet the males in the family had many entitlements closed off to them alone, including beating their wives because they interpreted that as religiously sanctioned. I personally don’t share that view, I am only conveying a recollection.
    Also saw this up close and personal in West, North and east Africa and among South African Muslims, as well as my time among Malaysians, Pakistanis, Iraqis and Indian Muslims.
    Turkey isn’t the first Muslim majority country I have lived in. I have spent my entire life living around Islam and many different kinds of Muslims and Muslim families. Like you, I don’t remain silent if or when someone mischaracterises a religion they might not be familiar with. That happens a lot in parts of the West especially where Islam is concerned.

    Please do not mistake me for someone who stereotypes others.

  10. 8th March 2017

    Jane radford Reply

    Can I please ask advice. My partners mother has said we can continue to be together but never marry because I am not Turkish and will not uphold tradition. She has said she will disown him if we marry… do I walk away now? He says he wants us to be together but is stuck in the middle.. will his mother budge in time? I know mothers can be very demanding… please help I am devastated…

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