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But with a good end: although the girl had to convert to Islam, reluctantly, to marry her love, the boy eventually left Islam....


Being born in a secular country, and being a Hindu, I was taught to love and respect all religion. This was until I fell in love with a Muslim.

A Muslim boy courted me when I was in university. He promised me that when it comes to marriage, I would NEVER need to convert. I could stay in my religion and we could marry under civil law. I made it clear to him that I would NEVER convert to Islam under ANY circumstances. He kept promising me that I would NEVER need to convert. It was only after his promise that I agreed and went into a relationship with him.

During our initial courtship, everything went well. But, soon, small problems started. I was always wearing the ‘pottu’ (a little black dot on the forehead which most Hindu girls would wear). My boyfriend kept asking me if I would stop wearing it after marriage. I got mad at him after a while and stopped talking to him for a few days. To me, I felt that he was asking me to change a part of me that had always been there.  Why should I change it when he had fallen in love with me knowing that I was a Hindu? He stopped asking me when I got angry with him. But when our relationship deepened, he told me that I MUST stop wearing the ‘pottu’ and also told me that I had to stop eating pork when I was not with him. He also told me that I MUST stop eating from Chinese stalls even when I’m not with him. Out of the love I had for him, I stopped wearing the ‘pottu’ and stopped eating my favourite Chinese food.

Four years into our relationship, the real big problems started. He told his parents about us. His parents insisted that I must convert if I were to marry him. I told him that I was willing to wait for him to get his parents’ permission but I would not be able to convert. However, his parents made life hell for him. His mother even called me and started scolding me. She then twisted our conversation and lied to my boyfriend that I had used vulgarities on her and him.

My boyfriend started being grumpy and started taking it out on me. At first, he didn’t ask me to convert, however, as his parents kept insisting, he kept pestering me and asking me to consider converting. So, I told him that we shall see after going for the religious classes (compulsory for converting). During one of the religious classes, my ustaz asked me about my opinion of Islam. I told him frankly that I didn’t believe in Islam and if I converted, it would only be because of marriage. He got angry and told me that it would be better if I left my boyfriend. It is ‘better to cry tears of blood now than cry tears of blood later’. Those were his exact words. After that incident, I told my boyfriend that there was no way I was going to convert. This became a big issue. My boyfriend told his father and his father called the religious centre and scolded them for pushing me further away from the religion.

Everything was status quo for a while until my boyfriend’s uncles started interfering. All of them started scolding my boyfriend and told him that he was doing a great sin. They told him that I must convert to Islam and follow the teachings of Islam. My boyfriend finally broke down when one of his uncles told him that ‘if you marry a non-Muslim, your child would be a bastard’.

It was after this incident that my boyfriend told me that I would either have to convert or leave him. He told me that it was well-known that whoever marries a Muslim must convert and he doesn’t understand why I should make it a big issue. I was devastated. At this time, it was already 7 years into our relationship. I viewed this as a betrayal of trust and hypocrisy (asking me to do something that he himself would not be able to do). Our very relationship had started on the promise that I would never need to convert. By that time, it was very difficult for me to leave him as I was already deeply in love with him. I fell into severe depression because converting to Islam was also something that I really couldn’t get myself to do. I had been pushed into a corner and it was then that my deep hatred for Islam started.

Finally, I agreed to convert (with my parent’s permission). My boyfriend’s parents then insisted that I should change my name too and add Abdullah at the back of my name. This, I refused. Again, a lot of problems but I stood firm about my name which my parents had given me.

During my nikkah, my father was not allowed to give me off as his daughter because he was not a Muslim. He was not even allowed to be my witness. The person who gave me off was someone whom I didn’t even know.

I also realized that if anything were to happen to me, my parents will not get a share of the insurance they had bought for me. They would also not get a share in any of my hard-earned earnings because they are not Muslims. According to Faraid law, a non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.

A few months into my marriage, a Muslim neighbour told me that I should not visit my parents because my parents have dogs and that dogs are considered dirty (I happen to love dogs). She also told me that I should start praying seriously. I just shrugged off her stupidity.

I am sharing my story in the hope that non-Muslims who fall in love with a Muslim would sit back and think about what they are getting themselves into.

[Side-note: I have to add that my boyfriend (now my husband) is not a bad person. He just happens to come from a very unhappy family where the father always verbally abused the mother and where relatives interfered in other people’s lives. I am not sure if this is a 'islam' thing. To keep my story short, I had missed out portions and events which led to my husband slowly realizing that Islam was not that great a religion after all. I am lucky that through some incidents, my husband began to realize that my parents and I would be the one who would stand by him when he needs help and not his Muslim relatives. He also felt very bad about his betrayal to me. When he saw that I had changed from a very cheerful, chirpy person to a depressed person who was always crying, he made some compromises. After marriage, I converted out of Islam, with his knowledge. None of his family knows. He has also agreed for our children to grow up as free-thinkers.]

Leona

This testimony appeared in faithfreedom.org.

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