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Muslim Girl-Sikh Boy Marriage Problems- Please Help!

Discussion in 'Love & Marriage' started by Aisha, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Aisha

    Aisha
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    Sat Sri Akal/Assalamualaikum/Hello everyone!

    I came upon this forum yesterday and though that it would be the perfect place to ask for advice. I'll try to keep the story as short as possible and would like to thank everyone that takes the time to read the entire thing.

    I am a 22 year old Muslim girl, born and raised in Canada. In elementary school I met a Sikh boy in one of my classes. We didn't talk a whole lot but knew that the other one existed. High school comes, we see each other every now and then but nothing much. Senior year of high school, during the second (last semester), he's in my English class. Teacher gives us a seating plan and we end up sitting next to each other for the entire 5 months. By the end of it, I was COMPLETELY open to him, and him to me. I could not believe that I had known him for all these years and never got to know the real him. At this point it was more infatuation than anything else, but we exchanged info to stay in touch over the summer. Surprisingly, I didn't hear anything from him. He didn't hear anything from me (he recently told me that he was waiting for me to message him; I was waiting for him to message me! lol).

    We attend the same community college. We don't see each other at all during the first semester but do have 2 classes together in the second. We picked up exactly where we left off- joking, having fun and getting to know each other. We both had practically the same outlook on life, same sense of humor and similar career goals. I always found myself making excuses to go and meet him- telling my parents that I was going to the movies with my girl friends (they knew about us and always covered), studying for a test, getting extra help after a lecture etc... This happened so much so that my 2 older brothers and younger sister started suspecting that something was going on. Thankfully, they never found out.

    Since we were majoring in the same thing, we made sure to always have a class or two together, and did for each semester during 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of undergrad.

    As time went on, my feelings for him evolved from infatuation to heartfelt love and respect and appreciation. What really impressed me was his kindness, his compassion and his humility. His wisecracked jokes and beautiful smile made my heart melt at the beginning, but what made me "fall in love" with him and what made me be sure that this is the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with was when I realized that he was the person I would go to with all my problems; doesn't matter how big or small, even if I was just having a lousy day, he ALWAYS cheered me up and put a smile on my face, he listened to me and genuinely cared about me, and at the end of the day, I knew that I would never be unhappy so long as I was with him.

    He officially asked me out 2 years ago and it has been all the more wonderful since, particularly because I knew that he felt the same way about me. Our relationship had been wonderful, and we never looked back.

    He is my first and only love. My parents are kind and never oppressed me so I met lots of boys throughout my school years. I got to know lots of them on a deep personal level and am friends with quite a few of them still but never did ANY one of them even come close to my boyfriend. He is the complete package, everything that I could ever want in a man and we connected so strongly that it takes my breath away whenever I think about it.



    I am sorry for making that so long but I wanted people to know that this isn't just some 2-week teenage romance or this isn't just me falling for the first guy that shows me any attention. It's been over 4 years since that fateful second semester of our senior year of high school and I had feelings for him ever since. We've had a mature, responsible relationship for the past 2 years and loved it.


    The problem is, as you all guessed, that I am a Muslimah and he is a Sikh. I will be dead honest- neither one of us is 100% practicing. He is not baptised and keeps his hair cut. I used to wear hijab all the time but in grade 10 convinced my parents to not make me wear it, now I only wear it when I go to Masjid. We are both spiritual and believe very strongly in God, just not in useless rituals. 2 years ago, at the beginning of our formal dating, I had him look into Islam. He spent over 6 months studying it but did not convert. The only thing that is a bit of a nuisance to me is that he does not like my religion, although he is tolerant of it and doesn't mind me practicing (he even celebrated Eid, but went to Masjid with a Muslim boy, not me, since our parents don't know).

    I've looked into Sikhism and think that it is a beautiful religion, I especially love how open and accepting it is. I know you all are wondering about what we would do with any future children, we've discussed it and the answer is that they would be raised around both religions and have nothing forced on them. I will stay Muslim and he a Sikh. I have absolutely no qualms in going to the Gurdwara every weekend with him and any future kids. I have already been to one in the city with him (not the one he attends with his family) and loved every second of the experience.

    We both want to get married but know that our parents would never accept. My parents have pretty much given me the message of "marry anyone you want, but he HAS to be a Muslim". His parents, on the other hand, have said "we don't care who you marry, as long as she ISN'T a Muslim". Apparently they still bear a lot of resentment for the Sikh-Muslim wars that have taken place in India.

    We both brought the issue up with our respective parents in a jokingly manner. I said "mom, dad, what would you do if I DID end up marrying a non-Muslim?". My dad flipped and said that I wouldn't be welcome in his life anymore. When he asked his parents what they would do if their daughter in law was a Muslim, his mom apparently went ballistic and said that she "wouldn't touch the grand kids". I can't tell you how much that hurt me.

    Well that's it. Again, sorry for making it so long but I wanted people to have a good idea of what was going on. The whole reason that I posted this on here is because the plan is that we will meet each others' parents this weekend. It will happen in a public place and not at the same time, which means that probably, first he'll meet mine and then later the same day or the next, he'll introduce me to his (Tim Hortons or Starbucks type venues).

    I know that this is a Sikh forum so don't expect advice on how to deal with my parents (although if you do have advice, I'd LOVE to hear it!). What I'm more concerned with though is getting advice on what to do when I meet his parents. I don't want them to judge me based on my religion, but rather what type of person I am. Is there any way that Sikh parents would accept a Muslim daughter in law? What can I do to win them over?

    Please help!
     
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  3. harmanpreet singh

    harmanpreet singh India
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    Interesting ...
    Gud luck ,dear peacesign
     
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  4. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Whats the problem, he is Sikh by birth, you are Muslim by birth, but neither of you are practicing, so you are just two people who fell in love, good for you!

    No, the problem here, as always are the dreaded 'elders'. Use tact, diplomacy, be patient, be understanding, never get angry, be firm but polite.

    You are just two young people who fell in love, I cannot see the issue other than the cultural ones.

    I am Sikh, but not 'baptised', my wife is white, due to my choice of partner, we do not get invited anywhere in case Uncle Harry corrupts others and sets a wrong example. I am more than happy to pay this price and am content with my wife and associated animals, you have to ask yourself if you would be willing to do the same, as does your love.

    If so, than the world is your oyster, Creator is the same for all religions, and as a bonus, you don't get a load of old crones telling you what to do and which ritual to follow

    good luck
     
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  5. TigerStyleZ

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    Harry ji, you are a Sikh, I dont understand why you think you are not..Ok , maybe you are mona, but if we would exclude all monas, like fanatics - only 4 million "Sikhs" in the world would be left. I bet. Maybe you have some of problems... with some things, e.g.(hair), but I think, while time goes on maybe, you will change your mind.

    Anyway to the OP:

    Like Harry ji said this is just a problem of your elders. You both don´t practice your "Religions". So the only problem is convincing your conservative parents. This is the hard nut. Furthermore you will get mockery from both sides of your families. If you want to go this way , if you are really in "love", you need to take this your whole life. Once someone is raised with "values given by their parents", it is hard to change them. They will be with you the whole life. Hope you both find what you want, it will be hard - clearly.


    Hope with the grace of Waheguru you will find the way to the One and Only.
     
  6. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    We are starting to get too many of these Aunt Miriam posts (Miriam used to be in the Mirror newspaper in UK not read it for years now)

    Well Aisha what can we really say here ?
    Let me be frank-
    - If you go and get married and buy your little cosy love hut together, what will they ALL say ???
    -His parents will say- our son has run off and married a muslim ( musselamana di kurri)
    -Your parents will say- our daughter has run off and married a sikh (sikhan da munda)

    Now, this is what you have to be prepared for. There is no way that you can convince them to ignore the fact that you are muslim and he is sikh.
    You both stand out like a white cue ball in Harlem !!!

    I wish I could give you a straight answer, but I can't.

    As Harryji says, sometimes to prve your love between yourselves, you have to sacrifice.
    The sacrifice will be to accept that your families will disown you both.
    However, with time- maybe years, they will come around and come to accept. But by then it may be a whole lot different.

    Life is too short, enjoy and share it.
    If it feels right to proceed, then go ahead.

    If you don't mind me saying, you sound lke the more dominant one.
    In the terms of you sound like you are less likely to sacrifice your own religion, ie.. he has made attempts at seeing and celebrating like a muslim.

    The only way you may win his parents over is to prove to them you are what they want.
    This means to convince them that you will NOT bring the muslim baggage with you into their home.- Because indian families still see you as coming into their family even if you never ever live under the same roof, but they will always see it in this aspect.
    To reassure them that any celebrations, ceremonies etc shall be done their indian way.

    This is the kind of approach you need to win them over. They also need to be assured that their son is NOT blinded by the love. In the sense that some people have a short love fantasy and they forget about who really cares for them such that they lose their love and then go back to the parents...(what a fool!!!)
    So, they need to realise that their son is not being fooled by your love.

    Otherwise, just stay srong and stay together and not try and rush into anything permanent. Eventually the time will pave it's way to keep you together.
    winkingmunda
     
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  7. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Luckyji at times reading your posts makes me wonder if you are my twin, however I respectfully disagree with you, these types of posts are like practical exams for us, we get to tackle real life problems with the benefit of Bani. How to deal with lifes problems is why I embraced Sikhism, not believing in reincarnation, or anything other than death, it is how to live your life as a Sikh that I believe gets me through. I think the more problems get posted, and the more Sikhi ways to deal with these problems that are discussed, then the more people can learn how Sikhism can be used for even the most mundane issues to the most important.

    There has to be more to Sikhism than lip service, in my humble opinion
     
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  8. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I believe strongly in pure Sikh ethics, and living life as such. Once my decisions, thoughts and actions are purely in line with Creator, the hair issue will sort itself out, it really does not bother me, my hair gets cut every 3 months, purely as because of my baldness, I end up looking like Krusty the Klown with a very large beard. I do not think the keeping of the hair is enough, I could let it grow out, but it would just be hair. Unless I wrap it in a turban and make myself look smart, I am still not keshdhari, I am just a hairy person.

    The other issue is that what I feel in my heart, I have no wish to impose on others, and I have no wish to argue with others, I will argue for my right to feel what I do, but what I feel makes me out to be a heretic, so in my heart, I am a Sikh, but to people that know me, I hope, I am just a decent guy, no labels, no drama, no pointless arguing over religion
     
  9. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    I agree, I made that comment bcause this person was browsing this site and obviously saw some related posts and decided to give it a shot, just like people used to read 'dear Miriam'' and then forward their own scenarios.
    I couldn't just say '' look at the responses in the other posts'' but something made me want to help in a kind sikh way. Even if some comments were sharp and maybe caused her some offence and pain, but you have to face the truth in the end. So, you may as well warn them what to expect!!
     
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  10. Aisha

    Aisha
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    Thank you for your reply, it is very much appreciated!

    I couldn't care less about what society thinks about my relationship with my boyfriend, I'm not going to lose sleep over not being invited to parties or other events because they think that Aunt Aisha is "going to be a bad influence on the other young Muslim girls".

    I commemorate you for sticking up for your wife. I can't tell you the number of people I know who would have given in to their family's emotional blackmail and shunning, but it takes a real man to stand up for what he believes in, no matter what anyone else thinks.

    I am "practicing" to an extent. I try to do as many prayers on time as possible, though school and work always comes first. I still pray 1-2 times a day, but there are quite a number of days where I can get all 5 prayers in. I don't see praying as a useless ritual, it helps me feel like I am connected to God and brings me peace of mind. There are things in Islam, like making Hajj and praying in a certain direction that I disagree with. I like the Sikh view better, that God does not live in any one place but is rather all around us and in us as well. Nevertheless, if you get down to the bare bones and throw away the politics, Islam is very fulfilling for the spiritually-inclined, which is why I still call myself a Muslim.

    As for him, he cuts his hair but knows more about Sikhism than most turbaned Sikhs do. In fact, judging from one of your other posts in this thread, he sounds a lot like you Mr. Harry Haller Ji! He does not claim that reincarnation is what happens after death, but he is grateful to have Sikhism as a moral compass to fall back on in situations where he would otherwise not know what to do. He is an active member of the Gurdwara community, will often spend his time listening to the prayers there and claims that volunteering (seva?) during his free time is one of his favorite pass times. He takes the truth very seriously and will not follow religion if it leads him off the path that science has beat. Because Sikhism is very spiritual and doesn't seem to have politics incorporated into it's fabric, he doesn't have a lot to complain about, and he claims that it is the only religion that he will ever follow.

    I tell you all this because I didn't want there to be the false illusion of us being 2 people who call ourselves Muslim and Sikh yet know nothing about our respective religions or who do not practice it at all, because we do, just in moderation.

    The reason our beliefs don't contradict is because we both use religion as a means of connecting with the supreme ruler of the universe, not as a vessel from which to launch attacks or tell other people how they can or cannot live their lives.


    Thank you for this:

    It isn't just cultural. Most Muslims will point to Islam and say that I am not supposed to marry a non-Muslim man. This is a religious problem as well. But I don't see the issue in two people, who understand each other and have come to a compromise, getting married if they truly love each other. But it doesn't matter to my parents, I wish it was just cultural, but it isn't. I don't know how to convince them that I can be a Muslim even if my husband is not.

    He is meeting my parents first. My fingers are crossed that it all goes well!


    And if his parents get angry at me just because I'm a Muslim, then what? What does Sikhism say about a Muslim girl and Sikh boy being together?

    Thank you! :)
     
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  11. Aisha

    Aisha
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    We do practice, just in moderation. Please read my other post. Most Muslims have interpreted the Qur'an in a way that a Muslim girl cannot be married to a non-Muslim man, so it is a religious problem as well. Any advice on how to get over this hurdle?



    I don't care about "society" or the larger Muslim community, but I DO want my parents to be happy about this decision, or at least realize that it isn't the end of the world.


    My parents never taught me to judge people on their religion :grinningkaur: It's just marriage that is a pain in the behind!


    Thank you!
     
  12. Aisha

    Aisha
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    I pray that it doesn't come to this, all I want is for my parents to accept him and his to accept me! I do not know what I would do if my parents said that they will disown me.

    I agree! A day where we can laugh and have fun and be happy, in the company of our loved ones, is a gift from God and something to be cherished. I do not believe in wasting such a precious gift by observing backwards religious traditions.

    No I'm not dominant, we have come to an agreement that we will not interfere in each others' worship and will be supportive whenever we can. He celebrated Eid this year and previous years, but I have also celebrated Vaisakhi, Miri Piri, Guru Nanak Jis birthday and Diwali with him for the past 2 years.




    What's "Muslim baggage"?

    We're the same cultural background so this isn't going to be a problem cheerleader

    What do you suggest?

    .

    Thank you!
     
  13. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    This is a long shot, but its the best I can think of.

    I suggest you both cease calling yourself Sikh or Muslim. I think you should sit down with each other and embrace everything you have in common. In your hearts you may be Muslim, and he may be Sikh, but publicly just stick to being 'Punjabi'.

    Yes, each of your parents will think you have both lost your respective faiths, but that will be better than losing a son or daughter to 'the enemy'. This means that you can go to a Gurdwara and worship the same God you are worshipping already, and he can go to a Mosque and do the same.

    There is much corruption of religion already both in Sikhism and Islam, what harm could it do to embrace the common aspects of both religions and use that as a template not only for you, but for your children. You would then be in fact Islamic Sikhs. As I know of at least one Jewish Sikh (here on this forum), a multitude of Vedic Sikhs, a few atheist Sikhs, what harm could it be to be an Islamic Sikh?

    my opinion only, but I think you are both going to have to think outside of the box to pull this one of with everyone happy.

    Good Luck
     
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  14. Aisha

    Aisha
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    Thank you, I had not even considered this possibility!

    Tomorrow, instead of "mom, dad, this is my Sikh boyfriend...", "mom, dad, this is my Punjabi boyfriend..." sounds a lot better! I am 100% sure that they will be ******, but if I can get them to focus on the similarities they have with my boyfriend (same culture, history, language, food etc...) and less on the differences, in the long run, it may help to change their minds.

    Both his parents would be unhappy, but his mom especially. I feel like if maybe I can make a good impression on the dad, he'll do the grunt work and bring his wife around on his own. I know what they are looking for in a daughter in law- the same thing all Indian parents look for, which is someone who can cook, clean, be a mother to their grandchildren, is respectful, polite, modest and most importantly, will care about them in their old age. Aside from maybe the cooking (I'm learning!), I have all of that covered I think. My boyfriend tells me that his dad values education and is very fond of hardworking people, so the fact that I'm studying to be a doctor should help my case a great deal.

    Thank you once again, I don't know what will happen until we actually try this out, but we are going to be hoping for the best!

    PS: This is the only part I didn't understand:

    I thought you meant that we tell our parents that we're both atheists, but clearly that isn't the case since you mention us going to the Gurdwara and Masjid later on. Could you please clarify?

    Thank you!
     
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  15. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    There are many many people that call themselves Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, etc, who really have no idea about the deep spiritual connection you talk of. Are these people really Sikhs, Muslims? If you can put across to your parents that neither of you are particularly religious, but there are so many similarities between Sikhism and Islam that you will both just go with the flow, so you introduce him as Punjabi from a Sikh background but he is not particularly Sikh, and he does the same, then neither set of parents will feel that they are about to lose a child to another religion. So you can end up celebrating Sikh festivals with his family, and he can do the same, and no one feels threatened.

    Obviously as time goes by, you can both slowly assert your own feelings, but by then, hopefully each family will see you both as people and not 'Sikh' or 'Muslim'

    hope that helps,

    P.S. the first thing both families will ask is 'will the other convert', tactfully avoid this by maintaining that conversion for the sake of marriage and convenience would be hypocritical.

    Its not exactly in line with truthful living, which is very important, but you have asked a question, and I have provided an answer. Would I do it myself? No, I would not, but then I am older than you, and I have spent my life laughing at these ridiculous rules that exist soley to preserve family honour, there is nothing religious about any of this, it is all about 'what will people say', and manipulation of people by people claiming it is for God. I have thus been spared many speedily read Akand Paths, elaborate langars, and drunken weddings! I answer only to Creator and the word of Creator as outlined in the SGGS. Old beardies, bitter crones, interfering aunties I can do without. Frankly it was a blessing to lose the lot of them rather than a heartbreaking loss.
     
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    #14 Harry Haller, Oct 13, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  16. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Sisji

    I believe it does not
     
  17. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    I know of 2 Muslim Sikh marriages and both have ended up in divorce.

    You and him may not be practicing, but when it comes to marriage you will find that you and he will be torn between each other and your families. I suggest either you or he convert to the others faith.
     
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  18. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    Getting married is tricky. You may not be totally practicing today. You could be tomorrow. Or maybe him. We are constantly evolving beings.
     
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  19. Inderjeet Kaur

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    Aisha ji,

    I am going to say what you don't want to hear. In my very hard experience, it doesn't work, in the long run. Here is what happened to me.

    I believed in Sikhi; I could never be anything other than a Sikh, but for my own reasons I had left the sangat and was just believing what I believed on my own. Not exactly non-practising, but just minimally Sikh. I married a Christian man whose Christianity was much like my Sikhi. He knew I believed differently from him, but he didn't really care, as long as I believed in God. I was estranged from my family and his was halfway around the world, so we were able to just put family aside. This worked for about two years. Then, two things happened. He got religion and his dad died. I, too, rediscovered Sikhi and realised how I loved it.

    As you know, Christianity, like Islam, teaches that it is the only true religion and others need to convert or face dire consequences, ie, hell. We didn't have enough money for both of us to attend the funeral, so he went and I stayed home. He started blaming me for not going, saying it had something to do with my being Sikh and thus not respecting him and his dad. His family was appalled that he had married a non-Christian girl and convinced him that I must be converted.

    Thus began a nightmare that lasted for the next 20 years. I could have divorced him and left. Certainly the daily abuse heaped on me would have justified it in most people's minds. However, I hold my marriage vows to be sacred and not to be broken. Had he ever become physically violent, I would have gone, but he never raised a finger against me, only his voice. As time went on, I became stronger and stronger in my Sikhi, until what I wanted most of all was just to be left in peace to be a Sikh.

    Last year, he died and I was relieved. That was the fruit of a 22 year marriage. The husband died and the widow was relieved.

    I am not saying this would happen to you but it easily could. What if you woke up and saw the great beauty in Islam and wanted to be a practicing Muslim? Or if he woke up and saw the beauty in Sikhi and wanted to follow the Sikh path. Even with mutual understanding, love and respect, I'm not atcall sure the differences could be reconciled.

    The children would be an added complication, of course.

    If you were both completely secular and had only the families to deal with, it would be hard. Since you are both , sort-of believers, it becomes more complicated.

    As for his family, I don't know if they would ever accept a Muslim daughter-in-law. I don't know. They might accept you if you became a Sikh, but you cannot be a Sikh unless you really believe in Sikhi and have no loyalties to any other religion.

    That is my experience. Yours might or might not be similar. I do not expect my words to make up your mind for you. Whatever you decide, you will have to live with the consequences.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you a long and happy life. May the Creator (by whatever name you call It), bless you with joy and happiness.
     
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  20. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Aisha Bhain ji you are a very smart person. If you approach the whole realistically, compassionately and with love I believe you will make the right decision. What you got to do is remember such premise for the rest of your life and keep it foundational.
    I have one additional comment that I have not seen flagged so far. Distance is a great healer. If you as a married couple have option to move away from the familiar your life may bloom even more and become easier. Without issues like you have rasied sometimes excessive closeness brings out contempt and distance fondness. In case it gives or allows you to think alternatives.

    I believe you need to treat each other as spiritual and respect each others spirituality. Let organized religion fall by the wayside. Sufism from Punjab raised very strong arguments in this regard.

    You probably heard the following but in case you have not,

    Abida Parveen Sings Bulleh Shah (english subtitles) - YouTube

    One from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in part by Baba Farid Ji,

    Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Turia Turia Ja Farida - YouTube

    One more from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan,

    GURU NANAK DEV JI- NUSRAT FATEH ALI KHAN kalam bhagat kabir - YouTube

    All the best to you and your friend.

    Regards.
     
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    #19 Ambarsaria, Oct 15, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  21. Rory

    Rory
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    Aisha-ji

    I'm sorry that I can't add anything to this discussion, I'm neither a Sikh, Muslim or Punjabi. Just hope that it works out for you both, because from the sounds of it you are both reasonable and sensible people.
    Best of luck!
     
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