Someone drunk up on perennialism said that (re-phrased):
Islam is nuanced in its mercy. Tell me, if we are allowed to marry christian and jewish women, how can it be that we are forbidden from loving christians and jews?
Oh the irony!!!
So much for the perennialist’s OWN sense of NUANCES!!!
The one nuance the perennialist got right is that we are allowed to marry christian and jew WOMEN. Thankfully, he did not make a blanket statement that we are allowed to marry christians and jews in general. Let us deal with the issue NUANCE by NUANCE.
NUANCE 1 – Muslim MEN are allowed to marry christian and jew WOMEN. (perennialist got that right – bravo)
NUANCE 2 – Really the re-phrasing of the first nuance, namely – Muslim WOMEN are NOT ALLOWED to marry christian and jew men. (since, it’s only a re-phrasing of the first nuance, we will say that the perennialist got this right too)
NUANCE 3 – EVEN FOR Muslim MEN, this is NOT AN OBLIGATION, but rather JUST A PERMISSION. (perennialist got that right as well, since he said ‘we are allowed’ to marry – bravo again)
NUANCE 4 – This permission is RESTRICTED TO DHIMMI christian and jew women, NOT HARBIY women. (See the fiqh books)
NUANCE 5 – DESPITE the permission existing to marry dhimmi christian and jew women, such marriages are EMPHATICALLY DISCOURAGED. (See fiqh books again)
NUANCE 6 – Dhimmis are the JIZYAH-PAYING kafirs living under Muslim protection in a Muslim state.
NUANCE 7 – According to the NUANCED rulings of the orthodox and classical scholars of Islam, payment of jizyah is A CONDITION for those kafirs to be called dhimmis. If they do not pay the jizyah, they simply can’t be called ahl adh-dhimmah. Of course certain individuals are exempt from the payment of jizyah like the elderly, children, etc. but the COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE IS NOT EXEMPT. The NUANCED ruling is that the christian or jewish female must be from the ahl adh-dhimmah in order to be married to a Muslim man. There are NO dhimmis in these times. (See fiqh books yet again on the conditions to allocate dhimmi status)
No mention of NUANCE 4 (which is the parent nuance of nuances 5, 6, 7, 12 and 13) by the perennialist. boooo! Some more NUANCES of human life, psychology, and general behavior, as well as Islamic rulings:
NUANCE 8 – Good treatment of the wife is one thing, LOVE is something else. (A Muslim man must treat his wife compassionately and nicely.)
NUANCE 9 – Running the matters of the household is one thing, LOVE is something else.
NUANCE 10 – Being physically attracted and having sex is one thing, LOVE is something else.
NUANCE 11 – Having children with her is one thing, LOVING HER is something else.
NUANCE 12 – Any children born to the union, WILL BE raised Muslim. In the event of death or divorce, ONLY THE MUSLIM parent/relatives will get custody of the children.
NUANCE 13 – Raising the children Muslim is one thing, LOVING the wife is something else. (Regardless of the wife’s religion as Muslim or kafir, it is the OBLIGATION on the MAN to raise his children Muslim and give them Islamic education.)
Again, no mention by the perennialist on all these NUANCES of human behavior, psychology, married life, and also the NUANCES in the Islamic rulings of marrying a christian or jewish women. I have left out some other NUANCES to keep it brief (like, for example, it is permitted for the husband as the head of the family to ban the wife from consuming alcohol or pork at his home, or from keeping her religious symbols or books in his home, or from visiting the church or synagogue)
In fact, all these NUANCES of general human behavior and psychology should have been amply clear to the perennialist who lives to emulate western kafir values. The western values on “morality” can amply demonstrate to the perennialist that love, marriage, sex, having children, and running a household are all acts independent of each other. One act is not contingent to the other one. The values and lifestyles of many many people from their own non-enlightened flock demonstrate full well that it is indeed possible for two people to be married to each other and yet LOVE other people and/or have sex and/or children with other people while staying married to one person!!!
IN CONCLUSION – Rationally speaking, it is WELL POSSIBLE for a Muslim man to marry a dhimmi christian or jewish woman, and treat her nicely, to do justice* to her, to be physically attracted to her, to have sex with her, to have children with her, to run a household with her, to raise his children Muslim and yet not “LOVE” the wife.
* Please note that in the Islamic Quran-based value system, adultery is a grave injustice (among any other forms of injustice), unlike in the nonMuslim western tradition wherein adultery is considered perfectly acceptable.
WE don’t follow western mores in Islam. In Islam “LOVE” is NOT a condition to initiate, solemnize or run a marriage. It is, however, obligatory to treat the wife (or wives) nicely and justly in outward behavior.
Just to explain better and give the perennialist an example from a culture he looks up to:
Think of it like this mr. perennialist – the christian or jewish wife could be like a secretary or a receptionist to the Muslim man’s home, with whom he would legitimately live together, have a sexual relationship with, and have children with. What’s “LOVE” got to do with all of this, mr. perennialist???? 🙂
What’s that you mutter mr. perennialist – we should love our wives, marry for love, blah blah blah?
NUANCED ANSWER to you, mr. perennialist –
Muslims ONLY LOVE Allah, His Prophet ﷺ and all that is close to Allah and His Prophet ﷺ, which obviously includes our believing brothers and sisters in Islam. We follow the Prophet’s ﷺ command to LOVE for Allah, and HATE for Allah, which, by the way, is the CORNERSTONE OF REAL TASAWWUF.
THE CONDITION for someone or something to earn a Muslim’s LOVE is that it must be close to Allah and acknowledge His Beloved ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ has said that every creation acknowledges him ﷺ to be Allah’s prophet except kafirs!
If you want to “LOVE” and cherish your wife – MARRY A MUSLIMAH!!!!
If you say (hypothetically, about a dhimmi christian/jew wife) that you only “LOVE” the woman and not her deen, we say – you’re an idiot, mr. perennialist!
A person is a carrier of his/her deen. This comment is as nonsensical as saying, “The glass bottle and the whiskey are two different things. I don’t have a problem with ‘the bottle of whiskey, only the whiskey itself'”. It might sound sophisticated and intellectual to perennialist sophists, but we Muslims are no-nonsense people.
Bottles are meant to carry something or the other and if they perchance do contain something in them, they are KNOWN, CHARACTERIZED and IDENTIFIED by their contents. Of course, if a glass bottle contains something like milk, we don’t have a problem with it. Empty bottles with nothing in them don’t have a meaning or character on their own.
Does Allah warn people or actions in the Quran?
Who will be thrown in hellfire on Judgment Day – people or actions and beliefs?
Who is held responsible for actions and beliefs?
Furthermore, from a rational and fiqh perspective
“LOVE” is something intangible and non-quantifiable. That is why it is simply not a condition to initiate, solemnize or run a marriage in Islam. It may be so for the “marriages” of kafir society based on whatever sophistry you and they use to quantify and make it tangible.
In Islamic fiqh, characteristics and conditions for initiating, solemnizing or administering a marriage are tangible and quantifiable things like physical attraction, knowledge of deen, social status in society, good mannerisms and temperaments, etc etc.
Perennialism-leaning ‘scholars’ might have ruled it impermissible to engage in polygyny to comply with western conventions, but Muslim scholars fear Allah and have not advised against it if one is capable to do it by the standards set by the Shari’ah.
One of the NUANCED rules for a man engaging in a polygyny is equality and justice to wives in OUTWARDLY BEHAVIOR AND TREATMENT.
JUSTICE in “LOVE” is NOT a condition for embarking on a polygamous life, because “LOVE” is a condition of the heart alone. It is well possible for the man to “LOVE” wife A more than wife B, AND YET dish out equal treatment, equal mannerisms, equal finances etc. to the BOTH of them.
Furthermore, it is also well possible for this to change with time, namely later on he can end up “LOVING” wife B more than wife A, and this can change yet again.
The Shari’ah only lays the guidelines for tangible actions, and that’s exactly what the man will be held responsible for, nothing more.
Hope that amply explains to you the NUANCES of marrying ‘a christian or jewish woman’ in Islam and also the NUANCES regarding the standing of “LOVE” in Islam. In short
a) as a feeling of the heart, it is ONLY & ONLY reserved for Allah, His Prophet ﷺ, the believers and all that is close to Allah and His Beloved ﷺ
b) as far as canonical law in regards to marriage is concerned, it is not deemed something tangible and quantifiable for all legal intents and purposes, regardless if he is marrying a Muslimah or a kitabiyyah; although any person of common sense will acknowledge that if a man “LOVES” his MUSLIMAH wife, he will treat her much more compassionately and adoringly than required at the minimal level of Shari’ah obligations.
Again, to recap in one line – If you want to “LOVE” and cherish your wife – MARRY A MUSLIMAH!!!!
I have left out some allegations and accusations in the perennialist’s discourse and they shall come in another post: Nuances – Part 2 if Allah Wills.