ManMarriageConversion to Islam
If a man reverts to Islam because he wants to marry a Shia woman and continues to follow Islam for 7 years with the hope that she will marry him, should he be considered a true Muslim and would it be permissible for the female to marry him?
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Amina Inloes,

Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the Islamic College in London and also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies.

445 Answers
Zeinab Donati,

Zeinab Donati has been studying books about various Islamic subjects for more than 19 years. She is deeply interested in history and politics as well as social issues in particular those pertaining to women.

25 Answers
Passed
Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi,

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1977 Answers
Passed
Rebecca Masterton,

Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been teaching for seventeen years through different media, and has also worked in media for ten years, producing and presenting programs for several TV channels.

87 Answers
Passed
Nour Tessie Jørgensen,

Nour Tessie Jørgensen has an MA in Islamic studies from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and a degree in Philosophy of Ethics at Al Mustafa International University in Qum, Iran. She works as an Islamic Studies teacher and a counselor in spiritual and female-related issues.

18 Answers
Passed
Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla,

Zakira Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla is a graduate of York University in Canada from where she obtained a BA in Psychology and Sociology and a Masters in the field of Education. She lectures on Islam at mosques, universities, churches and interfaith gatherings and also recites majalises in Urdu, English and Gujarati. A published freelance writer, playwright, motivational speaker and Anti-Racist Educational Counsellor by profession, she conducts workshops on Race and Cultural sensitivity and often appears on TV program panels and radio talk shows to speak on Race Relations.

4 Answers
Passed
Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 1 year ago

There are all sorts of reasons why people convert to a religion, and sometimes the person doing the converting doesn't even know all of their own psychological motivations. 

If he professes and accepts the shahadatayn (there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet) and the general beliefs of Islam that go with it, and appears to be sincere and honest about it, then he is considered a Muslim and she is allowed to marry him. Only Allah knows what it is in people's hearts, and it sounds like this guy may be rather complicated. 

If he is openly telling her that the only reason he is practicing Islam is because he wants to marry her (and, for instance, he will apostasize if she rejects him), then it is inadvisable for her to marry him, especially if she intends to have Islam as part of the family environment and pass Islam on to the children. For instance, if he says he doesn't really believe that the Qur'an is divine revelation but is just saying it to her dad to marry her, that's more or less like saying he is not a Muslim anyway. 

However I suspect that, after 7 years, the truth here is probably somewhere in the middle - that is, if there were no commitment or self-investment in the faith, he probably wouldn't still be practising it. From the little you have said, it sounds like his personal identity and sense of self may be caught up in her, such that he defines himself by her, including but not limited to religious identity. (As a side note, this isn't unheard of for converts to Islam, given that the often lose a sense of family or heritage, although in my experience it tends to happen more with women.) That doesn't make him a non-believer, but it isn't psychologically healthy especially in a marriage. (This may or may not be the case, just putting it out there.)

In any case, it is good for him to sort himself out. It may be that Allah will test him by preventing the marriage in order to see whether he is really dedicated to his faith. If he wouldn't continue the faith without her, he should question why he wants to commit to starting a Muslim family and living Islam for the rest of his life and having it live on in his children.

7 years is a rather long time to follow a religion solely for the sake of hoping for a marriage and, indeed, it is a rather long time to wait for someone. Yes it is somewhat romantic to think of someone waiting that long, but, also, when that happens, sometimes it is the case that the person is more in love with what they can't have rather than the actual person, or else they are in love with the ideal of the person instead of the actual person. It may be than an actual marriage wouldn't work out, even if it is what he thinks he wants. Also, if there has been no progress towards the marriage in 7 years, it is worth considering that it may never work out.

So I think it is better if he focuses on some self-reflection on deciding who he really is or believes and who he himself wants to be in life, rather than putting things on the shoulders of his beloved. It's not really fair to put all that on someone else anyway. Regardless of what the interfering issues with the marriage are (or what he thinks the interfering issues are, since, surprisingly often, in my experience, men do not understand the real reasons why women do not want to marry them), I also think he would benefit from setting a deadline for the marriage, say, 6 months, either they get married or he moves on.