I am a Christian, Canadian female and I have recently started dating a Muslim man. I am ignorant towards the Muslim traditions and customs and would like to gain more insight. However, the resources on the internet are limited to strict Islamic traditions. I was more curious on subjects about the unions of a Muslim and non-Muslim couple. For example, does the non-Muslim have to become Muslim? He was born in Canada and says that he is very Canadianized. I am pretty sure his parents are more traditional about his culture though.
I do not want to insult him or his family by asking invasive questions about his culture. I was wondering if you would have any information or possible sites I could go to (and look at) to help me with this. Unless, of course, you would be able to give me some advice and/or information of your own.
I appreciate all your time and help. This has kept me up (as you can tell by the hour) and I have been unable to get proper sleep. Thank you for all your time and consideration with this matter.
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Thank you for your inquiry to The Canadian Society of Muslims.
We would like to refer you to an article on our other website, entitled Sex in Islam which might provide some answers for you.
We would also suggest reading this book: "Introduction to Islam" by Dr. M. Hamidullah Particularly useful for you would be the chapter called "Muslim Women" paragraph 380.
Another useful book for you would be "Islam Forbids Free Mixing of Men and Women?" by Muhammad Iqbal Siddiqi. This book, if not available at local Muslim Bookstores, is available at Kazi Publications in Chicago.
Also, "Purdah and the Status of Women in Islam" by S. Abul Ala Mawdudi, might answer some of your questions. This book can also be found at Kazi Publications in Chicago and may also be found at local Islamic bookstores.
These titles deal with the subject from the Islamic Law point of view, however, cultural usage and practices may vary widely. Interpretations supporting various cultural traditions, practices and usage in all parts of the Muslim world are so different, ranging from the orthodox to liberal, and so it is extremely difficult for us to help you in suggesting any particular book. At any rate, we do hope this meager attempt will be useful for you.