In most circumstances, religion is a very sensitive issue, and when you add love into the mix in a way that makes it compulsory that certain choices must be made, then you have got the perfect scenario for heartbreak. It makes you wonder if you can love someone but not their religion, if you can be with your soulmate but that person does not believe in the same thing as you do. It makes you wonder if love itself is real.
From the very beginning of the relationship, Haleemat knew it would end in heartbreak but she loved Daniel with all her heart. He was the only man who had stirred any feelings in her in a long time. Here she was, a practicing Muslim with parents who were firm adherents of the faith. They had brought her up in the faith and it was understood, although never spoken that she would marry someone from the same faith.
She had not planned on falling in love with a man outside of her faith. In fact, it would have made her life easier if she had found someone to love, who practiced her faith but that did not just happen. She fell in love with Daniel, who practiced another faith, albeit not a staunch one but he was still of another faith. After dating for two years, they took a break to review their relationship, with the harsh reality staring them in the face that they would never be able to marry each other because of their faith.
However, their love did not understand the religion factor; they were drawn back into each other’s arms. Both were hurting badly and it was easier for them to be with each other rather than separated. So they took the easy way out and got back with each other but doubts and fears over their future resided in a corner of their hearts.
It was a really bad case as Haleemat had never introduced her boyfriend to her parents during the time they were together. She couldn’t, she knew what their reaction was going to be, so she saved herself the heartache. But her mother knew, she knew because, mothers often found out about such things concerning their children. She knew and was on Haleemat’s neck to break it off, as it was headed no way and she was right. She asked Haleemat to find a man of same faith as theirs, even if he was a nominal one; if she invested in him, she would get a man, whom she would be proud of, instead of Daniel who would never convert to her faith. In fact, she threw her hands up over the Daniel matter, and just kept hammering on about how she needed to break it off and fast too.
Daniel on his part had no qualms with marrying Haleemat, he loved her, although he knew his religion was a strike against him in the eyes of her parents but it never mattered, they could always come around. He thought he could appease them with the fact that he would not stop her from practicing her religion. If only he knew. But he knew one thing; a break was not the answer to their challenge, breaking off completely would have been like committing suicide to him. Haleemat’s parents just needed to see him for who he was and how he treated their daughter and they would be fine with it, he thought. He would give anything, if only; he would be allowed to marry her.
So, he persuaded Haleemat after their break to introduce him to her parents. After applying so much pressure, she agreed and took him home. That meeting was cold for one, once, her parents found out that they were dating and had been for a while. Once, it was confirmed that he was of a different faith, the conversation pretty much ended and he was left on his own.
That was when Daniel knew exactly what he was up against, he began to wonder, if leaving Haleemat to find love, in the arms of a man of same faith, would not be a better option for her. Although, it would break him, it would make her life better. But he did not say anything to her. He just started to acclimatize himself to the future possibility of being without Haleemat.
When he asked her to marry him some months later, she said no and once more asked that they went their separate ways. They did this time around but they have never recovered from it. Both still pine after the other, wanting a life together but if they had pursued that path, Haleemat would most likely be estranged from her family.
The sad part was, Haleemat and her parents never discussed the matter ever. It was just accepted that she had gotten the message that a man who was not of their faith was not welcome to marry their only daughter, it did not matter that she was closer to 30 than she was far from it, it did not matter that, Daniel was the only man she had dated for that length of time, it did not matter that she had not wanted to fall in love with someone from another faith, but she had fallen in love anyway.
What mattered was that she listened to them and their dictates. That she obeyed and that built up some resentment in Haleemat towards her parents. When Haleemat brought Daniel home, her parents got desperate and started trying to hitch up with men of their own liking. They were practically match-making her with suitable bachelors of their liking. These matchmaking attempts increased the already building resentment in her and it led to a meltdown, which all of them are yet to recover from. Everyone got a earful from an heartbroken Haleemat.
Whether she would go back to Daniel is still in the balance. Whether Daniel would wait for her and really accept the conditions for marrying her like allowing her to continue to practice her faith and even allowing their kids who showed such inclination to do so is another matter entirely. He will have to decide that but Haleemat’s parents have come to the realization that her love for Daniel was the real deal that defied religious affiliations or orientation. It just happened to them, she did not seek to date someone from different faith.