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The Story of an American Bride and an Emirati Groom
"When I get older, I will be more religious," said a young Muslim man in a Muslim country. Now, says the young man, he just follows the traditions "in his mind."
Non-Muslim girls from other countries sometimes meet Emirati boys at universities. Often the boys don't seem to follow Muslim ways. The girls don't realize that some Muslim men become stricter in their ways as they get older.
A Christian in the UAE told the following story:
A "dishdasha" is traditional clothing for men in the UAE.
Mary, an American girl, met "Jabril," an Emirati boy, at a foreign university. Jabril dressed in Western clothes and seemed very pleasant. Mary saw a picture of him in a "dishdasha," and she thought he looked very handsome. (A "dishdasha" is a long robe worn by many Emirati men.)
They began to see more of each other, and Jabril asked Mary to marry him. She said, "Yes." He told her she could still be a Christian in his country.
As soon as the newlyweds reached Jabril's home in the UAE, Jabril changed. He began wearing traditional clothes and made her dress in a long robe.
Mary was allowed no freedom. Jabril did not allow her to go to church as he had promised. She could not visit friends.
The couple had five children. Jabril gave the oldest daughter the job of spying on Mary. The girl had to tell her father where Mary went and who called her mother on the telephone.
Mary had to hide her Bible under her pillow and read it when no one was around. She began to go to Bible studies secretly. When she left the house, she wore her long black robe; but when she got together with her Christian friends, she took it off and just wore the Western clothes she had under her robe. "Oh, what a relief!" she would say when she took off the robe.
Mary was afraid of what might happen to her if her husband caught her. One day, Jabril, Mary, and their children moved away from the area. Her Christian friends do not know what happened to her.
To Think About
Read 2 Corinthians 6:14. What are some of the reasons it is good for Christians to marry other Christians? Besides marriage, how else does this verse apply to believers?
Some Muslim women in the UAE become Christians while their husbands are still Muslims. If their husband finds out, he is often not pleased. Pray for them and for women like Mary. Pray for their husbands to become followers of Jesus. Pray for the women to stand firm in their faith and to remember that someday "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes" (Revelation 21:4).