Dating the Forbidden Fruit

As long as I can remember, my parents have told me that the guy I want to marry has to be successful, but really all Persian parents say that.


When I got to college I was pretty done with putting effort into dating. Then of course when I least expected it, or really even wanted it, a boy came around who was a little crazy over me. I was (as most Iranian girls are) super stand-offish, I just didn’t really want to waste my time on some guy who didn’t fit my parents criteria, and more importantly MINE.

I basically interrogated this poor guy for a week, asking him everything from what his ambitions were to what his parent’s careers were-  they have to come from a good family right? Well turns out this guy wants to become a doctor, and to top it off his dad is a doctor, and to make matters even better-  he was such an extreme gentleman.

Yeah don’t worry something went real wrong real quick.

I’m an Iranian Bahá’i, and drum roll please… he was a half White half Egyptian Arab Muslim.


Honestly was the universe trying to ruin my life?

Here is where it goes even further south, I’m not even religious. Around the age of 16 I just kind of figured out that this whole religion thing was not for me. I would attend Bahá’í gatherings for my grandmother’s sake, but really I was pretty disconnected from it all at that point. As I got even older I was completely over it! I have no strife with the Bahá’í Faith.

I actually think it’s pretty cool, but I just didn’t believe it in my heart or any other religion…

so I chose to stop faking it.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to break it to this guy that Arabs and Iranians have a not so good history, and Bahá’ís are being killed by Muslims as we speak. The icing on the cake was we left Iran because of religious persecution. You can only imagine how my parents were going to take the news. But what could I do? He is a genuinely amazing guy that happens to partake in Ramadan, and has Qurans around his house.

Well now I’m stuck…

I’m dating the forbidden fruit, for over a year to be exact.


My parents like him, but they’re terrified for my future and rightfully so considering their experiences with Arabs and Muslims has been just about every synonym of AWFUL. But I love this guy, yeah I said love, but how many of our parents have married the people they love? They just picked a khastegar (suitor), not the love of their life.

It’s old school of me to say love doesn’t always triumph…

there are enough problems in marriage should our religion be one of them?


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  1. This is such a sweet post! My advice is this: Think about what YOU want as an individual. You seem pretty young since you said you are still in college (early 20’s?), so you definitely have a lot of time to decide about marriage. At the end of the day, cliche as it sounds, you must do what makes YOU happy. Your parents will only be around for so long, so you must build a life and be with someone that YOU want. If he really loves you and you love him, isn’t it better than being with someone who is of the same ‘kind’ that you do not love? Life is short and you only get one. Don’t waste it trying to make others happy. I also understand where your parents are coming from; just remember, there are plenty of Muslims who are kind and enlightened thinkers, and who are not supportive of what is going on in the middle east. Hope that helps!

  2. once i am stucked in love because of religion. we’re muslims but he is shia and i am sunni. my family’s objection was really tough believing that shia is really bad and sunni is the only right to follow. the muslims world nowadays tend to put a fire on this matter. even some of them said if i marry him, our marriage would not be legal in islam or what we call”halal”. but i don’t give a f** on that. i believe that religion is individual’s choice and it will not determine our behavior. the important thing is that i know he has all the quality as a good person to have a good life with. as time passed by, my family accepted him as they realized he really is a good person and respecting our views of the different ideology. now we’re happily married.

  3. Your partner should know Baha’i is just another branch of Islam. (which separated from Shia belief few centuries ago) and they have many things in common. So as for parents they can negotiate. But the difficult part to be satisfied is yourself.
    You should be aware after few years all the heat from the love will fade away. What remains is the differences, nagging, troubles and debates. A real life I mean. To pass those, you need to have common feelings and understandings. If you don’t have common ground of faith and believes, it would be far difficult for you to negotiate and solve your problems. So you have high chance of divorce. But, I do suggest you talk more for now, about anything to find some other common grounds, rather that just intensifying your feelings :) good luck…

    • Don’t start your sentence with an ignorant and incorrect statement chief. Bahai Fait is not “just another branch of islam” . Keep your ignorant prejudice to yourself when you enter the real world. One of the many reasons the civilized people of the world don’t respect you muslims is exactly this: You talk out of your ass.

      • that escalated quickly! ian, you need to understand that the opinion that bahais have with regard to their religious independence (i.e. that it is a separate, brand spanking new religion) is only an opinion that bahais and their supporters have. the total global population who thinks this way is less than 10 million give or take. to the rest of the world, the bahais are just an offshoot of iranian sufi* / twelver shia islam. you might not like it, you might disagree with it, but millions more people who are even aware of the existence of bahais, who view it from a critical and academic point of view (christians and jews included) would see it as a peaceful sub-sect of a sub-sect of islam. just because i say the sky is red doesn’t make it so, but then again, it’s all a matter of opinion when it comes to holy fairytales, which is every religion on earth.

        *there was a guy who was a sufi master who told his best pupil to prepare for the coming of the 12th imam, then he became old and told his student mulla husayn to go out and find this fellow, he did (he found the bab), etc.. hence the reference to sufiism.

  4. and to the author of this post:

    if your parents are good bahais, true to their teachings and such, it wouldn’t matter who your boyfriend was, what his parents do, what he studies or which fairytale he subscribes to. as long as he respects your secular / agnostic views and if things get serious, you two can agree that any children you have will be left to find their path on their own, etc, there really isn’t a problem. if anything, your parents should rejoice to have this “test” come before them so that they can have an opportunity to practice what they preach.

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