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Single, Muslim, and Female

Dating in the Muslim world is a relatively new phenomenon. The Koran effectively outlaws the practice by frowning upon meetings between single men and women; traditionally, Muslim communities have relied on arranged marriages.

But in recent years, in parallel with an explosion of online dating agencies and "singles' nights", dating has begun to make serious inroads into Muslim society, especially in the West. Shabana Mir, author of the excellent Koonj blog, argues that Muslim women need to date and discusses the impact of dating on expatriate Muslim culture in America.

By Shabana Mir

Muslims in the diaspora often claim that Islam does not allow dating, or even that "Muslims don't date." This claim merits some examination. Put simply, the Prophet Muhammad's saying, "When a man and a woman are alone, a third is always present and he is Satan," discourages one-on-one encounters between men and women. In many ways, intimate social engagement between men and women is pregnant, if one may put it thus, with sexual potential. In the eyes of popular culture, they're never really just friends.

Many liberal Muslims would argue that the case is not so simple, and they may cite cases from the Prophet's life and his Companions. Or they may argue that times have changed; that marriage, divorce and indeed gender are no longer what they were; and that the spirit of the law rather than the letter in its entirety must be fervently preserved. Well then, returns the conservative, what is that spirit if it does not include the practice of chastity? And how may chastity be preserved if the floodgates are opened to the Muslim masses by putting single men and women in continuous contact with each other?

As I have watched the community over the past decade, I feel that while religiosity is on the rise, so too is the number of American Muslim women who are single. One reason for the disproportion in the marriage market is that some men marry outside the faith, permitted under orthodox Islamic law (for men but not for women). Some men marry back in the homeland to find a "traditional girl," closer to immigrant cultural roots. In the thinly spread American Muslim diaspora, many do not have access to networks that would set them up with the right person. The result is a generation of Muslim women in the West, in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who are bright, independent, successful, and wondering how they will find compatible Muslim soulmates.

When I was single in my 30s, my parents were horrified at the future that awaited me. What would I do? Would I lose my mind? Would I lose my virginity? Would I fall into penury? What does a single woman do when she lives on her own? There were few precedents to guide their bewilderment about my future. In the Muslim homelands, most older single women had to rely on the largesse and protection of relatives; this dependence was part of the ugliness of spinsterhood. But Muslim women in the U.S. aren't going to take spinsterhood lying down, so to speak.

I see the increase in numbers of single women as inevitably changing the face of the community, and, in time, the community's approach towards gendered behavior, chastity and sexuality. One of the results is an increase in Muslim dating.

Many traditional and religious Muslims find their spouses through arranged or semi-arranged marriages. Community leaders, parents, relatives, and friends set them up with potential mates. The couple meets; this may be anything from a glance at a social event (my brother married an amazing woman in this way, and hit gold), to a meeting between the two while Mom watches over them. At times, the couple may even meet (alone) at a restaurant, as long as they're not in a private booth. The purpose in all these arrangements is to prevent the nature of courtship from becoming unduly sexualized.

Muslim dating, however, has to negotiate these new choppy seas. What dating means for individual couples varies a great deal. For some, they may socialize one-on-one extensively, hang out for long periods, and watch movies. Some may even engage in some physical contact without going too far. And of course, some have sex, and some sleep around. Recently, a Muslim religious group I will not name has permitted single women to sleep with men (under the category of dire sexual need). My friends have been shocked and repelled by this new phenomenon, although on the whole, I'd say a demographic comparison would reveal that Muslim women remain relatively chaste.

Another no less significant change is that relatively small numbers of Muslim women, like some Muslim men, are moving towards marrying Jews, Christians, Hindus and so on. It will be interesting to see how their children are raised, and how this will affect their children's identities. When Muslims socialize with other Muslims in mosques and Islamic centers, watched over by aunties and uncles from the homeland, they may advance claims about what Muslims are and what Muslims do. When more and more Muslims in mixed marriages socialize with mixed-faith/culture groups and raise mixed-faith children, it becomes harder to claim that "Muslims don't date/drink" or "Muslims eat biryani" or "Muslims don't sleep around like non-Muslims do."

I predict that American Muslim identity under such pressures will probably become a much more fluid notion. I do not say this with eagerness. The coziness of a discrete and - well, slightly insular, contained cultural-religious identity is a comforting thing to come home to. And while it's not all going away, I think it will be a little less possible to bank on it in the future.

Shabana Mir is an assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University, and runs the
Koonj blog

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Comments (48)

Joe:

The problem of Muslims and Islam is they always try to show how true they are in their principles, uderstanding of relegion and obidiency to Prophet. But in the real life all is different by a big 360 degrees.

Observer:

Asim:

"Islam being the tolerant faith it is, would not force Shariah upon a non-Muslim married to a Muslim female-this is the noble justice of Islam."
Moi:
Yeah, sure! Tolerant to the point of insisting that children “follow the better religion” which off course is, what else? This other lofty sounding terms are unwarranted on more than one level.


"The Prophet himself married Safayah who was jewish and Maria the Coptic Christian woman from Egypt."
Moi:
Wrong again. He took them as concubines because they refused to convert.

"A Muslim women is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim because she will no longer be protcted by Shariah which is afforded even to a non-Muslim women married to a Muslim esepcially when it comes to family law and the faith of the children."
Moi;
A Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim unless he converts to Islam to ensure again the children “follow the better religion”. All the rest is mere double talk.

"Mulsims can adopt to modern times and yet be true to their faith."
Moi: Is women covering themselves with a shroud an adaptation to “the modern times”?

"The issue of single Muslim men and women in expatriate communities is such a vital one that these communities should take most seriously by introducing innovative solutions for it-otherwise they will melt in the wider American society."
Moi: Would "melting in the wider American society" be a catastrophe? When we say that a Muslim could be living in America or Russia but never be American or Russian, because his/her loyalty would only be to their Ummah(Muslim community), people thought that was an exaggerating.As to the inniovative solutions, some leaders of their organizations are already advocating polygamy in this country as such a solution.

AMH:

Khaled claims:
“Islam is religion of peace as the meaning of word ISLAM.”

Wrong! The term means “ submission “. This submission is supposedly to Allah , but in reality it is to the whims of Mohammad. As it being a religion of peace let people judge for themselves.

khalid:

Islam is religion of peace as the meaning of word ISLAM.It teaches everything which is related to peace.It applies also to the relation between men and women.In secred practice of marriage ,the quarrel over women is solved.

Slave of G-d:

002.221
YUSUFALI: Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise.

005.005
YUSUFALI: This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).

Anonymous:

halozcel:
It's really below my dignity to engage with some one like U: your ignorance of and hate for Islam are is appaling. U have not uttered one word of truth about Islam-not one word.

I alluded to your types at the end of my previous post.

anonymous:

intermingling with members of the opposite sex so that you can hook up with them in the future is a sin in Islam as far as i know. please correct me if i am wrong.

that being said, if someone wants to go ahead and do it anyway, they have the right to do so, and noone should ever stop them, whether it is here in america, or any other country in the world. people should be allowed to sin, because it's their choice whether they want to follow certain rules in islam or not.

but please don't say that suddenly it's not a sin because some muslim sisters are unmarried. maybe mosque members and the local imams can help arrange more marriages. or set up charities so that people who cannot afford to get married can get some financial help earlier in their lives. there are prolly some more concrete steps that can be taken to help people get married. but to advocate the islam somehow sanctions dating is a distortion of the truth.

in the end we all sin and my God shower us with this mercy and save us from his wrath. God knows best.


halozcel:

Asım MA from SA says,
*Islam allows the marriage of a muslim male only to the females of the ''People of Book'';Christian and Jewish women*
Wrong,terrible wrong.

Let me teach you some *islamic concepts*

1-According to islam,there are only *two kind of men*
A-Muslim
B-Non-muslim/infidel
There is NOT third group men.

2-There is not any differnce between non-muslims/infidels,namely there is NOT *good infidel* or *bad infidel* or *moderate infidel*

3-Trinity/Son of God is idolatry and cursed by islam.

4-In islam,there is NO any concept as *Christian woman*.She is absolutely an infidel.She has to NOT believe in Trinity,Son of God,Second Coming,Bible etc.Is there any such *Christian woman* in the world ???

Quran,COW chapter 2.221 definitly forbids,prohibits the marriage with non-muslims/infidels.

Asım,

Another mistake in your post;

Muslim man can NOT merry with *Christian woman*.First of all,*Christian woman* must convert to muslim.

Asim, San Antonio:

Shabana,
Thanks for the article which takes up a very important issue.

Some points on this issue:

1)) The phenomenon of single unmarried Muslim women is not confined to Muslim communities living in the west:education and economic independence is pushing the age of marriage upwards in Muslim countries too. For example there are over 300,000 single unmarried women over 30 years of age in a country of five million such as Jordan.Single males'numbers are no less, ironically because of inflation and the high cost of living and the inability to support a family.

2)) Some critical information in your article is outdated as if U are unaware of what is happening in the Muslim world: single men and women are increasingly in daily and open contact at schools,colleges, universities and the work place as well as in soical activities in the great majority of Muslim countries-places such as Saudi Arabia are not good examples or benchmarks for wholesale generaliztions.

Yes in some instances single men and women meet under the secure umbrella of the family-but all other marraiges which are arrived at indpenedntly by both parties-men and women- eventually get the stamp of approval of the family which acts as a supporting safety valve for a successful marriage.

3)) Islam allows/sanctions the marriage of a Muslim male only to the females of the "People of the Book:Christian and Jewish women;" The Prophet himself married Safayah who was jewish and Maria the Coptic Christian woman from Egypt. These women from the people of the book are protected by Shariah-Islamic Law-because they would be married to a Muslim.

A Muslim women is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim because she will no longer be protcted by Shariah which is afforded even to a non-Muslim women married to a Muslim esepcially when it comes to family law and the faith of the children. Islam being the tolerant faith it is,would not force Shariah upon a non-Muslim married to a Muslim female-this is the noble justice of Islam.

Also a Muslim female is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim male to ensure that the children are Muslim-to Muslims an infant human being is born in a natural state of Islam-Fitra. Unlike jewish law where the faith of a child is determined by his mother's, in Islam children follow thefaith oftheri father.

3)) Yes it's such a copmlex issue especially for single Muslim women living in Muslim communities in the west;Muslims have to adopt to this new circumstances and intorduce new soicial institutions that facilitate the face-2-face meeing of Muslim single women and men and help them marry:Mulsims can adopt to modern times and yet be true to their faith. They can set up Muslim Community Centers along with the Mosques and engage in social activity for that and other purposes-Muslims themselves have to do it because no one is going to do for them. Muslim families particularly single men as well as single women should be catlysts and leaders for the establishment of such social institutions which will benefit their children in the future.

I think it's shameful for Muslim men to go back to the old country to take a "pure bride" when single Muslim wome are in abundance-who is going to marry them if thses Muslim men keep going to the old country???????That is very irresponsible on theri part.

The issue of single Muslim men and women in expatriot communities is suc a vital one that these communities should take most seriouesly by intrdoucing innovative solutions for it-otherwise they will melt in the wider American society-they can be American and Muslim at once as other faiths are.

Finally it saddens me that the same polmicists , Muslim haters and Islam bashers are regular on this forum for no reason except to change the subject and attack Islam and Muslims instead of using it as a bridge of understanding with Muslims-I need not mention their names becasue they don't desreve the recognition.

Mary:

I just read the whole post.
I am absolutely disgusting with these unwarranted attacks on Moslims, and frankly unrelated postings to the subject. My neighbor is a moslim. She was there when my two sons were born. They are great people. They are the kind of moslims that the woman covers her face, not like the other moslims, and she is my best friend.Her and her husband got a divorce, cause he didnt want her to wear the face cover, and she insisted on wearing it. The subject was about dating in a community, this article could have been very well about my Pentecostal community, as we are very conservative, or about Jahova witnesses, or many other communities. The same posts I have been seeing lately flooding many other blogs. The same, word for word. I think Washington post should limit the posting to two, so that it balances between freedom of speech, but also this kinds of disgusting flooding of bigoted postings.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Anonymous tells me:
"hey Ibrahim, why dont you quote him deut:22 13-21 of the good bible while you are it. The bible orders the stoning of every unvirgin woman."

What does Deuteronomy has to do with the subject of Aisha and pedophilia? If the ancient Israelites believed in stoning adulterant women 4000 years ago, what does that have to do with me? Your cult practices that gem of a practice even today.

Watch and enjoy!
http://www.apostatesofislam.com/media/stoning.htm

Anonymous:

hey Ibrahim, why dont you quote him deut:22 13-21 of the good bible while you are it. The bible orders the stoning of every unvirgin woman.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

He who calls himself John claims he thoroughly researched the Muslim literature and concluded the following:
“She (Aisha) was 9 according to bukhari, and 19 according to every other narration(Which is more accurate)."

How about Sahih Muslim cited below?

Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3310
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old.

Bukhari , furthermore reported this scandal more than once as shown below
Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64
Narrated 'Aisha:
that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65
Narrated 'Aisha:
that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that 'Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death).

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88
Narrated 'Ursa:
The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

Now according to you both Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari are not trustworthy. What does that leave you with? The Quran? That book is riddled with contradiction and discrepancies that defy any logic.

John:

I researched the matter of Aisha very well before becomming a muslim, and Mohammed. He didn't marry her when she was 5, nor 6 either. She was 9 according to bukhari, and 19 according to every other narration(Which is more accurate), she was the only wife that is younger than him. All of his other wives are older than him. The peagans at his time brought everything against him, they called him every bad name that is possible. They never mentioned aisha marraige.

Anonymous:

why am I blocked to post??

Apostate:

Islamwomen.com says:

“from Greece and Rome to India and China, considered women as no better than children or even slaves, with no rights whatsoever, Islam acknowledged women's equality with men in a great many respects.”

The fact alone that a man can marry up to four women and a woman has to settle with ¼ of a man clearly refutes the above allegations. Muslim women are to this day treated as underage dependents. Their testimony in court is half of that of a male counterpart and her inheritance when not subverted in favor of her male siblings is half of that of her brother. Below are some reported sayings and actions of their prophet. that might shed some light on how the founder of their faith look at women.

Narrated Abdullah bin 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "Evil omen is in the women, the house and the horse.'

Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 2127: Aisha the wife of Mohammad said:” He (Mohammad) struck me on the chest which caused me pain,”

Mohammad pontificated ;“His prayer would be cut off by (passing of an) ass, woman and black dog“.(Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1032- see also Number 1034)

Mohammad said: “A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife”. Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2142.

halozcel:

islamswomen.com,

*Islam acknowledged women's equality with men* Which equality ?

*Two women equals one man* 2.282
*Take(not merry) women of your choice(will you not ask woman/girl's desire) two or three or four* 4.3
What is the inheritance right 4.11
*man can scourge women* 4.34 İs this respect ?
*women are your tilth* 2.223 Are you Human or Tilth.

Woman has no right to divorce her husband/master,this is enslavement,isnt it ? But,whenever he likes,he can kick out one of her wives by saying *I divorce you* Which equality ?

What you write from *Noble Quran* 30.21 doesnt prove anything.
Would you show any islamic country where there is Love between men and women ? This is the point.
In which islamic land,where is Love,where is the Respect to woman,where the couple walking hand by hand ???
Please tell me islamswoman,who listens Beatles *I wanna hold your hand* in islamic countries ?

Anonymous,

*why does it bother some people that muslim women(not all of them,some of them) cover ?

Because,Headscarf is the mark of Subjugation and Oppression.Let me tell you a reality.Most of muslims are *unwillingly muslim*.
You talk about *child prostitution.What about *child marriage* in islam ?

BTM:

Muslim Woman says:

"I cover my hair and wear more loose clothing and I feel that I gain more respect from men because of it."

AMH Responds:

"What you interpret as respect is disgust. Disgust from women who feel you are pretending to be more virtuous than them and from men who take your shroud as a rejection of their culture. That manner of attire was fairly common in my town, but somehow seemed to disappear after the 9-11 incident."

I think I understand what Muslim Woman means. Guys assume that the woman in the painted on jeans and belly shirt has no brain.

Islam v Amish:

To TW, USA: Reason is simple. Amish are not an expansionist cult. They believe in live and let live. They do not send their sons and daughters to strap on suicide belts and blow up civilians on airplanes, cafes, buses, trains etc.

TW, USA:

Can someone explain this observation?

Not long ago, public were outraged when a crazy man killed some innocent Amish people. Amish culture is to be protected.

Yet discussion like this showing it's all superior beings' responsibility to modernize, or to civilize the Muslims living in Stone Age, as if the Amish are not living in Stone Age.

nall92:

America the GREAT MELTING POT!!!!

An::


islamswomen.com,

have news for you! What is more important is how people live NOW......NOT what pie in the sky awaits them.

Anonymous:

Why does it bother some people that muslim women cover?
Why do they care if they are single or married?
Why don't these people care about child prostitution in Cambodia, for instance. Who should we care about more, A 5 year old being sold, and raped in the streets of Cambodia, or a Muslim woman covering? As far as I am concern, if a woman wears a bikini, that doesn't mean she is free. It means the men around her are well entertained by her. Some women are raised and groomed to entertain men, and some are raised for a higher purpose of self respect, and dignification regardless of religion. I know the answer to is to why this continuous attacks on Muslims, Zionists in the media, they want to paint Muslims as sub humans who deserve to die. They want to get Americans to hate Muslims, so they can commit genocide in Palestine with no oversight. They want American boys to die for the security of Israel (Iran and Iraq). They are as racist, and as cruel as the Nazis. I bet my comment will be deleted, but that's what I think anyway.

islamswomen.com:

At a time when the rest of the world, from Greece and Rome to India and China, considered women as no better than children or even slaves, with no rights whatsoever, Islam acknowledged women's equality with men in a great many respects. The Quran states:

"And among His signs is this: that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest and peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Certainly, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect."
[Noble Quran 30:21]
.....................
Read & Learn
.....................

http://www.islamswomen.com/

AMH:

Muslim Woman says:

"I cover my hair and wear more loose clothing and I feel that I gain more respect from men because of it."

What you interpret as respect is disgust. Disgust from women who feel you are pretending to be more virtuous than them and from men who take your shroud as a rejection of their culture. That manner of attire was fairly common in my town, but somehow seemed to disappear after the 9-11 incident.

HisRoc:

"Muslim dating." Isn't that like "Amish stereo systems?"

beastlet:

i imagine being single beats the heck out of an honor killing.

quit whining. theres plenty of good men out there. just go out and find one. if you can't its your fault. get with it.

Descartes:

A Muslim man can marry outside the religion but a Muslim woman can not! Some great religion. American Muslim females still chose to follow it! Do they also know most of 57 intolerant Islamic nations force women to cover up from head to toe! The land of prophet does not allow women to drive, go out alone...!


Seems like a very controlling cult rather than a religion.

alfatourist:

There is a cure for ignorance. Educate yourself about the true Message of Islam and the prophet's life, instead of writing lies & nonsense about Islam and the prophet, may peace be upon him, on this forum.

PolBeast:

I'd like to know if Professor Mir thinks the changing social mores in the diaspora has or will have any effect back in the Islamic world.

Apostate:

The following are the different types of marriages in Islam. They are described by the link cited at the bottom.

Mutah/Mut'ah/Temporary Marriage in Islam
Mesyar
Urfi
Marriage with the Quran( Haque Bakshish)
Child marriage

http://www.islamawareness.net/Marriage/

john mcbean:

There was a fatwa somewhere I read stated that women should not wear stringed tampons. Padded tampons are okay. WTF? Those religious male imans think they know everything. They think wearing string tampon doesn't look cool. Stupid MALE imans and I'm a male. LOL. Those boys cracked me up. They aren't doctors. What do they know about female personal hygiene? Oh please go to school and learn to become a doctor. Do something for humanity instead of preaching your stupid ideology that you think your opinion is so important.

reviewer:

The big heresy is the notion that maybe, just maybe, a woman -- or a man, for that matter -- is ultimately happier being single. If we removed the stupid, medieval, and, frankly, MATERIAL interest in pushing people into couples and marriage, it would surprise how quickly marriage would be dropped like a bad habit.

Alam:

"When a man and a woman are alone, a third is always present and he is Satan."

So there is always a 3some !

Anonymous:

Eric W: We'd be better off without all the Catholics who like dating little boys. We'd be better off without all the evangelicals who think the Catholic Church should have burned Galileo at the stake. We'd be better off without all the Christians who say America deserved 9/11. And all the other Christians stuck in the 12th century.

A Muslim Woman...:

Before making comments about the oppression of Muslim women and the state of Muslim women in America, please meet one and ask...

I agree with the article, it is very hard to find a mate without falling into the American dating stereotype. As a convert, I've seen dating from both sides, and I honestly feel that the way we are supposed to date as Muslims is far superior. Two people meet and interact for the sake of marriage, which simplifies a LOT of things. Of course this is the ideal situation and you will find many that fall outside of that, but you can not judge a group of people based on the people that catch your eye... base it on the true teachings.

I cover my hair and wear more loose clothing and I feel that I gain more respect from men because of it. I no longer am subjected to every man who sees me at the grocery store judging me and making comments on the size and shape of my body. An attractive woman walking by without a ring appears to be an invitation for remarks... I no longer attract that attention, thank God.

Dating is hard, in any culture... it becomes harder when you are trying to find someone and you are the minority in the country you were born in...

"Stinger":

WaPo ran an editorial two weeks ago about an American publisher banning a book on prophet Mohamed and his 6 year old child bride and their wedding night. Plus he had nine other wives, including an ex daughter in law. And this guy was teaching others how to treat women!

Ted:

As a Muslim, I can understand the difficulties presented with dating in the United States. I have considered an arranged marriage for my son, but my wife - a Christian - seemed to regard the process negatively.

To be honest, I chose to marry a Christian woman because of the dearth of Muslim women in my area and I wanted to marry someone I was in love with. I think exploring this issue is very healthy, especially since my daughter will have to confront what to do eventually.

Justin:

"When a man and a woman are alone, a third is always present and he is Satan."

Now that's kinky.

Observer:

I do not see why the Muslims are so hung up at the outward signs of celibacy especially for women. They make their women dress up like nuns yet many are the farthest from being abstinent. Their prophet whom they try to emulate to the word used to boast of his sexual prowess. He had 11 wives but an undetermined number of concubines.
He,further, allowed his followers to indulge in “pleasure” marriages, which is no more than one or more nightstands. Now Muslims are evolving this pleasure “so-called marriage” into “Misyar” relations where a man can visit a woman in her house every time he is in her town, or the Urfi relation were Muslim couple can live together if the man writes a note stating that the woman agreed to this arrangement. This last method is very popular among college students especially in Egypt. Muslims call these arrangements marriages yet, I am sure you can find a better descriptive term.

Anonymous:

FYI refers to "Khaled Abou El Fadl, Professor of Islamic Law at UCLA."

Is Prof. El Fadl qualified to issue his own fatwas? If so, and if he's willing, then why should American Muslims have to rely on fatwas from authorities thousands of miles from here? Is there a large enough base of American Muslim scholars to provide this religious guidance to Muslims in America?

Oy!:

Yep, let's follow them good ole Moslem dictates on how to treat them thar women folk with reeeespect.

Can you say:
Female Genital Mutilation,
"Honor" killings,
Stonings,
Gang Rapes,
Etc.
No Female Education,
No Female Doctors,
Please see Taliban in Afghanistan for more Nos.
No women drivers, please see Saudi Arabia.

Maybe Western morals aren't so bad or destructive after all.

Jack:

Usama, it is the women who are lonely. If they treat themselves socially and sexually equal to men, we will all be less lonely.

American women have a choice to ask a man out, but they never use that choice, rather they treat themselves like objects who need to be chased.

henry:

Usama, please stop with your nonsense. Temptation is everywhere and it is up to the person to resist. So please don't blame the US or the West for your weakness. As a married man, I made a vow to my wife and if I stray from that vow, it is strictly my fault.

If you act against your religious belief it is your failure and yours alone.

FYI:

Khaled Abou El Fadl, Professor of Islamic Law at UCLA, includes in his book Speaking in God’s Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women a fatwa from “the official institution in Saudi Arabia entrusted with issuing Islamic legal opinions” (page 173) that permits a Muslim man working or studying in the West to marry a woman with the PRIOR, UNDISCLOSED intent of divorcing her once his visa runs out. The fatwa explicitly states that these de facto temporary marriages are permitted as long as the prior intent to divorce “remains concealed between the groom and his Lord” (page 275). In other words, deception of the woman is required. Western women should be aware of this before entering marriage with men who follow these legal rulings.

An::


The problems faced by Muslim women, including dating, are not different from what other women (Xian and Jewish)have faced. Women of other religious communities appear to have it easier than Muslim women because they had a head start on Muslim women.

Women, irrespective of the era/religious affiliation one talks about, have faced challenges posed by change as a mega trend and technological changes in particular.

The dos and don'ts that hamper today's happiness are relics of Semitic traditions; we should deal with them as such. Pre Bush communities have tried to move beyond that era's mental set by celebrating a well tried American pragmatism, ie, secularism.

Usama:

Jack, what's a matter, you lonely?
Of course women should listen to you and Western mores in social relations, because you all have so valued women. You gave the world 24/7 porn, now with internet access. And American economic liberalism which has pushed for globalization has also invited globalized sex tourism, globalized sexual slavery. American divorce rates, levels of STD transmission to women- African American women now have the highest rates of acquiring HIV- abortion rates, rape, sexual assault, all show the world that America should be followed in social mores.

Jack:

Perhaps prophet had sin in his own heart that he wrote men and women should not be alone. Same with Jesus who said not to look at women lustily. Useless sermons.

Anyway, the plight of Muslim women is no different from any American women. They have to learn how to not treat themselves like "objects" who need to be chased by men but rather be pro-active. Look up, smile and introduce yourselves and ask a guy out (or at the very least look up and smile to show interest). Does any woman have the guts?

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.