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M uslim dating has come of age with its own Carrie Brhaw-style chick lit. She is one of four big-city friends seeking Mr Right but with no sex before marriage and no alcohol.
As in Britain, Esma finds herself part of a growing demographic: educated, independent career women, who struggle to find a partner, especially over British Asians have long been early adopters of the technology to find marriage partners. Even the old aunty network of helpful family matriarchs has gone high tech, I'm told, with handwritten notes replaced, with Excel spreheets of available "boys" and "girls" aged 20 to Though originally Hindu-focused, the biggest marriage websites, such Shaadi. How often?
Eat halal? One thirtysomething City professional, Asma, has spent a decade looking, with mixed. Because there's this weird scale of 'how religious are you? There was the Muslim dating event at Excel where, seated in a circle, they went round introducing themselves: "We get to one guy who's bearded and mids.
It seems there are reformations and counter-reformations under way in modern Muslim dating: Some websites encourage modern women to embrace the concept of the "submissive" first or second wife. Other couples though are quietly using the nikah Islamic wedding contract to try out cohabitation before the finality of a civil marriage.
Some forward-looking imams want doctrine updated to allow Muslim women to marry non-Muslims, just as Muslim men can. Asma is struck by "the huge s of confident college girls wearing wild and elaborate hijabs, lo of makeup and kissing their boyfriends in public".
Many women develop an assertive Muslim identity at university. Some may seem conservative, from their dress and religious practice, but met and chose their own husbands on demonstrations or political events. They haveve married men from different ethnicities, challenging their parents' racism and obsession with family background. After all, in Islam, all are equal. It's a fascinating new combination of values from faith and the secular society in which they grew up.
She did at first date non-Muslims, but "it felt too alien being with someone for whom drinking is an integral part of their culture or who didn't understand family ties … I'm not massively practising as a Muslim but it helped me to see that there are some things that I don't want to compromise on.
All three women I spoke to say the Single muslim women for marriage challenge has been to find a man on the same Islamic wavelength; not looking for a "submissive" wife nor so "liberal" that they're drinking and sleeping around. It's a bigger problem with men, believes Asma: "They tend to go more nuts at uni … and then come out and become pious and want a good wife to pray five times a day with.
Girls tend to find a middle path about their identity.
Single Muslim women on dating: 'I don't want to be a submissive wife'. Muslim women looking for partners reveal their Sex and the City-style experiences on the dating scene. Photograph: Guardian. Samira Ahmed. Topics Women Islam Religion Relationships features. Reuse this content.Single muslim women for marriage
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