Advertisement:

Pages: [1] |   Go Down

Author Topic: Are Muslim men scared of professional single Muslim women in their thirties?  (Read 5292 times)

jannah

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 269

I'd say the answer is a big overwhelming YES they are. What do y'all think?

====================

Are Muslim men scared of professional single Muslim women in their thirties?
   
      
From at.muslimah

A recent article on altmuslimah.com entitled “Searching for Khadijah: A boy’s perspective” by Sajid Hassan garnered quite a bit of attention as evidenced by the long string of passionate comments it received, far more than most other articles on Altmuslimah. The article described the pressure that professional Muslim American women face from their families and their social circles to get married in their early twenties, because it becomes much more difficult to find a partner once they hit their thirties.
The article suggested that Muslim men are more interested in marrying younger women than women in their thirties, and described the author’s own experience with his quest to defy these social norms in the American Muslim community by searching for a bride that was older than him.

It is difficult to obtain objective statistical data on the marriage pool of American Muslims, but based on my own anecdotal experiences, I can confirm that the American Muslim community indeed encourages men to marry younger women, leaving single Muslim women in their thirties who are interested in getting married to choose from a limited selection of potential candidates. Some friends of ours recently chaperoned a “match-making” evening for single Muslims in the Chicago suburbs, and it appeared that the female to male ratio was 3:1 for single Muslims in their thirties seeking a spouse. While these are subjective impressions, it may still be a useful exercise to try to analyze this skewed distribution. A so called “ticking reproductive clock” is one of the conventional arguments most often cited to explain why Muslim American men prefer to settle down with women who are in their early twenties. The term refers to the fact that women experience a gradual drop in their fertility as they age, while the incidence of birth defects increases with the age of the child-bearing mother. However, in modern day society couples have a substantially smaller number of children than they did 50 or 100 years ago. Therefore, women who marry in their thirties are often able to have the desired number of children during their child-bearing years without having to feel the pressure of the “reproductive clock”.

I would like to propose a different reason for why Muslim men may be more interested in marrying younger women. While women used to get married at a much younger age in prior centuries, women today often delay their nuptials for the purpose of obtaining graduate education and embarking on a professional career. In the United States, many of the single, professional Muslim women in their thirties have graduate degrees under their belts and are earning an above-average income. The majority of Muslim American men are either immigrants or children of immigrants from the Arab World or South Asia. Often, such immigrant culture is characterized by a strong patriarchal structure. Even second-generation Muslim Americans, who are born and raised in this country, may retain key elements of patriarchal behavior—one being the need to control the finances in the marriage, and thereby sit in the driver’s seat of the relationship. However, if the wives earn as much as or even more than their spouses, it is quite natural for them to also want to have an equal role in making financial decisions. This in turn, makes it very difficult for the men to justify their dominant role in the relationship.

In addition to economic empowerment, graduate education can also transform the mind-set of students. Most good graduate programs in the sciences or humanities require their students to analyze texts, challenge existing theories, and argue their hypotheses and findings in front of an audience, all the while honing their critical thinking skills. It is only natural for graduate students to carry this training into their personal lives, applying it to their faith, friendships and relationships. To take it one step further, higher education furnishes a person with the intellectual confidence and critical thinking skills to clearly distinguish between cultural norms and Islamic philosophy. In his book “Speaking in God's Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women,” Khaled Abou El-Fadl posited that some Muslim scholars may selectively read religious texts in a manner that justifies the imposition of patriarchal thought. Unlike a young woman in her early twenties, a Muslim American female in her thirties, armed with a graduate degree/s, possesses the ability to question this conflation of culture and religion, and threaten her husband’s patriarchal authority in the marriage.

While there may be many reasons behind Muslim men’s disinterest in considering Muslim women in their thirties as viable marriage candidates, the threat this particular segment of women poses to patriarchal structures remains a key reason. There is a need for introspection amongst Muslim communities which encourage women to marry at a younger age while dissuading men from settling down with older women. Such reflection will likely allow the members of Muslim communities to recognize that these traditional age norms regarding marriage are not really grounded in religious prescriptions or biological reasons, but, instead, are remnants of patriarchal cultures that have limited application today. American Muslim men may have to come to terms with the fact that male-dominated relationships are steadily becoming obsolete, and that they may have to adapt to marital relationships that are based on true partnerships.
Logged

Al-Qamar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115

I'd agree with that article. I myself am not interested in a woman that spent her youth building up a career, because (from my own personal perspective) it's a recipe for disaster. I want to marry a woman for her femininity, for the role that Allah (swt) created her for. As soon as she starts stepping and encroaching on the domain of the men, problems are going to happen. We can already see these problems in the so-called civilised and advanced western world where men and women wear both the skirts and the trousers, and it's the gender-lines being broken down that are having knock-on consequences with broken homes, etc.

From my perspective, I'm the guy, I'm the one that works. My wife is the one that raises the family. I don't want my wife to be thinking about her career when my kids need guidance, love and attention that only their mother can give.
Logged

jannah

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 269

wsalam,

I don't think you quite read the article. As for your opinions, I have to say they are sadly outdated. The dichotomy between a "career woman" and a "feminine woman who wears skirts and guides her kids" doesn't exist anymore. This image of a "career woman" went out with the 90s. Women are today are extremely diverse and have many roles.
Logged

Al-Qamar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115

With all due respect, I disagree. You can argue as much as you like about women having diversity and different roles, but everything boils down to the simple fact that Allah (swt) created women with a specific function and role in mind, and created men with a specific function and role in mind. As soon as cross-over begins to happen, things start breaking down. Yes, I know there are specific instances that disprove this general rule, but you can't use specifics to create a general rule! You go from the general to the specific.

Also, consider that as a woman, you're in no position to tell me about my views. The fact is I am someone who's in a position to marry one of these women, you're not (and I'm saying this with respect, btw, but I want to make my point clear too). Ultimately, my view does matter because I'm in a position to exercise it. If I don't want a career woman, and there are others like me (and I know there are others like me), it means that these women aren't going to get married (to us).

In fact, I was talking with one of my friends today who told me of this weird phenomenon going on with his friends, who are quite high-powered workers in a major city, and naturally the spouses they attract are equally high-powered. Except once they get married, they want their wives to quit their jobs and stay home, which the women don't want to do because they worked hard for their career, and it starts causing issues.

Who's to say when a particular opinion has become outdated? I raises points that are proven from Islam, and now you want to argue they're out-dated? Do you think Allah (swt) would have created us and prescribed for us a manner of living that would be incompatible with this day and age? That almost suggests that Allah (swt) didn't know about our situation when the shariah was decreed, and we know better. If you want to make that claim, that's up to you. Authubillah, I'm staying far away from that, and going back to my original premise - men were created for a purpose, women were created for a purpose, and the best situation is when each achieves their purpose fully!
Logged

jannah

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 269

The major problem here is what you think Allah created us for. Surprise, it's not marriage or having kids. Allah created us to worship Him and be the best Muslims we can be.

Again, you can marry whoever you want. You can marry a 15 year old or a 4th wife, or one who has a 3rd grade education. No one is stopping you. That's your opinion. Don't bring Islam into it. Nowhere does Islam say women can't have a career or work their entire lives or anything else. Your opinion is that women can be only two things: either a career woman or a "good muslim woman who stays at home and takes care of her family". This is the outdated viewpoint I'm talking about. It's not only outdated it's just a fallacy and doesn't have anything to do with Islam. Seriously, ask a shaikh and scholar about it instead of claiming that your opinion is what Islam teaches.

Anyway, You've definitely answers the question this article was asking. YES indeed Muslim men are afraid to marry professional single muslim women.
Logged

Al-Qamar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115

The major problem here is what you think Allah created us for. Surprise, it's not marriage or having kids. Allah created us to worship Him and be the best Muslims we can be.
Well, I agree with you in that, but what you've failed to consider is what is defined as 'worship' and being the best Muslim!

For women, it's to be a good wife. Her obedience to her Creator is largely through obedience to her husband.

You say it's not for marriage? Interesting, except that you supply no proof to support this opinion. Allah (swt) mentions in several ayat in the Qur'an that men and women were created in pairs, i.e. they achieve their best purpose when they come together through marriage. The Prophet (saw) mentioned those who do not marry are not from his religion! Furthermore, Allah (swt) created Hawwa for Adam (as) before Jannah was created, indicating her importance to him. Also, Allah (swt) describes nikah as a meethaq in the Qur'an, how many other optional relationships are defined as such?

And finally, if marriage and producing children was not what women were created for, where do you suppose the continuation of the human race would come from?

I think you might want to revisit your sources and check your evidences and facts against the authentic narrations.


Finally, I never suggested women were forbidden from working. If you can quote where I've said that, I'll happily retract it. But you'll find I've not said it.

What I did suggest was that women who put careers first, in my humble opinion and experience, generally make poorer wives in the Islamic sense, and in that regard Muslim men are scared off from them (or rather, don't want to deal with the hassle that they come with).

I think you've demonstrated my point perfectly enough by coming up with opinions without evidence, and misquoting what I've said.

With regards to asking scholars and sheikhs, I'm in their company a lot of the time already. I ask them a lot! Perhaps you might like to do the same, but first re-read what I said and find the flaw in it first, rather than what you think I said.

Salaam
Logged

Shah

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 40

Yes I certainly am  :D
Logged

Amatullah

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15

I hope you brothers who don't want a career woman aren't missing out on alot of wonderful sisters.  I know at least a dozen women right now, very well, who got a good education and have a career of their choosing now.  They all wish to marry.  Most are involved in many of the masjid's activities and their love of Allah (SWT) is wonderful to see.  Not one of them wants to work after they have children, at least until the children no longer need them full time, if it becomes necessary.  When these women were old enough to get married, the men who are about their age were not in any position to support a wife.  I know alot of women who want a husband close to their own age and this is not unreasonable.  That means they can sit at home and wait ten years for the brothers their age, to be in a position to marry or they can prepare for a life in which nothing is really guaranteed, while the brothers do the same.  With so many divorces these days, it is foolish for a woman to assume she will never have to work.  Trusting Allah (SWT) to take care of us doesn't mean we shouldn't use our common sense too.

Al-Qamar, I truly respect your right to marry whatever kind of woman appeals to you.  If you do end up marrying a woman who has work-place skills, that does not mean that she can't agree to set that aside.  Many women do.  They want to.  So don't count them out until you know what they think.  It is incredibly hard to work and take care of children.  I know because I ended up having to work, when I had just planned on raising my kids.  I was suddenly living below the poverty level and my kids had to wear every piece of clothing they owned, just to stay warm enough.  Water froze inside my house and I was afraid for my three children.  It was a situation that shouldn't have happened.  I should have been better prepared to raise my kids, in case something happened.  Husband die, they get hurt and can't work and marriages fail.  It is okay if you are married to a woman who is prepared in case something happens.  I would want that if I were a man.

I do agree with you about Islam.  A woman who puts a career first does not make a good wife from an Islamic perspective.  There is enough in the Qur'an and sunnah that tells us that we have to put our husband first, which means as long as he is pious, we are supposed to obey his wishes about raising the children.  With marriage being half our deen, I can't come up with anything that would support the children being put with a babysitter while mom works.  There is probably some room for different things, if it becomes necessary.  But only if the husband agrees and there is loving family to be with the children.  Babysitting is not an Islamic custom and in America seems to go hand in hand putting elderly parents in nursing homes.  These things aren't necessary when the wife is at home taking care of her family.  We women are even warned about not making our husbands unhappy with us.  It can seem a bit unfair, but not if you compare what women have to do to be a good Muslim and go to Jannah and what men have to do.  If it were supposed to be equal, the men definitely have more room to complain.

I actually know quite a few brothers who specified that their wives to be educated.  It doesn't have to be at a college, but all of us should keep learning our whole lives.  Being intellectually compatible is good for a marriage.  I don't think the problem is that men fear a woman's education or intellect.  What they fear will happen is disobedience.  A Muslim man cannot fulfill his role as the families leader, unless the woman agrees to his authority.  It is not something that a man takes through will or force.  The wife gives it for the love of Allah (SWT)  But I do  remember how irate I felt when I first learned about the man being the boss.  I've taken care of myself my entire life and it was offensive at first.  I had to keep reading and learning and making dua'a that Allah (SWT) help me with too much pride.  It is almost impossible to accept unless we fully trust that Allah (SWT) knows best.  The more I learned, the more I found peace, but I do know it can be difficult for the younger sisters until they learn that it doesn't mean the men are dominant and the women are submissive.  A good leader listens to his family and from what I see, the Muslim wives have plenty of influence over the decisions made.  On some things more and on some, less.  That's what a marriage is.  We go to Jannah for being a good wife.  I think that is an incredible deal, inshallah.  And if a man marries a woman who knows that, half of his deen is just what it should be.  Win-win.
Logged

scamper_22

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1

I know this is old, but it something I am running into now.

I'm a professional muslim guy who has been introduced to a professional muslim woman.
I didn't anticipate meeting like this, but figured I'd give my family a chance to introduce me to someone.

Here's the thing.  I have absolutely no problem with having a career woman as a wife.
I actually wanted it.
However, i do consider it very usual for us to have met. 

For one, most of the guys she was introduced to were well... uneducated people she wouldn't want to marry anyways.
Then I think of guys like me.  Well educated professional, non-traditional guys; who would be perfect for her.  I ask what we have done.

I can say, we have the freedom to go outside our community or even religion and many many many of us do.
I've thought about it as well.

That is the key thing.  It is the comparable Muslim guys venture outside the community, leaving the professional woman without comparable partners.
It is not that Muslim men are scared of professional Muslim women... it is that the one's that aren't don't generally want to stay in the traditional community for partners.

I find myself in this position now.  The main reason I have doubts about her is well... she comes from a large traditional family.  I really don't want to be sucked back into that lifestyle.  I was born to my own family, and I have made whatever peace with tradition with them and have a good relationship with them.  I really don't want to deal with this all over again in a family that is not my own.

She has not taken the proper stands to firm up her ground or gain any independence, from which I could trust to build a base.

I think this mentality, that I'll freely admit I have, prevents many comparable Muslim men from entertaining the idea of the Muslim professional woman.
The comparable professional Muslim men don't want to stay in the traditional culture, while the woman... often by tradition stay in it.
They don't meet and in my case... when they do... the girl is great... but the desire to free from too much traditional culture interferes.


Logged

A_Khn

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15

Your arguement is valid but holds true for professional muslim men who want to disconnect from their traditional backgrounds. So yes, a chunk of them is removed from the existing potential pool.

Logged

Shah

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 40

Well it looks like I'm going back to the motherland to find a woman. Couldn't meet anyone here in the states. Unless ur plugged into the muslim social networks or you meet someone while studying, chances are slim you'll meet anyone that you like. Tried the websites, tried approaching girls etc. Now I will basically make my mom happy and take what they give me......
Logged
Pages: [1] |   Go Up
 
 



Individual posts do not reflect the views of halfmydeen.org. All trademarks and copyrights are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the poster and may not be used without consent of the author.
The rest © halfmydeen.org