*When I say marriage problem in this post I mean the problem of finding someone to marry.
Contrary to what many believe including myself (before this post), there is no Muslim marriage problem in America, Canada and the Western world. It’s a marriage problem. What do I mean? I mean it’s not exclusive to Muslims. The entire definition and status of marriage has dramatically changed. The economic and social factors surrounding marriage has also changed. Marriage was in many ways an economic vehicle to help communities grow and allow them to prosper. Now marriage is more or less a religious institution to maintain moral values.
In America, before World War I, women were pretty much house wives. Due to the war and a large percentage of the working population going to war, there was a need for replacements for those occupations. This is how women entered the work force. Since then women were able to earn their own money and start their own careers. There was no longer a need to get married because they were becoming economically independent. Now swing back to today and women are independent completely. There are single mothers who raise their children on their own and work at the same time. With the help of technology, social welfare groups and modern public schools many women are able to achieve this.
So how does this relate to the Muslims in the West? We are in the same situation. I saw this post by Imam AbdelRahman Murphy on Muslims having a hard time finding a spouse via Facebook. One of the Facebook comments was:
Missing a major point. Marriage became a luxury.
In only the last 30 years;
Marriage is no longer an economic necessity. Men and women approach marriage the same way we buy an expensive car. We get super picky, obsessed with accessories, want to test drive, and keep shopping.
When a consumer culture approaches marriage like shopping and we are all spoiled entitled suburban kids – what you expect?
This is what is happening. Marriage has become a luxury. It’s treated as a shopping event. It’s not just Muslims but all peoples of all faiths. Everyone wants to get their specific choice. They even have lease agreements now too, so after 3 to 5 years it’s over. They can move on and try something new.
Women are more educated and financially independent then they have ever been in the history of women. There are women who are breadwinners in families. There are more women going to higher educational institutions than men and they are getting higher degrees than men at a faster rate. These changes are changing the dynamics of marriage. This shatters the patriarchal view of marriage and family. Our society makes it easy for people to be parents without marriage. There are over 13 million single parents in America.
Women no longer need to get married for economic support like in the past. They are now only looking for emotional support. Since they are educated they aren’t going to marry any idiot from the street. They want educated men equal to them who can give them the emotional support they lack.
There is something called Friend Zone where a person is friends with the opposite gender but wants to be more then that but the other person just wants to be friends. It mostly happens with the man being “friend zoned” by the woman. This is across all faiths, all races and all locations. There is even an Internet meme on it. This video highlights this issue:
Women believe they can just be friends whereas men feel more than that with their female friends. They may have good reason to reject their male friends but I believe the ability to develop a friendship with the other person is an important characteristic of marriage.
So to all the Muslim singles out there who are having a difficult time to find your significant other, you are not alone and it’s not just Muslims. It’s all the single people out there finding their significant other.