gender, Islam, religion, USA

“It’s not raining eligible Muslim men”


For years now, I have agonized, along with my friends, about the disproportionately large numbers of such women and the much lower numbers of truly eligible Muslim men. Many friends have wondered if “he” is out there at all. Many friends have asked me if I can introduce them to someone, and friends have asked me if I can introduce their friends to someone. I empty my pockets helplessly. Few that I’d introduce to them with confidence. The “good ones” are married, engaged, or perpetually single/looking. I can think of a number that I wouldn’t be comfortable marrying myself—too immature, too socially inept, professionally unstable (the perpetual graduate student, for instance), equipped with outdated gender norms, momma’s boy… I could go on.

It’s not that Muslim women don’t have problems. But there are so many of them that are single that the mind boggles at the future that awaits the community.

Read on here.

10 thoughts on ““It’s not raining eligible Muslim men””

  1. It’s currently down.

    Statistical data on American Muslims is scarce and merely ‘representative’ data. The census doesn’t gather data on religious affiliation, but we can only guess at numbers by national origin.

  2. It’s a coincidence you mentioned the census and the fact that it doesn’t gather data on religious affiliation. I was going to lead up to that from a different direction.

    If I were to pick an argument with your perspective it would be at a deeper level. Why is faith so reified and defined as a watertight category so that living inside or outside the faith becomes a major issue? Why can’t it be a more fuzzy category so that the mixing of faiths becomes a possibility in our conflict-ridden world.

    Before the British introduced the census in India (around 1850), people who subscribed to watertight definitions of faith were on the margins. The vast majority had very syncretic beliefs.

    The British insisted on classifying individuals into fixed Hindu, Muslim, Sikh categories and rejected a category of Hindu-Mohammedan that was proposed to deal with the lived reality. It is ironic that the census in Britain itself did not include information on religious affiliation.

    This whole history about the creation of these fixed categories inside which we have started to live is articulated in a 2006 book by Kamaljit Bhasin-Malik (In the Making: Identity Formation in South Asia).

    For those who cannot find the book, the key ideas are excerpted at in the series of posts on Democracy in India.

  3. Really articulate and well done article 🙂 This has happened before in America, as the great melting pot mixes us in its stew.

    Ya Haqq!

  4. I think now pple should think *out of the box*. I don’t mean marrying into other religions but rather other cultures of similar faith( problems usually arise when kids come into picture).
    I have friends back home who are also complaining about eligible men. They are highly educated and really smart young women but the problems they face is that the men who are their *equals* in education and all are not marrying educated women,, they would rather marry a school drop-out or a girl who just finished her high school(that is the highest level of education some need). While the eligible ladies living in the west face similar issues as men would go *back home* and marry there (to a much younger girl as I mentioned above).

  5. Salaams,

    I see I’m several days late to the party but um, YES. Thank you for saying what needed to be said from your very well-informed perspective. At this point I feel like I’m reduced to incoherent yet urgent whining. And that’s not productive, ya know?

    My real question (from the perspective of the single Muslimah) is, what exactly do we do about this? Really. I’m not about to go with the option of that group you mentioned in the article, and I’m not about to actively start stalking eligible non Muslim men in order to see a bunch of shahadahs and even out the single male to female ratio.

    I’m gonna have to go back to my blog on this (uh oh, another post on marriage?), because ‘Asr is in… but jazak Allah khair for staying ‘on the case’.


  6. I know many Muslim women feel this way and I don’t blame them when I see certain Muslim men and how they behave, or how they believe marriage should be.

    Some people find something so Beautiful and Surreal that it changes their Lives forever. They Love each other so deeply that they believe they are Soul Mates, and that God created them for each other. But then there are those external forces in life that penetrate against this Beauty and leave the Friendship in ruins.

    Not all men want to control their wives or expect them to be a certain way. Some of us have been broken and left for reasons that are beyond our control. Reasons like family not approving different cultures (even though Muslim)…

    There are men who leave women, but there are women who leave men too. Every story is worth telling and every perspective is worth understanding, even if such men who Loved with their entire being do represent the minority…


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