By Shiri Yusuf
Recently there was an article published in The Guardian titled ‘Why British Muslim women struggle to find a marriage partner’. Now as a young Muslim woman who’s passed her ‘sell-by’ date I read the article with great interest.
The author concludes the following reasons for this ‘problem’:
- British Muslim men whose families originate in the Indian subcontinent often choose to marry a women from their country of origin, stating one reason for this is that women from ‘back-home’ will stay at home and be a good mother and a good daughter-in-law.
- British Muslim men choose to marry non-Muslim women as it’s permissible for them to marry a woman ‘of the book’.
The author explains that women usually chooses not to marry ‘back-home’ due to the lack of education in men and their inability to support a family here, and also because Muslim women cannot marry anyone who is not a Muslim, (although the suggestion that men marrying women ‘of the book’ is a reason for high number of single Muslim women I think is a bit of an exaggeration).
As stated, I am a woman who according to culture is very much pass her ‘sell-by’ date, yet I don’t agree with either of these reasons as being the cause of too many of us being single; and I wonder how many women in my predicament would agree with me. My explanation for this trend is simple – young British Muslim men of the Indian subcontinent origin have been taught that women who are educated have too many demands, are too materialistic and have spent too much time building up a career that they’ve not learnt what it means to be a good wife or a good mother.
I’ve spent the last 10-years building up my career. First it was the undergra
nline Isk, Pvp And Ship Guides'>Eve Online Isk, Pvp And Ship Guidesd, then straight into the Masters. At this point I had a few offers of marriage, but I was too young and still in education so my parents turned them away. After that I worked for a few years and had a few more offers but this time no one was suitable – for many different reasons. Now I’m back to being a student, the offers have come but not as many as before and being a student my parents haven’t pushed them through.
But as I am conscious of my age, and the want to get married and have children I have started looking myself and have been introduced to a few men. And so far there’s only been one response I have got form these men ‘you’re too educated’ (despite their own education level). Now I ask is this really a problem? Does having a few letters after my name really deem me unsuitable?
I currently live on my own. As I pay for my own living I know how to budget. I cook, I clean, I do the shopping and I will avoid buying the boots I want because I need to keep warm. I also look after my brother’s children on a regular basis. This means getting up at 7.30am, feeding them, bathing them, dressing them, making them lunch and then taking them to the park, before finally making dinner and putting them to bed. And not only this, my parents have taught me lots of good values. They’ve taught me what it means to be part of a family and they’ve taught me about respect. So despite having several qualifications and lots of ambitions I could be a good wife and a good mother.
There is one thing that I do agree on with the author of the article and that is that there does need to be a change in attitude and this has to come from within the heart of the community – the Masjids and their leaders. Women are much more than just wives and mothers. There are thousands of us helping to keep the economy going. Shouldn’t this have some value?
As Muslims we should hold education with great honour – after all this is what Islam teaches us. And we should know that an educated woman is not a bad thing – if you’re looking for the mother of your children don’t you want one that is a good role model in every way possible, one who will encourage your children to be all that they can be?