From Bride to Wife: The Women of Patriarchal Muslim Men

Since my conversion to Islam, I have struggled with depictions of Muslim brides and wives in the mainstream Western media. From the images of famous non-Muslim women marrying famous Muslim men  to the images of “pious” Chechen women sacrificing themselves for Syrian rebels, portrayals of Muslim brides and wives in mainstream Western media sources often depict two types of stories: either melodramatic romance novels or horror tales.I was often left to wonder, is that all there is for Muslim wo … [Read more...]

The Fight over South Africa’s Muslim Marriage Bill Rages on

Recently, the South African Justice Ministry opened the latest draft of the Muslim Marriages Bill (MMB) up for public comment and called for submissions on the bill’s contents.Along with this came the media furor over the Muslim community’s reaction to the idea of the government recognizing Muslim marriages as Muslim marriages and providing legislation for Muslims according to both constitutional gender equality and the dynamism of fiqh. The point of this post is not to assess the Sha … [Read more...]

Same-Sex Muslim Marriages Coming to Mosque Near You?

In the last few years, the international emphasis on locating social rights within the Qur’an has primarily been driven by and for women. NGOs in Morocco, Malaysia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Tunisia, and countless other Muslim countries have rallied communities, encouraging them to look critically at the patriarchal structures that have dictated Qur’anic interpretation to date. Through methods unlike those of western countries—methods that often include political embeddedness, the provision of social … [Read more...]

Muslim Dating Sites and the Technology of Marriage, Part IV

Monday and Tuesday, we examined some Muslim matrimonial sites. Yesterday, we conducted an experiment looking at how these sites functioned and how our subjects fared. Today, I’ll digest all this information and figure out what it means for Muslim women.Something to keep in mind when joining this websites is the fact that men tend to be, in general, older. Furthermore, many of the men on these sites would like to engage in polygamy at some point in their lives, and they aim to let the women k … [Read more...]

Muslim Dating Sites and the Technology of Marriage, Part III

Yesterday we finished introducing you to a few Muslim dating (or “matrimonial”) sites. Today, we introduce you to our “experiment:” I set up profiles and recorded the experiences of my different “subjects.”These websites and the expectations of the participants tell us something about the conceptions of femininity and masculinity that surround marriage. Some people, or more specifically some women, are more desirable than others for different reasons. In order to find out why, three female subj … [Read more...]

Muslim Dating Sites and the Technology of Marriage, Part II

Yesterday we introduced you to online Muslim matchmaking world and a few popular websites. Today we look at one is a site created by Baba Ali, founder of Ummah Films and a number of different resources and products for Muslims. is new to the Muslim matchmaking scene, but it prides itself on helping around 12 couples that got married in the last seven months, as reported in their Facebook page.Unlike the rest of the sites, … [Read more...]

Muslim Matchmaking Sites and the Technology of Marriage, Part I

Muslimah Media Watch thanks Saad Mubarak Almutairi for his contributions to this research.As marriage remains a powerful institution in Islam, it is only normal to see marriage “technologies” advance. As traditional matchmakers become non-existent in some places in the world, the internet represents a new alternative for those Muslims who want to marry the “halal” way. Whether online dating is really halal or not is a matter of opinion, but a number of Muslims have chosen to participate in the … [Read more...]