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Ezzeldine, who wrote a short book called “Before the Wedding: Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Married,” tries to offer her coreligionists a way of getting to know each other without violating the standards of the faith.Ezzeldine wants Muslims to have “the conversations to get to know somebody for marriage in a way” that is more than superficial.Right now they often just say, “Oh I think we get along,” but they don’t know “what you need to know about a person” before you marry him or her.She also notes that families in the Muslim community have wildly different expectations of religious life and marriage so it is important for everyone to be on the same page.It is often easier for a Muslim to meet a non-Muslim of the opposite sex–in school for instance–than for a Muslim to meet another Muslim in a religiously sanctioned setting because Muslim prayer and religious education are all segregated by sex.Ezzeldine says that the high interfaith marriage rates should be a “wakeup call” for the community.You, our perfect black-haired little baby girl, were even more of a miracle than most babies because you only exist because of great luck and fortune and because the sun was shining one afternoon, three summers before you were born. It was early June 2008, the last Sunday of the Hay Festival, and I was returning home to London.
Ezzeldine suggests that the Muslim community’s standards for interacting with members of the opposite sex are actually having a deleterious effect on marriage in the community.
I am not a Muslim woman though I have much respect for the faith.
For the past 9 months or so I have been dating a dear man from Libya who is here for school on a scholarship.
The 36-year-old Indonesian-born Ali loves her Canadian-born husband – but they argue about religion all the time. Therefore, there is a shortage of unmarried Muslim men.
And in her more fiery moments, Ali admits, she has told her husband she never would have married him if she knew he wasn’t going to seriously try to practise Islam. That means many Muslim women don’t marry at all, which is against the teachings of their religion.