Muslims Have Unique Traditions for Finding Mates

February 22, 2001

Source: The Record

On February 22, 2001, The Record, of Bergen County, New Jersey, reported on Muslim attitudes toward dating. "According to Islamic law...Men and women are allowed to interact, but they are not supposed to form friendships unless for the intention of marriage...When the time comes to marry, it's typical for Muslim family and friends to act as matchmakers." The practice of arranged marriage is a cultural practice, however, and not one that is founded in Islamic law. Different cultures impose different kinds of restrictions. "The Koran teaches that physical attraction between a husband and wife is very important...Despite the restrictions on sexes intermingling, the rules for finding a potential spouse are flexible." In New Jersey, those who don't find marriage partners through family or community networking can turn to personal ads in Muslim publications and the web. Muslim "students said their quest for a Muslim spouse in this country differs from that of their foreign-born parents. For instance, they said, most of their parents...were paired with people from similar cultures."