Arab Singles Face a Difficult Road to Marriage

Challenges Facing Arab Singles Who Want to Marry

By Wael Abdelgawad

Arab singles face a tough time finding a partner, getting engaged, getting prepared for marriage, and then actually getting married.

I should know, since I am one of them. It’s a multi-dimensional problem. First, there’s the challenge of actually meeting someone. It’s not like there is an Arab singles club that you can join, although some organizations are putting together periodic singles events in major cities. And because of cultural customs and taboos it can be next to impossible to meet a single Arab of the opposite sex. Arabs are a small minority in Western society (unless you happen to live in Dearborn, Michigan), which makes the selection pool that much smaller.

Arab singles at a conference

Young Arab women and men at a conference in Dubai sponsored by the British Council and Young Arab Leaders program. Such events are a great way to meet compatible Arab singles, even if that is not the primary purpose of the event.

Secondly, once you actually meet someone, you’re very aware that in our cultures you are not dealing one-on-one. It’s not only about your expectations and hers/his, or your personality, hopes, dreams, and hers/his, or your “qualifications” and hers/his.

No, unfortunately (in my opinion) it’s about the families. This presents a major obstacle, because many Arab families have rigid expectations for their son or daughter’s marriage partner.

They may also have certain Arab engagement customs  that must be adhered to, and if either family is perceived to be deviating from those customs, then the Arab bride or groom might be forbidden from continuing.

There may also be some element of nationalism or even racism that prevents a single Arab youth from courting someone who may be appealing and have a wonderful character, but does not come from the “right” country or culture.

I realize that the involvement of the family in the courting and engagement process is designed to protect the prospective bride or groom, and to prevent anyone from getting into an improper relationship. But it can be overbearing to the point where it becomes counterproductive and destructive.

As a result, it’s not uncommon for young Arabs in the West to get married secretly, or elope, or marry a convert (whose families typically have little say in the matter).

Then there is the economic hurdle. For Arab singles living in the Arab world, the financial hurdles are like crossing the Sahara on ice skates. Young single Arab men who may be unemployed, or even if they are employed are probably earning a meager salary, are expected to provide the bride with a nicely furnished apartment, not rented but owned. This is a virtual impossibility for many Arab youth. As a result there’s a lot of frustration among the youth of countries like Egypt and Morocco.

Arab woman in hijab

What are the options for intelligent, professional Arab singles?

Then there’s the wedding. Couples are expected to have lavish weddings whose cost is borne by the families. It makes no sense. The result is a society of desperate single young Arab men and women.

For Arab singles in the West, finances are usually not as much of a problem, though the expensive weddings can still be a burden. I strongly advocate simple, humble weddings that emphasize the religious and spiritual nature of marriage. The families can take all that money they would have spent on a big wedding, and instead give it to the couple to establish their new home.

So what are the options for Arab singles seeking a life partner?

Of course I am biased, but I feel that Zawaj.com is a good start. You can start out by creating a profile here. I said earlier that it’s tough meeting someone because it’s not like there’s an Arab singles club you can join, but on the internet there is, and it’s Zawaj.com. Zawaj.com is a well-established website with a good reputation. The Zawaj.com program has recently been upgraded so that it offers you a wonderful variety of communication tools, including a private internal messaging system, message boards, chat, and even video chat if you like. It is a safe, comfortable environment in which to meet someone special.

There is a huge photo gallery of Arab singles, both men and women, including Arab-American singles, Palestinian singles, Egyptian singles, Syrian singles, Lebanese singles, Kuwaiti Singles, Saudi singles, Iraqi singles and more.  It’s free to register and create a profile, and you can start sending Flirts to other members right away. If you find someone special who intrigues you, you can purchase a Platinum membership and send that person a more detailed message or your contact info if you like. Meeting professional, attractive Arab singles could not be easier.

Join Zawaj.com for free today and get started.

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3 Comments

  1. Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    You have a wonderful website Alhmadlilah known as IslamicAnswers

    There is one inheritance question which was answered by a brother named Abu Abdul Bari but I think it might be a little confusing. The sister can’t possible extract a ruling from it and we can’t be sure of Abu Abdul Bari’s taking from those verses because he isn’t a scholar although I love his advise.

    http://www.zawaj.com/askbilqis/mother-in-need-of-helpguidance/

    Inheritance is a tricky subject, perhaps the most complicated aspect of Sharia Law inshaa Allah.

    So I suggest putting the question to Islam Q & A to get a direct answer on how this poor woman’s husband should divide the shares. Sheikh Salid al Munnajid(or any other scholar you can get your hands on) would be able to give a simple, clear cut instruction insha Allah.

    Or, you can look at this amazing article(explains differences on schools of thoughts) and should be enough for you, or maybe some other editor to give her husband the exact method of dividing shares and how much he is allowed at this point to give in sadaqah. You can determine it yourself reading this pretty clear and detailed article.
    http://learndeen.com/docs/research/InheritanceLaw_0_4.pdf

    But I recommend more, going to a scholar. Inheritance is a serious issue.

    Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that, the Messenger of Allah said,

    «إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْخَيْرِ سَبْعِينَ سَنَةً، فَإِذَا أَوْصَى حَافَ فِي وَصِيَّتِهِ، فَيُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِشَرِّ عَمَلِهِ، فَيَدْخُلُ النَّارَ، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الشَّرِّ سَبْعِينَ سَنَةً، فَيَعْدِلُ فِي وَصِيَّتِهِ فَيُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِخَيْرِ عَمَلِهِ فَيَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّة»

    (A man might perform the actions of righteous people for seventy years, but when it is time to compile his will, he commits injustice. So his final work will be his worst, and he thus enters the Fire. A man might perform the deeds of evil people for seventy years, yet he is fair in his will. So his final work will be his best, and he thus enters Paradise.) Abu Hurayrah said, “Read, if you will,

    ﴿تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ﴾

    (These are the limits (set by) Allah) until,

    ﴿عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ﴾

    (a disgraceful torment.).” In the chapter on injustice in the will, Abu Dawud recorded in his Sunan that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

    «إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ أَوِ الْمَرْأَةَ بِطَاعَةِ اللهِ سِتِّينَ سَنَةً، ثُمَّ يَحْضُرُهُمَا الْمَوْتُ، فَيُضَارَّانِ فِي الْوَصِيَّـةِ، فَتَجِبُ لَهُمَا النَّار»

    (A man or a woman might perform actions in obedience to Allah for sixty years. Yet, when they are near death, they leave an unfair will and thus acquire the Fire.) Abu Hurayrah then recited the Ayah,

    ﴿مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَآرٍّ﴾

    (After payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused), until,

    ﴿وَذلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ﴾

    (and that is the great success.) This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Gharib”.

    I hope this helps! All the well, and may Allah avert from you any disaster on the day we meet Him.

  2. Hello,

    I am Hussain. I am an Iraqi-American in search of a muslim wife 25-35. Can you please help me find a suitable wife?

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