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16-Jul-2017 08:53

He's the one that benefits everything, and they don't look at the benefit of the woman," Khabir said."But I think a lot of the time, it's seen as this sexist institution of marriage that only benefits the man."Although polygyny is permitted under Islam, and some would say is growing in acceptance, Naeemah Khabir said that it remained a contentious topic within the Muslim community and that the specific guidelines under which it is permitted have not always been followed."These are rules that some men follow," she said, "and a lot of men don't."As a result, many matchmaking websites and apps geared toward Muslims have emerged."They're like, 'Do you see all these women, and there are very few men?'"It's why Yusuf Abdul Jaleel, who traveled from Yonkers to attend the marriage committee's latest match-up event in April, is open to a polygynous marriage."You have a surplus of single sisters, and you have a deficit of single brothers," he said.When Aminah Muhammad, divorced 16 years with six adult children, attended the April match-up, she already had tried — unsuccessfully — one other match-up event and the services of a matchmaker.

According to the 2015 Brookings Institution report, black women have the lowest rates of "marrying out" across race lines."The women themselves, they would maybe be interested in someone from another cultural group," said Nadir."But those other cultural groups are looking at their own group, and not so much at African American women, as prospective mates."In the meantime, there has been a rise in the practice of polygyny, marriages in which the husband has more than one wife, particularly in cities such as Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, Nadir said.(By contrast, polygamy, illegal in the United States, refers generally to the practice of marrying multiple spouses.)Khabir said she felt the pressure."Sometimes, when you express that you want to be in monogamy, people look at you like that's an unrealistic expectation," she said.An obstacle to finding a good Muslim man through dating can be Islam itself: The religion limits intermingling with the opposite sex, prohibits physical intimacy before marriage, and requires the presence of a wali — a male family member who serves as a chaperone, go-between, and private investigator — for all interactions between two potential spouses. Khabir, along with Kashief Smith, a fellow member of the United Muslim Masjid in West Philadelphia, created a "marriage fair" under the mosque's Healthy Marriage Committee.First taking place with a speed-dating format in 2012, this year it was revamped and rebranded as a match-up event.

According to the 2015 Brookings Institution report, black women have the lowest rates of "marrying out" across race lines."The women themselves, they would maybe be interested in someone from another cultural group," said Nadir.

"But those other cultural groups are looking at their own group, and not so much at African American women, as prospective mates."In the meantime, there has been a rise in the practice of polygyny, marriages in which the husband has more than one wife, particularly in cities such as Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, Nadir said.

(By contrast, polygamy, illegal in the United States, refers generally to the practice of marrying multiple spouses.)Khabir said she felt the pressure."Sometimes, when you express that you want to be in monogamy, people look at you like that's an unrealistic expectation," she said.

An obstacle to finding a good Muslim man through dating can be Islam itself: The religion limits intermingling with the opposite sex, prohibits physical intimacy before marriage, and requires the presence of a wali — a male family member who serves as a chaperone, go-between, and private investigator — for all interactions between two potential spouses. Khabir, along with Kashief Smith, a fellow member of the United Muslim Masjid in West Philadelphia, created a "marriage fair" under the mosque's Healthy Marriage Committee.

First taking place with a speed-dating format in 2012, this year it was revamped and rebranded as a match-up event.

Showing up solo, I initially felt intimidated and out of place.