Are Young Muslims Shifting Towards Egalitarian Marriages? • The Muslim Women TImes


For ladies who’ve good jobs and work actually laborious, it’s a query of ‘do you need to take 5 steps backwards by getting married and being relegated to doing all of the chores with out this appropriate fairness within the marriage?

– Shahzad Younas

From the consolation of my eating room on a chilly Wednesday night, I’m ready to have a gathering with Shahzad Younas. He zooms in with a gray hoodie worn over a blue polo shirt. He is speaking to me from his workplace. Beside him is a plant pot seated comfortably on the window sill and behind him is a white bookshelf rested elegantly in opposition to the white wall. The dialog commences with a quick introduction, instantly adopted by a chat in regards to the Twenty first-century marriage tradition amongst Millennial and Gen-Z Muslims.

If you’ve got been following Muzmatch’s social media platforms persistently, you could have seen the work the group has been doing in restoring the spirit of egalitarianism again into Muslim marriages. As your eyes dart throughout the remark part, you’ll be met by an array of reactions; pleasure, anger and enthusiastic anticipation. It is fascinating to know that Shahzad Younas and the Muzmatch group usually are not standing for the unhealthy outdated historically oppressive mannequin of marriage. Instead, they’re utilizing their platform to coach younger Muslim men and women on the true place of Islam concerning marital relations and spousal rights.

Shahzad Younas, who left a 9-year profession in funding banking to pursue his personal goals, discovered success because the founder and CEO of Muzmatch; the primary digital product providing cutting-edge options for Muslims seeking to discover their excellent marriage associate on their smartphones. Through Muzmatch, plenty of Millennial and Gen-Z Muslims internationally are discovering love and getting married. Cross-cultural and interracial marriages usually are not simply occurring but additionally altering the face of Muslim marriages. Genuinely within the success of Muzmatch marriages, the group is invested in educating each single and married Muslims, addressing points corresponding to racism and sexism in Muslim communities.

When I ask him whether or not there’s been a shift in mindset amongst younger Muslims, Shahzad tells me that when he began Muzmatch ten years in the past, the marginally older technology, who was 30+ on the time, was very fixated and regimented on their very own views about marriage. “Culture was such a big part of it.” He says “Their partner had to be Pakistani, for example, and they had to tick all sorts of boxes. Whereas now, It’s really interesting that all young Muslims are saying is ‘Look! Are they good Muslim? Do our personalities align? Do our outlook in life and our life goals align’?” Reflecting on this delicate change, I categorical my views in regards to the roles mother and father play in influencing the wedding tradition of their kids. I inform Shahzad that it seems that whereas a number of younger ladies are shifting away from the standard mannequin, plenty of younger males nonetheless seem like holding tightly to that tradition, for causes not unrelated to preserving the privilege that comes with it.

Shahzad seems to not agree fully with my view. “I don’t think it’s necessarily just men,” he says “When it comes to the equilibrium between men and women, there’s no doubt that the men still have a much stronger voice and are much more controlling in terms of who they marry and how the marriage is conducted.” He thinks that the issue lies inside the cultural practices that move via these processes, that are most instances unislamic. “On our socials, we have highlighted issues that are prevalent, which lots of women have also highlighted such as colourism and racism within the marriage process.” According to him, It’s laborious to search out actual knowledge on whether or not there’s been progress however these points nonetheless deeply exist between each women and men. “Unfortunately,” he says “a number of cultural elements maintain ladies again and to some extent, they oppress ladies. We know these are difficult issues to speak about. And a number of Muslims don’t need to discuss this stuff. But everyone knows that these points exist.“

Shahzad thinks that younger Muslims usually are not discovering the steering that they want from the older technology as a result of they aren’t keen to speak about these burning points. He believes that there’s a lot younger individuals can be taught from the elders about discuss to a possible associate and what purple flags to keep away from. Fortunately, nonetheless, they’re starting to search out this steering from married {couples} inside their technology who’ve discovered love on-line, and to a big extent on Muzmatch, and are keen to share ideas and recommendation on navigate the complete means of discovering a associate and constructing a contented, sustainable and equitable marriage. Muzmatch has additionally contributed considerably to this steering by serving to to upturn cultural stigmas and reminding younger individuals of the true ideas of Islam. “The men who are offended by this are actually not offended by what we are talking about” he explains “They are simply offended that we’re speaking about it“

Speaking in regards to the evolving tradition amongst younger Muslims, Shahzad believes that the rationale why Muzmatch exists within the first place and why it has achieved a lot success is as a result of the older technology wasn’t keen to strategy these tough matters, “Instead they forced a method of finding a partner on the younger generation“, he tells me “be it, oh we’re going to introduce you to someone from our family’ which is also good, but pays very little attention to actual compatibility. No one’s actually asking ‘what’s your outlook in life and what are your goals and how do we make sure that this matching we’re trying to do is actually successful?’” Shahzad has additionally been via the matching course of and in line with him, it’s a really crude course of. “It’s almost like “You’re a guy, she’s a girl… so what’s the problem?”

Unable to know Shahzad’s emphasis on the failure of the older technology to present steering to younger Muslims, I’m fast to level out why I believe there’s a divide between these two generations. How keen are youthful Muslims to take marriage classes from the older technology who nonetheless maintain a number of conventional values which are oppressive to ladies? With the quantity of pushback from youthful Muslim ladies who’re redefining what a wholesome marriage ought to appear and feel like within the Twenty first century, there’s not a lot the older technology can do. Taking the older technology out of the image and leaving younger women and men to have interaction with one another on these points seems like a minefield. I inform Shahzad that plenty of males are reluctant to make progress, preferring to carry tightly to the clutches of conventional values, just because they’ve a wholly totally different world view from ladies which prevents them from seeing and accepting that these conventional values are literally designed to learn one on the expense of one other.

Shahzad agrees with me this time round, and reinforces training as an answer to a big extent, along with all of the conversations going down. Culture, in his opinion, continues to be liable for these issues “Most Muslim men are reluctant about this change” he says “It’s most often like ‘in the previous generation, it was always the women doing everything, so why should I, as a man be doing it? But then you have an educated Muslim woman who’s looking to get married, and the guy’s demanding and almost expecting her to take care of all the household chores.” Statistically, Shahzad says that this disconnect is occurring as a result of Muslim ladies have gotten extra educated, extra academically pushed and professionally in a greater place than a number of Muslim males. And even educated Muslim males aren’t prepared to come back to phrases with these modifications as a result of there’s nonetheless a number of cultural baggage that they’re having to navigate via. “For a lot of Muslim women who are educated;” says Shahzad “women who have good jobs and work really hard, it’s a question of ‘do you want to take five steps backwards by getting married and being relegated to doing all the chores without this correct equity in the marriage?” And that is precisely why marriage is turning into tougher for this technology of Muslims.

“Even with the old matchmakers and the old way of doing things” Shahzad continues, “The problem often is that there’s a lack of assessment of the actual compatibility between the two people in terms of the way they want to live their married life together,” He tells me that we’re too early in our journey to getting precise knowledge on how egalitarian marriages are amongst younger Muslims. But he’s almost definitely to present a particular reply in future on whether or not or not Muzmatch marriages last more than marriages performed within the outdated method. He nonetheless predicts that with all of the conversations being facilitated on compatibility and equality, there’s a likelihood that marriages amongst younger Muslims are going to have greater success. “With education on both sides; for Muslim men and Muslim women,” says Shahzad “in terms of their roles and rights in marriage and more education for men in terms of how they interact with women and how to be emotionally more intelligent, there’s likely to be some progress.”

Shahzad thinks that one of many the explanation why males have little to no clue on how they need to work together with ladies is the extent of gender segregation that occurs in a number of Muslim communities. “For most men,” he says “the first and only proper interaction with a woman is in a marriage, And that’s a huge chunk. We’re lacking the real social experience that non-Muslims have and for many men, it’s, ‘now, this woman’s moved into my house. How on earth do I navigate this?” Many of those points are dropped at Muzmatch’s consideration by younger Muslims who’re discovering it tough to navigate. Education, on these points, is certainly one in every of Muzmatch’s long run objectives. ‘We’ve talked about these points for a few years” Shahzad tells me “And we want to be talking about them a lot more” The group virtually listens and responds to what the younger Muslims are saying. “They ask for advice and tell us about the challenges they are facing,” says Shahzad “And we really feel a way of accountability in direction of them as a result of these are precisely the form of matters that we need to proceed speaking about“

To reply the query of “Are young Muslims shifting towards egalitarian marriages?” Shahzad says that we’ve come a good distance however we nonetheless have a protracted option to go. Muslim marriages are nonetheless a piece in progress.

Wardah Abbas is the Founding Editor of The Muslim Women Times. She is a Lawyer, Writer and Social Justice activist.


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