Dating a non religious muslim

These social restrictions also took hold in certain Islamic societies, with religious restrictions on sex leading some to go as far as segregating the genders as much as possible, including in schools, universities and even at social gatherings. These practices began to disintegrate as women started entering the workforce, demanding their rights for universal education and pursuing higher education, Arian says.

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Segregating because of religious dogma became harder. And so, as the genders mixed, dating relationships also took root in some societies. This, he says, further facilitated the imitation of Western relationships.

Changing ideas about modernity, widespread urbanization and the West's cultural hegemony influenced something as intimate and personal as relationships, Arian says. But the most influential factor is globalization.

Interfaith marriage in Islam

These "shared experiences," as he calls them, have given birth to third-culture kids. These multicultural generations are growing up with a "very different moral compass that is rooted in a number of influences; and not just the local, but the global as well," Arian says. Before social media and the prevalence of pop culture, it was a lot easier to enforce whatever ideologies you wanted your child to follow.

But as globalization increased, this changed. Young people became increasingly exposed to the rest of the world.


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Today, their ideologies and values no longer find a basis in what their priest or imam preaches but in what social media and pop culture influencers might be saying and doing. Dating apps and websites that cater to young Muslims looking for meaningful long-term relationships are easy to find. Muzmatch, a dating app launched two years ago, has , people signed up. Other apps, like Salaam Swipe and Minder, report high success rates for young Muslims who previously had a hard time finding a partner.

These apps allow people to filter their searches based on level of religiosity, the kind of relationship they're looking for and other aspects such as whether the woman wears a headscarf and the man sports a beard. While the men behind these apps launched them with the hope of giving young Muslims a positive platform to interact on, they say there are still many in their societies that oppose the idea of young couples interacting.

Haroon Mokhtarzada, founder of Minder, says that a lot of this disapproval stems more from the fear of people in their communities gossiping than it does from the actual interaction the couples have. So I don't think it's the parents who are worried for themselves because they don't want their daughter talking to a guy or whatever, as much as it's them worrying about their family name and people talking and becoming part of a gossip mill," he says. To combat this, Shahzad Younas, founder of Muzmatch, incorporated various privacy settings within the app, allowing people to hide their pictures until the match gets more serious and even allowing a guardian to have access to the chat to ensure it remains halal.

Like many Muslim women, Ileiwat has chosen not to wear the hijab, but that has not saved her from glares and stares if she's out in public with her boyfriend.

What happens when you fall in love across the religious divide? | Life and style | The Guardian

Because of the prohibition on premarital sex, older Muslims often frown upon any visible interaction between unmarried young people, no matter how innocent. This can sometimes lead to assumptions that two individuals of the opposite sex who are just hanging out have an inappropriate premarital relationship.

Which is ridiculous, but it makes for a juicy story," Ileiwat says, adding that even some of her younger married friends are subject to the gossip mill. But the fear of gossip and the older generation's fear of sexual relations between young men and women have made the concept of dating more intriguing for younger Muslims. Using the word dating to describe relationships has resulted in a schism between older and younger generations.

Hodges says children pick up the popular vernacular from peers, leading to a barrier between what children say and how parents understand it. Because of this miscommunication, many couples instead use words like "togetherness" and "an understanding" as synonyms when talking to their parents about their relationships.

How Young Muslims Define 'Halal Dating' For Themselves

Hodges refers to this gap as "that ocean between England and America," where words might be the same, but the way they are perceived is vastly different. Mia, a year-old Ethiopian-American college student who has shied away from having sex with her boyfriend of almost a year, can attest to this. I like to use the word 'talking' or 'getting to know.

But words, especially those borrowed from other places, soon take on the cultural contexts in which they are used.

Physical relations are simply a choice," says Taimur Ali, a senior at Georgetown University's Qatar campus. The current generation "really wants to have the [dating] experience without having the full extent of the experience," Arian says. But perhaps, he suggests, young Muslims need to develop something for themselves that is "more rooted in our own moral sensibilities.

We speak with couples all the time about their struggles, and the pushback they get from family and friends. In the end, those who make it work choose each other over all else. What about the kids? Our philosophy on this comes from something the Buddha said. To this point, we want to give our three young sons depth.

We aim to give them the tools any believer needs to practice their faith, so we pray together, sing songs, meditate, read and reflect on sacred texts. We do this together at home and in churches and other places of worship, near and far. But depth is not the only goal we have for our children. We want to help them become religiously literate citizens, giving them breadth as well.

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So, we read the Bible and the Ramayana. We sing gospels and chant mantras. We talk about the Buddha and tell folk religion origin stories.


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  • We build sukkahs and release our clay Ganeshas into the ocean. We decorate our Christmas tree and light our menorah. We talk about peace, justice, compassion, generosity and God — referencing religions far beyond our own, across time, distance, and culture. Despite all this, some people still ask us, exasperated: It makes sense that so many of us dream, initially at least, that we will find true love with a person who shares the same religious label, because we think it means they have walked the same religious path that we have.

    We naturally look for someone who has made the same leaps of faith, who has gone through the same internal transformation, who nods along knowingly as we describe our indescribable connection to something invisible. We imagine someone who gets us, who shares the same truth or God or gods that we do, or, perhaps, who has uttered the same denials as us, or who remains as steadfastly unsure about the meaning of it all as we ourselves are.

    The assumption here is that sharing the same religion is a shortcut to deeper unity. But praying the same words in the same order, or reading the same sacred book through and through again, or singing the same songs are not necessarily a gateway to a meaningful connection. Each journey of faith is unique and personal.

    No two believers are alike. And, as anyone in any relationship will tell you, no two people are alike. Everyone has their own views, opinions and convictions, regardless of their chosen religion or lack of one. Some relationships are interfaith, but all relationships are inter-belief. What is that necessary and sufficient factor? We have found that it is far more important to share the same values than the same religion. It is true that some values are associated more closely with certain religion affiliations. But values do not just take root inside a person as a result of their religion, of how they have chosen to describe or name or worship God.

    We choose our values because of myriad factors: Our values shape us, as our journeys through life — and our journeys through faith — play out. In faith, as in love, we leap. We whisper holy words, words that hold power, maybe magic.