Why are many professional women over 30 not married?

Answered by Mohamed Rida Beshir

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Why are many professional women over 30 not married?

Answer (continued)

With all of the above misconceptions that usually put women at a disadvantage and leave men to enjoy a great deal of unparalleled and unjustified control over their wife, a Muslim woman would rightly hesitate to enter into a relationship where she would be dealt with as a slave rather than as a human being. Unless men correct their misunderstanding of these concepts and start following the proper Islamic teachings, rather than following cultural interpretations that give them an advantage over women, Muslim women will rightly continue to hesitate to accept marriage proposals.

Finally, don’t think that marrying a woman from “back home” and bringing her to North America is free of problems. It seems like the questioner has a very rosy picture of this scenario in his mind! Think seriously about the following:

  • Cultural differences. In most cases, there are huge cultural differences between “back home” and North America. Any newcomer to North America goes through an adjustment period that can extend from two years to four or even five years. This adjustment period is very demanding on a newcomer because of the lack of extended family and support system.
  • The time it takes a person to get over their homesickness and get used to the cultural differences between “back home” and North America can be very trying on both spouses, and it can be particularly demanding on you, the husband.
  • You may be able to enjoy the blind obedience of a woman from “back home” for a few short years at the beginning of the marriage. But as soon as your wife starts interacting with other Muslim families and tastes the atmosphere of freedom in North America, she, too, will start to demand a higher level of freedom and respect and will no longer be the blindly obedient wife you dreamt of having and wanted to live with.

The solution is not in marrying blindly obedient women from “back home.” The solution is in changing our attitudes, as Muslim men, and in learning how to fulfill our real duties as Muslim husbands, according to Islamic teachings rather than according to cultural norms and biases.


[1] Beshir, Dr. Mohamed Rida. Family Leadership (Qawamah): An Obligation to Fulfill; Not an Excuse to Abuse. Beltsville: amana publications, 2009.

[2] Qur’an (49:13)

[3] See the story of the wife of Omar (raa): when she questioned him about one of his decisions, and he told her not to question him, she responded by saying, “Your daughter questions the Prophet (saaw).” He asked his daughter Hafsah (raa), and she confirmed that the wives of the Prophet (saaw) used to discuss and argue with him about all house-related decisions. (Muslim and others)

[4] Qur’an (2:228)

[5] At-Tabari

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