There Are Good Reasons to Not Date a Muslim Man

I came across this video the other day, and, welp, see for yourself (transcript).

To get this out of the way: Karim is not a “Muslim name.” It is an Arabic name that Muslims name their children, since Karim is one of the 99 names of Allah, but the word and name predate Islam.

As for her reason to not date this Karim, obviously, since most Muslims don’t behead people or beat their wives, not wanting to associate with people like that is a bad reason to not want to date a Muslim.

There are some good reasons why this woman might want to walk away, though, that aren’t based on less-warranted stereotypes, reasons that have to do with the realities of the ways in which sexism, misogyny, sex-negativity, patriarchy, and purity culture manifest themselves Muslim-dominated cultures.

In short, mid-life crises come early and hit harder for non-practicing Muslim men.

I have seen this play out so many times in my own family and community that it no longer surprises me. There are men who spend their youth in Western countries like England, Canada, or the US and abuse the sexism of their family’s double-standards and low expectations for men to its fullest. Since, generally speaking, male children are not as carefully guarded and watched over as female ones, young Muslim men have the opportunity to far more easily date, have sex, and get involved with non-Muslim women than young Muslim women do. Some of the men will go out partying, drinking, clubbing — you name the haraam thing, they do it (except for maybe eating pork).

However, since these men still identify as Muslims, the dissonance eventually catches up with them. Add increasing pressure from families to wed the “right” sort of person (i.e. the same pressure their sisters felt much more acutely and from a much younger age) and this means an eventual return to fulfilling filial expectations. They will ditch their youthful “sinful” lifestyle and all those associated with it in favor of an arranged marriage to an often much-younger, presumably virgin woman from “back home.” Their families rejoice that their sons have finally done the “right thing”, even if it means dumping any number of non-Muslim girlfriends to attain that goal.

I know a lot of non-Muslim women who have been unceremoniously dumped after years of a long-term relationship with a Muslim man to clear the way for him to marry a teenager deemed appropriate by his family. Their reward for open-mindedness to someone of a minority, demonized faith was heartbreak. Being tossed aside like so much old garbage after years of being with someone and planning a future with them is not what most people have in mind for their lives.

The return-to-tradition brides often don’t fare much better, either. If they are from overseas, the adjustment to life in the United States can be difficult. Whether they are foreign or Western, their husbands might treat them resentfully as symbols of all the “fun” they left behind. I personally know of cases where the Muslim husband continued dating his non-Muslim girlfriend after marriage and, when caught and confronted, claimed that he was “trying the whole marriage thing out.” Unbeknownst to his wife, he was testing the waters, not fully committed to a marriage.

Granted, non-Muslim girlfriends of Muslim men have a much higher chance of marrying their partners than non-Muslim boyfriends of Muslim women. In Islam, male believers are allowed to marry Jewish and Christian women but a marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man is considered invalid (though there is a loophole). However, the reason for this is that Muhammad presumed that (1) the reason for marriage is to increase the population of the Muslim ummah and (2) the husband determined the religion of his children, not the wife. The implication is that women in such marriages have little to no say in the religion to be taught to the children, which is a rather bitter pill to swallow.

To return to the video, because Karim approached Denise in a very heteronormative way and she responded in kind, I’m going to assume that they’re typical straight people who want to date and eventually marry. He may be all sweet-talk with her now, but if they were to have a relationship, her beauty might not be enough to prevent him from retreating to tradition, either in terms of his long-term relationship goals or any future children they might have.

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There Are Good Reasons to Not Date a Muslim Man

45 thoughts on “There Are Good Reasons to Not Date a Muslim Man

  1. 1

    I find it particularly interesting that according to Islamic law, religion is patrilineal.

    I’m Jewish, and halachically speaking (according to Jewish law), religion is matrilineal.

    What this means in practice is that if a Muslim man and a Jewish woman procreate, both Islam and Judaism would claim the child according to their respective laws.

    Even a child raised in such a household as a Muslim would be considered by Jewish law to be Jewish. Where does Islam fall on that? Is a child born Muslim but raised otherwise considered Muslim?

    1. 1.1

      Hi Jessica,

      For Muslim everyone is born muslim, even if they parent arent, but when he grow up he choose to follow a religion or
      not. So if he die a children he go to heaven.
      So religion isnt patrilineal for us, its not in the blood, the father or the mother teach the children.
      I believed this was the race that was transmitted by the mother and not the religion for the jewish ?
      Muslim men can marry jewish women, but men have the responsability of the religion, he have to teach her children.
      But of course if you marry someone who have a different religion you will talk about how to raise your children.
      Since Islam isnt a race ,the children will be considered by jewish as jewish if i understood, and by muslim as a mixed child.

      ps: sorry for my bad english

    2. 1.2

      A child who is born into a Muslim household and raised at least somewhat Muslim is considered to be Muslim unless they openly renounce the faith and do not recant that renouncing.

      1. The comment isn’t matrilineal, it’s about influence norms across all societies. Correctly, a wife loves her husband and is influenced by him (and vice versa). Our view is a believer should marry a Muslim woman who can fully support her spirituality, since a mother is the foundation of a family and frankly of all society.

        To Heina’s point about being born into a Muslim family. Sure, everyone is considered part of their family’s heritage, across all cultures. However the Muslim view is all children are Muslim. When they come of age, they continue to be, or choose an alternate path such as Christianity, Judaism, or even Atheism. For context, “Muslim” does not mean a member of Islam (i.e. Christian-Christianity, Jew-Judaism, etc.), rather is means ‘one that submits’ to the ‘fitrah’ of one’s nature.

        So in this context, we consider birds, dogs, people, even rocks and stars as ‘Muslim.’ it is humans who have the freedom of choice to conform to our fitrah/nature and be Muslim, or not and be something else.

        Long answer, but I hope this clarifies..

        PS. Muslim dudes can’t date! That’ whole problem is a cultural problem, not a religious one. Many muslims both in and out of Muslim majority countries have challenges with their faith. The story above describes what happens here, but the same often happens elsewhere. This is not a unique story to Muslims. It’s an unfortunate reality across cultures and faiths, and happens for many reasons, most frequently socio-economic reasons. Women are not treated well enough in any circumstance, but that is not due to Islam, rather a lack of it as sister Heina describes above.

  2. 2

    A friend of mine is trying to have a relationship with a Kurdish woman and its fraught with problems.

    Although she is outwardly western, her family is traditional and she has made it clear that if they are found out, her brothers (who take full advantage of western culture for themselves) are likely to become violent.

    She is divorced with a young son who obviously cant be expected to keep secrets , so although they have been seeing each other for about 2 years, and is not a problem for them to be seen having a drink together as “friends”, there can be not hint that they spend any intimate time together.

    The traditional attitudes seem to start and stop at her vagina.

  3. 3

    the actual problem here is , the way Islam looks at non muslim woman
    and the way a typical muslim culture looks at non muslim woman
    where , hijab = shame
    then by default , non hijab = shameless
    uncovered , half naked , prostitute , whore , slut , bitch
    so , at the end of day , she is like a prostitute ,
    never mind if she is very gentle , polite , humorous , full of humanity ,
    but still she is like a prostitute ,
    who wears attractive dresses (attractive by islamic standards ) to attract men ,
    thereby asking for sex ,
    she herself is asking for sex openly ,
    then she should not complain about molestation and rape
    after all , she is a whore

    1. 3.1

      Not all Muslim cultures think this way, and not all Muslims do. Furthermore, other cultures and societies do the same thing. Even in my country (the United States), women are told that they are “asking for it” (“it” being rape) by dressing a certain way.

  4. 4

    Hmm… so at what point does a woman (or anyone) start rejecting people due to the prevalence of behavior within a group? There’s only a small percentage of Islamists, so that’s not a valid reason, but a larger percentage of Muslim men who have shaky commitments, so it is? Does the bar come at 5%, or 30%, or just whatever someone decides before it’s a “valid” reason?

    I’m not judging the girl for her decision, nor you for this post (which at the very leat, is helpfully informative), but it seems to raise a lot of questions related to racism and bigotry.

  5. 5

    Well said, Heina.

    Some of the men will go out partying, drinking, clubbing — you name the haraam thing, they do it (except for maybe eating pork).

    This was amusing. It’s so true. Avoiding pork is among the easiest of the “do’s and don’ts” of Islam so everybody does it. Most Muslims I know don’t pray five times a day. Not a single Muslim I know eats pork. Praying five times a day is inconvenient and hard to keep up. Not eating pork is very easy.

  6. 6

    in this case , the best way to conform the views of a muslim man , is directly asking him
    what if his sister wants to date a non muslim man
    if he says something along these lines
    that he can not allow his sister to become a whore just like a non muslim woman
    who gives away her modesty and chastity and becomes like a free prostitute
    when he says something like this ,
    he reveals his ideology for women

  7. 7

    the most amazing fact here is ,
    when its a muslim lady dressing liberal
    its pretty easy to make assumptions of whether the person is liberal or not
    but when its a muslim man
    even if he is dressing liberal
    still you can not say by his dressing ,
    whether he is liberal or not

  8. 9

    Denise’s bigotry is justified because Islam does sanction beheading, rape and sexual enslavement of infidel women, and beating of wives. Granted, not all Muslim men abide by these sanctions, but the more they devout they become, the more they are receptive to these sanctions. And I think Karim is a secular Muslim and he did the video as a lame attempt to convince gullible and naive infidels that Islam is a religion of tolerance and peace (which is not). Good of Denise for rejecting him.

  9. 10

    Sorry, just got to the bottom of the comments. Interesting and disturbing. Heina I’m impressed by your respectful nature despite your loss of faith..

    Angela sadly sounds like the lady in the video. The real world isn’t a simple binary, black and white. I accepted Islam over 20 years ago, am observant, beard, the whole nine. I have spent countless hours studying with qualified religious scholars from multiple disciplines and geographies and none of them – none of them – would agree that our Deen/religion sanctions beheadings, rape, sexual enslavement, beating our wives. This is what ignorant Da’ish/ISIS people believe, but NOBODY else. Those knuckleheads represent literally 0.001% of worldwide Muslims, and are regularly condemned, publicly by scholars, although given almost zero airtime by the media…

    So her bigotry is very sad and I wish we lived in a world where people were less bigoted. Totally.
    That being said, Karim is rolling up so some lady, spitting game, and asking her for her phone number. If you’re non-Muslim, I sincerely hope this is not your introduction to Islam. Everything he does goes against our religious teachings, is immodest (yes, men should be modest too), does not follow Islamic norms for respecting a woman, and now unfortunately this lady may never speak to another Muslim male and will sum them all up by this experience. He should be more ashamed of himself then of this lady’s reaction, however bigoted she is..

    This young man should instead use his creativity for something more inspiring, morally uplifting and inclusive. I hope that he does that insha’Allah…

    1. 10.1

      You are sadly mistaken. I’ve had conversations with numerous Muslim men and have observed how women are talked to, around, and about by them and its not well at all. Also, when I asked about the more violent ways that had been described by others to me they said “how else is that to be taken? Its plainly said.”

  10. 12

    Ooh ALLAH,
    I don’t understand that what you wanna find to this unobjectionable subject.
    Muslim mans does not prefer to violence their wives who said you all,

    huuh , polygamy , interfaith marriages is not allow for both Muslim mans /women’s.
    look , if you run truly piously on Islam , do pray on five time on everyday ,
    you will completely understand Unseen answers.
    otherwise do it Bla bla bla….

    ALLAH SAID in QURAN.

    That, Anyone who wants to understand Me and understand ISLAM, First Accept ISLAM because ESSA AS Bought ISLAM not Christianity MOOSA AS Bought ISLAM not Yahodi Because the religion of Allah is Islam. If God’s religion is not Islam so we also called Muhammadi like you are called christian/Jewish after Christ and jewish.

    Then Reading QURAN and remember me in five time daily restrictively
    We Muslims, Accept Bani Israel Yahodi Bcz we accept in SULEMAN AS , MOSSA AS , ESSA AS , and ALLAH sent every Messenger and PROPHETS
    from ADAM to MUHAMMAD PEACE BE UPON HIM,

    my all non muslims Brothers and Sisters think of us understand of us, If you do not have God , ask ALLAH, Religion may give up please ask ALLAH , please ask ALLAH , just for ALLAH if you accept ALLAH.

    1. 12.1

      “Muslim mans does not prefer to violence their wives who said you all,”
      The Quran says you’re wrong. Muslim men can strike their wives, if lightly: http://quran.com/4/34

      “polygamy , interfaith marriages is not allow for both Muslim mans /women’s.”
      Wrong again. The Quran says men can take up to four wives: http://quran.com/4/3
      The Quran also says Muslim men can marry from women of the people of the book, aka Jewish and Christian women: http://quran.com/5/5

      “look , if you run truly piously on Islam , do pray on five time on everyday ,
      you will completely understand Unseen answers.”
      I spent 15 years doing that. Is that not enough? Should I spend my life being miserable in the hopes of someday hearing a voice in my head?

  11. 13

    The whole problem is a cultural problem..Islam means submission to God which has Ibrahim, Musa, even Isa as muslims. Bu chance a man weds a woman non-muslim if she is of the Torah, Injeel, or Quran there is no fault. The ability of muslim men to do those things isnt based on Islamic principle but cultural norms. Regardless faithful or Agnostic and or Atheist.

  12. 14

    Hi Heina. My 19 year old mexican daughter is dating an African muslim that lives in Canada. We live I’m California. He claims he doesn’t follow the muslim culture completely but I’m worried that my daughter will get a harsh reality if their relationship goes into marriage. Are there muslim men that don’t really follow their faith?

  13. 15

    I do agree with the majority when they do say it is a “cultural issue”. Its a shame that many families do not give their children the opportunity to learn about the deen, understand what it means to be Muslim and how to draw the fine line between culture and religion. In some countries, the culture is so heavily intertwined with religion that it becomes even more imperative on those Muslims to be educated in matters of aqeeda, fiqh etc. Yes, there are punishments in Islam,however there are certain conditions that must be met ( the accused act must be seen by 4 reliable and trustworthy witnesses, in terms of their Islam). that btw has never happened. also, there is the polygamy issue. yes, a muslim man can marry up to four wives but certain conditions must be met before the second marriage. he must be financially able to support the wives and divide his time fairly between them.

    1. 15.1

      I do agree with the majority when they do say it is a “cultural issue”.

      What majority do you speak of here?

      Its a shame that many families do not give their children the opportunity to learn about the deen, understand what it means to be Muslim and how to draw the fine line between culture and religion. In some countries, the culture is so heavily intertwined with religion that it becomes even more imperative on those Muslims to be educated in matters of aqeeda, fiqh etc.

      That’s not the problem here. The problem is that Islam, theologically speaking, allows men things it doesn’t allow women.

      Yes, there are punishments in Islam,however there are certain conditions that must be met ( the accused act must be seen by 4 reliable and trustworthy witnesses, in terms of their Islam). that btw has never happened.

      It never happened? Really? Tell that to all the mutilated and/or dead people who were punished this way in Muslim-majority countries.

      also, there is the polygamy issue. yes, a muslim man can marry up to four wives but certain conditions must be met before the second marriage. he must be financially able to support the wives and divide his time fairly between them.

      We all know that. That’s not the issue. The issue is that Islam allows men to do so and not women as well.

  14. 16

    I know this was posted a long time ago but it’s resonating so hard with me right now. My ex-boyfriend is Muslim and he just recently married a Muslim woman. I am a non-praticing Catholic and he assured me repeatedly over the course of our relationship that religion and his parents wishes were not important to him. I had actually known him for many years before we started dating. I considered him a friend and trusted him. He dumped me unceremoniously after I moved halfway across the country for him. Shortly after he was engaged to a Muslim woman. They had a long engagement and it’s been several years since I’ve seen him but the betrayal still stays with me. He’s well respected in my home town and I struggle to bite my tongue when people rave about how amazing he is. I’m fairly well acquainted with the pressures of being raised in a strict religion. I know being raised Catholic still carries significantly less cultural pressure than being raised Muslim but it’s not exactly a walk in the park either. I made a point of defending my ex to my Catholic friends and family. I took a lot of heat for him. I don’t like to speak in absolutes but after many years of reflection I really think he is just a bad person. I’m still angry. And I feel sorry for his wife.

    1. 16.2

      Your experience sounds so similar to mine (Although I’m still in the relationship). He is Muslim, I am Catholic. He was a friend first, he swore to me religion did not matter with his family, he claimed he was open-minded, he accepted me for who I was in the beginning and then little by little he changed things in me. On one side he is a practicing muslim, but then also parties, drinks, and is involved in bad lifestyle. He has spent half of our relationship now living abroad, I see him twice a year. He will not let me go. He becomes crazy when I try to leave. I’ve encouraged him to meet someone of his culture/religion and be happy… he will not. For me, this would be a blessing from God if this would happen. I have reached out to date other men, thinking if I fell in love with someone I would have the strength enough to stand up to him for good and leave (as suggested by a therapist I was going to about this). Without knowing I was looking at other possible suitors, my boyfriend has told me if I ever went to another man, he will kill me and that man. Obviously that scared me and I said I would never do this. Only recently he starts telling me to read the Quran and specifically Surah Nur. I read the passages and I’m horrified. I think this is a sign he knows I’ve been trying to leave, trying to seek out another suitor, and he is sending his threat. No one in my circle of friends will understand or know how to help me. My family would be terrified if they knew what my situation is. I honestly don’t know what to do next. I can’t believe I’ve ended up in a relationship like this.

  15. 17

    Only thing I can say guys is: woman all around the world DO NOT DATE Muslims. I am not saying this in order to represent Muslims and Islam in the bad way, I am saying this to help you.
    I met him when I was 26. I was virgin, waiting for right one. I loved him more then myself, he claimed same. After two years of my sacrifice to be together even though it was long distance relationship with differences in religion , culture and race, and still I handled everything he told me he will always love me but we cannot live and marry. All cause of fucking Islam. The.worst thing I was about to convert and do all what he wants. When he realizes I would really do all this he made up things. Please, girls am saying this to save some young life, cause my is wasted. Love you.

  16. 18

    You speak of the truth. I am just happy that I am strong enough to separate reality from my fantasy. I am quite hurt that he would forego happiness with me to meet his social and filial obligations, but it is not my place to point that out for him. I just have to let him go and thankful that it didn’t go any deeper that it would be so hard for me to get out of. I miss him everyday though and I wish the situation is different because it’s so hard to find someone that you connect with. But it is what it is. Thanks for this article. Reminds me that I am not insane and I am not the only one in this situation.

  17. 19

    am 21,,yrs old,and christian from east africa ,,i was in love with a somali man whom i loved with all my heart,,and despite the fact that i am strong christian,,,i was even ready to convert coz he was my heart,,buh after two years ,,i realized that he juz resently married a young girl,,and didnt tell me he has moved on,,,i tried to contact him but said that i should move on ,,,and leave him alone coz i am christian ,,,i never wronged him and i was brought up with descipline,,,the worst is that he blocked me,,,yet he was my first man in my life ,,,upto now,,,,later a muslim friend told me that their men dont marry christians as first wife,,,am stil heart broken ,,,i dont know what to do,,please help,,

  18. 20

    Hi Heina I am a British girl dating a Muslim man. I am young, Virgin and he is experienced and older than me.
    He says he is muslim but not very strict. He used to pray 5 times a day but not anymore.
    He doesn’t eat pork.
    He doesn’t know that I am Christian yet.
    He says things to make me think he is interested long-term, he mentions kids and marriage with me.
    His parents want him to be with a Muslim girl from his country.
    what is your advice to me??
    I am very nice and I like him very much.
    I don’t want to get my heart broken or be in a dysfunctional or abusive relationship.
    He is a very nice man… Does this make a difference?
    He treats me like a princess, but will that change in marriage?
    I appreciate your advice!
    Thank you kindly 🙂

    1. 20.1

      I honestly don’t feel qualified to dispense advice without speaking to you further, but I will say that hiding your religious affiliation from him is a bad idea. No relationship based on deception can end well.

  19. 21

    Just leave him. It will hurt you but you must. Only then will you realize you’re happier. As for threats…save them all and the go to police so that at least there’s a record on him. 2. Move away for a while.

  20. 22

    I have been dating a Muslim man ten years younger than myself going on eight months now . He only wants to spend time with me when convenient for him. When having sex he wants for play given to him but gives none back then it’s over once he has completed. He tells me often he loves me. By the way I am an American white woman and he will not introduce me to no one he knows. I have fallen in love with him but am very hurt over him always wanting things his way .

  21. 23

    Slowly he is doing things I ask for and need him to do. Can he change for me he says he loves me very much . I have a really hard time when it comes to sex it’s like all we do is have sex and instead I want to feel like we are making love . Will it change?

  22. 24

    I am still dating the Muslim man I have been seeing for over 10 months now. He will make no effort to let his sister know about me , I ask him if it was because I’m an American white woman he first said no because he was married to one before which he had told me about, but still says she won’t understand. I do have to say I am getting real tired of him not holding hands or showing any kind of affection in public. It’s like we’re friends when we go out, and not close friends. My love for him is very strong but very hurting, to the point that I know I deserve better.

  23. amy
    25

    I must say that the content of a persons character means a lot.

    I don’t even know where to to begin my story. I was 23 and had just met my Muslim friend. He was funny and very polite. I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t know a lot about Islam so I asked questions and got answers from him.

    When I was sexually assaulted he was in my phone contacts and the hospital personnel called him. I never thought he’d come because I had just met him shortly before this. He was with me through every step of the way. He showed me what a man is and that it doesn’t matter what “window dressing” someone is wearing its what’s in their character that matters. My life would be less rich without him in it. After all these years he’s still my best friend and my children’s godfather. I thank god for blessing my life with him.

    If we could just respect each other and look past the outter layers of our lives we could have such wonderful blessings right in front of us.

  24. 26

    I have met a Muslim man he says all the time he loves me That he has never been married but it’s really hard to believe him after hearing this he wont’s me to get him a visa to come here but I’m scared he is just using me any comments thanks

    1. 26.2

      Understandable, but to be fair he looked middle eastern anyway, she has a right to reject his offer after finding that information out, it*s not for everyone.

      April – He is using you for a Visa, don*t bring him here, he probably has a 2 wives and multiple kids, looking to escape and bring his grotesque lifestyle here

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