"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.
Just 49 percent of college-educated black women marry well-educated men (i.e., with at least some post-secondary education), compared to 84 percent of college-educated white women, according to an analysis by Yale sociologist Vida Maralani.
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.
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.
This time, she met Muhammad Abdul-Warith, a man she thought was nice, funny, and, most important, comfortable around her 23-year-old son, also her wali. Three visits later — always communicating through her son — the two eventually met on her porch and talked for several hours."If he can handle himself with my boys and convince them," Muhammad said, "that says a lot."The wedding was July 9.
PHILADELPHIA — Naeemah Khabir, a 35-year-old devout Muslim who works for the Department of Veteran Affairs in Philadelphia, has attended matchmaking events from New Brunswick, N. Women in the Philadelphia Muslim community, which is primarily African-American, may also face a double whammy: a dearth of educated men in communities ravaged by unemployment and incarceration, said Aneesah Nadir, whose observation is echoed in research by the Brookings Institution and Yale University.
"Everyone knows it, but it goes unspoken."Muslims say there's an epidemic of educated, professional women older than 30 struggling to find suitable matches among Muslim men, who are often less bound by a biological clock and societal expectations, and more likely than Muslim women to marry younger and outside their culture or religion.
For Naeemah Khabir, it makes sense."Most people would say, 'You're a 30-year-old woman, you live on your own, you make your own money. The rule "is there for protection, it's there out of respect."The committee plans to continue programming for married couples, including pottery classes, sports outings, and game nights featuring reportedly intense games of Taboo."It takes a strong person to follow the rules when you live in a society that's telling you that those rules are stupid, that they're archaic, that they're obsolete, that they're chauvinist," Khabir said.
They were already giddily exchanging glances with our communal male dates for the evening.
A speed-dating veteran, who goes by “Junior,” extended a sweaty palm for an inappropriately long handshake.
Many also feel uncomfortable with the anonymity and practices of online services."If you come from a conservative household, and then you're online with people who don't have that background, it becomes very scary," Aliya Khabir said.
"The norms are different."Almost all of the matchmaking services, events, and websites, including the Black Muslim Singles Society, face a similar problem: There is much more interest from women than from men.
"I feel that the reason for it is because of the need.