Azaad Raha responding to the now famous “A Few Good Muslim Men” article
“Under thy nose” by AZAAD RAHA
“Where have the good Muslim men gone?”In the league table of futile statements, this surely ranks up there.
Because aside from being defeatist and self-delusional, this statement exemplifies the very mindset which is the principle reason why so many Muslim women are single in the first place.
Let me explain.
First, to really appreciate this statement and all that it represents, you have to consider both the context in which it is uttered, and the reasoning behind it. The context is sadly an increasingly common one – namely an increase in the number of single, thirty-something Muslim women, who are finding it difficult to get married. It is heartbreaking, and represents a failure on an individual and community level. They are our sisters, our daughters, and our friends. We feel for them, but it is also the time for some home truths.
“Where have the good Muslim men gone? The danger of this statement and mentality is that it is designed to reassure women that there really is a shortage of good Muslim men.
This prevents Muslim women from understanding the reality of the situation; that for most of them, the reason they are still single is because of their past actions and their attitudes towards men and marriage.
By make-believing that the only reason they are not married is down to a lack of good men, they effectively absolve themselves from responsibility for their situation. This subconscious defense mechanism, prevents much needed introspection by conveniently laying the blame elsewhere. We all make mistakes, however this failure to look deep within and recognize them, prevents many single Muslim women from addressing the root cause of their predicament – their attitudes towards men and marriage.
In my experience, most of these women have met and rejected many good men over the years, before they got to the situation where they now find themselves, i.e. the once steady stream of suitors has dried to a trickle. I have many thirty+ single friends whose continual lamentations about the ‘shortage’ of ‘good men’ I have to endure at every gathering, however I also know that during their twenties they turned down many good, decent men. Of course, those men are now happily married.
Over the years I’ve quizzed my friends on the reasons they rejected the men, and in addition to being floored by the sudden immaturity of these otherwise intelligent women, I came to realize that the Muslim woman of today is not looking for a ‘good man’ until very late in the day. This is the core problem and the tragedy is that these women don’t even realize it. If they did, they would have realized that the ‘good men’ were all around them, they were their friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.
The quiet guy in the prayer room who gave salaams, then moved on, rather than standing around and flirting. There is something beautiful about a young Muslim man who is shy around women. It is something to be applauded, not criticized.
However these are exactly the types of men young Muslim women are NOT interested in (until they hit their 30’s or have otherwise been ‘played’ by someone). Despite their most ardent protests, deep down most women are attracted to the ‘bad guys’, they like the guy who is charming, confident around women, dressed well, funny, i.e. they want the guy that all the girls want, and nowhere in their vocabulary do you hear the words ‘good man’ till they hit 30.
Many years ago, a Muslim girl, S.S (name withheld to protect the innocent) wrote a response on a well known Islamic website, which I include here, verbatim:
“If only our mothers didn’t raise us to grow into such Nakhra [drama] queens, we would know what we are missing out on. All men want is acceptance, and we tend to tear them apart starting from their walk, to their talk, the clothes they wear, the food they eat, the sports they play or the books they read or don’t read. Who would have thought that we would turn into such vicious and mean people one day? But evidently we are who we are and men don’t like that.”
So very true. Men are simple – despite all the bravado and chest beating, all we want is to be accepted for who we are. It really is that simple. However, Muslim women seem to have been programmed to criticize. Rather than recognizing what a man has to offer, they focus on what he doesn’t have to offer, and then complain when they find themselves still single.
Now, I don’t want this to turn into a battle of the sexes, as this won’t achieve anything.
As Muslim men, we are guilty of much. We are frequently preoccupied with beauty at the expense of all else, despite clear guidance from our creator and his messenger not to do so.
However, in general, we also recognize our flaws and don’t externalize our own shortcomings by complaining about a ‘lack of good women’.
As a community we have go beyond mutual recriminations and work collaboratively to address these challenges. However, as a first step we need open and honest dialogue. Whilst this article may seem harsh, it represents the reality of what many Muslim men think about Muslim women.
The truth is, we are all in this together. The women who are struggling to get married are our sisters and our daughters, and they should not have to live in loneliness. However, there is also something fundamentally wrong with the way many Muslim women today view men and marriage.
So single-Muslim-women-who-are-finding-it-hard-to-get-married, rather than mulling over a non-existent shortage of ‘good men’, think hard, look within and most importantly, humble yourselves. Perhaps the thing which you are seeking is right under your nose.