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“But I think a lot of the time, it’s seen as this sexist institution of marriage that only benefits the man.” Although polygyny is permitted under Islam, and some would say is growing in acceptance, Naeemah Khabir said that it remained a contentious topic within the Muslim community and that the specific guidelines under which it is permitted have not always been followed.
“These are rules that some men follow,” she said, “and a lot of men don’t.” .
Nadir is a social worker specializing in premarital education and project director of the Muslim Alliance in North America’s Healthy Marriage Initiative.
“The women themselves, they would maybe be interested in someone from another cultural group,” said Nadir. Khabir, of Elkins Park, who has a master’s degree from Syracuse University, even hired a private matchmaker for nine months until the counselor assigned to her conceded that race was part of her problem.