Overseas marriages in the Muslim community appear to be losing their popularity as people are increasingly turning towards matches made closer to home according to a survey carried out by SingleMuslim.com. When asked to state a preference, over 68 percent of the site’s members would prefer their marriage partner to come from the same country – if not the same county or city – as them.
The results show that 27.5 per ent of respondents would prefer their partners to live locally in the same city, 14.2 per ent would prefer their partners to live in the same county or state, and 26.7 percent would prefer their partners to be currently resident in the same country.
SingleMuslim.com is an online interactive community, that has recently grown to over 300,000 registered members, who are seeking potential marriage partners.
Commenting on the results, mnaging drector, Adeem Younis, said: "The feedback we’ve had from our members suggests that their horizons are not as broad as perhaps they used to be when it comes to searching for a marriage partner.
"There was a time when the majority of Muslims seeking marriage would automatically consider an overseas match. But communities grow and evolve, and attitudes change. We’re now seeing increased demand for partners who live more locally."
Although respondents to the survey were not asked to explain their choices, Mr Younis believes that there are several reasons that may explain why such a high proportion of SingleMuslim.com’s members would prefer not to marry someone from overseas:
"If you live in a particular town, region or country, you’re obviously going to be familiar with local customs, cultures and communities. By restricting your choices to marriage partners from the same region, you’re naturally choosing to marry someone who shares similar experiences, who has similar values and expectations.
"Ultimately, by choosing to marry someone from the same country, you’re choosing someone who has much more in common with you than someone from oversea s – and finding common ground is the basis for a stable marriage."
Although 30 percent of respondents to the survey indicated that they would not mind where their marriage partner came from, Mr Younis believes that the trend for matches to be made in the same country is likely to continue.
He said: "To be honest, it would be easy to put these results down to a temporary change in people’s priorities due to the credit crunch and the recession, and to claim that once the global economy picks up our members will once again prefer overseas partners.
"Personally, I don’t believe that’s the case. I think it’s much more likely that what we’re seeing is an accurate reflection of a modern, integrated Muslim society that is confident and secure in its own locality; a Muslim society that no longer reli es solely on international ties to develop and evolve.
"What is it they say about home being where the heart is? Well, it’s certainly a phrase that strikes a chord with SingleMuslim.com’s members!"