Listen to the interview here (mp3) Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi are co-editors of a new book of essays, Love, Insh Allah: The Secret Loves of American Muslim Women.Ayesha is a writer and an international development consultant who is writing a memoir about faith and love.AM: Nura is someone who met her future husband on Match.com, if she wants to speak to that. When we were trying to group the stories, we thought it was interesting to see the various ways in which people might meet their partners.The underlying current for all of the stories was very hopeful—with the faith that the women would meet somebody.Others talk about how being American affected who they met and who they ended up with. NM: Two stories really stand out for me because of the way they talk about a difficult issue, which is homosexuality within the Muslim community.Two women in the book courageously wrote their stories.There are orthodox Muslims, cultural Muslims, secular Muslims. Ayesha Mattu: Not only were they from very different backgrounds, each had a very unique search for love.
Many people might think that Muslim women haven’t met their partners before marriage; that arranged marriages are loveless. So an arranged marriage does not contradict the fact of also having a love marriage.” Compared to your book, the magazine articles feel very superficial and not the best way to find happiness.The stories in your book don’t exclude physical attraction, but there’s so much else involved.Instead of dating over months or years, you may only have six weeks or so in which to distill your values and see if there’s a match and if you want to take that leap of faith that we all take at when committing our lives to someone.SS: When I was reading the essays, I kept thinking of women’s magazines with articles like “Ten Sexy Things to Do” and “How to Find a Man to Take to Bed!