Jihad of the Soul: Singlehood and the Search for Love in Muslim America


Jihad of the Soul: Singlehood and the Search for Love in Muslim America



Document Type




Young, Single, Attractive and Muslim? How do young single American Muslims balance their faith with western culture? This topic and more is tackled by author Zarinah El-Amin Naeem in Jihad of the Soul, a gut wrenching look at how young Muslim singles navigate love and faith. Let's face it, no matter how many T.V. episodes of The Bachelor or Sex and the City air, singlehood for the average person is a difficult life period. Most singles want to be in a loving, romantic, long-term relationship. They want to be married. Unfortunately, in the American Muslim community, there are Muslim single men available, and Muslim single women available, but there is a huge disconnect and a serious lack of marriage. Why? El-Amin Naeem says, My research shows there are a number of factors including the practice of strict gender separation and marital endogamy that affect and delay the transition from singlehood to marriage for many American Muslims. The Muslim community has serious issues it needs to face, but unfortunately seems to be in denial. The book is an anthropological exploration into the attitudes, experiences and emotions of single Muslim young adults between the ages of 18 - 40. Discussing issues of identity, religion and desire, anthropologist Dr. Carolyn Rouse of Princeton University says Jihad of the Soul is a bold look at a number of taboo subjects; cross-cultural/cross-racial romance, sex, religious/gender performance pressures, discomfort with Muslims of the opposite sex, etc... El-Amin Naeem's book is original, highly engaging and extremely valuable...



Publication Date



Niyah Press


Kalamazoo, MI


Social life and customs, man-woman relationships, sex role, muslim women, muslims, cultural assimilation


African Languages and Societies | Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Zarinah El-Amin Naeem received her master's degree from WMU in 2008.

Citation for published book

El-Amin, Naeem Z. Jihad of the Soul: Singlehood and the Search for Love in Muslim America. Kalamazoo, MI: Niyah Press, 2009. Print.