Abstract: Although Muslims in the United States are a growing population, there is limited research on their relational patterns and how they prepare for marriage. We conducted in-depth interviews with 32 members of the Muslim community in Southeast Michigan including married individuals, divorced individuals, therapists, and imams (Muslim religious leaders) to explore their perceptions and experiences of marriage preparation. Our analysis revealed that marriage preparation varies but is less likely to involve a requirement of premarital counseling, with imams being the primary providers, not therapists. Barriers to participation include stigma, lack of awareness, logistical and financial challenges, and parental influence. Partnerships between imams and therapists, and family and community efforts are necessary to address barriers and increase participation in premarital education programs.
Perceptions and Experiences of Marriage Preparation Among U.S. Muslims: Multiple Voices from the Community