The Institution of Marriage: A Case Study on Social Pressures Surrounding Marriage in Muslim Indian Communities in Johannesburg

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Fatima Mukaddam

Abstract

There is an undoubted societal focus on marriage in many, if not all, communities. This is manifested in social media, television, almost every movie, novels, children’s storybooks, conversations and the internet in forms of online articles and blogs, which emphasize a pressure on women to get married or have a companion. This paper discusses the institution of marriage and the societal pressures surrounding matrimony amongst members of the Muslim Indian community in Johannesburg. In this paper, I illustrate that marriage is a necessary condition, especially for a Muslim Indian woman’s constructive and participatory role/identity in society. The significance of marriage can be seen to be embedded within Islamic practices. However, this dogmatic view of marriage does not explain the pressures placed on individuals to get married. Islam advocates for fate and trust in God, therefore it can be argued these pressures are socially constructed as opposed to religiously inflicted. This article uses feminist methodological tools and theories in an attempt to debunk the role of patriarchy in modern society. The paper is set as a case study that conducted semi-structured interviews. It concludes that unmarried women feel ‘judged’ and ‘scrutinized’ because of their marital status.

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How to Cite
Mukaddam, F. (2017). The Institution of Marriage: A Case Study on Social Pressures Surrounding Marriage in Muslim Indian Communities in Johannesburg. Alternation Journal, 24(1), 107-126. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/733
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Articles
Author Biography

Fatima Mukaddam, University of the Witwatersrand and Swiss - South Africa Joint Research Programme (SSAJRP)