Muslim dating has come of age with its own Carrie Bradshaw-style chick lit. No Sex In the City by Australian author Randa Abdel-Fattha features Esma, "a modern Muslim woman with an age-old dilemma". She is one of four big-city friends seeking Mr Right but with no sex before marriage and no alcohol. As in Britain, Esma finds herself part of a growing demographic: educated, independent career women, who struggle to find a partner, especially over 30.
British Asians have long been early adopters of the technology to find marriage partners. Even the old aunty network of helpful family matriarchs has gone high tech, I'm told, with handwritten notes replaced, with Excel spreadsheets of available "boys" and "girls" aged 20 to 55. Though originally Hindu-focused, the biggest marriage websites, such Shaadi.com, have separate Muslim sections. MuslimandSingle.com has a quick checklist on religiosity: Do you conduct salah (the five-times-a-day prayer ritual)? How often? Eat halal?