In the Indian and Pakistani community, an arranged marriage doesn't involve one or both parties being forced to make the decision against their will. Nor does it mean the bride and groom don't set eyes on each other until the wedding day.
My parents wed on a September morning in 1960 in a small farming village in Greece. My mother learned the news when the busses started to arrive delivering the guests. She was just two months past her seventeenth birthday.
"I had a friend and when we were 14, she said to me, 'I have a secret,'" she says. "And the secret was that she had a fiancé who was 10 years older. At the time, I didn't know what it meant, and I thought it was like having a boyfriend."
American Muslims from across the country share their stories of love and marriage as a matter of choice -- as it should be. They are reflective of the more mainstream American-Muslim experience while also representing a model to be emulated by others.
We are all loitering in our classroom one lunchtime. Barry Sutton suddenly asks me a question: ''Hey, Imran! Are your parents going to arrange your marriage?'' Everyone's attention is suddenly upon me.
I recently purchased the book Kind Little Rivka after a quick review of the book's title and description. It seemed harmless. It turns out this book was glorifying an underage marriage -- and I was shocked by its content and images.
My parents had an arranged marriage. I can tell you the story about how they saw each other for the first time, in my sleep. I have heard it at every dinner party before the age of ten, and every road trip we have ever taken as a family. The details are always argued about.
Was theirs an arranged marriage? It certainly was. Were they different in every imaginable way? You bet. Yet they managed to build a relationship based on love and trust. I wonder whether that was possible only because divorce was not an option at the time.