I started looking for a marriage partner late when I was 24 years old after finishing my education. I have the total freedom to choose my own marriage partner but did not date when I was younger as I wasn’t interested in casual relationships and wanted to fulfill my duties from a religious perspective. I’m now 32, still single and nowhere near finding the right marriage partner.
In eight years I have tried various routes; some good, some not so good. I have had to listen to insensitive comments such as “she’s fussy”, “love conquers all”, “it’s kismet“ and “bechari”. I have seen hundreds of marriage prospects from one introduction to several meetings over the years through family, friends and other means.
When I first started, I used my mum and her connections. To say this was an experience would be understatement. Without disrespect to any of the prospects I saw, none of them fulfilled my marriage criteria (which isn’t huge in the first place!). Nevertheless, I did always remain polite, hospitable and gave every single one a chance. What I learnt from this experience was that upbringing is really important. There are people, especially Muslim men (and their mothers!) who have no manners or decency at all. For some families, it was a good day out. Window-shopping, being paraded (like at a meat market) with a free lunch or dinner thrown in may appeal to some people. My family and I on the other hand remained resilient and excused some people and their bad behaviour and ignorant comments about minor things such as class, religion, caste and looks. I very quickly began to pick up on time wasters through the conversations and within one meeting became good at spotting those who were merely there to satisfy their parent’s needs. Muslim men these days need to understand that Muslim women are not desperate. With regards to mentality, it’s amazing when you meet people who claim their modernity, but when you meet their family, visit their home or converse with them, they are mentally still trapped in dogma laid down by culture not religion. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in some traditional aspects of culture but this whole experience (despite being brought up in a balanced modern way) was enough to make me question religion and seek a marriage partner outside of Islam. I stopped for a while, as it became draining and taxing having to meet people who weren’t meeting certain criteria. When family and friends introduce you, you sometimes need to make exceptions and also trust what people tell you over the phone.
I tried speed dating next through attending organized marriage events. I did this for years too. Different organisers had different ways of doing things, but overall I would say this experience was a waste of time. Firstly, I’m an introvert and hate conversing amongst large groups and secondly, people are reserved at approaching others in front of other people. It seemed to me that every event I went to, only the most physically attractive would be approached, numbers swapped and the rest just looked on. Luckily I knew one of the organisers and she always made me feel better by explaining that the most popular guys and girls were not successful in terms of finding a partner. The other problem I found was that a lot of men and women were looking for partners on their own without their Walis. This is often a problem as when meeting them for the first time, they could be happy with you but their family/your family isn’t. From this I learnt, that it’s best to have your family alongside you.
Meeting prospects on their own was an entirely different experience. From the downright boring “I go to the gym” conversation to the “do you club/go drinking?” Sigh. Not being one to judge anyone else, as I have to look at myself first and foremost, first meetings were always dreaded. I learnt to not bother wasting my time with blind dates anymore.
Next was online halal dating through blogs, social media and matchmaking sites. Now here’s an experience to tell! In a virtual world, anyone can write whatever he or she wants. They can post whatever images they want. I tried a few blogs where I felt there might be compatibility with some likeminded people but location and age and also trust was a big factor. Not fully knowing the person and having your parents accept it is a really big deal. I don’t use Instagram but the last post from MuzMatch has made me think very seriously about it (although I’m not ashamed to admit that I tried a career social networking site for a while too!).
Without finding success for many years, I tried Muslim match-making sites. Dear God. I met all sorts! From those with fake or old pictures to those only on there to have a good time. I met lots of men who deliberately run game on women to pass the time whilst looking for the ‘real thing’. I even had some of them admit it to me. Luckily, I have always been astute and can spot red flags and signs of lewdness from a mile away. It saddens me to think some decent men and women who aren’t will eventually end up being played or misguided by some of these people. They won’t even realise it. After trying a well-known Muslim matchmaking site for a year, I finally gave up on the whole marriage front. None of these avenues have been successful for me. I’m a decent, modern Muslim woman, who wants a decent modern husband without the craziness!
Now, I know I’m a Muslim and have no long-term intention of using Tinder but I wanted to see what it was like after all the hype. The concept really appealed to me but I felt it was too basic just like the family and friend introductions. I needed something a bit more. I had already previously tried the MuzMatch website but hadn’t had any success on it so when the app came out, I decided to have a go.
Being open to all possibilities, I would say so far so good! The app is reliable, has privacy controls and suits my needs. I’m able to search for marriage prospects wherever I am, choose potential prospects without any long awkward conversations/introductions and swipe away anyone I’m not interested in. As a mature woman, I know what I like and what I don’t. A profile says a lot about a person and whilst it is easy to dismiss someone you don’t know who might be a match, I do believe that everything happens for a reason. After using it for a while, I still haven’t haven’t met the right person but there are several features of the app that appeal to me;
- I love the fact that you have to register your mobile phone. This will detract any timewasters, which can easily be followed up and reported. This guarantees my safety when using the app. I have heard of instances of where people have had to use police interference with regards to unsavoury characters and the use of tracking and location is a brilliant feature. Location-wise it automatically shows matches near me, which is awesome. Two taps is all it takes! I hope MuzMatch will expand and be able to offer a feature where you can find other single Muslims whilst out socialising (those who aren’t registered on MuzMatch just like other modern apps).
- You must have a photo up – whilst these can be unrepresentative, it does save a whole lot of time because let’s be realistic we all have a type even those of us who didn’t date so when you men go on about superficial aspects then please expect the same in return from women. I can also hide my photo should I wish to do so; I would hope people would want to know me and my character rather than just my looks but realistically we live in a superficial world and to deny this would be ignorant.
- Whilst I’ve never had to pay a fee (being a woman), the swipe element allows me to swipe off any timewaster or person I don’t wish to communicate with ever again. It also saves me time from looking at outdated profiles as it has a last active feature visible on it.
- I save myself the embarrassment of a rejection and months of heartache if there’s no match through swiping. It also prevents any man wasting my time because he’s seeing several women at the same time and unsure of which he prefers. I’m not looking for friendship or ‘friends with benefits’ – I’m looking for a husband.
- I can use the app and add on my parents whenever I want. Luckily, I have amazing parents who always trust my instincts and support my decisions so for those who want their families to take more of an active role, this is a great feature.
- I’m quite sociable and like talking to people in real time. No more excuses of emails being unread or going missing; and definitely no opportunities for people to ignore you.
I think some Muslim men and women (including their families) need to grow up. Basic courtesy and manners falls under the etiquette of Islam. I believe the way you treat a person who can do nothing for you shows your character – no matter how you try to dress it up in front of others! Regardless of moving forward or not, you should treat others with the same respect and courtesy bestowed upon yourselves. The marriage process is a great indicator of character.
Some people may say that my standards are too high but when it comes to marriage, I only intend to do it once, wherever and however it may be written Insha’Allah. Please make dua I find HUBBY through MuzMatch soon 😀
The muzmatch app is the first to offer cutting edge features for Muslim’s looking to find their perfect marriage partner using their smartphones – however religious you are. The app has been built from the ground up with privacy, security and ease of use in mind – there is nothing like it out there! Say goodbye to expensive, dated matrimonial websites full of fake and inactive profiles. muzmatch is absolutely free for all Muslims worldwide and always will be!