Photos by Jahied Ahmed for muzmatch.
We caught up with Sana and Hakim, two lovebirds turned happy couple who met through muzmatch. One year on, we wanted to know how life is going and find out what tips they have for other budding couples and singles on muzmatch.
Sana – I’m 25 years old. I’m from Swindon, where I lived with my mum and older brother. I work within the museum sector.
Hakim – I’m 25 years old. I live in London with my family. I help run a growing leather wholesaling company in the heart of Bethnal Green.
Hakim – I didn’t have a biodata like Sana. I was basically looking for someone who wasn’t petty, who understood many things about life how I do. Certain things are more important than other things and that’s what I was looking for.
Sana- I believed it was important to have certain criteria when looking for someone but at the same time I only used it as a guideline. I don’t believe that people should be too strict about that. It was important for me to find someone who was practising but also understood a more relaxed way of life as a balance.
Hakim – This is one of many challenges we had to overcome as I am from a mixed background and Sana is not. They’re very different. That’s what makes me and Sana even more magical. Our backgrounds are so different. It just shows that anything is possible if you just believe.
Sana – We’re different in that Hakim has a larger family with more siblings but we both went through not having our fathers present in our lives. But it’s really cool that Hakim’s family have a mixed background because his mum is from Trinidad.
Hakim – From a friend. He signed me up on my phone and the rest is history.
Sana – I think I came across Muzmatch when scrolling through my Facebook feed or something. I was on it for longer than Hakim was. I was trying many different ways of finding a husband, including marriage events and websites. This app was something more convenient and I felt it would have attracted users that would be more relatable and suitable matches.
Hakim – I found what I wanted. It took me one week.
Sana – I liked how quick it was to suss out who was there to mess around and whose intentions were more serious. I thought it was so important for people to be allowed to communicate if there was mutual interest and I wasn’t bothered by unwanted messages.
Hakim – I didn’t like that fact that you could only match a certain number of people a day. And you can’t help the fact that there were people just trying to pass time and weren’t really looking for anything serious.
Sana – I hated nothing about the app itself. You just have to take the bad experiences with people and become a better person from it.
Hakim – It was quick and easy and very simple to use. I don’t know how to compare it to anything else because this was the first time I tried looking for a wife.
Sana – I liked that the app had a location feature because then I could figure out the possibilities of meeting with someone if they were close by. Even though the picture swiping is a superficial starting point, it helps to save time and makes your actual matches stronger.
Sana – I tried different ways of finding a husband before and nothing was really working and I needed to refresh the pool of people and the same standard conversations I was coming across. I was getting used to talking to a few people at a time rather than just one person and muzmatch allowed for this. The elimination process was quite easy. I was looking for someone practising but also outgoing with a big personality. Someone independent and who demonstrated responsibility.
Hakim – I didn’t know what I was looking for. I had no main goal in mind when I went on the app. I was recommended to use it and I found someone I didn’t expect to find.
Hakim – Not caught my eye, caught my mind because the fact that she was so understanding and wanted to understand me in a deeper, more intense level. The fact that she looked like something I was looking for. She sounded like she was what I was looking for subconsciously.
Sana – Hakim was very straightforward with his questions when we first started speaking and it might have been honestly blunt but that’s how I knew that he was serious. It was very different to the casual conversations I was used to. His pictures were from his holiday in Egypt so we vibed on that because I studied Egyptology. I had something in my heart tell me that I needed to understand this person a lot deeper for me to feel a connection. And he was worth my time.
Sana – For me it was important to have Hakim come and meet my mum for our first meeting. I appreciated the effort he took to come from London to Swindon and to introduce himself to my mum on his own. I was nervous because I wanted it to go well but I knew there were still some barriers to overcome. The meeting was a little awkward because my mum hasn’t been in that situation much and she didn’t really come to terms with how serious Hakim and I were about getting married.
Hakim – I had to travel to Swindon to come and see Sana. Nervous? Happy? Excited? All three. Not only did I meet Sana for the first time but I had to meet her mother too. But I knew it was important to her that I did. I got to the train station before Sana. She was meeting me there. I wanted to hide from her and sort of scare her from behind when I saw her. But when I saw her crossing the road, my body decided to move towards her and I couldn’t stop it. And that was that.
Hakim – I wouldn’t really know how to describe what I was feeling at the time. I had a rush of many emotions. I guess you could call it love from the first time I actually laid eyes on her.
Sana – I admit that I fall in love quickly but it takes me time to trust that love. There was a lot of anticipation before meeting and I felt secure in that he was making the effort to come and see me – which was really rare to expect before. I had also prayed istikhara which gave me so much confidence to support my feelings for him. But I knew he was the one when I saw how big his smile was when he saw me and how we gave each other the tightest and longest hug I ever had in my life.
Hakim – The very next meeting was supposed to happen the following Sunday but I couldn’t wait that long so I took a sick day off work and made my way to Swindon. We went bowling and had something to eat. That was a good day! The next meetings went from strength to strength, neither of us wanting to be away from the other.
Sana – After having Hakim meet my mum, I was looking to her for next steps but at the same time she was looking for me to tell her what’s next! There hadn’t been a marriage in the family since around 10 years ago when my uncle got married and no one really knew how to go about the marriage process in a way that reflected my Islamic principles and a less cultural mindset. Also, Hakim was only hoping to get his mum involved in the early stages and there was no real intervention from his side either. It seemed that I had to make my own way for anything to move forward – in a manner that is pleasing to Allah and also wouldn’t offend my family. I had to get them involved whether they felt the need to or not to avoid regrets. It was hard to Hakim to understand why I had to coordinate so many family meetings but I’m happy that he understood it was an important obligation on my part.
Hakim- The first time I got my mum involved was when I was sure I was going to marry Sana – which was actually the day before I officially met her in person. We had spoken for a while and skyped beforehand but I was sure. Sana met my family not too long after and, Alhumdulilah, the meeting went very well. Luckily my family loves Sana, which makes my life a little bit better.
Sana – Obviously, I had family involved from the very first meeting. Hakim met my mum and my brother which was slightly awkward but it gave them the sense that I was serious about getting married. The rest of my family is only small and so Hakim made frequent trips down to meet my grandparents, my aunt and my uncle. I didn’t get an idea of what they thought about Hakim properly because they trusted me to make a good decision (not always the best thing!), but they had a good enough impression of him to not object to me going ahead with our plan to get married. I felt like they could have given a more heartfelt and warm welcome and be interested in him – and his family – a lot deeper than just an introduction. I met his mum before taking my own mum to meet her and Hakim’s family were so happy to meet me after he told them all about me and they were ecstatic about an upcoming wedding in the family. I was always worried because I know a guy likes to think his mum will be happy with the girl he chooses but it’s not always the case! They really helped me to relax and their approval straight away meant a lot.
Hakim- Well, me and Sana knew that we were getting married. There was no doubting that – but I had to go through all her family first. So I went down to Swindon to see Sana and on the day I had to go back to London, Sana was also going to Manchester. She was filming for a TV show called ‘iGeneration’ on British Muslim TV. She was getting her train before me. She turned away from me and when she looked back at me, I was on one knee with the ring out asking her to marry me. That’s the story.
Sana – In our excitement, we went window shopping for rings when he’d come down on the weekends. He kept asking me which one I liked the most and he said that he wanted to do a big surprise proposal for me. I never thought that kind of thing would happen to me because I expected it to be a family thing rather than a scene from a movie. But I did warn him that he shouldn’t spring it up on me without discussing his plan with my mum. So he came with me and my mum on the coach back to Swindon after meeting with his family. He left me to sit with her and he showed her the ring he bought. The next day I was leaving for Manchester the same time he was heading back to London. I said goodbye and before I could walk away, he pulled me back and he was on his knee with the ring in his hand. All the people in the queue for the coach started applauding and an African guy walked past saying ‘Congratulations Bro!’ Hakim made me so happy that day and it felt like we finally reached the peak of a mountain!
Hakim – For me, one of the major challenges was the distance. The distance was killing me. Also her family was kind of challenging and not in a good way but, Alhumdulilah, we made it through all the problems together.
Sana – I had a lot to work on to get my family on board with the fact that I was serious about getting married even before I was pushing for them to give Hakim a chance to meet them. There was also some family drama going down which unfairly shadowed my situation. I wasn’t going to let that delay my process and I started to be selfish with my needs. I also had a lot of discussion with my mum about opting for a simple wedding. I have seen nikkah’s take place in the most humble settings and in the most extravagant and I was trying to reason within our means. Unfortunately, it started to get a little more superficial and I wouldn’t have survived if Hakim hadn’t been a buffer. I actually fell more in love with him for his diplomacy, assertiveness and respect towards my family in a situation where he disagreed with them. I didn’t ever want to be in a situation where I chose a man over my family so I also had to deal with those feelings too. I’m glad in hindsight that my trust in Hakim was justified because I have only known of bad consequences from that kind of thing.
Hakim – Now that is a tough question. I guess it depends on the person. I would in general because it worked for me so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for someone else willing to put the effort in.
Sana – So I actually found out that one of my uncles found his wife through Muzmatch as well! It’s making a good track record in my family already. I also know a few girls who have had more difficult journeys than me and some have even given up. Some have taken my advice and I recommend everyone to try Muzmatch! Always have your intentions clear to Allah before signing up and constantly make dua. Istikhara and Tahajjud salah is key to successfully finding your future spouse!
Hakim – I would change the blurred images because people nowadays do not trust a lot nowadays. I would change the nationality part or expand on it – for instance I’m half-Pakistani and half-West Indian and I’m British and I couldn’t show that.
Sana – There isn’t anything that I can think of. I think it already works quite well and it has a distinct character than other Islamic marriage services. A lot of problems come from how the person uses the app rather than the functionality of the app. Use it wisely and fear Allah!
Hakim – Good job! Keep trying to improve the app technology – always needs tweaking.
Sana – JazakAllah khair for helping me to find my husband. My duas for your continued success and for Allah to make it easy for those who are on their journeys of finding half their deen. We loved our surprise gift and we love staying in touch with you and getting involved with things. I think it’s important to get rid of the stigma in the community about finding someone online, present a more positive narrative and to make the halal path easier for this generation. My experiences aren’t worthwhile if I can’t use them to benefit others.
Hakim – I think there are many problems especially in today’s society. One – parents are getting less and less involved. Another is people not actually giving potentials a chance and would rather chase a social media dream of what a relationship is rather then a real one. I could be wrong but in my experience those are big problems for Muslims.
Sana – I think it’s important for families to think ahead for their children and prioritise marriage when they recognise that their children are ready for it. Don’t delay it because of education or career or financial struggles. Even waiting for elder siblings in the family to get married first – it doesn’t always happen in order! In consequence, a lot of people are venturing out on their own to find their spouse without that vital support and end up in questionable situations. I also think that a lot of people who are looking don’t prepare in the right way because they don’t even know what they’re looking for and go with the flow. That’s not the right way to go about something as serious and permanent as marriage! People’s criteria and expectations are too rigid and perfectionist. I feel we have to still break a lot of cultural ideals and really follow the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to be successful.
Hakim – Well I don’t plan too far ahead. I just want to enjoy my life and make sure that every day I tell my wife I love her and try and make her life as magical as I possibly can.
Sana – I’m happy to have now settled in London. I always said it would take either a job or a man to bring me to the city! Now I’m just carrying on making moves in the museum sector. My priority is my husband and I will always support him and stand by his side. Our goal is simple – to live a happy, comfortable and purposeful life. We don’t need much, just the blessings of Allah (SWT).
Photocredits: Jahied Ahmed for muzmatch // Creative Director: Zain Haider Awan
Get married, free, on muzmatch.
My name is Halima and I'm from Gauteng, South Africa and my husband (Arshad) is from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa; we are both South African Indians.
He liked my profile on muzmatch on the 8th of April 2018 and on the 9th we started chatting and Alhamdulillah, today we are husband and wife.
About a month before I joined muzmatch I remember speaking to my mother in the kitchen as we cooked supper and she had full confidence that I'd be getting married soon.
I told her that I felt that maybe I'm just not meant to get married and be happy, taking into consideration that I personally felt like one could never find a decent man whose intention is to make Nikah in this day and age.
My Moulana had recommended that I join Nikah/Muslim match-making groups and muzmatch populated amongst my searches, so I downloaded the app and registered. After a while I had lost hope so I deleted the app from my phone but did not deactivate my profile.
It was a Monday morning, I had woken up to get ready for work,
I checked my phone and I had an email notification from muzmatch which read "Arshad likes you".
I was quite surprised; I looked at his profile and his biography was quite captivating but it seemed so surreal - this was too good to be true.
I used the link in his bio to view his Facebook profile, we had a mutual friend which was my cousin that also resides in Kwa-Zulu Natal, so I felt a bit more assured that this is definitely real considering that I had started to think that this could potentially be a catfish.
We started chatting that very morning and there was an instant click. It felt like we were long lost friends because of how well we understood each other and could complete each others sentences. We had the same interests and the same intention; we could speak for hours on end without running out of things to say.
We had realized that we are most definitely soulmates.
Within 2 weeks he called my parents to ask for my hand in marriage. In July 2018 (21st), I booked a flight to visit him and his mum for the day and after spending time together we knew that this was the right decision and that Allah SWT had created us for each other.
We then saw each other once again in August 2018 (25th - A surprise for my 21st birthday planned by him and my mum); and again in November 2018 when he flew up to attend my younger sister's wedding with his mum, younger sister and brother-in-law.
Slowly the long distance had become difficult, our younger sisters were both already married and settled and we started wondering when would we actually get married. In February this year he decided to relocate to Gauteng and found a temporary job.
His dad visited my parents and they decided to set a Nikah date, Alhamdulillah once the date was set everything fell into place by the will of Allah. He found a job as a PC Engineering lecturer and we were able to find our own place with our parents help and support.
Today I am happily married, living my dream with my husband and I have wonderful in-laws that love me as much as they love Arshad.
The most important quality I wanted in a husband was someone that could take my family as his own and Alhamdulillah I found that in Arshad.
We are now a huge happy family Alhamdulillah.
Jazak'Allah muzmatch! Arshad has found me due to the creation of this wonderful app (He always says that he found me, not the other way around).
I would advise everyone to put their trust and faith in Allah SWT, never give up hope that Allah SWT will send the one who is meant for you when the time is right - for Allah is the greatest of planners. May all the other individuals find their spouses through this app as well Insha'Allah.
Halima & Arshad
My name is Yasmeen and I found my husband, Taymoor, on muzmatch on the last day of last ramadan. We were both divorced.
The first time we talked on muzmatch was in June and we got married one month later in August 2018. I always wanted to send our story to inspire others who are searching for a good husband and wife.
We are both Egyptians, from Cairo, we even work & live very near to each others in New Cairo city. I am a digital marketing manager and Taymoor is an IT manager. I am 37 years old and he is 40.
I have a daughter who is 12 years old, and I was searching for a real Muslim man who would be a good husband and father. Finally I found Taymoor, who is a good man and a good Muslim, he is very kind.
I am telling my friends that I found someone who really looks like me from the inside. He was divorced and also has a kid, who is 5 years old. When we first chatted on muzmatch we spoke for over 6 hours, he was surprised much we got on, he even thought that this was a prank!
I couldn't believe that I finally found the man I was looking for. The first time we met, was after Eid al futr, in the House of Cocoa, as Taymoor knew that I loved chocolate. We talked about ourselves for over six hours, I did not want to leave and neither did he.
After we met I told my family and friends, and he did too. He and his family visited us and we got married in only two months, I never imagined that I would find my soulmate and marry him that fast.
I always wanted to find a man to trust and love, after being a single mom for years, I found out that my dream man was hard to find, but alhamdullah I found him on your app.
Alhamdullah, we are very happy together, my daughter lives with us and his son visits us on the weekends. You cannot imagine how much I am now recommending muzmatch to all my friends.
It didn't even take me long to find my husband. I used the app for almost one month or less.
I am so happy alhamdullah now that I married a real muslim I always wanted.
Get married, free, on muzmatch.
My name is Sara and I just wanted to thank muzmatch and let you know that I finally got engaged on 24th December 2018 and found my Fiance - Ghazunfar on the App.
We are really happy Alhamdulilah and just wanted to thank you for creating a platform for Muslims to find a suitable match for marriage!
I believe it's a real blessing because initially we matched but we didn't talk as he hadn't read my messages and was not appearing online. After around 4 weeks, I unmatched however after some weeks I logged in and I came across his profile again. After some giving it some thought I decided to rematch and give it a try again.
The next day he replied to me and the is history. Its been a almost a year since we matched on Muzmatch and we have set the Nikkah date which will be 1st March 2019 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Our families are very happy and we are looking forward to entering into the blessed union of marriage Insha'Allah. We just wanted to say keep up the good work, may Allah bless you and request that you keep us in prayers.
One last thing to everyone using the muzmatch App - please do not give up, there is someone out there for us all!
Get married, free, on muzmatch.