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Our Mixed Race Marriage #muzmatchsuccess

Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah and the muzmatch team!

I'm from Indonesia and my husband is from Germany, but he is Russian.

What a blessing it is to have a mixed raced marriage!

I knew my husband from muzmatch since May 2017 and then he visited Indonesia in November 2017. I didn't believe he was serious until he visited me and my family.

Months later, I flew to Germany and found work there because I wanted to be close to him.

I was in love.

Finally on 28 Dec 2018, we had our nikkah which fell on the last Jumu'ah of the month and in March 2019 we got officially married.

Thank you to the muzmatch team!

1 month ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.

Tawakkul and the art of dating yourself: 7 ways to make the most of being single

"My alone feels so good, I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude."

― Warsan Shire

Amid the hustle and bustle of modern life, in between demanding jobs and family duties, creating quiet time for ourselves has become something of a luxury. In a world that seems to place so much value on relationships and being in a couple, it's easy to forget how rewarding our single years can be. Whether you're single, engaged, or divorced, remember that you don't need a partner to enjoy the gift of life that Allah has given you. Trusting in Allah's plan is about accepting where we are in the present and submitting to the qadr of Allah.

If you plan it right, your single years can be some of the most rewarding times of your life.

Tawakkul, in short, means to rely on Allah as a source of our strength. Having tawakkul is learning to accept that Allah's plan is greater than ours. In the context of marriage, worrying about who we will end up with whilst we're still single has no benefit and robs us from enjoying our lives at present. Having tawakkul is empowering as it allows us to wilfully surrender to the power of Allah and trust that he will align us with the most suitable spouse.

Step one: pray, pray, pray and pray some more. Learn how to pray salat-al-istikhara and make it a routine in your life.

Next, learn to date yourself. Yes, date yourself. Dating yourself isn't about accepting a life of loneliness; it's about getting to know who you are as a person, what you want, and ultimately what you stand for.

Here are 7 activities you can do solo dolo

Wander around an art gallery or museum

The quietness of a museum is a great place to reflect and just be still. You can learn a lot about the local history of your area, or the history of a completely different place altogether. It’s the perfect place to stay plugged in about current affairs and feel connected to something greater. Most museums and galleries have a cafe or somewhere quiet you can enjoy a hot drink. You can also purchase a souvenir to remember the day, or a book from the museum’s gift shop.

Check out the app Art Rabbit for listings on art exhibitions worldwide, including free ones!

Surround yourself in nature

Being at one with nature is one of the best ways to remind ourselves of the beauty and intricacy of Allah’s universe. It’s also a good way to introduce moments of reflection into your usual routine. Living in the city is no excuse! You can find a local park to sit and read, stroll by a river, or visit a city garden.

Join a weekend or evening class

Single or not, it’s always a good time to invest in your knowledge and skills. Most cities and towns have institutions which run weekend or evening courses on topics from art, history, literature, languages, and more.

You can also join an online course on sites such as Skillshare which operates worldwide, allowing you to learn from teachers from all around the world from the comfort of your home

Your single years are also the perfect time to study the rites of marriage and ensure that you are prepared for married life. Check if your local mosques offer courses in marriage rites. Alternatively, discover Muslim Central for curated podcasts and lectures on a marriage, including the fiqh of nikah.

Take yourself to a new restaurant

No need to check if anyone else is free or where they'd like to eat. Put yourself first by clearing some time in your calendar and reserving a table for one in that restaurant you've always wanted to try.

Volunteer for a charitable cause

Volunteering your time and skills to a charitable cause is also a form of sadaqah. You don’t have to offer great big chunks of your time, simply offer what you can for a cause you care about. The benefits of volunteering are endless; you’ll meet new people, learn new skills, and invest wisely in your akhirah.

Start a bullet journal

Bullet journals are becoming more and more popular these days. With so many styles and formats to choose from, you are sure to find something that suits your style of planning. It's a therapeutic way to keep on top of your goals, track your daily to-do list, and let out your thoughts. Find a chunk of time in your day, morning or night, to reflect on your notes and doodles.

Pamper yourself

Our body is an amanah (something Allah has trusted us with) so we should take care of it. That also includes our mental health. Sometimes all you need is a couple of hours to groom yourself whether that’s going to the hairdressers or making your own d.i.y face mask. Beautifying ourselves for non other than Allah is an act of worship. Looking our best on the outside can help us feel better inside too.

1 day ago

What I've Learned From Halal Dating As A Divorcee

Written by Nailah Patten

From a respected family, never been married and have no kids.


Why?! I hear you ask - because as a divorcee this reads completely differently to me. Instead I imagine a dinner table of judgemental faces, looks of distain as it becomes clear I am certainly not Asian or Arab, not a virgin, no. I am even worse. I am a divorcee - with a child!

Dating as a divorcee is complicated, whilst you have come to terms with the fact your marriage has ended, you find yourself having to explain the situation to others, not only others, but essentially - strangers.

After the initial pain, and disappointment you pull yourself together ready to again embark on a search for ‘the other half of your Deen’. I tentatively set up a dating profile - a few I will admit. I thought best about how to sell myself, as a convert, as a black woman and now as a divorcee with a child. As a convert, I had become accustomed to potential suitors patronisingly questioning my faith, and constantly wondering whether I would turn back to my old ways and abandon Islam all together. 10 years on the answer is still…no.

As a Black Muslim, I had become accustomed to being fetishized, and seen as this foreign sexual object. What I didn’t expect was now for none of this to be the problem! I was no longer a convert, or a Black Muslim, I was just – A DIVORCEE. Now the same question plagued my inbox, whether young or old, divorced themselves or not, converts or not repeatedly I heard:

“So why did you get divorced?”

No Salam, no what are your likes and dislikes, favourite colour? (no matter how much I despise this question). No interest shown in me AT ALL.

Immediately you become defensive. Wondering if anyone genuinely wants to get to know you, or just wants to hear a juicy story? (The story really is not that juicy by the way). I suspected most asked to figure out who to blame, me or him. Ironically I had never blamed either of us, we were just incompatible.

Second, Third or Fourth?

So, with my new status as a divorcee came not only new questions, but new agendas. Whilst I was perhaps used goods and not on par for a ‘never been married no kids’ kind of guy, I was perfect for the latter.

“The I’m looking for a second, third, fourth wife” kind of guy.

Suddenly, I was inundated with requests from Pakistan, the US, Saudi Arabia all promising me riches if I would agree to be a second, third or fourth wife- my child would be welcome of course. Now, it wasn’t the invitation to polygamy, or to live in a hot country that put me off.  It was the reaction when I declined. How could I Mrs. Divorced possibly believe anyone else would have me? Did I really think I could do better than polygamy now?

Hell yes. Polygamy was not my preference before being a divorcee, and a failed relationship was not going to make me lower that standard, regardless of how others now perceived me. I saw that not only was I now the undesirable choice, but so undesirable others expected me to know this and adjust my expectations. I refused, I carried as much worth and value as I did before a divorce.

Divorce Gave Me Depth

Unwillingly I answered most who asked, I received neither good nor bad feedback on my story- now they just knew a part of me. They didn’t seem to make any judgments, or want my reflections or realisations off the back of this life experience.

What I realised was that a majority of people who asked, had no intentions of getting to know me, it was simply intrigue. Whilst I repeated my story again and again, I didn’t just see a failed marriage. I saw that others didn’t have the substance, the depth and experiences I had gained by being in a long term committed relationship. I came across brothers who had no real concept of love, had never been loved. I came across brothers who simply saw marriage as a contract, not a life- long friendship and partnership. I came across men who being honest -just simply weren’t ready for a relationship let alone a marriage.

I suddenly realised that although it had not worked out, I had a plethora of emotional, life and relationship skills I could use to make better decisions and be a better partner. After a while, I realised that what everyone saw as my shortcoming, was actually my strength. What others saw as a failed relationship was a huge learning curve. Now unlike half of my counterparts I had deep insight into myself, what I brought to the table and most importantly not only what I wanted- but what I needed in a spouse.

Let’s Be Honest

Perhaps the most ironic part about dating as a Muslim divorcee, is that the label is what brings the stigma. Young Muslims are dating, cohabiting, having long-term relationships and splitting up too. Muslims, who haven’t been married, have also made the wrong choices, been with somebody incompatible, and had to make the decision to leave. But, without the label of marriage comes no label of divorce.

I realised that a majority of us had experienced this heartache, the letting go of a relationship with a significant other, and that there was no judgment only sympathy- until it was a divorce.

Now I’m honest with myself and others about what being a divorcee means, it does not separate you from the rest or make you less desirable. Instead it equips you, you become a more directional person knowing what you can and can’t live with.

Divorce has equipped me in ways being unmarried, single, or dating never had and never could.

After my divorce I didn't crumble, instead I became very practical and reflective, I wrote a list of every disagreement, every problem, every red flag. I realised it was a list of questions I should have asked!

And so, I wrote 101 Questions to ask your potential spouse. This book seeks to bring together all the questions we think of and forget to ask someone in the lead up to marriage.

101 Questions to ask your potential Muslim spouse covers Islam, personality, history, expectations, and lifestyle. This text seeks to help with the unique dating experience we have as Muslims.

Nailah Patten author of 101 Questions To Ask Your Potential Muslim Spouse, buy now on Amazon!

10 days ago

Meeting The Parents? Here's What NOT To Do

So you've been speaking to someone on muzmatch for a few weeks, maybe met up for a halal date or two and you might be thinking it's time to get the parents involved. Meeting the parents can be a nerve wracking experience, especially when you know they might very soon become your future in-laws! Navigating through halal dating is hard enough but adding parents in the mix definitely makes it even harder.

Don't... Leave It Too Late

If you've been chatting to someone and you really think they might be the one you want to marry, it's better to get the parents involved as quickly as possible. Arrange a meeting with each other's parents at least within the first few months of getting to know each other. You can make sure that everyone's on the same page before things escalate and you get too attached only to find out you and his family don't get along (although this isn't necessarily a deal breaker!) But also it'll make them feel involved, and like they've been given importance in the decision which chances are is all they really want you know?

Don't... Ignore Culture

Cultural differences within a marriage can be a beautiful thing; just read this muzmatch success story of an Indonesian woman and Russian man's journey if you need proof. Yet, this doesn't mean you should be ignorant about your partner's culture when meeting their parents. Each culture has its nuances. From South Asians to Arabs to British, each family will have their own set of traditions and customs that they follow. Make sure you ask your partner or have a quick google of typical things that you should expect so that you don't end up like this guy.

Don't... Dress Like a Slob

While you should be yourself and stay true to who you are, you need to still make an effort. I'd love to show up everywhere wearing leggings and a baggy jumper but in some situations it's just not appropriate in some situations, especially when meeting the parents. Something smart casual is always a safe bet, but it's also a good idea to ask your partner what type of things their parents tend to wear and then just go off that. And remember, modesty always goes a long way.

Don't... Forget Your Manners

Bring a gift, compliment their home, ask if you can help out with anything. These may sound like common sense things but it can be easy to forget when you're already super nervous. Also don't have your phone out at the dinner table or talk over the family. Remember to be respectful and really listen to what they have to say. It's all about getting to know them after all, and them getting to know you!

Don't... Ignore What Your Partner Tells You

Your partner is going to be your most important source of information when meeting their parents. Because, well, no one knows them better than their own child. So do your homework and find out if his mum likes flowers or chocolates, what does his dad like to talk about, are their any no-go topics like certain family issues. Finding out these things can really make your life easier and make the meeting go much smoother.

Don't... Over Think It

At the end of the day, they love their son/daughter and will most likely be happy with whoever makes their child happy. So even though it can be a really scary experience, just remember that and you'll be fine! Now it's time to read here to find out how to become nikkah ready inside out!

10 days ago