How I Met Your Brother (in Islam) # 3: Cyber-love

A lot of people, Muslim and non-Muslim, tinker with the idea of meeting a partner online. Everyone’s heard of RSVP and eHarmony, but many Muslims have also heard of Half Our Deen and Pure Matrimony. If you haven’t, check out this video from Pure Matrimony for an example of how it works:

But there’s still a stigma attached to trying your hand at these sites. It’s often seen as a last resort, something you only do when you’re getting ‘desperate’. For many people, the idea of getting to putting yourself out there in such a proactive manner is undignified. They also worry about the caliber of people on these sites, surmising that only ‘desperate’ (that word again) people would be on there.

I’ve always been intrigued by this method of meeting a partner. It’s fascinating to see how these services try to cater for Islamic sensibilities, such as by having a feature where the woman’s wali can also be registered on the website. (Three’s a party, right?) Some Muslims I’ve heard of have even signed up for sites not specific to Muslims, such as RSVP, and I’m reliably informed that there are plenty of Muslims on there. Again, the perception of there not being enough guys to go around has led many girls to consider this option more so than they would have in the past, though not many will admit to it in public.

In this spirit, here’s a tale of a sister who found her naseeb on the interwebs.

1.) How and when did you first meet your husband? What were your first impressions of each other?

Husband and I met via a muslim matching website (the new black!). I remember thinking, there’s got to be someone else in Sydney or surrounds who is looking for a partner and is struggling via traditional means. I created profile, had a good look around the site (and a few laughs I must admit). Nothing much happened, and then about 6 months later, I get an email. And the rest is history, Muslim dating style. First impression, based on the short email I received, was that he was funny. And refreshingly to the point.

2.) How did you guys commence getting to know each other? (I.e. who expressed interest and how it was conveyed)

After that we swapped some emails. I remember I was quite jaded about the whole muslim dating scene at the time I received the first email. I thought, okay I’m gonna have some fun with this. I shot back a sharp and sarcastic response and signed off with an internet name. I actually think this caught his interest, because he certainly dished it back to me! I think we both were honest with each other from the get go. I made it clear that I didn’t join a muslim site to find friends. And he was the same. I think as the emails became more honest and flirtatious (within halal bounds :P) we knew there was interest on both ends.

3.) How did you get to know each other? (i.e. phone, email etc)

It all happened pretty quickly. We went from email, to instant messenger (oh many an hour spent on that medium), and then within a few weeks, we met up in person. First time was crazy – felt like I had to get to know him all over again. But by the second time we sort of fell into a groove. I had to remind myself that I did in fact know this person and so became more comfortable.

4.) How long did you get to know each other before you got married?

We did katb kitab in about 3 months, and the wedding followed 2 months later.

5.) What were the main obstacles, if any, as you got to know each other?

One obstacle was distance – he lived quite a bit away from me. After our KK we tried to meet as much as possible post work. So there were long drives involved. We made it easier by meeting half way. Other obstacles were ones I’m sure a lot of people have experienced, such as being 100% honest with each other in terms of expectations. It can be difficult to navigate the more serious issues while you’re in that silly romantic period

6.) When were you certain that you wanted to get married to each other?

It’s hard to pinpoint an actual time. I’d say I felt comfortable with the thought of marriage pretty early on in the piece. And the rest felt a bit like a whirlwind. One minute I was single, the next I was hitched!

7.) Did you have a social engagement before your wedding reception? (i.e. some kind of party/exchange of rings)

We exchanged rings at our KK party, which was hosted with close family.

8.) Did you do nikkah before your wedding reception? If yes, then what influenced your decision to do so? If not, was there any reason you decided to leave it until the wedding reception?

Yes we did do a nikkah. We did this firstly because we felt ready. I was in my mid 20s and he was in his late and we felt we were ready to take on this step. Also for practicality reasons – we wanted to be alone together, travel together. Makes wedding planning that much easier.

9.) Do you have any advice for single people on the process of meeting someone/getting to know someone?

Trust your gut. If something feels “off”, ask yourself why. If you feel comfortable, don’t second guess it. Be open, be honest, be prepared to put yourself out there. Make dua every step of the way.

Would you ever consider meeting someone online for marriage? Why/why not?

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