The experts at HOD talk on relationships, the marriage process and newly weds.

HOD Offline Singles Events 2016!

Half Our Deen Offline 2016 is here. New events, new cities, plenty of matches

Visit www.halfourdeen.com/offline. If you would like an event run in your state please do email us on offline@halfourdeen.com.

HalfOurDeen events are different. They aren’t like the typical Muslim-speed-dating events that herd all of the attendees into a room and force them to fend for themselves. You know there is supposed to be some type of structure and that your chance of finding an agreeable potential spouse is higher. You have heard the statistics and seen how many matches were made at every event and on our website. But knowing all of this doesn’t help to settle your stomach, as your sweaty palm turns the knob leading to what could be the best marriage event you ever attend or just another bust. (more…)

Half Our Deen now works on your phone!

Assalammu’ Alaikum,

Recently, we have made some improvements to Half Our Deen.  The new design is now mobile friendly, which means you can use it via your phone or tablet.  Although we have made some improvements to the site, we still have a lot more to do in the upcoming weeks.  We thank you for your patience.

Education vs. Marriage

A question that often arises on the road to marriage is, “Should I complete my education first or get married first?” Everyone has an opinion on the matter and there is not a universal answer to it as every person, and situation, is different. However, there are a few points to take into consideration when you are contemplating this question.

1) While intellectual compatibility is important, that does not necessarily translate to having the same number of degrees or years of study. Just because a person has had more (or less) schooling than you does not necessarily mean that you are not intellectually compatible. Instead of writing someone off because they don’t have the right level of education speak to them and see if perhaps you are both on the same intellectual level.

2) Getting married does not necessarily mean the end of your education. A lot of singles (particularly sisters) feel they have to make a choice between either marriage or education. While, it is true, that getting married does add more responsibility to your plate it can also motivate you to take your studies more seriously and complete them faster. If you are interested in getting married but aren’t sure how education will fit into your married life, discuss it with your potential other half. You can even outline a plan together beforehand.

3) It is possible to afford both marriage and education. Pursuing higher education can actually be more affordable after marriage. There is more financial aid available to married couples than singles. Financial aid is also calculated just on the income of you and your spouse, without your parents, so you are more likely to qualify. You will also learn to be more responsible with your money as you have a spouse and a future together to look forward to.

There is no doubt that education plays an important role in our lives. It is a means of growing for us as people as well as way to improve our economic status. Education should be pursued however we should also keep in mind that learning occurs not only in school but throughout our lives. Pursuing higher education should not come at the expense of other things we want in life. Instead, we should find a way to reconcile between the things that matter to us and approach it from a practical angle. We should also take the time to learn about other people instead of dismissing them based on their level of schooling.

Eid Mubarak 2013!

Eid Mubaarak!

We pray that you had a blessed and fulfilling Ramadan and a joyful Eid.

Ramadan was a month of mercy and a time to grow closer to Allah (swt). It was also an excellent time to continue making duaa to find your other half. During Ramadan there are many times when supplications are accepted so hopefully you took full advantage of them! Now that the month of supplication has concluded it is time to refocus on your search for your other half.

We have been busy here at Halfourdeen.com rolling out a few new updates over the past month.  One of the new features we now have is that everyone is required to fully fill out their profile. Many members have complained in the past that users would sign up and keep their profile rather bare. This made it difficult for the other members to learn more about them. As such, anyone who has not filled out their profile will be prompted to do so prior to accessing the rest of the site. All surveys must be completed and a minimum of 300 characters must be in both the “About Me” and “About My Spouse” fields.  It is our hope that this update will allow all users a fair insight into each other.

Additionally, we are working on developing new features for the site that will be added in the coming months. One of these features is the much sought after private photos! Insha Allah, once this feature is added users will have the ability to hide their photos and share certain only with people they are interested in.

We have also been busy running a few offline events in the past couple of months. Our last three events were held on the East Coast, in Chicago, Boston, and New York. These events had a combined total of 180 attendees resulting in 54 matches! We are beyond excited to have helped more than 100 people find their potential other half.

InshaAllah, we will be having more offline events all over the country in the coming months. The upcoming events will be held in:
New York – November 2013. Sign Up Here
Virginia – TBD
Atlanta – November 23 2013. Sign Up Here
Los Angeles – November 2013 (Thanksgiving Weekend). Sign Up Here
Chicago – December 2013 (Xmas Weekend).  Sign Up Here

For more information on these events, and others, be sure to visit www.halfourdeen.com/offline

May this Ramadan have been a fruitful one for you and your family and a means of bringing you closer to finding your other half. May you spend next Eid with the spouse of your dreams.  Aaameen

Moving Forward :)

As-salam-alaikum,
Alhamdulillah Half Our Deen is reaching our 3 year anniversary on July 10th InshAllah.  Although we have over 500+ success stories and 2500+ Active Members, we are constantly working on making the site better.   One of those improvements is making the overall member experience better by providing more content within member profiles. In our last update we focused more on profiles and have set a minimum profile limit so members can have more complete profiles. As you can imagine, it is very hard to learn about someone when the only content on their profile is “will tell you later” or “message me”.  Sometimes you need to read about the person and the more descriptive the profile, the more a person can learn about you. Research has shown that full and comprehensive profiles have a higher chance of being messaged and/or liked. Since we are all here for the same intention, marriage, we encourage our members to post real photos of themselves. While mosques, flowers and sunsets are something to marvel at, nothing can set the tone better than a presentable photo of yourself. We assure you that your privacy is extremely important to us and we take the right precautions to make sure it stays that way, InshAllah.
We appreciate your patience and support
Baba Ali

Getting Overly Attached

The search for your other half is an extremely personal journey filled with ups, downs, and a lot of hard choices. Making these tough choices can be hard even when you are able to keep an objective mind. Once you allow yourself to think with your heart instead of head it becomes harder to distinguish between the right and wrong decisions.

Islam has set clear guidelines for how to interact with the opposite gender and even how to approach them when you are interested in them for marriage. While these guidelines may seem stringent they are there to protect you from the inevitable heartache that accompanies the search for a partner as well as to help keep you objective when deciding who you would like to spend the rest of your life with.

One of the mistakes that a lot of people make is not asking the hard questions first. They decide that they need to get to know the person first before they are comfortable asking some of their deal breaker questions.  The problem with this approach is that by the time you get to ask a make it or break it question you are already emotionally invested in the other person and find it much harder to move on, even once you have realized they are not the right fit for you.

In order to avoid this rough aspect of the spouse search here are a few guidelines to help you stay within the boundaries of Islam and avoid becoming overly attached before the time is right.

1)      When meeting with a potential spouse or exchanging correspondence make sure to have someone else privy to the conversation. It is less likely that the conversation will steer off topic and become more personal when you know someone else is also listening/reading it.

2)      Make a list of your deal breaker questions and ask them first. If there are certain aspects that you can’t budge on make sure to get them out of the way before you waste both of your times.  Encourage the other person to do the same.

3)      Keep your conversations to the point. There is no need to share all of your childhood memories and everything that happens during your day now. Save these amazing stories to tell your spouse later on. Not only will it keep you focused on the important matters now it will ensure that you have fodder for all the conversations you will have after you are married. And if the person turns out not to be right for you then you wouldn’t have shared the personal and cherished conversations with them—which can make it harder to move on.

The beginning of a relationship is an exciting time. It is easy to focus on how you feel, letting that guide your decisions, instead of thinking rationally about how you should conducting yourself. The important thing to remember is that one of the blessings of Islam is that only your spouse gets to share the special moments of a relationship with you. It’s up to you to ensure that happens by only investing emotionally once you have cleared out any doubts that this person is the right one for you.

Setting Expectations from the Start

Newlyweds in the early stages of falling in love often find themselves going above and beyond for their spouses. A wife may try to make elaborate meals and husband might return home each night with a surprise for her. While this is admirable and it can foster love between the spouses it is also impractical.

Throughout a marriage spouses should try their hardest to please each other and do nice things for one another. However, if they overextend themselves not only will they eventually burn out they will also leave the other spouse with expectations that are too high.  Instead, from the beginning of the relationship both spouses should talk over and set a precedence of how they view the rest of their lives together being.

If a wife would eventually like her husband to take on some household responsibilities, such as helping her with the vacuuming once a week, then she should let that be known from the start. Instead, most will happily take on all the household chores by themselves until they are tired of it at which point they will snap and state that the husband “never helps”. When the reality is in the beginning of the marriage when he offered to help they would turn him down and he got the impression that was not something he needed to contribute in.

The same applies to a husband, if he has certain expectations of his wife they should be established from the beginning. If these expectations are not discussed and acted on from the start it will be much harder to change them later. It is easier to create a habit than to change a habit.

Don’t keep it bottled up

Another two weeks will mark the 5th anniversary of Ahmad and Asmaa’s wedding. They have two kids, a nice house, and what everyone assumes is a happy marriage. They go to community events, have gatherings with their couple friends every other week, and play dates for the kids once a week. Ahmad works full time to make sure his family has everything they need and Asmaa makes sure the house is in decent shape, the kids are taken care of, and a delicious dinner is on the table each night.

Ahmad comes home late, exhausted, all he wants is to sit down and eat something while he zones out on his phone checking the basketball scores. Asmaa finally got the kids to bed and is hoping for an adult conversation. When she sees Ahmad isn’t up for it she decides to head to the kitchen and see what needs to be done. Less than a minute later she remarks “Ahmad, the garbage is starting to stink. You promised to take it out yesterday. You think you will have time in your oh so busy schedule to get it done tonight?”. He responds in a snarky tone, “Can you just shut up about the garbage and let me eat in peace for once?”

These comments set a chain reaction in motion with each one beginning to list every action and habit the other does that they can not stand. Each accusation becomes more hurtful and loud than the previous. They part ways an hour later. Broken, resentful, unsure of what to do next.

Underneath it all Asmaa is feeling unappreciated. While she knows her husband works hard for the family she wishes he would acknowledge the effort she brings to the table. She longs for the times when he would spend hours talking to her and making her feel like she was his whole world. On the other hand Ahmad thinks his love and appreciation  for her is made obvious by all the hard work he is putting in. He longs for the days where she wasn’t as needy and didn’t nag about taking the trash out but instead did it herself if he forgot. He wishes she was more appreciative of what he brings to the table. They both wish things could go back to how it was when the weight of the world wasn’t on their shoulders and they still gave each other butterflies with every look.

Although this particular set of events is pure fiction it is an all too common reality in our communities these days. Spouses are so focused on the day to day of their lives that they don’t take the time to truly communicate how the changes in their relationship make them feel and how to deal with it. Instead, they bottle up all their annoyances with their spouse and sweep it under the rug until it all explodes and the mess, is sometimes, too big to clean up.

In order for a relationship to grow and flourish the lines of communication have to be open. Both spouses need to commit time and effort to really listen to how the other feels and accept it. Just because you feel that you give your spouse enough attention does not mean they agree—and that’s ok! After all no two people are created exactly the same and everyone has their own emotions and feelings.

Marriage is the cornerstone of our communities. They will produce the next generation. And they are worth working on and fighting for. While there are many steps that can be taken to support couples and help them make it work the simplest, and first, thing that needs to happen is for both of them to be open and honest with each other.

Being Ready for Marriage

During your journey to find your other half everyone will have an opinion on how ready you truly are for marriage. Your parents may tell you that if you want a spouse you need to find a better job first. A friend might make an off handed comment about how you should be more organized if you are serious about getting married. Maybe they think you should take better care of your appearance or start taking the deen more seriously.

While everyone will have an opinion of what you should or shouldn’t do in order to be ready for this life altering occasion the truth is no matter how prepared  you think you are for marriage it will take you by surprised. Every relationship will come with it’s own unique set of of extreme joys and trials. Just because they are speaking from experience does not mean your experience will mirror theirs. There is no check list that you can go through to ensure you will know how to respond.  That is why getting ready for this momentous occasion will be different for everyone.

The best thing you can do as you await your other half is to begin doing everything you put off doing till you found (or dreamed of doing with) your spouse. Take an inventory of the important aspects of your life such as your education, your deen, your happiness. Identify the goals you hope to achieve in each and begin to aspire to them.

If you had always desired to continue further in your education go ahead and apply to universities or grad schools. If you hope to wake up for fajr every morning, set your alarm across the room from now instead of waiting for someone else to be by your side to wake you up. If you have always wished to take a trip to a new country each year start now—the stories you will have to tell your future spouse will be priceless.

As much as you love to share your life with your spouse and as much as they  make you a better person you have to start on your goals yourself. By doing so you will be more content, happy, and have healthier relationships. As you search for your other half, begin to create the life you want to share with them instead of waiting for them to appear in your life to give you a push in the right direction.