Muslim Matchmaking Tips

Live Call with Baba Ali…Coming Soon

Assalamu alaikum

Quick heads up.  Alhamdulillah we’ve gotten amazing feedback from the launch of the Muslim Marriage Movement and clearly there is lots of work to do.  I wanted to give you a heads up to look out for a special LIVE call Baba Ali that we will be doing very soon in shaa Allah. (more…)

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.

How Half Our Deen online and offline work together

One of the common questions we get asked about the Half Our Deen offline events is why is it necessary to have an online account with Half Our Deen to attend? If the point of attending is to find your match why then would you require an online account and profile. While it is a reasonable question to ask the connection between HOD online and HOD offline is one of the reasons these offline events have a much higher success rate than other Muslim matchmaking events.

The main reason that we require this is to continue Half Our Deen‘s commitment to the privacy of our members. By having everyone registered online it eliminates the need to give out private email addresses or phone numbers. It also eliminates the awkwardness associated with asking someone for their contact details and risking the chance of being rejected or giving out your private email address and number to someone that you aren’t really interested in just to be polite.

At the end of every offline event each attendee is asked to write down up to 5 people they would be interested in getting to know more about. Once these cards are handed in mutual matches are identified and emailed to the participants. Once they have the user names of the matches with whom interest was reciprocated they can go to their profile, answer the questions on it, or even send them questions to answer. If they feel that there is more there to pursue they can continue communication but if they don’t feel it is the right person for them they can simply click on “I’d rather fast“ and never have to hear from them again!

Another added bonus of registering online is that you will have access to the more than 2000 active profiles that are registered. This way, even if you don’t find your ideal match at the offline event you still have a great chance of finding your other half through Half Our Deen.

The importance of asking personal questions when looking to get married.

A typical Muslim matrimonial website barely scratches the surface when it comes to details that are vital to showing who you are and what you are looking for in a spouse. The questions generally revolve around superficial topics such as how much you weigh and how tall you are. While this information could be intriguing to a potential suitor the reality is they do not express enough about your goals for life, wants for the future, ideals for raising children, or what a compatible spouse for you would be.

The focus at Half Our Deen is to dig deeper and allow the couples to match up not only based on who they could be attracted to but also who they could lead a fulfilling life with. The personality quizzes help set a baseline for who would seem the most compatible for you but at the end of the day the only way to truly know is to view their profile, read through their information, and respond to any questions they may have posted. Not only do your answers help them learn about you by responding to their questions you are able to infer what is important to them and have the opportunity to counter with your own inquiry.

Answering the personal questions on Half Our Deen, whether the general ones on every profile such as “About Me” and “Who I’m looking for”, or the more detailed questions that others post to their profiles is the best way to increase your chances of finding a match on Half Our Deen. These answers are the first impression that a potential match will have of you. So take the time to think through your answer and insure that it is an honest representation of yourself.

Sharing a candid imagine of who you are online may not be the easiest task. However, the same way you are trusting that others are representing themselves honestly they are trusting that you are doing the same. You want to find a spouse that compliments who you are, not who you think they want you to be. So spend an extra few minutes going over your answers or even have a friend take a look at it and give you feedback in order to insure that you are putting forward a true reflection of who you are.

Having an Open Mind

Getting married is a huge, life changing, event. We can spend years searching for the perfect person to be our other half. And for some of us, we’ve spent even longer dreaming about who this person will be. We’ve imagined every single detail about him/her and we plan on settling for nothing less than the ideal version of a spouse that we have conjured up. Considering how much this person will impact our lives, why should we?

Allah (swt) controls the matters of the heart and it truly is beautiful to see it in progress. The whole reason we got into Muslim Matchmaking was to do our part in helping the Ummah pair up! Hearing the success stories of those who found their other halves through HOD is beyond rewarding. You would be surprised to hear how many of these stories begin with; “I would have never thought of considering this person due to age/race/relocation issues but I can not be happier that I did”. By keeping an open mind and taking a chance on someone who did not seem to be the ideal match at first they were able to see deeper into who the person really is; ultimately finding their ideal spouse.

This is not to say that preferences do not matter when looking for a spouse. However, getting to know someone offers you insight into them that simple statistics on paper can not provide. So for example, on paper you might dismiss someone because they do not fall into the ideal age bracket for you. Instead, had you given them a chance and gotten to know them you might find that they are compatible with you and the fact that they are slightly older/younger than what you had in mind does not bother you as much as you thought it would. The same thing can be said for any number of characteristics that are used to determine who a valid match may be.

The truth is, when it comes to matters of the heart there is no way to predetermine where it will lead us. A lot of times chemistry and compatibility can be found with the most unlikely of suitors. And while, no one should ever marry someone they are not attracted to or do not feel is right for them they should likewise never turn a person down simply because they do not seem to line up with the image they have set. Instead, one should give them a chance. Get to know them. And who knows you may be surprised to find out that you have more in common than you could have imagined.

How to message someone you are interested in

One of the common concerns that we have received is “I send out a bunch of messages but no one responds. What am I doing wrong?!” One user told us that they have tried shortening the messages, or making them longer and including more details, but hasn’t been able to find a formula that yields consistent results. When it comes to initiating contact and messaging users on a Muslim matrimonial website such as Half Our Deen there are two points of view that need to be considered; the senders and the receivers.

For a sender the decision to contact another user is often a hard one to make. The nervous about being rejected or worse ignored! They aren’t sure if they are sharing enough about themselves or if they are making a fool out of themselves. Since writing the initial message is a hard task here are a few points to consider.

1) There is no right or wrong way to formulate a message. What matters most is that you stick to your tone of voice and try to express yourself as you normally would instead of making the tone more serious or quirky than you really are in hopes of it appealing to the receiver. If you aren’t sure about how your message reads ask a family member or friend to read it for you and get their feedback.

2) Less is often more in these situations. Just as you wouldn’t tell your full life story to someone the first time you meet them you shouldn’t do it in the first message. Getting to know someone is a gradual process and overloading them with information at one time can be off putting.

3) Be straight forward and make sure to include a question for them to respond to. If your message says “Salaam! My name is Fatima/Ahmed. I’m 27 and live in Toronto. Take care!” the receiver might not know what do with that message and disregard it. Whereas, if your message clearly says “I viewed your profile, responded to your questions, and I feel we could be a good match. Would you like to get to know each other better? “ the receiver has a clear question to respond to and knows what your stance is.

4) Be patient and don’t be disheartened if you don’t received a response right away. There are many reasons that someone may not respond and it more than likely has nothing to do with what you wrote in your message. It could be as simple as they haven’t logged onto Half Our Deen in a while.

That being said if you are on the receiving end of a message there are etiquette you should follow as well. The greatest of them being to respond! It took guts for the other person to initiate and now it is your turn to be respectful and answer them. If you aren’t interested simply say that. Contrary to what some might think ignoring a message is not letting the other person down easy. Infact it will probably hurt their feelings more than a kindly worded rejection. If the reason you haven’t responded is you find the person appealing but its not the right time for you to pursue them tell them that. Whatever your response is they want to hear it so don’t leave them hanging.

Regardless if you are the sender or the responder it important to remember that as Muslims we should treat others with kindness, respect, and as we would like to be treated.

The Power of Istikhara

One of the most powerful duaas that we have been given as Muslims is also one that we often overlook; The Duaa of Istikhara. What exactly is this duaa? It is a duaa that the prophet Muhammad (saws) gave us to use specifically when we are faced with making a decision in our life. And, while, we usually use this duaa for the really important ones like choosing which job to accept, what college to go to, or who to marry, it can be used for any choice that we are faced with. Hence The Power of Istikhara

Performing this duaa will only take five minutes of your time however the results can be profound. So how exactly should this duaa be performed?
On the authority of Jaabir Ibn ‘Abdullah he said: The Prophet (S) would instruct us to pray for guidance in all of our concerns, just as he would teach us a chapter from the Qur’an. He (S) would say ‘if any of you intends to undertake a mater then let him pray two supererogatory units (two rak’ah naafilah) of prayer and after which he should supplicate:

‘O Allaah, I seek Your counsel by Your knowledge and by Your power I seek strength and I ask You from Your immense favour, for verily You are able while I am not and verily You know while I do not and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allaah, if You know this affair -and here he mentions his need- to be good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and end, then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it, and if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it , and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such.’

Now, while using this duaa when looking to get married is meant to help us in our decision making process it does not mean that we will get a vivid dream about the person we should marry or a clear sign. Instead, by making this duaa we are acknowledging that Allah (swt) knows what is best for us, His plan will lead us to what is right for us in this life, and that with His help if this person is the one that we should marry then He will make the path to marriage easy for us. Some people may feel that they have a clear sign while others don’t. Either way your istikhara will work for you.

We must be sincere when using this duaa and not use it with the hope of a specific outcome. You may feel this person is the one for you but only Allah (swt) knows who will truly be a compatible spouse for you. So go into this process with an open heart ready to accept what Allah (swt) has planned for you. No matter how we feel Allah (swt) has a better plan and will guide you to someone who is right for you.

Being a Better You

One of the topics that comes up a lot when marriage is discussed is how it will help you be a better person. How after marriage half your deen will be completed and you will be more whole. And while this is true, to a certain extent, this improvement and development needs to begin before marriage.

The best way to find a spouse that will bring love and happiness into your life is to strive to be the best version of you or by being a better you. What is important here is that you don’t strive to be the version you think others will be most interested in. Instead, you stop trying to be something your not and focus on improving who you really are.

If there are people in your life that influence you in the wrong way or who do not bring out the good in you, now would be the time to distance yourself from them. This can be an extremely hard task however it is an important step in freeing yourself from negative influences in your past and allowing yourself to grow and mature. It is also a step in the right direction in putting yourself first and focusing on what will help you succeed.

In order to succeed in a future relationship you have to to forgive yourself for past mistakes and not be afraid to make more. No human is perfect. If you expect perfection from yourself and constantly compete with others you will never be satisfied with what you have accomplished. So let go of your ideals of perfection. Embrace the challenges that are thrown at you. Use them as learning experiences instead of potential failures.

Learn to take a break and enjoy the small moments in life. It’s amazing how much happiness you can gain by appreciating actions or experiences that may otherwise be overlooked. Society teaches us that happiness comes from materialistic things and other people, whereas the reality is if you are not happy with yourself you will not be happy with anything.

Above all else, be grateful to Allah (swt) for all the blessings in your life. Just the fact that you woke up today seeing is more than many others can say. So, stop worrying and stressing and instead put your trust in Allah (swt). And continue working on yourself until your other half comes along!

Half Our Deen Offline Events Coming to a City Near You!

 

Here at Half Our Deen it is our goal to change the face of Muslim matchmaking both on and offline. We take a look at how things are normally done then come up with a way that makes it more efficient, private, and successful, with help of Allah (swt). Alhamdulilah, our past 4 offline events have been a great success and we are getting ready to launch a few more in the coming months. But before we get to that what is a Half Our Deen offline event?

A typical Muslim matchmaking get together is set up in the same was as speed dating. You speak to a person for 5 minutes, ask as many questions as you can, and then debate whether to give them your contact information or not. By the end of the night you might have a list of names and numbers of people you really don’t know much about. Not only that, the only way you can find out more about them is to get in touch with each and every one of them.

Half Our Deen offline turns these awkward matchmaking events into one that brings results, and here is how:

1- We keep our events private. Only people who have registered and paid are told the location of the event. You will have no drop ins or uninvited guests.

2- Everyone who registers is required to fill out a survey about themselves. This survey helps us place you with potential matches that are compatible.

3- One of the first activities we do at the event is a personality test. Everyone will get a sticker that shows what type they are to go on their name tag. This way you can learn about them without having to even say a word. There will also be more activities throughout the night to get to know each other better.

4- Everyone at the event is required to have a Half Our Deen offline profile. That way no personal information needs to be exchanged. If you find someone interesting simply jot down their profile and check it out when you get home. If you decide you don’t like them after all simply click the “I’d rather fast” button and you won’t have to hear from them again. However, if you are still interested you can take the next steps, answer their questions, ask them to answer yours, and see where it goes!

By the grace of Allah (swt), these factors have helped us bring together 1 marriage and 36 matches in our last 4 events. Add to that the over 320 matches made online in the past two years and it is no wonder why Half Our Deen is one of the top Muslim matchmaking sites.

InshaAllah over the coming months we plan on holding offline events in 5 cities:

  • Santa Clara, California – September 29 2012. Sign up here 
  • Southern California – November 2012 (Exact City/Date TBD). Sign up here 
  • Toronto, Canada – December 2012 (TBD). Sign up here 
  • New York City – February 2013. Sign up here 
  • London, England – TBD. Sign up here 

Spots will be limited so make sure to grab yours before they are gone. If you want to learn more about our offline events and what makes them unique be sure to check out this video:

Let’s get real

Their eyes meet from across the crowded park. He is taken aback by her beauty. Her face glows like a full moon and he can’t seem to divert his eyes from her as her purple hijab flutters softly in the wind. She is mesmerized by the honesty and sincerity that eludes from him. She can sense that he will never hurt her. They just know that a life together will be full of happiness and tranquillity. It will be chock-full of romantic walks to the beach, date nights at a new restaurant every week, two amazing children that will grow up to memorize the Quran and be the apple of their eyes. And, let’s not forget that gorgeous house they will own together—every piece of furniture hand made by him and every room tastefully designed by her.

If the paragraph above seems like it belongs in a cheesy late night movie that’s because it’s exactly what inspired it. Sadly, these same movies are what we use to gauge our relationships by and aspire to. They shape our ideal match for us and ingrain us with wants of perfection that would not only make our lives dull and boring but are impossible to attain.

That’s not to say that love and happiness are not attainable in a marriage. Not at all. In fact, every strong marriage will be built on love and lead to happiness. However, love is not the only building block that is involved. Along with it there is trust, honesty, good communication, patience, compromise, loyalty, and most importantly compatibility. So, sorry to say, but love does not conquer all.

The other main issue with these fantasy portrayals of spouses and marriage is that it skews our perception of who is right for us. It romanticizes the qualities they feel should be important to us in a mate to the point that we sometimes lose sight of who we really need. Allah (swt) created each of us unique with our own likes and dislikes so how is it possible that only one prototype of a spouse would fit all?

When it comes to finding our other half what matters most is what qualities in a spouse will bring out the best in us. How will their personality, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and manners affect us. So let’s take a moment and write down a realistic characterization of who our ideal spouse is and kick the h(b)ollywood portrayals of perfection to the curb!