“Stories like this inspire me to continue making Half Our Deen better”, Baba Ali, Half Our Deen.
Author: Nawal Shahril
How I met your father
To my future children. By the time you are able to read this post, I am probably in my late 30’s and still look gorgeous as ever.
This post is about a man who rocked Ummi’s world. A man whom I respect and hold on to. An amazing man who came to my life by surprise. Responsible and love his children more than his life. He loves us unconditionally. He is most proud of us although he doesn’t show it. He is our provider and our cheerleader. He is…
I have met so many wonderful people. Travelled all around the world. Worked in a different country. Enjoyed every moment. I was living life. Amidst all these, I knew that there is still a missing piece in my life that I wasn’t sure what was it. I turned to Allah and did my Umrah, Alhamdulillah. It was in front of the majestic Ka’aba that I prayed and wished that Allah would lead a wonderful man to me to complete that emptiness and fulfill my deen.
How can I find myself a husband?
I turned to the world wide web for answers. Muslim matrimonial websites were my indicators. I remembered to have registered for 3 different sites. I must say I met very interesting brothers Masyaallah. Some didn’t work out. Some…almost. Some…just pain in the butt. Different individuals have different needs and expectations. Too much of expectations in fact.
But..no matter how devastated one situation after another can be, I didn’t give up. I know I have to find someone and have faith for Allah will help me.
One day when I surfed YouTube, I stumbled upon a video by Baba Ali and his matrimonial website called Half Our Deen. Knowing Baba Ali and his cool ways of giving da’wah, I thought why not give it a go. What I’ve noticed was I can’t view any of the brothers’s pictures unless I pay for the registration. Unlike other websites I’ve been to, some are free and some allowed you to view pictures prior signing up. I took out my debit card and I remembered saying ‘I’m doing this because of Allah’ and BAAM! I was registered.
Again… the process continues. In and out and after few attempts, I decided to shut down my account and just give husband hunting a rest. After a month, I checked HalfOurDeen again and I was surprised that my account was put on sleep rather than being deleted for good. Since my account was paid for 1 year service, I mustered all my strength and give it one more go.
Probably 5 minutes after, I received a message from a man that I wasn’t interested in replying at all. He messaged me before this when I had my account active. I was like ‘ Maan!, this man is damn persistent ‘ and decided to give him a chance. His name is Valentino Chavez (Vito) and the rest is history.
We talked for 7 months and I flew to the USA to meet this man of my dream. I had no idea what to expect. Whether he might be a serial killer or sex psychopath but I was sure I did the right thing. He told me, even though I would be ugly in person..he would still marry me. pffttt! (see how annoying daddy is???) I have prayed Istikharah and alhamdulillah I was sure about this man. With my parents and family’s blessing I was married by Imaam Karim Abu Zaid at Masjid Abu Bakr, Denver Colorado on March 7th, 2012.
Wow. I’m a wife??? Until now, I still couldn’t believe that I am finally… married! wooohoo!!
Married life is a new dimension. The other phase in life that you’d be tested vigorously by Allah s.w.t. Whether good or bad, just enjoy and endure it. No matter how hard the day could be..in the end you know your soulmate is waiting, arms open for you.
I am grateful that I married a super hunk awesome muslim man. A man who accepted me thoroughly. A man who introduces me to a whole new world and a new family.
I couldn’t have asked for more…except for an iMac and a craft studio 😛
Children, now you know how I met your father. In life, you have to believe in your decision and go get ’em. Be persistent and be ready to overcome any obstacles. Don’t you ever ever give up because the moment you feel that there’s no hope, all door closes and you might not get what you wanted. Have faith in Allah and Insyallah..Allah will show you the path.
and to my husband..I love you Sweetheart. May we be the best of Muslims and be a great role model for our children.
..and to Allah.. Thank you so much! You’re the best!
We came across this the other day and as this is growing need for our single and married couples, we thought we should share this. As Aman Killawi rightfully said, going through pre-marital counselling can avoid heartache and boiling issues that will arise after marriage. It is very important to understand the benefits of counselling and how it can help those about to get and already married.
Date Published: FEBRUARY 6, 2012 5:00 AM
Author: Amal Killawi
I spent my time at a recent wedding listening to people’s marriage problems. As the guests danced the night away in celebration, I sat in the back of the hall talking about shattered dreams and unfulfilled expectations. Sometimes, we had to scream to hear each other over the music. There was the young woman whose husband wouldn’t let her finish her education. Then, a friend wanted advice about dealing with her in-laws. And a mother cried as she shared her worries about welcoming her daughter home as a divorcee.
What a night! The reception ended with the passing of favors and du`a’ (supplication) for the newlyweds. I remember making extra du`a’ for the bride and groom. Dear God, please bless them with a lasting and healthy union. Ameen. I left the wedding in deep thought and had trouble falling asleep that night. I was so moved by the irony of that experience.
In just the past few months, a significant number of marriages in my community have ended in divorce. I know many more couples are on the verge of separation. Don’t get me wrong. I personally believe that divorce can be a healthier, and sometimes necessary, option. But why are so many marriages ending so soon? What needs to change to foster a culture of commitment and responsibility?
All the stories shared with me that night had a common theme: None of the couples had premarital counseling before they got married. No one had prepared them for the challenges of marriage, and many of their problems stemmed from issues that were not discussed before the wedding. A recent study1 about divorce in the Muslim community found that none of the divorced men and women in the study had formal premarital counseling, other than a brief meeting with an imam. Many of them wished they had been offered more extensive premarital counseling, and that they had easier access to counseling services once they were married and experiencing problems. It’s a sad testimony to the lack of marriage preparation in our communities.
When a couple announces their engagement, we rush to celebrate. Have we stopped to consider how much preparation and support the new couple will need for this decision of a lifetime? How many couples truly know what they’re getting into when they’re smiling for pictures on their wedding day? The love and excitement of the new relationship often blinds them from comprehending the reality that marriage is a sacred covenant with God. Wouldn’t it make sense to prepare for this spiritual partnership?
How is it that we invest so much time, money, and energy preparing for the wedding celebration and not for the marriage? We consider the smallest details for that special evening; yet we ignore the essential reason for our celebration—a commitment to spend a lifetime with another human being. As one woman said to me, “I had two months to plan for the wedding. I was in love, and didn’t have time to think about any issue!”
Many couples mistakenly believe that they don’t need counseling before marriage and that conflict should be avoided. However, a certain level of conflict is healthy and necessary, and premarital counseling can offer an opportunity to discuss potential problematic issues.
Consider premarital counseling before you make a commitment for marriage. According to Lisa Kift2 , a marriage and family therapist, premarital counseling will help you:
- Discuss role expectations. It’s important to talk about the responsibilities of each partner in marriage – who will take care of the finances, chores, etc? Discussing roles early on will clarify expectations for the future.
- Explore your spiritual and religious beliefs. What are your views on music, hijab, zabiha meat, and following a certainmadhab (school of thought)? Discussing these issues ahead of time will help determine your compatibility and help you learn to manage different opinions.
- Identify any family of origin issues. Much of what we learn about relationships comes from our parents and other family members. Identifying our early influences and discussing our learned behaviors will help us understand how this might play out in marriage.
- Learn communication and conflict resolution skills. Couples that communicate effectively can resolve conflicts more effectively. This will allow you to spend less time arguing and more time understanding.
- Develop personal, couple, and family goals. You are committing to share a life with someone. Isn’t it important to discuss what you want your future to look like together? Where do you want to be in three years? How many children do you want to have? Outlining a plan for life can be a wonderful way to learn about each other and to strengthen your commitment to each other.
Premarital counseling can protect couples from much heartache and conflict. Since prevention is central to our deen, many imams and community leaders now require premarital counseling and education prior to the marriage ceremony—a guaranteed investment in happier couples and healthier marriages.
What’s your take?
- Do you think that premarital counseling would be helpful to prospective spouses?
- What issues should be covered/ discussed in premarital counseling?
- How can couples be encouraged to attend premarital counseling?
Share your thoughts below.
While the other matchmaking sites charge anywhere from $29 to $44 a month, one might think that a Muslim marriage site charging a fraction of the competition would have price as the primary reason that people are drawn to it.
That is exactly what we thought, but we were pleasantly surprised that most of our members have chosen to be on Half Our Deen exclusively over other Muslim matchmaking sites because Half Our Deen is number 1 when it comes to privacy. We take privacy seriously. Unlike most matchmaking sites where anyone with a curious mind can browse through your pictures, Half Our Deen is setup uniquely so that only paid members can view profiles.
Because if there is one thing we have learned in the pursuit of helping people get married, it’s that not everyone wants their picture and profile to come up when the words “single Muslim” are typed in Google.
Our site is so private that you can’t search for anyone of the same gender. Why does this matter? Sometimes a sister or brother is on the site looking for marriage, but does not want to tell their friends. We at Half Our Deen understand this. Sisters can’t view sisters, and brothers can’t view brothers. So, unlike other Muslim matchmaking sites, there would never be a chance of one of your friends saying “Oh, I saw your profile on Half Our Deen, how’s the search going?”
Not only is the level of privacy of utmost importance to us, but we also want the focus to be on marriage and not which of your friends is on the site, what their profile is like and what photos they’ve uploaded.
So join www.halfourdeen.com today, where the word “privacy” actually means something.
Have you ever felt like Muslim matchmaking sites not only charge too much for membership, but are also trying to sell you things while you search? “Cheap international calls!” “Social Muslim networking!” You’ll notice these banner ads, text ads, and if they hold your email address, you may be on a spam emailing list so even more ads are delivered to you personally. Isn’t it all a bit too much when you are trying to focus on finding a spouse?
In 2011, Half Our Deen had over 7 million page views, but yet, there was not one ad. That’s right, absolutely no banner ads, text ads, or any sort of ad whatsoever. Our monthly members paid only $9 a month and our annual members paid the lowest price for any Muslim Marriage site on the internet, at just $5 a month.
Even by charging a fraction of the competition, Half Our Deen pays monthly for four fast servers, so the site runs fast and smoothly, and even pays its entire staff because their effort is valued. So if you’re paying more than $9/month for Muslim Matchmaking, then you are most likely being overcharged.
Some companies have a goal of profit. Our goal at Half Our Deen is to bring single Muslim brothers and sisters together for the sole purpose of marriage. Alhamdulillah, 243 people from across the world have found their spouse through www.halfourdeen.com. Come and join us, and inshaAllah you too will find the one.
You won’t see an ad. We promise.
Alhamdulillahir rabbil alameen, all praise is due to Allah.
In 2011, 243 Half Our Deen members told us they found their other half through the website mashaAllah! The actual number may be higher, as not everyone contacts us to tell us they found the one.
Baba Ali recalls,
“I remember one time I was standing in line at a Middle Eastern Festival and this guy walked up to me and said “Assalammu Alaikum Baba Ali, you don’t know me but I just wanted to tell you that my wife and I met on your site. Please don’t tell anyone”. His wife walked over and he signaled to her that “I told him” and then they walked away. At first, I found the whole 007 secret agent atmosphere strange, but then when I thought about it, I kind of understood. He wanted to get married but just like most of us out there, he didn’t want his picture all over the internet notifying the world that he is looking to get married and that’s why he chose Half Our Deen. Alhamdulillah.”
That is one of the best parts of choosing Half Our Deen- it is a completely private website, only accessible to paid members. So even if you find your husband or wife, you don’t have to tell us or anyone else how you did.
In February 2011, we had 24 people that found their other half. One year later, those numbers have flown up to over 200 people.
How did this happen? In many ways. With the blessing of Allah, first and foremost. Having members who are genuinely looking for marriage, mixed together with a private, and well developed space for them to contact one another, helps bring about successful outcomes. Time, money and effort has been spent creating a website that focuses on important marriage issues, and not just the eye color/hair color/height of people. Because we all know that these things do not create a long term and successful marriage.
So if you, or anyone you know, is looking for marriage, encourage them to join www.halfourdeen.com and who knows? Perhaps you could be the 244th couple to get married, inshaAllah.
Allah knows best!
On July 18th, 2011 we celebrated our first birthday. One year later, we have over 1600 members spread across 47 countries, Alhamdullilah. Our website has been blessed with 706,347 Visitors and 6,133,176 Page views Mashallah! And the best part of it all, is the flow of over 150 matches made on HOD. The little part that Allah (swt) has given us the privilege to play in people’s lives, means a lot to us Alhamdullilah. Hearing a member tell us “because of you I found the love of my life” is absolutely priceless.
What about all the other members who didn’t find their other half? What is written for us by Allah swt, is something we cannot measure. What someone might find in a week might take another 6 months or a year to find. We’ve gotten many members try the site and give up their search after 1 month, 2 months or 6 months. There are others who feel they can’t find the perfect potential, like Neo (from the Matrix) and there is an illusion that once found they’ll live happily ever after.
Unfortunately when considering a potential spouse we measure them to this ideal formulated from fictional characters. Often these dreams we project can be blinding to our judgment of compatibility with this potential. By the time we see the light of who this person really is, we might already be approaching a divorce. It’s important to look in the mirror and realize that we ourselves are not perfect. While some do find that ideal match sooner than later, others may not, which is alright. This shouldn’t put you down or be discouraging. Rather, it should better put things into perspective for us. It really means that ALLAH swt has someone better for you. Believing in that is half the battle and the other half is comprised of patience, prayers and being grateful.
We need to practice patience and understand that there is a time for all of us and this is only in the hands of Allah. its Ramadan and we can use this month to make lots of dua’a and pray for guidance. Always remember Allah swt chooses what is best for us, even if we’re too finite to see the infinite wisdom in His Divine Decree.
The good news is there is a light at the end of the tunnel! HOD is launching many new features, based on member feedback and requests, by October Inshallah. Our new features will include:
– Email match preferences: Our new email match alert will give you the ability to set your personalized email match preferences to receive matches via email. Its LIVE now!
– New Settings Page: Our new settings page will be more user friendly and organized giving you a wider array of options. Log in and take a look around!
– PayPal: The world’s most safest way to pay, will be joining our payment screen soon for those who feel more comfortable paying through it.
– New Edit Profile: more fun information to tell your potential matches about yourself. A much more user friendly and organized layout as well. All in all, FUN!
– Muslim Personality Test: what the buzz has been about at all the conventions we attend, is the Muslim Personality test. With a 97% accuracy rating thus far, we plan to introduce MP to HOD members in the upcoming months, InshAllah. Another way to find out more about your match.
Our goal is to give all our members the most effective tools to find your other half. We haven’t stopped working since we launched and won’t stop. All this won’t cost you a cent more. =)
Join us in making dua’a that as we embark onto our 2nd year, there is more hasanat (good) in HOD so we can see the fruits of our efforts in the hereafter InshAllah, Ameen
Jazakhallah Khairun for all your patience and support