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.
What makes Half Our Deen special is that it does not utilize the typical, cookie cutter, approach that other Muslim matrimonial websites do. Instead of a typical profile that only lists superficial information the aim at Half Our Deen is to provide real insight into the individual and not just how tall they are. Becasue of that it is important that you take your time to fill out your profile, honestly and thoughtfully, just as you’d hope everyone else would.
Here are a few things to consider when doing so:
Choosing to post up a picture is a big deal for some people. It takes away the anonymity. At the same time, as humans we are visual beings so having a picture up would mean increased traffic to your profile. If you do choose to post up your photo post a photo of yourself as you would look on a typical day. Ovoid using pictures that seem staged, over dressed, or overdone.
About Me/Who I’m Looking For
These two sections are extremely important as they are you chance to express (in your words) who you are and who you are looking for. It is important that you know the answer to these questions before you write up your response. Be honest, explain yourself well, but try to keep the post brief and to the point. Think about what you would like to know about others through their profiles and include that information on yours. This is the chance you have to show off your amazing personality so make sure that it shows in what you write instead of coming off as a typical/generic response.
Questions That Matter
Posting up questions that matter to you give the other person even more insight into who you are. It also allows you to screen out potential matches based on their responses to your questions. Take some time to think about the questions you want to ask. If you’re not sure what to ask you can browse the 100 already written questions on Half Our Deen and add any of them to your profile. Keep in mind though, if you add too many questions it may deter others from answering them.
Answering the survey questions not only helps others get to know you but may also teach you something about yourself. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to these tests. They are simply a way for you to describe who you are and help match you with others who share the same thoughts and values.
It is our hope, InshaAllah, that by utilizing all of the profile features on Half Our Deen not only will you find a match in a timely manner but that you will both prosper together for years to come!
Ask any parent what the most frustrating part of going on a road trip with kids is and they’ll probably say it’s the none stop questions of “Baba! Are we there yet?!” and “ Mama! How much longer till we get there??” These are questions that we’ll hear from our kids countless of times and ones we probably asked our parents more times than they’d like to remember. Children are so focused on their destination and the fun they’ll have there that they miss out on the adventure leading up to it. We attribute this to the fact that children lack patience but in reality it’s just human nature. When we are focused on something we want we often ignore the other good things in our life.
The journey to get married is not always an easy one. Some people face great hardships not only in finding a spouse but maybe even financially or family wise. And while these hardships might make you feel like it isn’t meant for you or it will never happen they are, inshaAllah, there to lead you to the right spouse, in the right time, who will be your other half in this life and your partner in Jannah (inshaAllah).
One mistake that a lot of us do when we are looking to get married is live, breath, eat, and sleep marriage. It is the main topic when we are with our friends. It’s what our google searches revolve around. And it’s what our dreams are made of. Alhamdulilah, on Half Our Deen, many have gotten married within weeks of joining. Others take months. When this happens is not in our hands, but the effort we put in is. However, most people who join have already been searching for a while so the time can feel like it is dragging on and on and no progress is being made. So instead of being fully focused on this one goal we should try to spend this transitional time to better ourselves and work on being the best person we can be. Enjoy our time with family and friends. And focus our energy in ways that will enrich our life with our spouse (For example: memorize Quran, work on your career, take some extra classes, travel).
When things in life don’t play out exactly how we pictured them to it is easy to get discouraged and give up. Instead, let’s enjoy the journey so we can have exciting experiences to share with our spouse when that day comes. And let us always remember to seek help in our journey with lots of prayer, duaa, and patience for “Indeed, Allah is with those who are patient and persevere” [2:153]
My family and I recently relocated across the country. In the months leading up to the big move I spent hours and hours planning. But what I spent the most time doing for those 5 months was house hunting. I picked the neighborhood I wanted and then proceeded to try and find a house with ALL our specifications in that neighborhood. Two months passed and I still couldn’t find one that fit our criteria. But I was stubborn and determined to have everything I wanted in the location I wanted. Needless to say I failed. With less than a month left till moving day I finally relented and searched in other neighborhoods and Alhamdulilah, Allah (swt) blessed us with an amazing house in an amazing location.
So you’re probably wondering why I’m boring you with my moving diaries? Because as humans we create a precise picture of what we want (in a house, in a spouse, in our kids) and set out to full fill that picture. What we fail to realize is that real life and our imaginations don’t always line up. And just because we can’t find what we think we’re looking for doesn’t mean that what we really need isn’t out there.
One of the points that brothers and sisters looking to get married often get hung up on is the age of their potential spouse. Brothers usually want someone a few years younger than themselves and sisters want someone who is older than themselves. This idea of the perfect age gap in marriage is one of the first requirements that goes down on our spouse list and is often one that we have a hard time letting go of.
In reality though, having a “proper” age gap does not necessarily lead to a successful marriage or to a compatibility. In fact, if we were to look back at the most significant marriage of all times, that of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) to Khadija (ra), you will note that they had the most nontraditional of all age gaps. Yet, you will never find a more loving, compatible, supportive, and nourishing coupling than theirs despite the odd age paring.
Age is much like the neighborhood in my moving example. By holding onto that ideal and not looking or considering anyone outside of it you are limiting yourself from finding someone that fits you. Brothers, just because a sister is a bit older than your ideal match doesn’t mean she will be any less beautiful or righteous. And sisters, just because a brother is a bit younger than your ideal match doesn’t mean he will be any less mature, caring, and responsible. So let’s step out of our “neighborhoods” and see what Allah (swt) has for waiting for us!
One of the key features that makes Half Our Deen such a unique Muslim Matrimonial site, is our Compatibility Tests. Recently we brought in the help of Sister Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine, author of, “Before the Wedding: Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Married”, to helps us further improve our compatibility questions on Half Our Deen. Munira received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling at California State University, Fullerton and is also currently co-hosting an Internet radio show, Family Connection, on One Legacy Radio. With her assistance, we have updated and improved our compatibility questions on Half Our Deen.
– The Personality Test has been renamed to, The Character Test. A few of the questions and answers have been reworded for clarity and accuracy as well.
– The Character Test (old) has been removed and replaced by a new test, “Would you marry?”. This test will help further identify what type of person you are looking for.
What can you do?
– Take the new, Would you Marry?, test.
– Review your answers to the other 3 tests: Character, Religious Views and Family.
– Review your new Matches, as match percentages with other members may have changed.
In order to maintain accurate compatibility percentages, it is important that you review your answers for all 4 tests to make sure they are accurate. Please do so as soon as you can. This may or may not affect your current match percentages with other members. For this reason, we really do urge you to look over all your answers and make sure they are up to date, InshAllah.
We are constantly thinking of better ways to help you find your match and will introduce updates to existing features periodically. This would also be a good time to take the tests you have not taken, which will help you match with other members in all 4 categories.
Help us, help you.
Elanthemag.com is the top Muslim lifestyle publication online, focused on global, Muslim youth culture. Elan covers topics ranging from business to architecture to fashion. In addition to witty, engaging, thought-provoking articles, elan includes profiles from prominent voices within the global Muslim community.
Read what they had to say about Half Our Deen: Article link
Matchmaking is one of the oldest traditions known to man.
Yet just as times have drastically changed over the centuries, so has this age-old tradition of pairing boy to girl and praying for a blissful outcome. Traditionally, each culture, faith and region carried its distinct method of going about the marriage business, yet with the globalization of nearly everything due to Internet culture; matchmaking has also developed and found a comfortable and appropriate place in cyber world.
A decade ago, “finding someone online” may have raised eyebrows in many Muslim circles, but with the growing role the Internet and the advancements it has made within our social lives, it almost seems natural that finding an appropriate match online was just another development in our ‘e-lives.’
And just like every other product and service provided online, the quality provided by Muslim matrimonial sites run the entire range from complicated and over-priced to secure, up-front and affordable.
A new player on the field that’s shaking things up is HalfOurDeen.com. Recently launched in the Summer of 2010, the site was created from scratch, disregarding the traditional formula used by established matrimonial sites—Muslim or not. Renowned Muslim comedian, YouTube celebrity and co-founder of UmmahFilms, Baba Ali, is the mastermind behind the site.
“I myself was tricked into a runaround of sorts many years ago when I registered for a matrimonial site that advertised ‘free registration’ only to realize 20 minutes later that the only thing really ‘free’ was me providing them with my private information,” says Ali who has both registered for a traditional matrimonial site in the past as well as attempted (without success) to create a matchmaking site that followed this same formula of withholding subscription price until nearly all information has been given.
“The lesson I learned, says Ali, “[is] when you sacrifice something for the sake of Allah (SWT), then He will replace it with something better, and Alhamdullilah Half Our Deen is better than its initial skeleton so many years ago.”
One of the most notable features on the site, include an affordable price at $9 for month-to-month subscriptions and $5 per month for annual subscriptions. Privacy has also been given an important place in all this. No bored internet browsers or snoopy community members can get access to the site or the profile pictures without being a legitimate paying member. This allows members to rest assure that the only people who have access, are people whoshould. A recent poll taken by Half Our Deen members found that a majority of subscribers are exclusively on Half Our Deen because of the site’s privacy standards.
Just as important as privacy is the accuracy of matches made on the site. In order to delve deeper for substance, members are asked more than just the surface level questions of; ‘height’, ‘weight’, ‘ethnicity’ or ‘eye color’. Since the goal is to find members their life-long partners, profile questions involve aspects such as family expectations, personality type and personal approach to Islamic issues, revealing the person behind the profile.
Since everyone is looking for something different, members are also asked what they are looking for in an ideal match as well. This priceless data is fed into an algorithm which calculates the optimal percentage matches. This feature is popular and helpful with members allowing a user to see that they may have matched 83% with someone in the personality department but only 23% in the religion department—very useful information to know from the start. In addition to this feature, members are provided with a database of 100 questions by Baba Ali to pick and choose from, possibly providing members with aspects they should consider in asking that never crossed their minds.
Another unique feature members have access to on their profile are quizzes they create themselves that are up to 21 questions. Quizzes can be taken by an interested member and are more personally-tailored to the individual who wrote them. Questions like, “Would you relocate to Seattle?” and “Are you a cat-person?” can be answered up-front making the get-to-know-you process easier and clearer– something highly valued by anyone in the matchmaking arena.
A female subscriber who is currently active on the site explains, “It is really cool because once the person answers those questions, you can really get a feel for whether you want to start communication with them or not. For example you may ask what is that you expect from your wife financially, they might say lots of money, and that will immediately put you off. Or you might say what is your definition of wealth, and they answer lots of savings, but in your head your thinking love for family, husband, love for life, happiness, inner peace…”
With over 1,000+ members strong and growing by the day, HalfOurDeen has proven to be a worthy competitor for many of the leading Muslim Matrimonial sites. Ali explains that even though a rapidly growing membership count is great on some accounts, he’d prefer a steady flow of subscribers in order to maintain a high-level of communication and customer service with the members. Ali explains, “The main reason behind that is when you grow too fast, you lose the connection with your members. I want to be closely knitted with my members and their concerns. Being able to give a generous amount of attention to all members new and old, helps me build a relationship with them.” This approach has also lead to constant improvements on the site. In addition to customer service representatives on-call ready to answer any concern by members, they have also added yet another server to insure the ease and fluidity of the site.
And as if the developers of the site are saying “we’re sure you’ll find your mate here,” they have even incorporated original, entertaining videos featuring Baba Ali as he shares his honest, humorous insight on what to expect after the wedding bells fall silent. He helps to give newly-married couples an idea on what they can expect in terms of living together, communicating and getting along—things many mothers and fathers may have forgotten (or avoided) to address before the Nikkah.
And with all these cutting edge innovations coupled with the constant improvements to the site, Half Our Deen has seen a steady flow of successful matches made. “Just yesterday, one of our customer service agents reported that another match was made on Half Our Deen,” says Ali. “This completely made my day and put a huge smile on my face. People ask me if I get excited like this for every match that is made on [the site]? My answer, ‘“Yes, very much so.’” The little part that Allah swt has given me the privilege to play in people’s lives, means a lot to me and is a very big deal, Alhamdulillah.”
We have put together a survey because your concerns are very important to us and we want to continue making HOD the best Muslim Matchmaking site out there. We sent it out to 1100 of our members and Alhamdulillah we have received 10% in responses so far. If you haven’t got a chance to take the quick 2 minute survey, please do so. This is a great opportunity to tell us how we are doing and how we can continue to better serve you. For those of you who did send us their feedback, JAZAKALLAHKHAIR.
– We recently released the Polls page. You can now view the results of the opposite gender on a multitude of topics.
– Our next feature to be released soon, InshAllah, is an improved messaging system. We will keep you posted on its progress.
Survey Link: http://polldaddy.com/s/9BF4FD4113A898DA