For modern career-focused Muslims, meeting a prospective candidate for marriage is becoming more and more of a challenge.
“With our help, these hopeful candidates have the option of finding love in a secure, practical and dignified manner,” says Zuhri Yuhyi, the CEO of Halal Speed Dating. It is a matchmaking service with the sole aim of assisting single people to meet potential spouses in a Syariah-based environment.
According to Islamic laws, says Zuhri (who himself found his spouse through halal matchmaking), many components of conventional dating leans towards – if not outright – impermissible. Hence, there is no amorous dating in Islam, only dignified courtship.
“Seclusion (khalwa) with the opposite gender has been prohibited. The wisdom of the ruling is to prevent individuals from potentially engaging in unlawful or amorous actions; in other words, to avoid even the possibility of sin or hanky-panky,” he says.
When a person has the intention to marry, it is recommended that he consults people who can vouch for the character and reputation of the potential suitor. Then only comes the real courtship period for both hopefuls to get to know each other.
As any interaction between an unmarried man and woman must not be in seclusion, even in ta’aruf (get-to-know session), there must be chaperones. The best chaperones are guardians and family members.
“As fellow Muslims, our duty is not to judge others but to empower them by making Islamic values easy to live by. This is why we need to provide a platform for dignified courtship.”
In May, Halal Speed Dating held its biggest Islamic matchmaking event thus far, providing their service to 144 hopeful hearts. The attendees were selected from thousands of candidates on the programme’s waiting list.
After registering on halalspeeddating.com, each applicant was screened and grouped based on their preferences.
“The company’s strict privacy policies and attention to individual needs not only provides a secure platform for meeting other candidates but also increases the probability of facilitating successful matches,” says Zuhri.
“At each event, a participant would be able to speak to up to 12 potential suitors within a couple of hours.”
Unlike the multitude of speed dating events hosted across the world, women who attend Halal Speed Dating are each accompanied by a chaperone, harking back to the involvement of families in matrimony seen in the early days of Islam. This is a rule set by the organiser to prevent any dubious interaction and to remind attendees of the focused nature of courtship.
Guidelines for a strong marriage
In a halal speed dating, potential spouses have to follow rules and regulations set by the organiser.
To understand more about halal speed dating, here are some tips:
> A positive attitude with an open mind and heart is a MUST.
> No exchange of sensitive personal information; not even names and contact details. Security is everybody’s responsibility.
> No pictures, videos or any form of recording is permitted throughout the matchmaking session.
> No staring or gawking. They want to know who you are; speak to them.
> No talking with the opposite gender, except during the facilitation process.
> Listen and try to identify what the other candidate wants to know about you.
> Dress up smart and tidy. Your cleanliness may just attract your future spouse.
>Keep calm and be aware of your manners and etiquette.
> Speak up. Be confident and truthful.
After the matchmaking event, the Halal Speed Dating team will inform candidates of any successful matches. The male candidate will be given the means to contact the wali (defined guardian) of the female candidate for further courtship.
“This meeting allows the woman to get to know her potential spouse in the presence of her family,” says Zuhri.
He advises the male candidate: “If you have her agreement to marry and if you have her guardian’s permission, don’t delay the marriage.”