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Finding the Right Match-Making Site

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Each site has its pros and consA number of young and young-at-heart believers these days are turning to online marriage match-making sites to try to find a marriage partner. Some studies suggest nearly 1 out of 5 marriages now occur between people who first met online, but there are apparently no studies that have looked specifically at Muslim marriages. Is it a good option for you?

Of course whenever using the internet, particularly when doing something as important as searching online for a mate, one should be careful because someone can easily present him/herself dishonestly. Furthermore, an online environment can contribute to a less serious tone to the match-making process, so know yourself well and be sure to know the rules of Halal interaction in a matching scenario before activating a profile. Also know what you are looking for in a spouse, and prioritize your interests: a good match will not put worldly goals like wealth and looks over spirituality and character traits.

Here is a brief look at a handful of online matching sites.

Shiamatch.com

This site could be the grandfather of match-making catered specifically toward Shias. It is free for all ladies, and free for men outside of Canada, the US and the UK. For men in those countries, the cost is $10 per month or $25 for 6 months.

On the Plus Side...

  • It has a very large database of profiles from all over the world with a variety of backgrounds and beliefs, although the majority of profiles appear to be of individuals of Pakistani or Indian descent.
  • It also has a fairly detailed search menu to help narrow down a profile search.

Not So Good...

  • Many of the profiles are not active, so you may request information about many profiles and never get a response.
  • You may be inundated with contact requests from people that live very far away or don't meet your interests, and this may make it difficult to sort through the requests.
  • People often post multiple profiles under different account numbers.

Simplyshia.com

This is a site catered to Shias. It is much newer than Shiamatch.com, which means it may have fewer profiles; however, it is a nicer site overall.

On the Plus Side...

  • If your match interests are specifically Shia, being designed for Shias is a strong advantage to this site.
  • It appears to have a decent selection of active profiles and reasonable search features.
  • There is a serious, religious feel to the site without a lot of advertising.

Not So Good...

  • Different levels of membership mean you have to pay approximately 5 UK pounds a month to really initiate a full conversation.

Mutah.com

This site is primarily for people interested in finding a temporary marriage. It appears to be a no-cost service.

On the Plus Side...

  • It has a great deal of information about the jurisprudential ins and outs of marriage, including the Nikah, Mut'a and polygyny.
  • It is perhaps the only site specifically designed for temporary marriage matching.

Not So Good...

  • The site does not seem to have very many profiles, particularly of females. It may be that many are not willing to be so public about temporary marriage by posting a profile.
  • The site also does not seem to be very active and it is hard to tell if available profiles are up-to-date.
  • It is not a very sophisticated profile system; it's rather old-school and so may be unappealing to many.

Qiran.com and Shaadi.com

The two are fairly sophisticated matching sites with all the standard bells and whistles. While they are not catered specifically to Muslims, they definitely had Muslims in mind as part of the clientele.

On the Plus Side...

  • Even with their larger, more diverse databases than Shia-specific matching sites, these ones do have the capability of a Shia-focused search.

Not So Good...

  • The sites are not up front about price: it tries to get you to create a profile before letting you in on costs. In order to get full access to the site, you have to spend more money on a premium level membership.
  • They appear to have a less serious clientele overall – there's more of a "dating" or "singles" feel to them, and they have lots of advertisements.
  • Questions about astrology and caste or other culture/ethnic related questions may be unappealing to some Muslims.

HalfOurDeen.com

HalfOurDeen is a new matchmaking site that is the brainchild of the Internet star, Baba Ali. The cost is $9 per month.

On the Plus Side...

  • It is very upfront and reasonable about price.
  • Baba Ali's humor infuses a fresh feel to the site while setting a serious-about-marriage tone.
  • Profiles on the site are practically guaranteed to be active due to the membership structure.

Not So Good...

  • There aren't many profiles yet.
  • Searching profiles is not as easy as it is on some other sites.

SingleMuslim.com, Muslima.com, and Zawaj.com

These websites are similar in features to Qiran.com and Shaadi.com, with membership prices in the $30/$40 per month range – that's fairly expensive for full-site access.

On the Plus Side...

  • These are catered specifically to Muslim clientele.
  • They have a somewhat more serious and less muddy feel than Qiran.com or Shaadi.com: there offer more religious information and sensibility, along with fewer advertisements.

Not So Good...

  • They are expensive, and many of the profiles are inactive.
  • These sites also have too much "noise" to find a serious candidate.

Match.com, Chemistry.com and e-Harmony.com

These sites are not very different from one another (although they claim to be), so I have lumped them all together. They are matching sites that are not catered to Muslims.

On the Plus Side...

  • They have huge databases and sophisticated features.
  • Lots of people in your locality may have profiles.

Not So Good...

  • There are very small proportions of Muslim profiles.
  • All are very expensive, relatively speaking, and not very up front about price.
  • Some features – such as winking and poking, among others – can be annoying and set an unserious tone.
  • There is a lot of "noise" to weed through to find a serious candidate.

Suggestions

None of these matrimonial sites are ideal because they all have pros and cons. A general recommendation would be to avoid the more expensive sites – what they offer does not seem to be significantly greater than the less costly services. Also, the more focused sites are usually cheaper as well as better in the long run since they weed through the noise of many profiles that do not match one's needs or interests.

If using an online matching service, strive to meet a serious candidate in person in a Halal and safe environment. As well, get information from people who know that individual in the real world before making any decisions that will forever change your life.

Feel free to share information about other matrimonial services you may know about in the comments. If you are happily married, how did you meet your spouse?

Author of this article: Masooma Beatty
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