On a rainy New York night, Chelsa Cheyenne holds onto her peach-colored shayla, a scarf covering all but an inch of her hair, and ducks into a pizzeria in the West Village. The shayla is a recent addition to her wardrobe, a symbol of modesty reflecting her recent conversion to Islam. Cheyenne had just left a mixer hosted at the Islamic Center at New York University, a discreet way to allow single Muslims to meet and potentially form relationships. A riff on the dating app Tinder, this version boasts more than , Muslim users. Before the first date? How early is too early? New York City offers a buffet of dating options, but the search for a significant other can still be tough for anyone.
How Young, American Muslims Are Dating and Finding Love in New York City
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Internet dating may not be safe, she said. Websites, such as Shadi , Muslima and Half Our Deen have been around for a while, but the mobile apps are the newest technology to help a growing community solve the conundrum of marital matchmaking. Muslims are spread across the United States, and those who want to marry within the faith have limited avenues for meeting. Many shun arranged marriage — frequently set up by relatives to a bride or groom abroad — and find themselves pining for a soul mate of their choosing.
The two companies are not linked. The big difference between mainstream American and Muslim dating technology is the desired end result: Tinder might be fine with hookups only, but the Muslim creators of these apps want a lifelong union to emerge. An upcoming app now in private beta, Single Muslim Intros, targets professional, educated Muslims. Sobia Nasir is the computer engineer behind the idea but her father, who has a Wall Street background, and younger brother, a physician, are an integral part of the business.
Then the company sends couples, matched according to personalities and desires, on first dates. They also have members-only events for clients to meet. Once couples are set up on a date, the company follows up with clients on their relationship status.
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Some call it haram — or forbidden — but more Muslims than ever are turning to apps like Minder and Muzmatch to find romance. When my friend first told me she was looking for a partner on Minder, I thought it was a typo. She didn’t. Minder is a real thing, an app Muslims use to browse local singles, much like Tinder. As a Muslim, you get used to people not understanding your life. They don’t get why you cover your hair or why you don’t eat during Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.
And they definitely don’t get how Muslim relationships work. I’ve been asked countless times if we get hitched solely through arranged marriages. We don’t.
Muslim Tinder: Now You Can Swipe Right For ‘Halal’ Love
Despite the onslaught of niche dating apps, some still feel left out of the dating scene. Especially when dating has been a taboo topic for most of their lives. Its founder, year-old Mariam Bahawdory, launched the app while she was in graduate school. Bahawdory had virtually no dating experience growing up in Raleigh, N. After a failed engagement at 25, she found online dating to be her only real prospect.
While Muslim-themed matchmaking platforms like Minder, Arab Lounge and Ishqr have been around for some time, none of these platforms offer services beyond placing Muslim women on a pseudo-meat market to be plucked from, Bahawdory explains.
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Jump to navigation. According to the National Household Survey , there are over one million Canadian Muslims who collectively belong to the second-largest religious group in the country. Yet, for those Muslims who see their religion as a vital part of their daily lives, finding a like-minded partner can still be difficult.
After all, not every aspect of Canadian dating culture will appeal to those looking for a religious connection. So, where can Canadian Muslims meet spiritual singles and find a faith-filled, joyous partnership?
self-identified as Muslim American women and (2) were actively using online dating websites participated in interviews about their experiences. Qualitative data.
A new mobile dating app is hoping to fill a void that many Muslims and millennials struggle with: melding Western social norms with cultural expectations found in their homelands. For first- and second-generation Muslims in the U. There are other apps geared toward Muslims on the market, including Minder, Ishqr, Muzmatch and Salaam Swipe, but some of them have a reputation within Muslim circles as hookup apps, Bahawdory said.
In addition to women making the first move on the app, Eshq differs from other online dating apps for its friend finder feature, video uploads and Spotify integration, Bahawdory said. There are also planned Eshq events, with the goal of connecting people who have things in common and similar life goals. A lot of these dating apps and websites are just worried about quantity and not quality.
We want to promote women stepping outside of their comfort zone and join the shift of Muslim women speaking out, being self-made, and not standing around like a trophy that is waiting to be swept off her feet.
Beyond Tinder: How Muslim millennials are looking for love
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W hen Northern Virginia native Humaira Mubeen traveled to Pakistan earlier this year to meet with the parents of potential suitors, no one was smitten. Still, she stayed long enough to go through three rounds of interviews and reject every family. She was there on a mission; not to find a husband, but to learn how others went about getting married. Ishqr is an online dating site for millennial Muslims. Mubeen grew up in Centreville, a Washington DC suburb, with few Muslim acquaintances to relate her experiences to.
Most Muslim parents told their daughters to stop talking to Muslim boys when they reached puberty. She started making Muslim friends when she headed to George Washington University to study psychology and international affairs. It came out in October under the name Hipster Shaadi, a parody of another dating site that helps users self-segregate by religion, but also by ethnicity and caste. In the summer, Mubeen came to a crossroads. She had always dreamed of a career in foreign service.
But when she was accepted in a startup accelerator program in Philadelphia, she decided to hold off on grad school and elected instead to become a diplomat of the hearts. First, she had to get her parents to sign off on the trip.
Muslim Dating America
It is halal, free to use and fun! Start your journey to marriage today. It is always free to swipe, match, chat and marry on muzmatch. You decide who you can call and you never have to share your phone number. Keep your photos hidden and use a nickname to remain anonymous to friends and family. Filter Muslims in your area by sect, ethnicity, religiousity, dress, how much they pray and much, much more.
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