Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Choosing A Matrimonial Site

Until recently, I never realized how many kinds of match making sites exist that cater to Muslims. However, on careful inspection some sites are not so "Islamic" than they appear to be. Some feature the words "halal dating" or "Muslim dating" which makes me feel very weird about the site considering they are oxymorons and proper Muslim owners be aware of that. Or at least those wanting to genuinely bring two people together for marriage wouldn't call their site a dating website just to attract attention.

So how do we go about picking a site that is the best for us? Here's my take on it:

1. Know yourself - This means that you have to understand your needs and what you are looking for. If you are a religious person who would prefer to be matched with like-minded sisters/brothers then perhaps is not the most ideal place. Although, it doesn't mean that you won't find such a sister/brother there but it simply means the chances are less likely. However, some of us are still building our imaan and perhaps we don't feel we are quite there yet and finding a site with extremely deeny people might feel intimidating, then definitely go for and the like. The only reason I'm mentioning is because there isn't a heavy focus on religion (or the Islamic perspective) because it caters to a variety of people.

2. Budget - Not everyone who starts out on a website has the budget to start off as being a paid member. Most at least would like to try a site and have a look around before they decide to pay. It's a good idea to compare sites and see what the prices are like. Paid sites are usually better managed than free sites so you have more chances of having the staff get back to you when you have a problem. But most paid websites also allow you to be a member for free to test the site before you can make the leap into paid memberships. If this is not the case then it's a good idea to ask people who have experience with the service or contact the people in charge directly and ask if your money would be reimbursed if you aren't happy with their services.

3. Security/Safety - This is extremely important especially since many of us will be sharing a great amounts of personal detail such as name, location, photos, phone number, etc. How the site uses this information and how it makes it available to other members is extremely important. How much control does one have over these is also important. It's a good idea to be cautious when sharing these details over the net. Regarding phone numbers, it's usually safer to give the number of your wali to drive away time wasters and players. Some sites watermark photographs & prevent right clicking in order to protect them from being downloaded even though someone can always download a picture if that's really their intention. Further protection is when you can choose who sees your photograph. It's always best to have a decent picture that you would not be ashamed off to show your family and relatives. Get the pictures approved through your family. Your picture is a reflection of you and the kind of image you'd like to portray.

4. Ease of use/features - A lot of sites provide all kinds of features. It's important to assess what kind of service you will be getting, especially if it's something you are paying for. Are the features too complicated or the site takes too long to load or you end up having too many technical difficulties? It may not be the site for you because you'd just end up frustrated. Most important is the ease of communicating with other members. Free sites may allow the ability to communicate with other members free of charge or they may require one or both parties be paid members. If both parties are required to pay then it might be frustrating to communicate with members. An important feature is also a way to block members from contacting you. This may not seem like an important feature but it can be frustrating when you are constantly receiving messages from people who don't seem to get the hint or have become threatening for whatever reason. Does the site owner take any responsibility in these cases or is the site popularity more important? Another thing to assess is if you will be able to get the kind of information you require when looking at a member's profile. This can be things like whether a person gives importance to religion, salah, halal food, etc.

5. Members - It's important to have an idea about the people using the services and who you will be communicating with. You can do so by using the search feature of the site and see if you like the kind of people on the site. Especially if you'd like to communicate with them. Joining and paying for a site where you don't see eye to eye with anyone doesn't make a lot of sense. However, there are a few sites that do not allow access to the members or search feature unless you join. This has it's advantages and disadvantages. The advantages being players will most likely not join, especially if it's a paid site because they aren't actually serious about the process. The disadvantages are you can't really see what kind of information or service you'll be getting nor if they have people you'd be interested in contacting. However, if the site is well known and/or not a new site then this would be a good risk to take.

The combination of the above can really help you make a good decision to what site is best for you. But you can always join more than one site and compare features. It also opens up more doors to finding the person you are looking for. If you'd like to add any other things do share them with me. :)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Marriage Websites & Events

Just a list of match making sites I know of in no specific order. Share if you know more.

Very popular among Desis but because it's for different religions, the profile is not very specific for Muslims.

Similar to but perhaps less well known.

This site seems unique because they try to match people based on various factors and answers to questions. It has many Muslims on it apparently.

Specifically for Muslims. Free membership for women. Seems to be a really nice site.

Completely free for both genders. Has a simple layout.

Service provided by ISNA.






New site so membership for all is free.


A site by Baba Ali. Planned launch in 2010 so something to look forward to.

A site where all the information about a member is posted as a video. Interesting idea. What I disliked about the website is the owner never responded to my queries and that tells me they don't have a good service. But it might appeal to others.

There are a few others which I haven't mentioned because I feel they aren't very good sites either because of poor management or just have a bad reputation. If there are sites or services that you know of that have helped you, do mention them.