“Lots of grandmothers and aunties, they have these folders full of bio-data and they’re passing them around and saying, look at this girl, look at this guy, it’s like trading cards,” she says.
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In other words this is a Muslim marriage site and not a Muslim dating site.
Muslim scholars unanimously agree that dating is forbidden in Islam.
That's why he created a website and an app called 24
Muslims can sign up and connect with other Muslims either in their own area or else where. And they have made it easier for smart phone-wielding Muslims to connect.
Irshad, the young woman who grew up in Illinois says she's all for it.
"That's a really promising solution where young, Muslim Americans can register to use these apps and then they can connect with each other on their own. In other words, she says, they are the ones making decisions about their future spouses, instead of a match-making grandmother or auntie. Shaikh recalls a conversation with a Muslim man who had signed up on 24
Although Irshad's family isn't aganist her dating, they have taken things into their own hands.
"My parents and my grandparents are constantly asking other people, anyone they meet 'do you know anyone good for my daughter? Irshad says her parents aren’t pushing her into a marriage, rather "helping" in the process.
"The best advice I can give them is to think first about their relationship with God, with Allah, and then if they develop that relationship strongly, I tell them, make prayer, make supplication, that God put something in their path to make it easy to understand what type of spouse would be right for them," she told me. Tuba Muhlise Okyay, who is from Turkey, said in her conservative family, marriages are arranged.