At a time when meeting new people is fraught with risk, dating can be tough. But who has been able to stop love? Technological advances have ensured that like-minded people can still connect, albeit virtually. To navigate the complex cultural landscape in the world, it is no wonder that dating apps that cater exclusively to certain communities are mushrooming all over. In this piece, our focus is on 11 popular Muslims dating apps which are helping individuals to find the one in the era of physical distancing.
eHarmony: This dating app connects Muslim professionals in the USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland and the UK. It matches daters according to their preferences and sets the foundation for a possible face-to-face interaction.
Muslima: With subscribers mainly from Algeria, France, the UK and Saudi Arabia, Muslima is known for its strict verification process. It offers both free and paid plans and matches users based on the answers they provide to a set of questions.
Muslimfriends: Here for two decades, this Muslim dating app incubated in Silicon Valley is known for its affordable plans. Its major user base comes from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, Canada and the USA.
Elitesingles: This app boasts of five million users in the USA alone, most of whom are below 30 years. It matches people based on their personal attributes and goals which are determined from the results of a test.
Muzmatch: The search for a soulmate gets finely customised in this app which helps you match on the basis of city, locality, dress, sect and the number of times one prays in a day. It has a presence in 190 countries with four million registered users.
Eshq: With its claim of empowering women, this dating app is said to be popular among Muslim women. Right now, it’s available for iPhone users only. Besides dating, it offers the option to find friends too.
Salams – Formerly known as Minder, Salams claims that it provides halal, simple and secure dating. This Muslim dating app was in the news for christening itself after the much popular dating app, Tinder. It offers the option of finding a partner based on education, sect, career, height, prayer levels and more.
Singlemuslim: Taking an extra step towards user privacy, this dating app with 2.5 million users provides restricted access to photographs.
Qiran: Known for being run by a management team that comprises Muslims, this product welcomes heterosexual persons only. It comes under the religious dating category and has two million single users.
Salaam Love: Users have to answer a short questionnaire to find their soulmate here. Salaam love is a network of Arab and Asian Muslim singles seeking marriage. Chatrooms, blogs, and forums are available to make the search easy.
Muslim Matrimony: This is an Indian dating service. Users have the option to protect pictures, phone numbers and horoscopes from other members.
A user from New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, who was on MuzMatch, said that though he found love in the traditional, arranged way, the app helped him understand what he was looking for in a life partner. “I had a great time matching with Muslims from all over the world, especially from European and African countries. The conversations were serious in nature and we used to discuss various issues related to religion in our region. However, the interactions lacked the meaning and spark I was looking for. The pandemic too has made it difficult to meet people. There is a reason why it is difficult for Muslims to justify being on a dating app.”
A woman user from Mumbai shared with News18 how she found her soulmate on a dating app despite her parents’ plan to marry her off to a relative.”I was not happy to receive the marriage proposal from a relative. When I shared my concerns with friends, they suggested that I should try finding my partner on a dating app. After some research, I created profiles on Eshq, Muslim Matrimony and Salams App. I was contacted by suitors from various states and I found the one last November. Much to my delight, my parents too accepted him, who is a doctor by profession. We got married this January in Thane. “Muslim dating apps do empower women to find a partner of their choice, but they must read up on the apps carefully before they join one,” the newly-wed added.
Measures for privacy
Sayeed MA, who is the director of Hyderabad-based E-Swift Software, said: “A few Muslim dating apps like Eshq have a strong user verification system. It is easy for anyone to create a fake profile on these apps. Every new user must be asked to link their social media accounts on the apps to weed out potential harassers. Like the job portal Naukri.com, dating sites should have a user verification policy in which anyone providing wrong information is blocked.”
Is dating allowed in Islam?
To find the answer to this, we contacted a prominent Sunni cleric of Lucknow, Maulana Sufiyan Nizami Firangi Maheli of the Islamic centre of India.
He said: “Muslim users should not upload photos on social media and dating apps. The recent Sulli Deals, in which Muslim women were ‘auctioned’, shows why it should not be done. They can meet their preferred person and their families by maintaining the hijab. Muslim grooms or brides should meet and brief each other about their good and bad deeds. Before meeting through dating apps, people must check their partners’ background thoroughly.”
Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here