"Parents invite correspondence for their daughter... She is very open-minded, honest, religious... Searching for a suitable match. Parents or mature family members must respond."
In modern times, Muslims are increasingly turning to the Internet to search for a potential spouse. The traditional way for Muslims to find marriage partners is for the family to search among their friends, relatives, and neighbors for a suitable, compatible person. But as Muslim families move around, it is increasingly difficult for them to find people they know and trust. Some turn to extended family and friends to cast their net wider. Especially for Muslims living in Europe or North America, local choices for marriage partners may be limited and people prefer to extend their search.
Internet matrimonial sites came about as a tool to be used in this search, not as a "dating service." Muslims who participate should still hold to Islamic guidelines, both for their faith and for their personal safety.
It is important to be very careful when searching for suitors over the Internet. The Internet allows people to be anonymous and put up their "best side" (or an altogether "false side"). If choosing to use this method, these Islamic guidelines will help protect you from victimization:
- Choose a Wali (guardian) to be your contact person for potential candidates - never contact a suitor directly.
- Have your Wali rigorously screen all suitors - perform reference checks, talk to Muslims in his/her local area, etc.
- Never agree to meet someone in person unless they've been thoroughly screened, and you meet in a public place. Always have someone with you; never meet alone.
- Involve friends and family in your search, and seek their advice and counsel.
- Choose an online matrimonial site that is specifically designed for Muslims, not "dating" sites where you can simply screen candidates by religion.