Speed dating events for muslims
As they sat on a small stage, about 400 men and women wishing to copy their success sat before them, waiting for the three-minute rotations to begin. “Brothers and sisters,” he beseeched them, “if you are here for the matrimonial, please go in.” Then the doors closed.Outside, the moderator, a woman named Nida in a white blazer, was giving her volunteers their marching orders. Organizers had left pieces of paper with suggested questions on some of the tables. One woman said afterward that her favorite question of the night was “What is your favorite vegetable? For the last half-hour, the ballroom doors were left open.Increased mobility also takes the young away from extended families that could facilitate introductions. Observant Muslims must also contend with one major constraint that many non-Muslims in America don’t face: a prohibition on premarital relations between men and women. “That way you can place a person in the context of several relationships.” For the families of Asma Ashraf, 28, and Jaweed Mohammed, 31, it was a whirlwind romance.
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Mohammed said he spotted her in the foyer beforehand. Even though Ashraf hails from Chicago, which has a sizable Muslim community, she said it was hard to meet the same number of potential suitors in the regular course of life.
When he didn’t encounter her during the three-minute sessions, he had a volunteer introduce them during the social hour. While the interactions at the banquet can feel a bit forced, Ashraf said, they spare the participants even more awkwardness.
Rocky has been so engrossed in his medical training, a male friend standing next to him explained, he has had no time to meet potential spouses. If a man or woman finds someone they are interested in, the next step is to meet the parents.
His predicament is becoming more common, said Altaf Husain, an assistant professor of social work at Howard University and an ISNA trustee. “Young Muslims tell me, ‘My parents can’t help me because they don’t know anyone where I live.’ ” Another problem is that women outnumber men, Husain said, including at the banquet. “Muslims value the process of getting married not so much on the individual level, but as a process between two families,” Husain said.