In a place like America, it is especially difficult to keep to religious values. We are all constantly being immersed in an environment where popular culture rules over many of the fundamental ideals we used to believe in before the internet and TV. And because trying to find a spouse back in our homelands is especially tedious, expensive, and in some cases, dangerous, our options for a relationship built on our religious beliefs are extremely limited. Just like any other religion or culture, Muslimâ€™s try to find a way through technology to connect with other Muslims, to preserve the traditional values in a place that is foreign to them. Currently, many communications have been occurring through Muslim dating sites like Muslim Mingle, Muslima.com, and MuslimFriends.com. But the issue arises here: because we live in a nation were pop culture prevailsâ€”where physical appearance, money, and social status is high priorityâ€”, how does the use of internet dating set-ups manage to preserve Islamic traditional valuesâ€¦if at all?
In many of these sites, being â€œIslamically traditionalâ€ is a second rate idea at best, mostly because people seem lean towards other priorities they believe are more important. With a click of a button, now men and women can put in their preferences, the qualities they like and dislike and hope for the best. In Islam, however, it doesnâ€™t work like that; we donâ€™t double tap certain qualities and test drive all the potentials. Islamâ€™s match focuses on your faith first over physical appearance or political standpoint.
A friend of mine experienced this first hand. She was getting a bit unlucky on meeting the right Muslim guy and decided signing up to a website might just be the trick. Well, a week later, she tells me how some of the men were rude, and how some blatantly asked her if she was â€œprettyâ€ enough to marry him. â€œJust because itâ€™s a Muslim site, doesnâ€™t mean they can brush it over and go straight to the looks,â€ she said, and rightly so too. I think many users of Muslim matching websites pass over the main reason as to why theyâ€™re on there. The whole point is to find a Halal partner. If material needs strike someone as more attractive than their faith, the point of preserving traditional values goes down the drain to begin with.
The whole point of Muslim matching sites is to communicate with other people and understand the depth of each otherâ€™s faith. If, instead, it were just any other random dating site where a man finds a woman (or vice versa), the idea of communicating at all for the name of Allah (SAW) is lost. Then Muslim dating sites are just the same as any other dating site.
It is important to keep to our beliefs and our cultures. I understand that in a time where technology plays a prominent role in a personâ€™s life, there should be certain adaptations for our culture to take part in as well. But that is not to say we should lose our culture completely to the attractive melting pot. Muslimâ€™s should understand that just because there is such a thing as Muslim Mingle, that doesnâ€™t mean to forget the importance of our faith when communicatingâ€”especially with the opposite sexâ€”just because the site is made for Muslims or because the URL has the word â€œMuslimâ€ in it.