Muslim Dating Sites and the Technology of Marriage, Part II

Yesterday we introduced you to online Muslim matchmaking world and a few popular websites. Today we look at one more.

Halfourdeen.com

Halfourdeen.com is a site created by Baba Ali, founder of Ummah Films and a number of different resources and products for Muslims. Halfourdeen.com is new to the Muslim matchmaking scene, but it prides itself on helping around 12 couples that got married in the last seven months, as reported in their Facebook page.

Unlike the rest of the sites, halfourdeen.com does not have free features. According to Baba Ali’s introductory video in the site, this is for people to take their match-searching seriously and to protect those who are really looking for a mate.

The site seems to target people living in the West, since most participants live in places like Canada, the U.S., Australia or the U.K. In addition, the site addresses only Muslims who identify either as Sunni or Shi’a. People joining this website are usually between their late 20s and early 40s, and fewer divorced people seem to be members.

Halfourdeen.com is a very visually attractive website, and it functions a bit differently. In order to create a profile, participants should write information about themselves in the ‘About me’ section and they should give specific information about what they are looking for. Moreover, they must answer a number of two-choice questions, which encompass short compatibility tests. In addition, people should also indicate their ideal partner’s answer in the same question.

In order to have a complete profile, the person should fill out four different short compatibility tests that include personality, religious views, family and character. Besides, the individual has the option to add “Your Top 21 Personal Questions to Ask Your Match,” which are pre-created questions (it is possible to use fewer than 21 and you can include your own questions as well). These questions are more specific and require complete answers. Some of them range from the roles of the spouses to the selection of guests for the wedding.

Halfourdeen.com also gives us an interesting insight into men’s concerns. Many of them post in their profiles questions that express their anxiety regarding the cost of the wedding. Many men who participate in this site want the women who are interested in them to answer what kind of wedding they expect, how much will cost and how important is for them to have such a wedding. It appears that the financial responsibility attached to the wedding is more stressful than ever for many men.

Another interesting thing is that halfourdeen.com is a Muslim-only site. It is assumed that people joining are Muslims or are converts or reverts to Islam. Many of the questions in the tests are concerned with issues regarding preferences on Islamic practices, such as gender segregation, Qur’anic interpretations or interest loans. Interestingly enough, no questions on polygamy arise. There are also questions on child-rearing practices, such as adoption and spanking.

While at first sight the website seems to be gender-neutral, some questions in the “Your Top 21 Personal Questions to Ask Your Match” category include things that deal with common Muslim perceptions of femininity. Some pre-created questions ask, “Do you think is acceptable for women to work?” or “Do you think is acceptable for women to approach a man for marriage?” Additionally, some men ask, “What is your definition of proper hijab?”

Editorial note: Halfourdeen.com’s marketing officer contacted us to inform us that the site is currently undergoing some major changes,which will include some big improvements to how subscribers use the site and homepage. Thus, our study may contain outdated information.

It is difficult to assess the websites without first-hand experience. In order to understand these websites completely, I created several profiles.

Tomorrow we’ll introduce you to the profiles we created. We’ll take you inside these websites—and our experiment. Stay tuned!


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