"The best advice I can give them is to think first about their relationship with God, with Allah, and then if they develop that relationship strongly, I tell them, make prayer, make supplication, that God put something in their path to make it easy to understand what type of spouse would be right for them," she told me. Tuba Muhlise Okyay, who is from Turkey, said in her conservative family, marriages are arranged.There is, she said, a courtship period where the couple are accompanied by a chaperone on, say, a dinner.
It was just something that was non-existent," he recalls. "You see your friends, they go out on movie dates and they go to the mall and they hold hands," he says. And this creates a dilemma for young Muslims in search of love.
In a nutshell, Shaikh says, he felt like they were having fun and he wasn't. Ghazala Irshad, who also grew up in a Muslim family in Illinois, says she knows young Muslims who growing up, were told to "lower [their] gaze" when they came across the opposite sex. We don’t know how to talk to the opposite sex, how do we go about this?
"[But] by the time it comes to the age of trying to get married, then our parents are like, well, why aren’t you getting married, we want grandchildren ... We’re not allowed to date, we’ve been separated, we haven’t developed friendships," she says.
Irshad, the young woman who grew up in Illinois says she's all for it.
"That's a really promising solution where young, Muslim Americans can register to use these apps and then they can connect with each other on their own. In other words, she says, they are the ones making decisions about their future spouses, instead of a match-making grandmother or auntie. Shaikh recalls a conversation with a Muslim man who had signed up on 24