Muzz, a Muslim Dating App, Takes Its Matchmaking on the Road

Muzz, a Muslim Dating App, Takes Its Matchmaking on the Road

On a Thursday night in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, about 250 Muslims gathered in a halal Italian restaurant for a singles relationship occasion. Some of them shied away from cameras, citing privateness considerations, whereas others stated they had been afraid of showing “determined.”

The occasion was hosted by Muzz, a Muslim relationship app based mostly in London, with eight million customers worldwide, in response to the corporate.

Prayer mats had been arrange in an out of doors eating tent for Maghreb, the fourth of 5 every day prayers for Muslims. Inside the restaurant, tables and chairs had been cleared to create space for the mingling visitors, and platters of hummus, hen kebab wraps and Mediterranean salad had been being served.

‌Topics of dialog included halal Thai meals in New York (“Top Thai — we should always go test it out,” one individual stated to a different) and the issue of assembly new folks whereas working remotely.

According to Muzz, which was based in 2011, 400,000 {couples} have married after assembly on the relationship app, which provides free and paid memberships. “The coronary heart of the app is empowering younger Muslims to discover a companion in their very own proper, however doing it in a means that respects their religion, tradition, traditions and household,” Shahzad Younas, the founding father of Muzz, stated in an interview. He goals to “embrace the quirks round Muslim marriage,” he stated, which features a “candy spot” of familial involvement. He famous that households function an important assist community for {couples}.

On a North American tour in May, Muzz hosted relationship occasions in 4 cities: Toronto; Jersey City, N.J.; New York; and Baltimore. Last month, they hosted occasions in London and Dubai.

When the Brooklyn occasion began at 7 p.m., there was a transparent and nerves-filled divide at first: Women had been speaking with different ladies, and males had been mingling with males. It was a curious sight for a straight singles relationship occasion.

At 7:30 p.m., Mr. Younas stood on prime of a desk in a nook and made a welcome announcement. Women had acquired a sheet of eight inexperienced stickers, and males had acquired a sheet of eight crimson stickers. To assist make it simpler for folks to introduce themselves to others, he stated, the stickers have to be exchanged with folks after a dialog — everybody’s purpose is “to fulfill the one,” he stated, including “inshallah,” or God prepared.

The encouragement labored, and the 2 teams started mixing.

Some folks got here to solely community and to fulfill different folks of an analogous religion and cultural background. Ali Fall, a 34-year-old monetary marketing consultant, stated he had at all times dated non-Muslims, and his exes didn’t perceive his spiritual beliefs and obligations. Coming into the occasion, he had no expectations. “I imagine in future, all the things is written,” Mr. Fall, who lives in Harlem, stated.

Others had been on the lookout for “the one.” What issues to Mohammad Binmahfouz, a 33-year-old world relations coordinator, is “respect and belief,” he stated. “And she prays … and fasts.” Mr. Binmahfouz drove two and a half hours from Meriden, Conn., to attend the occasion.

Others had been making an announcement about the way in which they discover their companions. Even although their dad and mom had organized weddings, many younger Muslims at this time nonetheless need to make their very own choices about who they date, whereas nonetheless respecting cultural and generational traditions.

For instance, Salmah Ahmed, 25, and Mohibbah Abdul-Ahmed, 27, two sisters from Hillside, N.J., stated their dad and mom had been pressuring them to get married and tried to introduce them to potential suitors. “It’s annoying,” Ms. Abdul-Ahmed stated with amusing.

“We need to search for the boys we wish,” she added.

The sisters, who’re each Ghanaian and nurses, every solely had one crimson sticker on their identify tags. “I really feel like after I was strolling by, folks had been trying by me to get to any person else,” stated Ms. Ahmed, who has experienced colorism inside the Muslim neighborhood and who famous an absence of Black Muslims on the occasion. On the app, they each use the race filter, specifying that they’re on the lookout for different Black Muslims.

But the filters set on the app don’t essentially translate in individual. Mr. Younas is conscious of the difficulties of getting a good mixture of races and ethnicities at in-person occasions, however he tries to attraction to all backgrounds. He stated the occasion in Jersey City had a big inhabitants of African Muslims, whereas the occasion in Brooklyn was held in a predominantly Arab neighborhood and due to this fact attracted extra Arabs.

Muzz, like many different spiritual relationship apps — Eden, Mormon Match and Meet and Right amongst them — doesn’t serve L.G.B.T.Q. folks. Several communities for L.G.B.T.Q. Muslims do exist, nevertheless, resembling the Queer Muslim Project.

Expanding the app for L.G.B.T.Q. folks isn’t in Mr. Younas’s plans, he stated. “We’re nonetheless at a stage the place the premise of our app, even for the straight market, is taken into account taboo.”

Other Muslim relationship apps embody Salams, previously Minder, which has about 4 million customers in response to the corporate.

As for the occasions, he stated, “whether or not you meet somebody or not, you need to a minimum of have a superb night.”



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