Afaf Matrimonials
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Marriage FAQ

Afaf Matrimonials Marriage Service FAQs

1) The Importance of Adopting Islamic Principles When Seeking a Spouse

Salam alaikom,

 

All praise be to Allah. The subject of this note is about the importance of having a marriage service in our community that truly complies with the teachings of the Quran and Sunna and how it can benefit our society and our youth especially.

 

The reason we designed Afaf's system the way it is, is to simply incorporate Islamic rulings and principles into the service. Islam is a logical religion and there is wisdom behind each ruling and principle prescribed in the Quran and in Hadith. Many Muslims flow with the times and adjust the rulings and principles and bend the rules slightly (as well as justifying them), to adhere to the modern way of life and keeping up with business. When it comes to Matrimonial Businesses online in particular, you will find that many of them claim to be Islamic, however, from research we found that the sites were creating more fitna and problems for our Muslim youth. For example, Afaf's system does not allow men and women to contact each other directly on the site. The reason being for this, is it gives Shaytan the chance to play. A brother who was originally serious about getting married will come across so many sisters who will email him offering their numbers and opportunities to meet up alone. On top of this many are sending him pretty pictures of themselves, some not modestly dressed. He becomes confused and ends up meeting these sisters to see which one is best for him and by being alone with women he may fall into sin. We are not claiming that this happens to everybody or that everybody is weak, however if the system itself is not built on strong foundations, the iman can weaken, as the environment is weak and open for the Shaytan to get involved in.

 

Not everyone who joins Matrimonial sites wants to get married. From our research we found that many brothers and sisters unfortunately were there to find friends and waste time or just "window shop". We found that many who joined these sites became so overwhelmed with choice it took them very long to get married, ended up falling into relationships and getting heartbroken. People were falling out with their families over wanting to marry someone they didn't think suitable etc. Having spoken to some of the founders of these sites, we were told that it is not their responsibility what happens after their members get in contact with each other. As far as they are concerned they are offering an Islamic service and it's up to the members to incorporate their own Islamic principles on the site. Fair enough, but we don't believe that testing people is the solution. As Muslims we should try and make life easier for each other and encourage each other to seek iman and adopt Islamic principles in our day to day life, for if we do this, we can never lose inshallah. Life is hard as it is without burdening everyone with more tests of faith. We tend to attract practicing brothers and sisters, however we do not wish to segregate Muslims into groups. We are all Muslims at the end of the day, practicing or not and we should all help each other to follow the Quran and Sunna as much as possible. Leaving the non-practicing Muslims to their ways will only make matters worse. 

 

The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: He who sets a good precedent in Islam, there is a reward for him for this (act of goodness) and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards; and he who sets in Islam an evil precedent, there is upon him the burden of that, and the burden of him also who acted upon it subsequently, without any deduction from their burden. (Muslim 5, 2219)

 

“On the authority of Abu Huraira who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him said), “Every small bone of everyone has upon it a charitable act for everyday upon which the sun rises. Bringing about justice between two is an act of charity. Helping a man get on his mount, lifting him onto it or helping him put his belongings onto it, is a charitable act. A good word is a charitable act. Every step you take toward the prayer is a charitable act. And removing a harmful thing from the path is a charitable act.” (Recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim)

 

Every act that a Muslim performs to help another person is pleasing to Allah (swt). In the part of the hadith the Prophet (s) states that even helping someone else onto or into their form of transport, or helping them with their baggage, is a charitable act.

 

Helping one another relieves the burdens and hardships in life. We cannot meet all our needs alone, we must seek help from others. When we assist each other in everyday tasks, this helps to develop love and togetherness amongst the Muslim community.

 

In fact, Allah (swt) has commanded the Muslims to help one another. He (swt) says:

 

“Help you one another in virtue and piety” (Surah al-Maaidah:2)

 

In this aya "Help you one another in virtue and piety" is where Afaf comes in. Afaf has been designed to help brothers and sisters become pious by getting married the correct Islamic way inshallah. We ensure that all possible channels the Shaytan can use are removed, which is why we get the Walis involved as much as possible to protect the sinceity of the brothers, to ensure the safety of the sisters and to encourage their guardians to get involved and fulfil their responsibilities Islamically. 

 

"Believing men and believing women are protecting friends of one another; they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong; they perform salat and give zakat..." (9:71)

 

The divorce rates amongst Muslims in the UK are soaring and over 30% are getting divorced in the first year of marriage because Islamic principles are not being followed properly in the marriage process. Many sisters are forced to marry from "back home", some are tricked into getting married, some are blinded by love they do not see the reality of a potential spouse and end up fighting for that person until they get married, see the true colours and then regret and many do not follow the advice of the Prophet saw and marry for the right reasons. Even though there are so many reasons people get divorced, we believe may divorces can get prevented by getting the Wali involved at the first stage.  

Afaf gives you a safe, Islamic environment to search for a spouse in a decent manner. It will keep you focused and instead of wasting time emailing each other, only to find after weeks of communication there is no attraction to say the least, you can send an alert if you find a profile matches your requirements in a potential spouse and if the alert is returned (out of interest) then we give the brother the sister's wali details. The brother will contact the wali, ask him any further questions and the Wali will arrange a meeting with the brother either beforehand on his own to make sure he's suitable before allowing him to see the sister, or with the sister in the first meeting to see if there is any attraction/compatibility so that she isn't alone with him and there is no chance for Shaytan to play his tricks. It's as simple as that. If men have sisters they can ask them to meet the sister first to see if they think she is suitable before an official meeting is arranged, so it can work both ways. Our system filters out time wasters, people not that serious about marriage, attracts the more serious Muslims and is safe and genuine. 

 

We understand that this service isn't for everybody out there. From past experience we have noticed that only a small percentage of Muslims join Afaf, so we are more about quality than quantity and are not here to make big business profits. We will stick by our principles inshallah in the hope that more Muslims will find this service more beneficial.

 

Please note, we charge a fee for this service to cover Admin, advertising and running costs and with the extra income we will pledge some to charity and invest the rest into the project to expand it inshallah. Please do not let the low numbers of members put you off registering, once brothers see more sisters registering and vice versa it will pick up inshallah. We allow non-members to see the numbers of brothers and sisters available in the general home page search, however the profiles are exclusive to members only so that we don't attract window shoppers who aren't serious about getting married.

 

 

Afaf Matrimonials Admin Team

 



2) Why We involve the Walis of Sisters in our service

Salam alaikom,

 

This is a note about the importance of sisters involving their Walis during the marriage partner selection process. Afaf Matrimonials is a service that fully encorporates this principles. There are many reasons for this, which we will explain in this note inshallah.

 

Nowadays, most women want to vet the potential husband themselves, however, if you look into the Quran and Sunna, a woman should not be with a stranger alone/communicate with him where the shaytan interferes and causes an emotional attachment, which can lead to sin. Allah swt created men and women differently, with their own unique roles, duties and responsibilities and all for logical reasons. 

 

Marriage is one of the most important contracts due to the fact that it signals the creation of a new family within society; the birth of new individuals into the world and the duties and responsibilities which fall unto each of the two partners. As a result of marriage being a contract between the two spouses as partners to the contract, the full consent of whom is deemed vital for the ratification to proceed, the Legislator; Allah, did not allow for the guardianship of the father of the bride or any one else to become one by which the guardian forces or compels the woman to marry to a man whom she does not want. Indeed Islam granted the woman full rights to accept or reject whomever proposes to her in marriage.

 

Since the woman, despite her Islamically granted independence, was always subject to the desires of the ill-hearted and evil opportunists; Islam decreed legislation which would maintain her rights and deter those whom carry ill-aims and desires. Therefore, Islam gave great importance to the approval of the woman's guardian in a manner which reflects the significance of the marriage contract. This also adds another dimension to the beautiful state of tranquility and love in which the entire family will find themselves, as the woman will remain on good terms with her parents or guardians, in contrast to what would happen if she went against their wish. 

 

"No marriage contract can be concluded without the presence of a Wali. A Sultan (authority figure) can act as a Wali for those without one." Imam Ahmed, Hadith 1880 and Salih Al Jaami, Hadith 7556

 

The conditions of the wali are mentioned in the "Marriage FAQ section"

 

The one who does the contract on the woman’s behalf should be her wali, as Allaah addressed the walis with regard to marriage (interpretation of the meaning): “And marry those among you who are single…” [al-Noor 24:32] and because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who marries without the permission of her wali, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 1021 and others; it is a saheeh hadeeth)

 

The Wali's responsibility is to vet the potential suitor himself before giving him permission to see his female relative. In the Middle East, for example, the correct marriage procedure is usually initiated via a family/friend recommendation. The brother's parents call the parents of the sister and the Wali of the sister will meet the one who is proposing before she gets to meet him. The brother's mother will meet the sister to ask her questions to see if she is a good potential wife for her son and vice versa. Her male relatives will then spend a week or so getting character and background references on him from other people, which is something that the Prophet saw recommended. Once both parties are happy with the brother/sister's background, family, religion and character they arrange a meeting, usually in the sister's house with her Wali present so the brother and sister can see each other to see if there is any connection/attraction. They can ask each other questions that will help them decide if this person is suitable. During this meeting, if the brother wishes to see the sister without hijab then it is permissible. 

 

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged the one who wants to get engaged to look at the woman to whom he wishes to propose. According to the hadeeth, “When any one of you proposes marriage to a woman, if he can look at that which will encourage him to go ahead and marry her, then let him do so.” (Abu Dawood, al-Nikaah, 2082; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 1832).

 

This hadith talks about the sister being able to uncover her hair, wearing fitting clothing to reveal her body shape and showing her ankles. The sister cannot however wear heavy makeup to make herself look different, wear hair extensions, false eyelashes and false nails or reveal her body in an non-modest way. Before the meeting, photos can be exchanged and if they do not like one another this meeting is cancelled and the next suitor is free to come along to avoid time wasting.

 

Once attraction has been established and everyone is happy, the Wali gives them permission to communicate to get to know each other more before proceeding to the marriage contract. If they wish to see each other the Wali is always present with them or the Wali may leave them to talk together with the door open so they are not completely alone.

 

Both the bride and groom should be pleased with one another, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:“No previously-married woman (widow or divorcee) may be married until she has been asked about her wishes (i.e., she should state clearly her wishes), and no virgin should be married until her permission has been asked (i.e., until she has agreed either in words or by remaining silent).” They asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, how is her permission given (because she will feel very shy)?” He said: “By her silence.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4741)

 

The benefits of this procedure are many. 

 

1. It protects the sincerity of the brother, when he deals with a Wali he gains respect and makes it known that he isn't there to play and he is serious about marriage.

 

2. The families get involved to make sure everyone gets along and it creates a tight knit unit, as marriage brings together two families, so it's important they get to know each other too throughout this process.

 

3. Men are known to be the "hunters" and the women are the "hunted". It is not in a woman's nature to go out and search for a husband. Apart from it being very difficult to do this in a halal environment, women in general are emotional creatures and tend to make decisions with their hearts, whereas their Wali's would make sure that the brother is suitable for the sister from a financial point of view, social, background, family and by reputation. Most men can see in other men what women cannot and they do not have any emotional attachments to suitors (in most cases) so they can make clear and logical choices. If a woman falls in love with a man, she can be blind to a lot of things in him that she should be aware of. Men can usually tell if a man is not honest, genuine or there is something "not right" about him. This does not mean all women are naive and cannot choose properly/think logically, it's just safer for her Wali to do this job regardless. 

 

4. When a sister gets to meet the potential suitor she can be at peace that her wali has already given his approval on all the important aspects of this brother that would make him a suitable life partner, sparing the sister a lot of hassle. 

 

5. A sister can marry a man everyone approves of and is happy with and Islam greatly stresses on the approval of the Guardian. It's really nice when everyone in your family loves your husband/wife and are accepting of them. This can avoid so many problems and arguments.

 

6. A sister can cut to the chase, so instead of communicating for weeks, only to find he isn't the right man for her or falling in love and getting heartbroken when her Wali refuses to agree to her marrying him she can make a decision and avoid the hassle of getting into a relationship and falling into sin. This procedure eliminates the chances of a brother/sister falling into sin because there is constant Wali supervision, so the brother will respect that and won't mess her about, as he is being carefully watched.

 

7. This procedure gives the brother respect and the sister protection and dignity. The sister is honoured and is treated as a valuable asset to her family.

 

8. This procedure is more efficient in helping people get married and to maintain good family ties and long lasting marriages inshallah. One must not rush into getting married because most people who do end up getting divorced quickly, so it's important the family take their time to get to know the brother and sister and make sure that they are suitable for each other. This, in the future inshallah, will decrease the divorce rates, as people are choosing spouses properly and the Wali is there to make sure of that to the best of his ability.

 

9. This is the correct way according to the Quran and Sunna so you will be earning rewards and blessings inshallah by following this process.

 

10. By following this process you will avoid: time wasting, haram relationships, heartbreak, family arguments because they don't like the brother/sister, displeasing Allah and his Messenger, major sins and encouraging others to follow the same process (i.e. dating, online dating etc) amongst others.

 

So, as you can see there are many good points to getting the Wali involved. Islam is a logical religion and aims to protect women and give them their rights, as well as the men. This procedure also protects men, it helps them to get married in a more efficient way and keeps them away from sinning and dating women. 

 

Afaf has been created to adopt this system. There is no contact between men and women on our site, the Wali details are passed onto the brother and the above process is recommended to take place. We have designed the profile form in detail so that most of the important questions are answered, so all that is left is the meeting to ensure compatibility (if the brother/sister wish to ask each other more questions not on the profile) and to see if there is attraction. We understand that many Wali's don't have the time to find suitable husbands for their female relatives, so we have created a platform for brothers and sisters to register their details to make the process easier for Wali's, which in turn will make it easier for people to get married inshallah the correct halal way. 

 

We strongly urge Wali's to be understanding and reasonable when dealing with brothers. We all have to help each other walk the correct path in life to please Allah swt, so demanding high dowries and living expenses will defeat the purpose of this. Wali's need to appreciate the good brothers who call them up (because there is a great shortage of this these days) and accept them for their good character and religion. If the brother is able to look after a wife and home then alhamdulilah accept his efforts within his means. 

 

“If there comes to you one with whose religion and attitude you are satisfied, then give your daughter to him in marriage, for if you do not do so, fitnah and mischief will become widespread on earth.” Tirmidhi, 2/274

 

If a service is going to fall under the umbrella of "Islam" then it needs to be done properly to avoid confusion and misunderstandings, as we will be asked on the Day about anything we did under the name of Islam.

 

The Prophet saw mentioned that towards the end of time, only a handful of people will desire to follow the Quran and Sunna properly and we see it with this project. Most people turn away because it's too "strict" when it really isn't, it's by far the best way to find someone. Sisters and brothers are better off reassured that the other person isn't playing about because approaching a family for the hand of a sister is a serious issue. Also, sister's usually worry their male relatives won't know what their "type" is, so with Afaf a sister can search through profiles with her Wali and she can help him in choosing a potential suitor to meet. 

 

Wali's need to fulfil their responsibilities towards the sisters in their families to help them get married. Brothers please don't let your sisters be vulnerable prey to the wolves out there on the streets, protect them as Allah will ask you about them. Afaf is here to make your lives easier inshallah, so please recommend this service to all the people you know seeking marriage so there is a large variety of potential spouses to choose from inshallah. Encourage your brothers and sisters to adopt this process and inshallah we will see many benefits from this service and fruitful marriages.

 

Jazakom Allah Khair

 

Afaf Matrimonials Admin Team

 

 

 



3) The Improvements made to Afaf Matrimonials for the Relaunch

 

 

Salam alaikom,

 

After a long wait, alhamdulilah the new website for Afaf has finally been relaunched. Please find below the changes we have made to make Afaf a better service for you inshallah. We have taken on board all of your suggestions to make Afaf more appealing to you, so we hope you like what we have done!

 

1. Professional website design that's user friendly and easy to navigate through

2. An easy online payment system via Paypal that accepts payments easily and internationally

3. A faster and more efficient registration process

4. A very private and confidential service. The profiles are exclusive to members only so no "window shopping"

5. A faster matching process 

6. The Marriage FAQ and Video sections are new features to the website so that visitors as well as members can be educated Islamically on topics that relate to marriage and family. The new FAQ section has many questions and answers that may be beneficial to many inshallah, including the fatwas and Islamic advice given about different aspects of marriage

7. The marriage courses are updated on a regular basis and we strive to find the best ones for you

8. Customer service is prompt and efficient

9. The database has been redesigned so it has a new and user friendly interface 

10. The member database has more features added to it, such as a support link, modified profile pages, more accurate search results and more

11. Afaf Matrimonials Face book and Twitter pages are regularly updated 

12. Promotional strategies have improved and we are working harder on promoting Afaf all over the UK

13. A faster contact process to Walis

14. We have reduced the membership fee by 25% to make it more affordable inshallah

15. The service is open to UK and EU nationals at the moment

16. The Afaf Matrimonials Blog has been launched so members and others can share their feedback and opinions with us inshallah

17. Every member can set up email alerts according to their search criteria and receive emails from us on a weekly basis if any matches register

18. Profile photos are private and members have the option of showing them, hiding them or not putting one at all

19. Members can block profiles they are not interested in so that they do not come up again in search results

20. It is a more secure and private system, all profiles are anonymous

21. The new site has a more modern look and is a complete upgrade from our old system

22. More beneficial and important profile questions have been added in order to get a better idea on the character and personal outlook of the member

23. The search facility has been upgraded and you have more options to search by instead of just age, location and ethnic background

24. It's become much easier to edit your profiles and we have added a better photo display function

25. The member's profile is now all on one page, as opposed to different pages for each category, making reading and navigating easier

 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Afaf Matrimonials Admin Team