On our enormous list of Apps We Wished We Invented So We’d Now Be Millionaires™, Muzmatch has to be somewhere near the very top.
Less dating app, more phone-based matchmaker, Muzmatch allows Muslim users to search for potential partners while keeping things halal with chaperone features and flexible privacy settings.
According to its founders, 34-year-old Shahzad Younas, a former Morgan Stanley banker, and 25-year-old iOS engineer Ryan Brodie, the three-year-old app is now close to hitting one million global users.
The success of the app, along with similar ventures like Minder and Salaam Swipe, reflects the changing nature of ‘dating’ in the Muslim community in 2019.
As Muslims, we’re not really supposed to date in the old school 90s teen movie sense of the word—hence our apostrophes around the word itself—which is why matchmaking in the pre-digital age tended to be a slightly arduous affair often involving pushy aunties and awkward meet-ups.
With something like Muzmatch, introductions and opening lines can be made via the app, meaning agency is returned to the singleton without compromising their faith. In short, promising connections can be formed within the confines of a safe-digital space.
And it’s not just on dating-specific apps. Young, single Muslims have been taking advantage of all forms of social media, especially Instagram, to meet their other half. When we wrote about the Instagram phenomenon a couple of years ago, we highlighted the words of Omar Shahid, who met his wife Aaminah on IG: “An Instagram profile provides more information and more reading information, about a person than a single rishta profile”.
So, as we explained in great detail a while back, online ‘dating’ allows you to scour the important deets before matching or airing the hijabi beauty vlogger, tattooed mipster, pious bachelor, way-too-old-person and enthusiastic revert all on your way to finding the one—without any uncomfortable ‘advice’ from habitual-line crossing family members.
According to Younas, a lot of these more traditional family members are now even on board with the idea of apps. After all, matchmaking in the Muslim world has always been an evolving process.
“Three generations ago, your parents would decide who your partner was going to be and that would be that, you’d go along with it,” Younas recently told Business Insider. “With the second generation, your parents would still be involved, talk to the families, but they’d show you people and you’d meet them and both have the decision.
“Now, we have parents coming to us saying ‘We don’t know anyone, families aren’t as connected as they used to be, can you help us find someone for our son or daughter?’ and we say ‘no—get them to sign up.’ In a sense, the son or daughter are now saying ‘I want to find someone on my own terms.’”
And it’s working. The company knows of 20,000 people who have got married after meeting on Muzmatch. Our hearts, as they say, are full.
As with anything app-based, we’d be remiss to not mention one last thing: it’s the internet, people! Like anything you do online, you should always exercise caution and remember, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Having said that, please let us know in the Facebook comments if you’ve met your significant other through an app.