As Britain’s leading Muslim matrimonial website, SingleMuslim.com currently has over 140,000 members worldwide, 100,000 of which are UK-based. Most importantly, it boasts four success stories a day – a “success” being classed as when two users leave the site to pursue a commitment.
“The first and foremost reason for our success is we’re not a traditional dating site. We’re for serious Muslims who are looking for a life-long partner rather than to casually date.”
User profiles submitted to the site can include information on sect, how often someone prays, how soon they want to marry as well as other personal details such as profession and region.
“A lot of British Muslims struggle to find a compatible partner – it’s ok if you live in London but what about if you’re living in the north of Wales or other more remote areas?” says Younis.
SingleMuslim manually vetts all the profile data and the photographs as they come in and re-vetts them if they are edited once they’re online. The website is also self-regulating in that users can report other users who are misusing the service, or who may not be genuine users, and there is a zero tolerance policy in place where such people will be removed. The site is family-inclusive which means parents can register on the site to look on behalf of their children, as well as uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters.
“We’ve had a lot of success stories this way. It’s more of a family thing – very often people are registering on our site as a family looking together, rather than one person looking for another person.”
The site further reinforces a commitment to Muslim values by giving advice on how to behave in order to keep everything Islamic to please the will of Allah rather than an individual’s lusts.
“There are a lot of strong etiquettes and respect that the elders bring into our lives, but many are still based in the mentality from the Asian sub-continent or other Muslim countries and it is a question of striking the balance,” reflects Younis.
“Now that the stigma has been removed people see us as a real alternative, especially since a lot of people know of others who have found a marriage partner on SingleMuslim.”
Younis says that business has really boomed for SingleMuslim in the last four years – the website has seen a 1,000 per cent growth in users and a tenfold increase in turnover since 2004.
And of course success breeds even more success. In October last year the BBC made a documentary on SingleMuslim and as Younis explains: “We now have over 14,000 new members joining the site every month and an increasing number of international members are being drawn to the site, particularly from Pakistan and the USA, so 2008 is going to be an amazing year for us.”