Speed dating the halal way

PETALING JAYA - There is a new dating scene in town and it is called halal speed dating, a matchmaking platform based on the sunnah (traditions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) in Islam.

Three friends - Norhayati Ismail, Zuhri Yuhyi and Syed Azmi Alhabshi - came up with the idea of speed dating according to Islam as a way to help friends find potential spouses.

Norhayati, 40, found her spouse online and married him two months later. Zuhri, 34, found his wife through matchmaking while Syed Azmi, who is 38 and still single, was ­supportive of the idea.

"We thought if it could work for us, it will also work for others," Norhayati said ­yesterday.

The speed dating event promises to be "the best and safest way" to find prospective spouses. According to the website, the ­organisers want to highlight the importance of ­supervised interaction between candidates by a wali (bride's custodian), mahram (blood-related kin) and a chaperone.

For a RM45 (S$16.7) fee, interested participants can look forward to meeting like-minded people with the intention of finding the perfect life partner.

The wali, mahram and chaperone are charged RM30 each. Supervisors will be at the event to ensure good conduct between candidates.

One would think that halal speed dating iwould only be for Muslims, but Norhayati said ­otherwise.

"What if a non-Muslim wants to find a Muslim wife? We cannot shut the door. Or a non-Muslim wants to learn what is the proper way of courting (in Islam). So we leave it open," she said.

Norhayati said 50 selected males and 50 females would be introduced to what dating is in Islam with iMuslim Islamic Daawah Centre founder Shazly Khan giving a tazkirah ­(religious talk) at the event in Damansara Perdana this Saturday.

The response, she said, has been ­overwhelming.

"Our space is limited considering that this is just the launch. We aim to host a bigger event next time. We want people to understand what makes us different from other matchmaking services," she said.

For more information, visit www.halalspeeddating.com and www.facebook.com/HalalSpeedDate.