Serena & Faiz

What a crazy year it’s been. With all that’s happening in the world, finding a partner can feel like a hopeless exercise and one that’s been pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. 

So when this story was sent in, I had to share it! What better way to remind us of all the hope and magic that still exists in the world.  So here to tell us about her own journey to finding Mr Right – this is how Serena met Faiz.


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How long had you been searching for a partner?

I was searching on and off for about 4 years 

How did you go about your search?

A mixture of sources, with family it was word of mouth etc. and on my own it was searching online – primarily using Muzmatch.

At any point did you feel like giving up? What kept you going?

Yes I did, so that’s why it was on and off. There is this underlying pressure from different avenues, not in an outright way, and a lot of it comes internally I found. I would give it a while in between talking to people; and I don’t think I can pinpoint what made me continue. Sometimes it was friends, sometimes boredom or curiosity. I also felt like it was the only way to meet people without sitting on my laurels, so I kept returning to the app.

What was the hardest part of your search for a partner?

The set backs in between. Getting to know people over and over. And everytime a potential didn’t work out, it just made it harder to keep trying.

At what point did you realise you may have found ‘the one’?

There was no one moment but it was a gradual feeling. It started when I got my best friends to meet him; we were both so nervous and it was just a casual dinner. My parents knew too. I was then staying over with these friends and we had a ‘debrief’ and they had nothing negative to say. I was shocked, but more importantly it allowed me to relax and trust my judgement. That was the beginning of knowing, or rather the beginning of all the meetings. He then met my parents, and subsequently met each other’s families. He continued to meet my friends too. I prayed istikhara every now and then (as in my head I didn’t anticipate him being ‘the one’) and things naturally continued. 

If you used an app or searched online, how did your respective families feel about it?

I was very open with my parents; they knew from the first time I met someone and just urged me to be cautious. I always told a friend/family if I was going to get a coffee with someone, so I always felt safe.

How did it progress from talking via an app to getting married?

We spoke v.little on the app, by this point you develop a routine and skip all the texting and head straight for a phone call. I then wanted to meet fairly soon in person but I happened to be going on a three week holiday abroad. We spoke for the first time a few days before I flew; and we spoke everyday since (including at the airport!) We meet a few days after I got back and I was still so jet-lagged that I was falling asleep over my dessert. We had already planned to meet on the weekend too and I was awake this time! We didn’t live in the same city so we would take it in turns to take day trips, meeting friends and family every other meet up. About 3 months in he met my parents, by 5 both families had met, and by 6 months he had proposed and we got engaged. We then got married 7 months after that, so all in all I knew him for 13 months, but it felt like I’d known him for much longer. I think everyone else saw how much he respected me and thought highly of me, and that helped me to see it too.

Finally, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to other muslim singles?

Take your time. Don’t rush things or put timelimes on it. We’ve all heard it and we say it to ourselves too, what is meant to be is already written for you. There was a stage where the constant on/off use of the apps, worrying and wanting to give up was affecting me. So I took a break and did what I wanted. Don’t let other people make you feel small or bad for not having met someone. It’s better to find the right one later than marry the wrong one. And it did happen when I least expected it… (I’d actually swiped no at first but went back! Don’t worry, he knows!) For him it was the opposite; I was the first person he met! Lucky eh? Alhamdulilah.

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Nafeesah & Ismail

Success stories warm my heart and this space is all about the entire halal dating journey – from failed rishtas, broken hearts to happy endings.

So when Nafeesah reached out to share her story, I was so excited to share it with you all – it’s these stories that give you hope, that remind you, when it’s your time, InshAllah you will be guided to the one that is meant for you!

How long had you been searching for a partner?

I was searching for 3 years before I met Ismail. I used various apps, attended marriage events and also asked family members to recommend someone suitable. 

At any point, did you feel like giving up? What kept you going?

Yes! Several times, but I’m a very tenacious person. I just won’t take no for an answer and that kept me going. I did question at times whether it was going to happen for me, but I was so determined to find someone.

What was the hardest part of your search?

I often came across people that just weren’t serious. Some that would just lie to me whilst speaking to them online and I also often felt I was being judged unfairly. At one point, while attending a marriage event, I met someone I thought I got on really well with. I was feeling quite hopeful until he rejected me because of where I’m from – a lot of these encounters were just horrible to deal with.

What was your experience like using an online app?

I was reluctant to go online at first, but then thought I’d give it a try. It was very time consuming, swiping through multiple profiles and I just felt so defeated at times! In the end I just kept going with it and my family were onboard, they knew I’d introduce them to whoever I was considering before I made any firm decisions.

When did you know Ismail was the one?

Alhamdullilah, I matched with Ismail on Muzmatch last July. I remember he wrote on his profile that he was looking for someone that was willing to make an effort – that really spoke to me, because I just felt the exact same way. 

I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, he was very quiet when we first met. It definitely took some time but he kept proving me wrong at every stage. He would travel hours to see me, would call and text whenever he was able to and when he booked a table at this restaurant and bought me flowers – I was sold! 

How did you introduce him to your family?

He first met my big sister who grilled him a little, but he remained cool, calm and collected the entire time and shortly after he met my parents. Once that went well, we had his whole family over – I was nervous to meet his mum initially, but she was absolutely lovely!

We’ve since gotten engaged and were due to marry this August. Although we’re still having the Nikkah, we’ve postponed our Walima to next year due to the pandemic. 

What advice would you give to anyone that’s searching for their partner?

If I could say one thing to people looking now, it would be – don’t give up! It will happen when you least expect it to. Keep believing and keep trying, your guy is out there!

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