What If He Isn’t Calling?

Dear Zahra

I am 26 years old and looking to get married but it’s just not happening. I’m speaking to someone currently with the intention of marriage. How do I know if someone is actually serious?

We haven’t met up yet, he keeps saying ‘soon’? He also accidentally called me once and I made a joke about the call, his response was that it’s too early for that? We’ve been speaking for over a month.

I really want it to work out because he seems like a really nice guy. What do I do? I don’t want to be strung along and then find he isn’t interested. When we first started talking, I told him I wanted to get married, told him my times scales and he said he was on the same page?



He doesnt call

Dear Halima

Let’s start with the positives in your situation! You did a great job with setting your intentions with him early on in your conversations. If you’re intentions for marriage are serious, it is in my opinion incredibly important that you have this conversation early on, before you find out 8 weeks down the line, that he was only looking for a temporary fling!

Now despite you having done this, there is no guarantee that he’ll be upfront and honest about his intentions. I would absolutely have suggested you have that conversation face to face or at the very least over FaceTime/video call but I can see your dilemma. 


You say he’s a great guy and you really want it to work out but in the same message, you’ve highlighted some potential redflags here. So before I address these, a small reminder for you! You’re 26, you have you’re whole life ahead of you and many successes and accomplishments in your future inshAllah. Know your worth. That means that you hold a potential future husband to at least the same standards you live by. 

So when it’s been weeks and he hasn’t even picked up the phone to call you – if that were me – I would absolutely want to know why and I would be questioning his intentions here. It’s very easy to hide behind a profile that isn’t reflective of who you really are. So whilst there may be genuine reasons for why he’s unable to meet In person, I’d want to know what his reasons are for not picking up the phone? 

Again, it’s important that you decide where you draw the line. For how long are you really ok with being WhatsApp pals? 

At this point, especially since you’re (rightly so) beginning to question his intentions , I think it’s time to have a conversation with him about the lack of progress. If he’s serious about you and intent on marriage, progressing to phone calls/video calls (at the very least), should be a no brainer.

All my duas, 



*Name changed for anonymity

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed relationship expert/coach. Advice and responses are solely based off my own experiences and opinions. Please use your own judgement and seek professional help where needed. 

By using the website or submitting any questions or stories to Adventures of Halal Dating, you are agreeing to our privacy policy, which can be found here

If you are searching for Islamic guidance, this is not the place. Please contact  an Imam/ respected scholar etc who can can guide you appropriately inshAllah.

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The Problem with Halal Dating Apps

Over the last few years, the path towards marriage for single muslims has taken a significant turn. Once upon a time, if singles were struggling to meet someone, they could only really turn to their family members, friends or rishta aunties, to help introduce them to potential partners. But that was then. Now, single muslims have thousands of eligible singles in the palm of their hand. 

It all started with the introduction of online dating, with sites like singlemuslim.com and Shaadi.com, coming onto the scene. Although their members grew, couples that met through these platforms, and single muslims in general, weren’t always happy to announce they’d signed themselves up to a matrimonial site. For many, they were almost always worried it carried a stigma in their communities and amongst their extended family members, as if it was some kind of last chance, desperate attempt at marriage! So it wasn’t that uncommon for these ‘online’ couples to lie about how they met.  

Fast forward to 2020 and the online, ‘halal dating’ scene looks completely different. 

The Dating App Era Begins

With the rise of apps like tinder, it’s safe to say, many single muslims felt like there was a gap in the market for a ‘halal’ friendly version. Naturally, (and it didn’t take very long!), Muzmatch and Minder were born. Two of the most successful halal dating apps on the scene. So successful, that singles now confidently discuss their profiles and dating disasters all over social media. 

So with the rise of apps, and millions of users (at the time of writing, Muzmatch has close to 3Million users) – Who’d have ever imagined a time, where you’d have so many options and yet feel you have no real choices? 

The Unintended Consequences

You know this story all too well by now. You’ve spent a couple nights swiping and by the end of the week, you have a handful of matches in your inbox. You start a conversation with half of them, and a few days later – radio silence. And the cycle continues.

What was it? Why didn’t Mohammed want to meet? Ahmed thought you might not be adventurous enough? The salams faded into nothing more than simple, boring pleasantries with Imran?

Take a moment and examine your internal monologue as you swipe over the next 300 guys on your phone. Too short? This ones not bad, but you could probably find someone with better job prospects? His photos not giving you the right energy? Men, and women alike, are swiping their way through countless options. With checklists and tick boxes they’re sometimes not even conscious of having. Ask your single friend what she (or He!) is looking for, and I’d be surprised if they didn’t use the phrase ‘just someone normal!’.  Normal. Although, there is no such thing as ‘normal’ (let’s leave that discussion for another time), do you really think, out of the hundreds and thousands of options out there, that someone ‘normal’, a compatible match, doesn’t exist?

And here lies the problem. We are often unconsciously meeting potential partners with the paralysing notion, that there may well be a better option out there. So whilst these apps were born out of a genuine desire to make the journey to marriage easier, have they unintentionally made it more difficult than it’s ever been?

As Barry Shwartz, American Pscyhologist, talks about  in his 2005 ted talk (watch it here), with so many options available, our expectations about how good something should be, go up. Frame this into the context of marriage, and it begs the question, is that why single muslims are finding it harder to marry? Take this a step further, and you begin to question – does this play a role in the growing number of muslims getting divorced?

Taking Barry Shwartz’s analysis on this ‘paradox of choice’, this paralysis from the literal, thousands of options available to us, means in our society, as Shwartz explains, making a decision has become so hard, that we either end up not making a choice at all or we’re less satisfied than if we had fewer options to choose from. 

So in the world of halal dating, as single muslims keep swiping, it’s not hard to understand why both sexes feel it has become harder to make a ‘connection’ with anyone long enough for it to lead to marriage. 

So with all this being said, what’s the solution for a single muslim, serious about finding a partner? Read part 2 next week. Till then, follow along on instagram to be notified of new posts and join in the conversation!



Barry Shwartz, Ted Talk (July, 2005) : https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_the_paradox_of_choice?language=ab#t-1157634  

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Istikhara Says No

Dear Zahra

I met a great guy on muzmatch and spoke to him from the start of the UK lockdown (roughly 4 months). 

We told our families a month ago and met 3 weeks ago – he likes me but said for us to move ahead, his family had to do checks on me and my family. I accepted because this was inevitable, his family had their status (his dad is an imam) to protect. We had great conversation after we met and spoke positively about the future, that is, until a week after, when he said we shouldn’t speak unnecessarily. He said it’s in the hands of family now. I received a call yesterday telling me his dads istikhara kept coming back negative after having done it a few times, and it’s best we part ways for now.

It didn’t make sense to me because his family sent people to my house 4 days before and called up my guardian 3 days before that, for a friendly chat. He said he didn’t do Istikhara because his heart was inclined one way, so he left it to his parents.

 I just need someone who’s not bias to shed some light on the situation.




Dear Aisha

I know this must feel like an incredibly confusing time right now.

What a stressful few weeks that must have been. It’s not unheard of for some families to do ‘background checks’ and search for references. There isn’t necessarily any harm in doing so and from what you’ve said, it seems this guy was quite intent, on his family making the decisions. So bearing this in mind, It appears that, despite how he may have felt about you, if his family didn’t agree (whether it be because of the references or because of an Istikhara), their decision would always be the ultimate decider. 

So whilst you may have had great, promising conversations about the future together, all of that rests on what his family decide – if it didn’t, he wouldn’t tell you that his father was the one doing the istikhara. This was very much about a marriage of families.

The important thing here, is what you take away from the experience. 

Now, despite the fact some families do search for references etc, I must say, sending people over to your house, on multiple occasions, to check on your family, feels to me, like a step too far.  Remember that you set the limits. Decide what you are and are not comfortable with. That means, not agreeing to anything you’re not ok with, even if they demand it’s the only way, for you to progress towards marriage. Don’t agree to anything that doesn’t sit well with you. No man (it doesn’t matter if he’s an Imams son either!) is worth that.

Whilst I can’t tell you why this istikharah may have come back negative, (and I’m assuming here, that they actually did pray Istikhara), I can tell you, that regardless of the outcome, trust that Allah (swt) will guide you to that which is best for you. 

I know it’s easier said than done, you’re human and we have incredible minds that work hard to help us make sense of a situation. Ultimately, take this as an experience, and use the lessons moving forward, to help you on your search. 

All my duas





*Name changed for anonymity

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He Suddenly Lost Interest

It was all going well and suddenly, you don’t hear from him. 

I know you’re trying to understand where this sudden change of heart has come from. Analysing every word from your last conversation, you have this internal monologue filled with negative thoughts and self-doubt – none of which are going to give you the answer, you’re desperately trying to find. Why did he lose interest? 

So it’s been a few weeks and you haven’t heard anything. Or, on the contrary, he’s reached out and quite abruptly ended things, when you thought there was every indication, that things were headed in a positive direction. 

But were they? Often times, we just fail to see the small signs that are leading up to the end of a relationship. That’s not to say, a sudden loss in interest can’t happen – in the world of halal dating it can and it does.  

So what are the most common reasons? 

1. He told his parents, who disapproved 

2. You recently discussed a topic, fundamental to his beliefs/principles, that you couldn't agree on

3. He was multi-dating and decided to pursue things further with someone else

4. He wasn't that interested to begin with

He told his parents, who disapproved

It happens. For some men, whether it’s for cultural reasons or simply because they have an exceptionally close relationship with their parents, their approval is a must. Unless you’ve gotten to the stage where your families have met, he may not necessarily admit, he’s ending things for this reason. In fact, you may have no idea, that he’s even spoken to his parents about you. So, what can you do? 

It depends on the circumstance. If you’ve spent many months getting to know each other, and there hasn’t been a total breakdown in communication (i.e. he’s not ghosted), you could try to ascertain the reason for the abrupt ending. If he’s openly admitted his parents don’t approve, and why, by having a healthy discussion around the areas of concern, you may find there are some things that have been miscommunicated/misconstrued, that you may be able to rectify. Ultimately, remember, just because his parents don’t approve, it does not mean, in anyway whatsoever, that you aren’t good enough! 

You recently discussed a topic, fundamental to his beliefs/principles, that you couldn't agree on

You should not change your principles, in order to please someone else. That goes for both of you. Whether it’s in regards to how you practice your faith, or simply a case of ones moral and ethical code – if it is fundamental to your life as a married couple, you must discuss it. The outcome is hugely dependent on what you’re discussing and there are many issues that can be resolved. Equally, there are some issues that will ultimately signal the end of your relationship. Let’s say for example, you don’t drink or bring alcohol into the home. He does drink and intends to do so while he’s married. In instances like this, ending it there and then, will likely save a lot of heartache down the road.

He was multi-dating and decided to pursue things further with someone else

Grab that tub of ice cream, this ones gunna sting. With the rise of apps in the current wold of halal dating, more and more singles are swiping their way to love. With that, comes the trend of multi-dating. ‘Don’t put your eggs in one basket’, as the saying goes. A phrase that was mostly used amongst those in the general world of dating, that has now found its way into the muslim dating-sphere. If it’s been a couple weeks and he’s suddenly ghosted, is it a possibility that he’s decided to pursue someone else – yes. Is there anything you can do – for starters, don’t chase him.

Take a day, eat the ice cream. FaceTime your friends and vent. But don’t start calling and texting him, in a last minute attempt at trying to save the situation. If it’s been a couple weeks and he’s not reached out, the best thing you can do right now is delete his messages and move on, as though it’s over. If he reappears, you can decide if it’s worth considering him again. But if he ghosted, and re-appeared after 2 months, unless he was dealing with some serious life emergency, what does that say about his character?

He wasn't that interested to begin with

Often, the signs are there from the beginning. Look back for a moment. Were you the one initiating most of your conversations? Who arranged or suggested your dates/meet-ups? Who did most of the calling? Did he go days without messaging or would constantly take hours to respond?

Whilst each one on its own doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not interested, collectively they scream – red flag! Texting and calling is not a game, but if he’s not showing any signs of investment from the beginning, that doesn’t bode well for your progress towards marriage. 

So If you’ve suddenly had an aha moment and realised most of the above is true, then it’s a safe bet he wasn’t that interested from the beginning. The great news and silver lining to all this – he’s just done you a huge favour. Why waste your time on someone that isn’t into you? There is someone out there, that can and will, see your worth!

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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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Adventures of Halal Dating

The world of halal dating used to be simple. In fact, I’m not quite sure we can call it halal dating. The journey to marriage consisted of rishta aunties, signing up to your local masjids list of eligible bachelors or if you were lucky, a set up through that friend of a friend, who heard you were looking to get married!

With more and more singles now entering the world of halal online dating, it’s difficult to understand why it almost feels harder to get married now? Surely, with all this extra technology, we should be getting married faster?

There are so many reasons as to why the journey to marriage has become harder than ever. Reasons I’ll explore through the website and through conversations over social media (hint, hint, head on over to the instagram account here ;)). But it’s important to know you’re not alone. I recognised that now, more than ever, we need a community and space to support and guide single muslims on the journey to marriage.  That’s when Adventures of Halal Dating was born. 

So bookmark this site, head on over to the instagram page and join the conversation. You’re not alone and InshAllah, I pray your journey to marriage is an easy one.

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