Source: Los Angeles Times
On October 23, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that, "as founder of the Matrimonial Services Committee at the Islamic Society of Orange County, Rukhsana Farooqui pores over notebooks full of photographs and applications, then prays to make a good match. Since dating is forbidden under Islamic religious law, many unmarried young Muslims rely on their parents to arrange a supervised gathering to mingle with a prospective mate. When those liaisons haven't worked out, more than 200 local Muslims have turned to Farooqui to set them up with a suitable mate. Farooqui, whose own 22-year marriage was arranged by her parents back in Pakistan, said she gets applications from teenagers on up through people in their late 50s. The first thing she'll arrange is a meeting between the families of the two applicants. 'It's not just one person marrying another, it's two families coming together,' explained Farooqui, whose matchmaking efforts have yielded more than a dozen marriages over the last three years. 'Whether you like it or not, the mother-in-law will be there.' Indeed, the merging of families is one of the most important parts of Farooqui's job, said Muzammil Siddiqui, director of the Islamic Society of Orange County and president of the Islamic Society of North America, which also sponsors matchmaking services. 'Farooqui is highly respected in the community,' Siddiqui said. 'She does this in a very personal way. It's not like computer matching. She's a very kind and compassionate lady. She takes this as a very serious matter and is very concerned about people's well-being.'"