Speed-Dating with Chaperones: "Halal Dating"

February 14, 2006

Source: The Christian Science Monitor


On February 14, 2006 The Christian Science Monitor reported, "American-Muslims have begun to move on from traditional forms of meeting their spouses to something more practical, more American. The latest trend in Islamic matchmaking is through halal dating. Halal dating, like speed dating, has now become part of the American-Muslim social fabric. When done in a controlled environment, such dating is not expected to lead to a physical relationship until after marriage, since Islam prohibits unmarried, unrelated men and women from being alone together. Halal means 'permissible' in Arabic... One mosque in Silicon Valley sponsored a halal-dating service recently. About 50 men and women gathered at a community hall, arranged in groups of six - three men and three women at each table. The age range was wide, from 20 to 50 years old. Every group had one married chaperone... to keep the conversation civil and fill in during awkward silences... Participants came from various ethnicities. There were Pakistanis, Arabs, Africans, and American converts among others. Some women donned attractive, multicolored Islamic head scarves; others wore their neatly coiffed hair draped over their shoulders."