Please read these carefully BEFORE deciding on whether to come an event. This is not meant to be an exhausted list and if there is question not answered below please contact us.
Yes, as this helps us gauge the level of interest and other information that a participant may want to know before booking, such as age ranges of people attending and ethnicity types. For all our events, we have a deadline and prices will vary accordingly, sometimes doubling after the deadline. For those who book on the day of the event or who turn up on the door without booking we charge a standard fee of £30, unless stated otherwise.
Will there be introductions and how many? How does the system work? This marriage event is not meant to be a series of talks or a seminar. It is expected that those who attend will be actively looking to get married or be an accompanying family member of someone who is. Insha'Allah the emphasis will be on solutions and getting people together rather than simply analysing the problems.
A person who is interested in participating in the event will be asked to fill in a simple card profile, which will be on display throughout the event. A brother or sister who is interested in a particular profile will contact the designated profile facilitators, normally a married brother or sister, who will try to arrange a brief meeting at an appropriate time during the event. Similarly, if someone would like to enquire about a person whom they or their parents have noticed during the event, they will also be able to contact one of the profile facilitators and take things from there. We try to arrange a minimum of 5 meetings or more subject to interest from both parties. We can not promise interest from either side and can not take blame for no interest at all.
Topics are chosen from experience, advice from Shariah Council reasons such as personal interests, expectations, in-laws, change, careers, rights and obligations, children, current affairs, pre-nuptials and so on.
Participants are randomly put into groups. This fair. The size of groups depends on the type of event but on average it varied around 10 with an even number of the sexes.
Yes it is compulsory. There are two main objectives for this event. Firstly, to openly discuss and find solutions to the problems being faced by Muslims in getting married. Secondly, to give people the opportunity to meet one another in an Islamic manner, gauge their opinions and standpoint in life before making a decision whether to meet the person for again for chat. You are either part of the problem by being selfish and not participating, or you are part of the solution by getting involved. This event is not for armchair critics and philosophers.
Shifting allows meeting of other participants and moving the men is more chivalrous.
Depending on the size of the venue, during group sessions Mahram/Friends sit either at the back of the hall or in another room. They are not allowed to contribute or participate in the group discussions as it is not their show. Previous experiences and evidences have shown they have been too noisy, obstructive and very little of benefit to the participant during the group sessions, in the name of so-called support. However they can sit in during the one-one meetings.
Firstly, to get them involved because many scholars really have very little idea about how these events work. If they understand the benefits, eventually they will support such initiatives in the community and perhaps even help organise them. Secondly, if you have any questions related to marriage or general issues they may be able to answer them. Finally, Islam and marriage should not be limited to the few moments “when the 'Mullah' does his bit during the wedding sermon”. There is a lot more to it than that.
Put some effort into filling in your card properly, just as you make a serious effort when writing your personal statement in job applications. It is one of the first sources from which others will learn more about you. Whilst you are not expected to write an essay, one-line answers will reflect badly on you and suggest that you can't be bothered or are not serious. No photos will be required or displayed but it is something we are looking into.
No, because this will slow down the event and past experience has shown that a lot of unnecessary mess is created due to lack of table manners. However, some light refreshments will be available, e.g. fruit juices, tea, coffee, biscuits, etc. This is not a wedding party but we hope that many weddings take place after this!
We are not a large organisation or a profit-making venture and normally hire rooms in a centre, which costs money. In order to pay for the hire charges and other related costs there will be an entrance fee of £10 or more, depending on the event. Given that other marriage events are charging up to £50, and bearing in mind that the average costs for weddings often go into the thousands, this is very reasonable for a community based project. Think about it like this - for brothers, they are saving at least 5 trips to the "Ambala" (an Indian sweet shop), and for sisters, no cooking is required and you can meet up to 5 potential spouses under one roof. To prevent the whole "village" from attending, a maximum of two Mahrams are allowed to attend each event.
Yes but they will be charged a standard rate of £10 and maybe you need to try harder with mahrams or family. Once you get married your friend will not be holding your hand all your life. One needs to grow up and deal with the issues in an appropriate way. Try to open some positive communication with parents and elders by coming to a middle ground. If you are divorced, a widower, or your parents are deceased or abroad, then these conditions would not necessarily apply. However, we highly recommend that you bring someone who is married or failing that, come alone. Exceptions can be made in the case of disability or other genuine circumstances. Sometimes we have found that participants have also taken an interest in the 'friends'.
Anthropologists have discovered that for almost all cultural groups, from the Eskimos to the Aborigines, it is the male guardian who 'gives away his daughter'. Even in the West, it is unheard of that a woman gives away her daughter during the marriage ceremony. The Islamic way of life perfectly fits our fitrah (innate disposition), yet unfortunately for many “practicing sisters” nowadays, bringing a mahram becomes a major issue. Perhaps we should prioritise our da'wah activities so that our parents are given the honour and respect they deserve, not just our managers or organisation leaders. By charging unmarried friends, we believe it will bring more seriousness to the event.
No, marriage is a serious issue. It is a highly recommended Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw) and not to be trivialised. This is not 'Big Brother'! How would you like it if someone was observing you. For many people coming to such events is stressful enough - they don't need extra pressure. A piece of advice: if you are married, get involved in helping people get married, if you are not, then attend as a participant.
This is not an Islamic talk or conference - it is a marriage event where one of the main objectives is to help people find suitable spouses in an Islamic way.
Post registration, participants are assigned numbered ID badges. This is for our purpose to identification purposes and a way of protecting your identity and contact details. After the general discussion you will have the opportunity to meet others. Meetings are to be arranged through the designated profile facilitators. See answer in Q.2 for a more detailed response.
Of course you can - you are more than welcome. It won't be a room full of just hijabis or bearded guys wearing shalwars. Each event varies according to the type of people. We are here to help not judge. We would rather you participated in this event than have to meet a partner in a place of potential vice.
Wear whatever you feel most comfortable with. Although this is not an interview or a wedding, first impressions do count so it's definitely worth making some effort.
No, this is entirely your choice.
No, but do arrive on time. When you leave, take your profile card with you. In that way we don't have to waste time looking for you if someone expresses an interest in meeting you.
No, from our experiences in running a marriage service and organising marriage events we have found that a lot of time is wasted, anxiety is created and expectations are built if the person is not responding. Thus we have stipulated that only if you are present at the event will your card be displayed. There is also too much administration involved.
Any one registers and attends, we trust them. We do not have neither the resources or responsibility to carry out a GIS background check of their education, family tree and banking details. This is an exercise for the participant and their friends and family to carry out reference checking. Any one who attend has some level of interest in marriage, how serious on is left to the interested party to pursue through all means of communication. If you are happy to do so then we have no problem with this, but we take no responsibility for whatever happens afterwards. That's why Mahrams and family members are important.
If you met someone during the event but did not take their contact details, we can contact that person later on your behalf. However there may be a charge. The reason for this is that previously we had wasted a lot of resources in chasing people who did not have the decency to get back to us. Is this unfair? Certainly not.
Maybe. We will contact you if we do but you should not depend solely on marriage events. Don't put all you eggs in one basket and try other channels like marriage agencies, friends, mosques and Muslim organisations. In fact the more pressure that is put on Muslim organisations, the more likely they will be to take the issue of marriage more seriously, which for them is currently not a priority. Do all of us a favour by contacting them and asking what they are doing practically in this regard. Copy us on the e-mails you send. Honestly, this is not a joke - please do this. Here is a list of some of the well known organisations or movements in the UK who are STILL not addressing this area.
* Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) * Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) * Islamic Society of Britain (ISB)
* Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) * Darul Ulooms in the UK (Bury, Dewsbury, Nottingham, etc)
* Organisations pertaining to different Sufi Tariqahs, describing themselves as the ways of the Salaf
and many others.
Unfortunately we do not have crèche facilities. Please do not bring any children and spare us the discomfort of having to turn you away.
Unless the event is cancelled, there are no refunds regardless of situation i.e changed your mind not to attend or whether you found someone compatible or not. The same applies with regards to transfer of tickets/bookings. If so whatever reason, you could not attend, tickets are not transferable to any event, unless the event was cancelled.
Full instructions about the format of the event will be given on the day.
No audio-visual recording of any form will be permitted during the event and cameras will not be allowed.
Prayer facilities will be provided but there is a mosque nearby.