Noreen: Know yourself first! And know the qualities and traits in a partner that are most important to you. If you feel a connection with someone, don't be afraid to say it! Nobody's got time for games and we're all too old for that, anyways. Once a connection has been established, look for resources to help guide you along on your journey. We used a list of 100 pre-marital questions that was modified and added to by a friend who had used them before us. We also made sure to sign up for pre-marital counseling, which was really helpful in talking out some things that felt uncomfortable, but were very important.
Steve: It was sometimes tiring to feel like women were only matching with me to hear a convert's story, but in reality, for family or personal reasons, they would likely never marry a revert. I can't speak for all converts, but personally, I don't think it makes sense to ask for someone's conversion story over messages or in the first meeting. I would prefer to share that, if it is to be an authentic and meaningful conversation, when some trust has been built and reciprocal sharing is occurring. Don't waste each other's time. There's a balance of sharing various aspects of one's personality naturally and also having more serious and intentional conversations to discover compatibility. Be very clear about one's intentions and use relationships with friends, elders, spiritual advisors and couselors to constantly improve one's ability to assess others as a match and to communicate better in each phase of the process (messaging, phone calls and meeting). At the same time, leave room for the grace of God; have some patience and tolerance for people and where they're at. We are both managing massive amounts of data and dealing with human beings in this process of opening ourselves to marriage. We must seek to improve ourselves through rememberance of Allah and practice the best character we have with others so we may help each other remove barriers to marriage for the sake of the entire ummah.
Mona: If you’re on the Salams, have faith and be hopeful. Sometimes it will be hard and discouraging, but don’t give up on love, it really is the best feeling when you find someone that you can be your absolute self with and always remember to trust in Allah’s plans for you!
Sameh: From a man’s perspective, I would say to keep your life balanced. I spend time on my career, but I also spend time on my physical health, and time for hobbies and interests. All of these traits I always made visible in my profile, and I think women can easily pick up on which guys are more stable and down to earth.
Yousif: Online “matching” can be so stressful - and often felt like grad-school or a job application process with “interviews” looking for the right one. I’ll tell you though, it was worth it to finally find her, and that process of meeting / interviewing all the people that didn’t work out made it so much clearer when I finally met the one that was perfect for me.
Saba: Salams brought together two people from two different countries. Be open, trust your heart, define deal breakers early to make sure you're on the same page and let the rest sort itself out! We ended up getting married at Hajj that year in Mecca!
Halla: Don’t settle and have a firm grasp of knowing what you want vs what you need. I have discussed with my sisters multiple times that I ~needed~ to be with someone as extroverted as me. Shokri is most definitely not an extrovert, yet we complement each other in such an adoring way, that I look back at those conversations with my sisters and now understand that it was a want and what I needed was an introvert to balance me out. And like I said, don’t settle. Your naseeb is out there because Allah made us in pairs. Find your person who is going to listen to your 38-minute voice note three times. Find your person who is going to love your biggest insecurities and make you feel beautiful. Find your person who is going to fill your heart with the best of feelings. Find your person who is going to redefine the words “love and soulmate.”
Shokri: I think it is very important that you be yourself. You should not try and change who you are for anyone because your person will love you for who you are. Though that does not mean that we shouldn’t try to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. We still need to focus on our physical and mental health, family, career, and deen. The person that’s for you adds quality to your life, they are not someone that takes away from it.
Sana: Be patient, have fun and know he/she is out there somewhere searching for you. Just be patient and don’t be afraid to match with people from different states. I’m from Virginia and my husbands from Chicago and it’s been a success moving here
Zakia: Our Islamic views aligned with each others. Have patience and discuss marriage timeline and Islamic values as early as possible to prevent confusion.
Joumana: From Swiping for only 4 days, to receiving a Telegram, to Matching, to Becoming Engaged! Searching for marriage can be daunting at times, but when you know you found the one for you, YOU KNOW. This Telegram let me know that Rabie was meant for me: "You had me at chicken tenders and fries.”