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Published in “inslamonline.net”, 10.12.2005

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A photo of an Islamic wedding in Germany. (DW)

By Ahmed Al-Matboli, IOL Correspondent

BERLIN, December 10, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) - The first Muslim matchmaking service in Germany is attracting scores of matrimonial profiles from Muslims searching for Mr. or Mrs. Right.

"Finding a wife or husband is no longer a headache for Muslims in Germany," Samer Fahd, the founder of the Islamic Marriage Center, told IslamOnline.net on Saturday, December 10.

Fahd said several Muslims have tied the knot since the service was launched in February of this year.

"We were not that famous at the beginning," he said. "But the center has become reputable over the days and has received so far 150 applications."

Islam comes third in Germany after Protestant and Catholic Christianity.

There are some 3.4 million Muslims in the country, including 220,000 in Berlin alone. An estimated two thirds of the minority are of Turkish origin.

Online Service

German-born Fahd, who hails of a Palestinian background, said they also have an online matchmaking service on the center’s Web site.

"All s/he needs to do is to fill in an online application and state clearly whether s/he is a practicing Muslim.

"Women should specify whether they wear hijab or have children," he said, noting that several divorcees and widows have also applied.

Fahd said German women who reverted to Islam constitute 40 percent of all female applicants.

"Their age ranges between 30 and 35."

He noted that German Muslims from all walks of life have sent their profiles to the center.

"We have physicians, engineers and craftsmen."

Strict Rules

Fahd said the center is applying strict rules in matchmaking.

"We fully take into consideration the religious backgrounds of the applicants to have a harmonious marriage," he said.

"The personal information of all applicants is treated as strictly confidential," stressed Fahd, who is helped by his mother in categorizing female applications.

He said the center has received some requests from non-Muslims, who want to marry Muslim women.

"We politely tell them that is not permissible in Islam for Muslim women to marry non-Muslims unless they officially reverted to Islam."

Fahd, 37, denied having faced any government hitches to register his center, which abides by relevant German laws.

He stressed that unlike German matchmakers who charge some 2000 euros for their services, his center gets only between 40 to 60 euros.

WDR Magazin “CosmoTV”, October 2005

Download Ton: mp3 File (1,5 MB)
Published in “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and “Stern.de”, 20.10.2005

"When a servant of Allah marries, he has completed half of his religious obligations." This is how it is written in the Koran. So it is no surprise that Muslims value marriage, not least for the salvation of their souls.

But it does not seem to be so easy for Muslims living in Germany, to find a partner from their own cultural circle. The separation between men and women in Islam is strict. One doesn’t simply approach one another just like that. The woman risks being branded as easy. A man can happen upon a woman who is already married, which would compromise both parties.

This problem has been taken on by inhabitant of Munich Samer Fahed. A devout Muslim with Palestinian roots, he founded the first Islamic Matrimonial Agency nationwide one year ago. His clients originate from the German-speaking region. Currently he has around 15000 applicants in his database. The majority are women. This is due to the fact that many male applicants only want to get married for the permit of residence, says 36-year-old Samer Fahed. Those applicants are not being placed. “Women on the other hand are more honest.”

The Agency places only persons belonging to Islam. Both men and women are charged a processing fee of EUR 4,99 per month.

Experiments are not allowed.
Fahed has connected an Indonesian woman from Hamburg. “It was a matter of instinct that they would suit each other.” The candidate travelled to Hamburg, the two of them got to know each other. Two months later they got married.

"As a muslim you don’t experiment, it is forbidden", says Fahed. His Islamic Marriage Institute strongly recommends an inspirational prayer (Salatul-istikhara), which offers assistance in choosing a partner. In this prayer Allah is asked for the right decision.

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