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1. Do I have to book in advance?

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 the charge is higher and paid in cash on the door.

2. What will happen at the event?

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. 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 profile on our Marriage Event App, a link will be sent after registration and payment (usually a week before the event) and the profile will contain basic biographical information as well as space to add what you hope to offer a potential spouse and you they are looking for. Each individual is assigned a numbered badge to enable clear identification.

In order to create an environment that is consistent with Islamic principles, the format of our events is carefully managed to minimise unnecessary ‘free-mixing’ while ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to be introduced. While some Muslim marriage events have chosen to replicate Western styles of ‘speed-dating’ based on one-to-one meetings lasting 2-3 minutes, we have developed an alternative method based on a group rotation that allows for all participants to meet within initial small groups where, with the help of a group facilitator, participants are encouraged to introduce themselves and offer responses to a series of ice-breaker questions with some light-hearted questions. After introductions in small groups, the women remain seated while men are asked to move onto the next group and continue introductions and rotations until all participants have been introduced. People are encouraged to make note of anyone they are interested in speaking to further.

The second part of the event focuses on facilitating one-to-one meetings between interested parties where they are free to exchange contact details if they choose to. Friends or mahrams are strongly encouraged to attend to give moral support in the whole process. 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.

3. What topics are discussed? And how big are the groups? How do you chose who goes where? Do I have to attend the discussions or group sessions, I feel its pressurized? Why shift the men?, Can my Mahram/friends join in?

Topics are chosen from experience, married couples, advice from Shariah Council, Ulema, marriage counselors and include personal interests, expectations, and some light-hearted matters - nothing stressful!

Participants are randomly put into groups. This is fair. The size of groups depends on the size and type of event but on average it varied around 10 with an even proportion 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.

4. Why are you bringing an Islamic scholar or speaker?

If they are available we will try and the reason why we bring them firstly, is to get them involved because many scholars really have very little idea about how these events work and the modern challenges of Muslims in looking for spouses and relationships. 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.

5. What do I write on my profile?

Put some effort into filling in your profile 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. Photos are highly recommended but not mandatory, however if you have photos of yourself on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or the latest social media craze, and to insist not have a photo on your profile for a Muslim marriage event does not really win much favours or prospect interests.

6. Will dinner be provided?

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!

7. Is there a charge and why?

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, depending on the event. Given 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.

8. I can’t bring my parents or a mahram, and I don’t have anyone who can influence them, can I bring a friend instead?

Yes but depending on the event there is usually a standard charge rate of £15 per person CASH on the day for friends and for mahrams or family members are charged at £10 per person CASH on the day.

9. Why are you charging for non-mahrams, such as accompanying friends who are unmarried?

Unfortunately many times we have found so-called accompanying friends were also looking for themselves but refused to take part in the event and by charging, we believe it will bring more seriousness to the event and fairness to real fellow participants who paid the full ticket price and made the effort to participate in full.

10. Can I come to observe only?

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.

11. Will there be segregation?

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.

12. How do you identify people and how will I get a chance to see and speak to other participants?

Post registration, participants are assigned numbered ID badges after creating the profile on our app . This is for identification purposes and a way of protecting your identity and contact details. After the ice-breakers, you will have the opportunity to meet others. Meetings are to be arranged through our app, where the system will confirm your selections based on reciprocation from the other participants interest to you as well, after which seat arrangements are made by staff for you talk in person one to one for at least 15 minutes. See answer in Q.2 for a more detailed response.

13. I feel that I am not practising, can I still come?

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.

14. What should I wear on the day?

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.

15. If I wear niqab will I have to take it off?

No, this is entirely your choice.

16. Do I have to stay for the whole session?

No, but do arrive on time and as you have paid and made the effort to attend and likewise others, to maximize your opportunities and chances to meet as many participants as possible, it is advisable to stay til the end, as it takes time for participants to open up, or make an interest and complete meetings.

17. Can I leave my profile with you and display it at future events?

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 present. Thus we have stipulated that only if you are present at the event will your profile be displayed. There is also too much administration involved.

18. Do you do any background checks of participants? How do you know they are serious? Can I exchange my contact details with a participant?

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.

19. Will you arrange any follow-ups?

If you met someone during the event but did not take their contact details, you can contact that person through our online database at www.FindYourMuslimPartner.com  - All participants are automatically registered to our online service and can follow up with the person of interest there.

20. Will you organise more events?

All future events are posted on our website and you can subscribe to our mailing list for notifications. In general, you should not depend solely on marriage events. Don't put all you eggs in one basket and try other channels like online services in particular ours at www.FindYourMuslimPartner.com,  marriage agencies, friends, mosques and Muslim organisations.

21. Can I bring children with me?

Yes, but please bear in mind we do not have crèche facilities.

22. What are your refund policies?

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.

23. How is the event structured?

Full instructions about the format of the event will be given on the day, however in brief; A person who is interested in participating in the event will be asked to fill in a profile on our Marriage Event App, a link will be sent after registration and payment (usually a week before the event) and the profile will contain basic biographical information as well as space to add what you hope to offer a potential spouse and you they are looking for. Each individual is assigned a numbered badge to enable clear identification. In order to create an environment that is consistent with Islamic principles, the format of our events is carefully managed to minimise unnecessary ‘free-mixing’ while ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to be introduced. While some Muslim marriage events have chosen to replicate Western styles of ‘speed-dating’ based on one-to-one meetings lasting 2-3 minutes, we have developed an alternative method based on a group rotation that allows for all participants to meet within initial small groups where, with the help of a group facilitator, participants are encouraged to introduce themselves and offer responses to a series of ice-breaker questions with some light-hearted questions. After introductions in small groups, the women remain seated while men are asked to move onto the next group and continue introductions and rotations until all participants have been introduced. People are encouraged to make note of anyone they are interested in speaking to further. The second part of the event focuses on facilitating one-to-one meetings between interested parties where they are free to exchange contact details if they choose to. Friends or mahrams are strongly encouraged to attend to give moral support in the whole process. 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.

24. Can I record or take pictures?

No audio-visual recording of any form will be permitted during the event and cameras will not be allowed.

25. Are there prayer facilities available?

Prayer facilities will be provided and depending on where the event is located there may also be a mosque nearby. In general, depending on the timing of the event, try to pray and make wudu before you come or try to be in a state of wudu in order to save time (but toilets and washrooms available) and general spiritual mindset. At the event, please try to make salah as quick as possible and leave tahujjud prayers or istikhara dua after the event as time is short, meetings need to be arranged and no need for public show of super-piety!

26. Privacy Policy

Registration and attendance of any our event means, you are automatically added to our FindYourMuslimPartner.com database as well, the information (including sensitive personal information) you provide to us will be stored on our computers and servers. By using our services whether it is events or database, you are consenting to us using this information to build up a profile of interests, preferences and browsing patterns and to allow you to participate fully in the services we have to offer. Hence you will receive regular notifications of our future events and sponsored events. Should you wish to stop receiving notifications or be removed from the service, please kindly send an email after the event at info@muslimmarriageevents.com