Press Release For News Editors
For Immediate Release
Single Muslim Ltd - Wakefield, United Kingdom
Soul mate was "right under my nose"!
Abdul Raza and Safeenah Yasmin are both from Stourbridge, West Midlands, and had both been married before. Despite being hesitant about registering for SingleMuslim.com, they found success – and love! The happy couple married on 17 October 2010. SingleMuslim.com recently met the happy couple in Wakefield, where we were delighted to hear their story.
Abdul: I'm from Faisalabad, Pakistan. I was born in 1972, which makes me 38. I came to the UK in 1979 and it took me a while to get used to the weather and understanding the Western way of life. My parents and forefathers were from Kenya. I grew up in Dudley and now live in Stourbridge. I'm a private hire taxi driver and I have four kids from a previous marriage.
Safeenah: I was born in 1971 in Stourbridge and grew up here. I got married in Pakistan, which was no good – I had my soul mate waiting for me! I have a son who is fifteen and I'm a student.
So what brought you to SingleMuslim.com?
Abdul: A friend told me to go to SingleMuslim.com. He showed me the system: how you make a profile, how you communicate with people. He told me how good it was, how safe it is and what type of people go on it. He reassured me that I wouldn't be talked or laughed about. It's okay to be on there. It's just people with a similar purpose and need.
Safeenah: I tried the website because it's for single Muslim people and it seemed secure. I'm a carer and I don't like going out in an evening and I don't believe in finding people on the streets. A friend found the website for me. I wasn't too sure and I felt a bit embarrassed but little did I know that the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with was right under my nose! He'd passed my house so many times...
Abdul: Taking my children to the local mosque.
Who knew that you were on the website?
Safeenah: My mum knew that I was on the website. She wasn't too keen on it but then I wasn't meeting these people, plus I wasn't out on an evening either, so it was okay. My son knew and he made fun of it. He thought it was funny, mum looking for a man on a website. However, when I met Abdul Raza, they just clicked straightaway.
Abdul: My friend and one or two other people knew. I discussed it with my older daughter. To me, my children are my everything and I have to take their future into consideration as well. I put my children's needs and happiness first, and Safeenah was very understanding about it. I was looking for a like-minded partner, someone who was divorced or maybe a widow who would understand the difficulties I'd been through just as I could understand and sympathise with hers. I told the people that matter to me.
Safeenah: Somebody tried to put us down because we were on the website, saying that the site was just for pulling. But it's not and we proved them wrong.
Were you registered on any other marriage websites?
Safeenah: No, we weren't.
Abdul: No, I was lucky to go onto SingleMuslim.com. I wasn't too keen on this method but I do believe that it was the best place to be and it worked for me!
Did you try any other avenues to find a marriage partner before joining SingleMuslim.com?
Abdul: Yes, I did. I haven't got many relatives here but I have got a few brothers and sisters, but once they have their married lives they don't seem to feel your discomfort. Nobody really wants to listen to your problems or do anything about it. In the Asian culture it's very hard to do this yourself so SingleMuslim.com is a Godsend. It's an embarrassment saviour and you don't have to rely on anyone else. It enables you to make contact, which is the most difficult thing for a man to do. Contacting someone was no different from punching into a SatNav to get somewhere!
Safeenah: I have brothers and sisters but nobody wants to look for you when you're 39, you have a child and you think it's not going to be easy to find somebody who is a decent person. I didn't want another arranged marriage: not seeing the person and going to a country where you're a total stranger, marrying a cousin who you don't even know. I didn't use any other avenues. I wanted to choose myself and I told my family, "Once I know who I want then you'll know about it."
SingleMuslim.com is tailor-made – you can look, choose, even check someone's height and the colour of their eyes. It's like a tailor-made person for you! And it's what you like, not what people think is right for you.
Could you please guide us through your journey, from first contact on the website right up to your wedding day?
Safeenah: The first time I looked at his profile, I noticed his photo. He does weight training (I always wanted somebody who was into weight training) but he had his arm up, showing his muscles. I thought he was a show-off so I left it. I was looking for somebody genuine, God-fearing and not materialistic. About a week later I thought again about his location (Stourbridge) and thought I'd give him a chance. He wasn't too keen on sending emails so we exchanged numbers. I rang him and said, "What's this all about, muscles and stuff?" It wasn't a very good conversation and he got annoyed.
Abdul: I wasn't aware that my friend had put that picture on the website and so I thought she was trying to insult me.
Safeenah: I knew I'd upset him so I sent a couple of texts afterwards and he tried to ignore me. Then I was back on the website one night and I saw another photo of him. I sent him a message: "Is this you? You're the most humble person! I'm really sorry; I didn't mean what I said. I do like the fact that you've got muscles but I thought you were a show-off." Maybe it was because we were meant to be together that pulled me to him, and the next conversation was much better!
Abdul: I think she liked my profile but the confusion was that the photo didn't go with the profile. Photos can be deceiving. You can get one impression from one photo of a person and then a completely different impression from another. When we talked about it, we began to understand what the mix up was all about and we decided to meet up.
Safeenah: I said, "Let's go watch a film." He was such a gentleman.
Abdul: I got married really young and so it was a really big thing to me that I was going somewhere with an Asian girl. After the film we talked for a while and then I dropped Safeenah off.
Safeenah: It was like we were made for each other. We sat and talked and the time just passed. Straightaway I knew there was a connection. He was such a humble person, so down to earth. We did istikhara to see if we were compatible and took advantage of Orange Wednesday to see as many films as we could!
What did you think of Safeenah's profile, Abdul Raza?
Abdul: From her profile she seemed the lady for me but I was more concerned whether I would be the man for her. I hadn't mixed with the Asian culture for the past 25 years. Then I wanted to put a real face to the pictures. She was very warm, welcoming, understanding and realistic. No doubt she was looking for the same things in me as I was looking for in her, which got us into such a deep conversation the first time we met. It was 4am before we realised and we'd come out at 9 in the evening! I believe it was because we both had the right intentions and we went the right way about it. We followed the guidelines on SingleMuslim.com.
Safeenah: The articles about Nikkah and the procedures really told us something. We were born in a Western country, grew up with a lot of Western people. Yes we are Muslims and we read the Quran but we don't really understand it to that degree because it's in another language. The information on the website – what's halaal, how to keep Shaitan out of your relationship – it guided us and we did exactly what it told us.
When you met, did you feel the Western idea of love at first sight?
Safeenah: I can't say that but I did like him from the start and I felt good.
Abdul: It was almost love at first sight for me but I've never admitted it before.
Abdul: I'm into spiritualism. I saw something in her – her purity and naturalness touched me instantly. But I'm very reserved; I keep my feelings to myself until they need to come out.
Could you tell us about your wedding day?
Abdul: We'd been waiting for my spiritual teacher to come from Pakistan. My mother is mentally ill and I wanted, in a respectable way, to ask for Safeenah's hand in marriage. He confirmed the rishta with Safeenah's mum and then we had about twelve stressful days, when so-called friends, brothers and sisters were nowhere to be found. At first we suggested a very small wedding but Safeenah had never had the chance to be a bride and so I promised to help her fulfil her wish. I don't believe that anybody should miss out in life or regret anything. We did all the legwork ourselves; we went shopping every other day for the decorations, clothes, jewellery, hiring the car...
Safeenah: We did everything ourselves. The night of the mendhi I'd been up the whole night – we'd organised all the decorating, the clothes and the food. I must admit that we were nervous.
Adbul: We set the nikkah time for 11 o'clock but it was a bit late.
Safeenah: Everybody had doubts about this wedding apart from us. Even the Imam questioned it!
Abdul: The Imam was from the local mosque. I think about 130 people came to the wedding. I believed, and we agreed, that it was best to invite people who were happy for us rather than everybody for the sake of it. The people who matter most to us were genuinely happy and we had a lovely day. We chose a place to have photos taken and had a party at a restaurant afterwards.
My best man let me down but we adjusted and came through smiling. Safeenah's sister booked us a hotel for that evening. We didn't plan a honeymoon as we wanted to go to Umrah or Hajj and start our married life religiously and in a rightful way. I believe that real love, peace and happiness come from purity and being good. It's not anywhere else.
Safeenah: My older brother didn't want to come to the wedding and I was quite upset. At times like this you learn who your true friends and family are, but he did come in the end. The wedding was good. We really enjoyed ourselves and I'm happy. I'm proud of the way that Abdul Raza came and held my hand and we walked out of the house.
Abdul: I've been brought up to believe that a man, whether it's to his wife, his sister or his mother, is a guardian angel for them. And I'm Safeenah's now.
Are there any memorable moments from your journey that you'd like to share?
Abdul: We went sledging late at night!
Safeenah: It was snowing.
Abdul: In a way I'm hyperactive and I recognise that she is too. For our age, we are. We've got a very open sense of humour and we're not hesitant or shy with each other. If we want to act like children, we do. So I picked her up and we went sledging.
Safeenah: It was after midnight!
Abdul: We had a great time. It was lovely.
Safeenah: Another time, I had the flu and wasn't feeling great and he said, "Let's go for a walk." We had a long walk and it felt like my flu just went – it was all forgotten.
What would you say makes your relationship special?
Safeenah: The biggest thing that I really cherish is that he's the one who'll always make up if we've had an argument. He's so loving and caring and he makes me laugh. But whatever argument we have, we make up and we let it go. That makes us closer.
Abdul: I believe that when two people love each other, no one is higher or lower, bigger or smaller. There is no difference. We are all human; we all make mistakes. If one is upset, it doesn't matter who steps forward to make up.
Now a few questions about the website. What were your impressions of SingleMuslim.com?
Safeenah: It was clear and beautiful looking website.
Abdul: It was easy to use once you're on it. I didn't know much about IT skills and went on the trust of my friend – he put my information on there. As I got to know Safeenah, she showed me the photos and what had been written about me.
Were there any features that you particularly liked or made use of?
Safeenah: The Islamic content: the nikah, what marriage is meant to be, your relationship with each other – all that was really useful. The best way to have a relationship is the right way.
Abdul: That is most important.
Safeenah: Also, knowing that you're in charge of the website – that you can choose who you want to speak to and who you don't want to speak to.
Abdul: I didn't really look in so much detail.
Safeenah: He wasn't even on there long before we found each other. Masha'Allah, it is a good website and it's secure. I loved the bit where you choose who to show your photos to. That's really excellent. You don't want everybody looking at your photo. You're looking for somebody; you're not on display. That's how I saw it.
Did you meet any other potential marriage partners on the website?
Abdul: I spoke to a couple of girls before Safeenah but they seemed too immature. They weren't what I was looking for.
Safeenah: I met a few people and I always had somebody with me. Usually I took two friends and it was always in a public place so they could sit nearby but nobody would know they were with me. Some of the people I met were artificial. One guy started the conversation with, "I like you. Do you like me? Shall we get married soon?" That really offended me. I thought, don't you want to find out who I am?
Abdul: I believe a relationship is about understanding.
Safeenah: I was definitely going to give up before I met Abdul Raza! He's the most romantic person. He saw me in the shopping centre – there was something wrong with my car. He picked me up, put me on the shopping trolley and whizzed me round the car park! That's all the wealth you can ask for in a relationship. Not money, not things, just that.
How do you feel about males paying and females using SingleMuslim.com for free?
Safeenah: That was one reason I went on it. When you're a single parent and you've got children to feed, you don't want to be paying money to a website. Masha'Allah, it has helped. I wasn't working at that point. I think it's good that it's free for women. The serious males will pay for it.
How has SingleMuslim.com changed your life?
Safeenah: SingleMuslim.com has shown me that there is somebody out there who is genuine and real and not just some profile online.
Adbul Raza: It has changed our lives for the better and shown us that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We found something we have never seen before: it's called love.
Safeenah: Yes, there is somebody out there waiting for you and there is love. So go out and find it in an Islamic way!
Would you recommend SingleMuslim.com?
Abdul: I would always recommend SingleMuslim.com. It's the right way.
Safeenah: Yes, it's the best way to find someone and to find love.
What advice would you give to brothers and sisters on the website who are still searching?
Safeenah: Do istikhara and believe that Allah has made someone for everybody always.
Abdul: Keep SingleMuslim.com alive! We found true love; you can too. Good luck!
Safeenah: Don't always look at a photo and ignore it. Make sure you find out who the person is. Don't judge a book by its cover!
Finally, what are your plans for the future?
Abdul: Originally I wanted to meet a single mum because I didn't want any more children but we've got to know each other so well. We're relaxed and happy together. Safeenah would love to have another child or two and we are considering having a baby, hopefully in the next twelve months.
Safeenah: To start our married life by going to Mecca is the best thing we could ever ask for.
And to help our newlyweds on their way, SingleMuslim.com founder, Adeem Younis, took great pleasure in presenting Abdul Raza and Safeenah with their free tickets to Umrah.