There were about 30 students and a couple of women wore colorful headscarves.
Muslim chaplain Celene Ibrahim Lizzio spoke about the "spiritual aspects of finding a spouse" — of asking God for guidance in finding love.
In a nutshell, Shaikh says, he felt like they were having fun and he wasn't. Ghazala Irshad, who also grew up in a Muslim family in Illinois, says she knows young Muslims who growing up, were told to "lower [their] gaze" when they came across the opposite sex. We don’t know how to talk to the opposite sex, how do we go about this?
"[But] by the time it comes to the age of trying to get married, then our parents are like, well, why aren’t you getting married, we want grandchildren ... We’re not allowed to date, we’ve been separated, we haven’t developed friendships," she says.
Some sites, such as Qiran.com, Muslim and Islamic are designed more intentionally for the needs of their members – detailed partner searches link cultural and religious values for example.
in particular, is aimed at those seeking marriage rather than those looking for friendship or casual dating.
He told Shaikh that he really liked the app and that he wants to get in touch with a couple of the women on it, but having lived in a conservative Muslim family, he said he didn't know how to write an email to a woman he didn't know.
"I said, listen, if you can't write an email to a girl, you can't get married to one," Shaikh says."The best advice I can give them is to think first about their relationship with God, with Allah, and then if they develop that relationship strongly, I tell them, make prayer, make supplication, that God put something in their path to make it easy to understand what type of spouse would be right for them," she told me. Tuba Muhlise Okyay, who is from Turkey, said in her conservative family, marriages are arranged.There is, she said, a courtship period where the couple are accompanied by a chaperone on, say, a dinner.Arif Shaikh, who was also at the gathering, says growing up he knew some Muslim kids who did date. "Muslim kids who are in relationships are more secretive than Navy SEALS," he says."They can do anything and they're completely un-traceable." Shaikh says the way his parents got married doesn't work for him, or a lot of young Muslims who have grown up here.Although Irshad's family isn't aganist her dating, they have taken things into their own hands.