Looking For Love, Honouring Tradition
Muzmatch helps Muslims find their perfect partner.
muzmatch: Arab & Muslim dating
Halal, Arab & Muslim marriage
Shahzad Younas, cofounder and CEO of Muzmatch, is intimately familiar with the challenges young Muslims face when dating in the modern world. Often, he explains, the only way to meet someone is to be introduced at awkward family dinners.
“It’s a big social problem,” he says. “I’m a Muslim, so I get the culture, but everybody I know looks really hard to try and find someone.”
Which is why, armed with a degree in computer science, Younas quit his job in finance, paired up with fellow engineer Ryan Brodie, and set out to create a dating app for Muslims—one that would both honor and disrupt centuries of tradition.
“I’ve also come to understand how big this problem really is, not just in the West, where the density of Muslims is low, but in Muslim countries too,” says Brodie, who serves as CTO.
The idea is to encourage good behaviour. It’s as simple as that.
—Shahzad Younas, cofounder of Muzmatch
“In Islam, there is a concept that women should have more protection when they’re talking to guys—a guardian,” Younas says. The app allows everyone, both men and women, to have a chaperone—a third person who will receive a full transcript of all chats to and from an account. “The idea is to encourage good behaviour. It’s as simple as that,” he says.
Anyone who has ever been ambushed in a dating app by inappropriate photos or off-colour pickup lines will appreciate that Muzmatch completely prohibits such behaviour.
“We are very zero-tolerance. If someone is being dirty or obscene and clearly not after anything serious, we just boot them off,” Younas says. Offending members are blocked by their phone number and not allowed to rejoin the service.
When members part ways, Muzmatch asks for feedback from both parties to see if everyone was polite and well-intentioned. Considerate members receive badges on their profile and get a boost in the app’s search algorithm.
Unlike most mainstream dating apps, which limit your pool of potential matches to those who live relatively nearby, with Muzmatch Younas wanted to widen the net.
“One of the big things in this culture is that, because people are looking for marriage, they’re willing to travel,” he says. When Muzmatch launched, distance was capped at 400 kilometres, but users overwhelmingly asked for that to be raised to 3,000.
“People also wanted to filter by country or choose different countries because they had ties back home,” says Younas.
We want to be a progressive and positive voice within the Muslim faith.
Shahzad Younas, cofounder of Muzmatch
Whereas young Muslims were once content to let their families handle matchmaking, Younas sees a break with tradition emerging.
“There’s a new generation that’s more empowered to find their own partner, but they want to include their family as well. We are helping the new generation navigate this themselves, while still being respectful of the old ways,” Younas explains.
Younas sees many who find someone through the app, then get their families involved. He says this process can save money, since often families rely on expensive, well-connected matchmakers to provide leads.
He points out that Muzmatch, unlike most matchmakers, can pair people of completely different backgrounds, religious views, and ethnicities. “We want to be a progressive and positive voice within the Muslim faith,” he says.
It's A Match!
Younas is pleasantly surprised by what he says is the top reason members leave: they’ve found someone special.
“At the heart of it, Muzmatch brings two people together, and ultimately two families,” he says. “Anything in this world that does that is never a bad thing.”