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Abu Hadi

Heavenly Match- Muslim Congress 2016

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Salam Alekum, 

I am honored to officially announce registration for Heavenly Match @ Muslim Congress 2016 in Dearborn, MI, USA.

Muslim Congress 2016 Promo Video

In order to participate, you must first Register on Heavenly Match (takes a few minutes)

Info and Registration

Then Register for the Conference (takes another few minutes)

Register for the Conferece

When you register, it will ask you, 'Will you be participating in Heavenly Match ? "

Say 'Yes'. 

That's it. Then when you get to the conference, look for the Heavenly Match sessions on the conference schedule and attend

Information on the Sessions. Process. 

Step 1. There will be a big room with probably hundreds of brothers and sisters. (seated on opposite sides of the room). They will all wear badges with numbers. The moderator will go to each side and ask brothers and then sisters to stand up and give their name and maybe a short question (you will not be able to talk for more than one minutes, obviously given the size). 

Step 2: Brother write down the numbers of sisters they are interested in meeting. Sisters do the same with the brothers. Then they go to the Heavenly Match booth and tell the Heavenly Match personnel at the booth that they are interested in meeting this brother / sister. 

Note on Step 2. Please give registration a REAL and VALID Phone number. Many times, there is a match for a brother / sister but registration can't get ahold of them to tell them. It is a shame to put all that effort into this endeavor and lose out due to a wrong or invalid number. This number will not be shared with anyone outside registration until Step 4, should that occur. These numbers are only used for communication at the conference. After the conference, data is deleted.

 Another note of Step 2. Please treat the Heavenly Match Staff with respect and kindness. They are all volunteers, fe sibilillah, get no money for this, and cannot (by rules of Muslim Congress) actively participate themselves in Heavenly Match (looking for a spouse for themselves) if they are part of the Staff. 

Step 3: If there is agreement on a meeting between the brother and sister (both have to agree), then a chaperone meeting is set up between them. It is a conversation in a private area of the conference that lasts up to 1/2 hour, depending on the participants. Families are not allowed in the room at this point, but chaperone is there. After this conversation, brother and sister decide if they would like to take this to Step 4. If they both agree 

Note on Step 3. This step is not limited to one meeting. Brothers and sisters can have as many Step 3 meetings with different participants as agree to also meet them. We have had, in the past, brothers and sisters that have had up to 10 meetings over the 3 day conference. So if you didn't have luck with the first one, don't give up and lose hope. 

Step 4: If they both agree to a second meeting, meeting is set up with participants plus Alim who explains the marriage process and answers questions. Families are allowed to be involved at this point, and we highly encourage at least one family member to participate in Step 4 with brother / sister. If Step 4 is completed, then staff gives information of the other participant to each participant, then they are on their own to negotiate the rest of the marriage. Heavenly Match is out at this point. 

Notes on Heavenly Match Sessions. This is different from other marriage introduction services, as we try to keep it halal at all times. 

- There is no 'free mixing' of non mahram, unsupervised, at any point (as part of the sessions)

- Modest Dress is required for all participants

- Process is supervised and concluded by ulema. 

- Families are encouraged to participate in the process, at appropriate time. 

If brothers and sisters have further question, they can post on the thread or send me a PM. 

Also, if brothers and sisters are interested in participating, I highly suggest registering within the next few weeks. 

If you wait till end of July / beginning of August, probably all slots for Heavenly Match will be filled. They have filled up every year since 2011. 

Salam. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi

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FAQ Regarding Heavenly Match ( I will add to this as new question come in)

1. What is the probability that I will meet that 'special someone' at Heavenly Match

If you are looking for a spouse who is Shia Ithnain Ashari (12er) and you would like to meet them in a halal environment, I am not aware of any other program that takes place in the US where you have as many choices, as far as who to meet in one place at one time. 

Heavely Match provides the venue, but it's up to the participants themselves to determine whether it is sucessful or not. Some tips to increase your chances

A. Don't turn down any Step 3 meetings. The Barakat of Allah(s.w.a) descends on gatherings in which His(s.w.a) name is mentioned and brothers and sisters are trying to work according to the rules which He(s.w.a) has made incumbent upon us. The brother or sister might not be your ideal in terms of looks and speaking voice (which is basically all you can know about them in step 1), but there may be something special about them that you will find out in a subsequent meeting that may be much better for you that you can imagine. 

B. Dress nice (but modest of course), smell nice, and have good aklaq. Self Explainatory

C. Don't get 'hung up' on income and career. If the man has the ability to support, in terms of house, food, clothing, that should be sufficient. Instead, you should look if the brothers has good deen and aklaq, and if he has motivation and intiative and if he is willing to 'do what it takes' to support his family. This is a lot better indicator of success than degree and present income level. 

D. Don't try to find out every aspect of the person in the first meeting. Write down your 'Top Five' things that you absolutely need to know about the person in order to continue and focus on those things. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi

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Great idea, we need something like this in our communities to help along with marriage.

I do fear though, given the format, it will be all about looks. [or mostly]

You perhaps ought to have hidden the gents from the ladies, and blinded it, and given each person one minute to describe themselves.

Edited by Tawheed313

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One suggestion if its already not covered:

It would be great if participants, males and females are given a list of questionnaires that are recommended to talk about in Step 3 conversations. Don't assume that even some late 20 something would be mature enough to discuss these hence the need for collective wisdom. It would make it much more smoother conversation when parents are present in step 4. 

These are some subtle questions, knowing these (resolving these) upfront before hand takes care of a lots of separations later on.

1. How many siblings, how many married, and how many would live in the same house as the new couple?

2. Any family issues that the other person needs to know of, such as divorced parents, abusive father, non-religious mother, a mentally or physically special child in the family

3. People don't discuss it but any particular disease in the family, other nice things such as twins, things that run in genes basically

4. Questions about religious practice and religious expectation from the spouse

5. What is your lowest moment in life

6. What is your highest moment in life

7. A scenario when you lost control on your temper and went all crazy in rage, what was your reaction in your rage?

8. What's your plans for Hajj and Ziaraat?

9. What would be the involvement of your parents in our married life? What would be involvement of my parents in yours?

10.What are your material obligations?

11. What are your material expectations from me?

12.Men, if she is an MD or DDS, ask her how would she take care of kids, what would the amount of career load, would you as a man be able to take a homemaker role? (I'm asking this because I had refused to marry a couple of MDs when I was in spouse selection mode, for me mom must be there for kids).

13. Women, if he is less educated than you are, how would he sustain you? There is nothing wrong if he is interested in selling houses or cars for the rest of his life, but is the plan to be a salesman for the rest of life or is he in entrepreneur type?

I'll post more if I think of others. I'm sure not all of them read SC, so if question like these are recommended to be discussed before even things take off beyond Steps 4,5,6,7 and so on.

 

 

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... And one concern:

How would the non-pretty ones or non-handsome ones be taken care of. I know its tricky, but what I've seen before is, the more fairer ones get all the invitations on the expense of the ego and self respect of the others. In my opinion, all of them are pretty, all of them are handsome but people do not think like this.   

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... So a suggestion to counter the prettiness effect :

Ok this one is drastic and I know Br. Abu Hadi will hate me for this.

Abandon the idea of having them sit face to face in that hall. Rather have all the participants upload a 15-20 minutes video before they show-up for the conference, answering 2 or 3 questions, and the rest would be an elevator pitch by each. This suggestion will take away the foundation layer effect / clean shave / clean bread effect. Basically you are forcing them to not be selected in step 1 by the beauty of their faces, and rather by the substance of their personalities. For video uploads, you could ask them questions that make people reveal their true identities. Similar to any modern job interview. 

Here's how you go about it:

1. Without posting the pictures, make them select all those they might be interested in by a simple answer of ethnicity, language, geographic background, hijab - non hijab, age, Syed non-Syed and a few others. If Fatima selected profile 4,7,19,and 34, then send her the elevator pitch videos of only those four.

2. Make it mandatory to watch the elevator pitch by all those who they are interested in. Based on elevator pitch watching, and based on if there is a mutual interest, set the time to meet for step 3 and onward.

Do not deviate from these rules during actual conference, meaning even if the grandson of Ay Sistani shows up, if they haven't passed through the proper steps, they wouldn't be let in.

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2 hours ago, Irfani313 said:

... And one concern:

How would the non-pretty ones or non-handsome ones be taken care of. I know its tricky, but what I've seen before is, the more fairer ones get all the invitations on the expense of the ego and self respect of the others. In my opinion, all of them are pretty, all of them are handsome but people do not think like this.   

That is an issue, definitely, but there is really no way around it. The main purpose of brothers and sisters going is to meet a potential spouse in person. If that didn't happen, I doubt we would get many people to attend. 

People who don't consider themselves to be very beautiful / handsome should know that a good percentage of how attractive someone is depends on their self confidence. A person with good self esteem, good aklaq, and even a sense of humor would be better off than someone who lacks these things but has better physical measurements. 

Then there are other things which people could do, like exercise, keeping in good shape physically and wearing cloths / colors / patterns that accentuate their good features. For example, someone who is a little hefty should not wear cloths with horizontal stripes. Someone with a big nose should not wear thick, coke bottle glasses, etc. Look online, there are tons of these tips. 

There are other things like posture when you are talking to someone, looking them in the eyes at strategic moments, learning and repeating their name, etc. Brothers and Sister who do these things, or most of these things don't have a problem getting matched. 

In my experience, the most physically attractive people are not necessarily the ones who get the most meetings(and even physical attractiveness is subjective and varies from person to person and setting to setting) . The ones who do usually have a combination of charisma, personality, confidence, aklaq and make the most of what they have in terms of physical features. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi

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15 hours ago, Ali_Hussain said:

but i imagine that it won't be broadcast, but then again, Muslims can often not be the most discrete people...

It definitely won't be broadcast.It is a venue, not a panacea. 

At the same time, even brothers and sisters who don't get picked for a meeting don't lose out. 

Usually, once they realize that they 'put themselves out there' like this, and nothing really bad happened, it actually gives them more confidence to pursue other similar options that exist for them in their local communities. 

Edited by Abu Hadi

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On 6/25/2016 at 4:32 PM, Irfani313 said:

One suggestion if its already not covered:

It would be great if participants, males and females are given a list of questionnaires that are recommended to talk about in Step 3 conversations. Don't assume that even some late 20 something would be mature enough to discuss these hence the need for collective wisdom. It would make it much more smoother conversation when parents are present in step 4. 

These are some subtle questions, knowing these (resolving these) upfront before hand takes care of a lots of separations later on.

1. How many siblings, how many married, and how many would live in the same house as the new couple?

2. Any family issues that the other person needs to know of, such as divorced parents, abusive father, non-religious mother, a mentally or physically special child in the family

3. People don't discuss it but any particular disease in the family, other nice things such as twins, things that run in genes basically

4. Questions about religious practice and religious expectation from the spouse

5. What is your lowest moment in life

6. What is your highest moment in life

7. A scenario when you lost control on your temper and went all crazy in rage, what was your reaction in your rage?

8. What's your plans for Hajj and Ziaraat?

9. What would be the involvement of your parents in our married life? What would be involvement of my parents in yours?

10.What are your material obligations?

11. What are your material expectations from me?

12.Men, if she is an MD or DDS, ask her how would she take care of kids, what would the amount of career load, would you as a man be able to take a homemaker role? (I'm asking this because I had refused to marry a couple of MDs when I was in spouse selection mode, for me mom must be there for kids).

13. Women, if he is less educated than you are, how would he sustain you? There is nothing wrong if he is interested in selling houses or cars for the rest of his life, but is the plan to be a salesman for the rest of life or is he in entrepreneur type?

I'll post more if I think of others. I'm sure not all of them read SC, so if question like these are recommended to be discussed before even things take off beyond Steps 4,5,6,7 and so on.

 

 

Those are good questions, but Step 4 is not to find out every single detail about the other person. It is to decide whether both are interested in pursuing marriage. You have to realize that asking all those in one sitting would probably scare the other person (sister) away. You eventually want to find out but you need tack, decorum and time for all these to get answered. 

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I believe it is. I wouldn't be promoting it here if I thought it wasn't. 

For those brothers and sisters who are 'on the fence' about attending. Let me tell you two things. 

First, every year at Heavenly Match, we have multiple couples that meet and end up getting married as a result of attending the sessions and going thru the process. It may not work for everyone, but it does work for some people, and you have no idea if you are part of that 'some' unless you attend. Many people ask me specific number, how many couples and what percentage end up getting married. 

That is very difficult to exactly quantify due to a number of factors, the main one being that once couples agree to go forward with the marriage process, Heavenly Match is no longer part of the equation, and we don't require couples or families to report back to us regarding what happened after they left the conference. Some do voluntarily report back to us, and that is how we get anecdotal information. 

In short, if you are looking for a sure thing, it is not a sure thing. If you are looking for an opportunity, it is a good opportunity. If you are in closer cities like Chicago, Toronto, or anywhere in Michigan (except maybe the UP), Ohio or Northern Illinois, you are single, and looking for a spouse that is practicing, Shia Ithnain Ashari(12er), then I think it is a very good opportunity and  highly mustahab for you to attend. 

It says in the Holy Quran 'Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in their own selves'. In other words, if you are unhappy with your current circumstances, these circumstances will not change until you first make an effort, fe sibilillah, an effort that is possible for you, then Allah(s.w.a) will help you to change your unhapiness into hapiness, but you have to make the effort. Salam. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi

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On 6/27/2016 at 2:44 PM, Dragon123 said:

Do you have a rough idea of how many people usually show up and what the demographics are (age, race, ethnicity etc...)?

Its approx 300 to 400 (probably more this year since it's in Dearborn). In past years, it's almost exactly split 50/50 between men and women. This is the Rahma of Allah(s.w.a) because most other similar events have alot more men than women. 

I would say 70 to 80 percent are between 18 to 30. Ethnically, about 50% Indo/Pak, 25% Arab, 10% Iranian, and the other 15% is extremely mixed between White Caucasian, African American, African, East Asian, Hispanic, etc. 

Edited by Abu Hadi

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Salam Alaikum. 

I don't how many registrations you have from Toronto/Canada on your website..... But I know there is a big Shia community in Greater Toronto region. I believe it is only 3hrs drive. If you already haven't, I suggest promoting it there. There is Facebook pages for Shiites of Greater Toronto Area, where you can post. Similar Facebook pages for Shia centers where you can spread word. Or can connect with local Islamic centers to post it locally.

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I need to lodge a complaint about the online registration. Why are we required to indicate our 'body type'? I think that is a little surprising that a religious organization is emphasizing looks. We all know that it's important but it is not what we are supposed to be looking for and we should definitely have the option to leave that blank. The organizers should ask themselves whether this reflects well on the goal they are trying to reach. I was completely insulted as a hijab wearing woman that I need to describe my body type in an online profile. Gross!

I know no one on this forum is responsible but I just felt like venting. Definitely not filling out the online profile. Will do the paper one when I get there 

Edited by Love4the14

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