I Tried ‘Halal’ Dating Apps For A Month And Here’s What Happened

For some of us, finding the perfect match comes easy. Other times, it can feel like a roller coaster down a rabbit hole of catfishes and fake profiles.

By

Ulla Scheik
Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

I never thought I’d end up on a “halal” dating app. 

To me, Minder always felt like a knock off version of Tinder and I wasn’t sure how to feel about that, especially considering how unsettling the whole “dating” concept is for me as a somewhat-conservative Muslim woman.

Yet there I was, setting up my profile, trying not to get my hopes up but still hopeful. 

Initially, I loved Minder. There were so many potential guys to choose from – I went from having 0 standards and willing to settle for anyone who would slightly understand my religion and culture, to being picky about what height and “religious flavor” I was willing to match with.

(Spoiler alert: I’m still single and maybe I deserve it for swiping left on all the guys who are 5’4 even though I’m 5’4 myself)

Despite being picky, I still had quite a few matches and at times it got overwhelming having to keep up with all these different conversations, many of which were clearly not going anywhere. 

I also ran into a few surprises, I got catfished, I was told off for using slang, and unmatched with because I picked “Shia” as my religious flavor. 

One of my rules for swiping was that I never swiped right on guys that had shirtless photos on their profiles, it was a turn-off and I couldn’t take them seriously. 

For whatever reason though, I made an exception when it came to this one guy named Mahdi. He was local, owned his own business, and I found him really cute. His bio was a mess but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and still swiped right.

Graphic - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

I messaged him the day after we matched, and right away with each message I began to realize that something was off. 

For someone who supposedly grew up in the states, his English did not sound like it at all. He also had a picture with a car that had a German license plate, which I thought was odd for someone who lived locally (unless it was just a rental, or he’s super-rich and has a house and car abroad *we love that*). 

His profile also mentioned that he spoke several languages, which I found out he couldn’t speak through our conversation, and he also said a lot of narrow-minded and ignorant things that made me end the conversation altogether.

At one point, I think he genuinely must’ve copied and pasted his message straight from google translate without making any changes to it, and it was very obvious. 

I was convinced that something was off so I did a reverse search image (I know so extra of me but I just had to find out).

And look what came up:

Graphic - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

His name is Amin Elkach. He’s a Morrocan athlete/model in Germany.

His real name is not Mahdi, he’s not afghan, he’s not a business owner, he doesn’t live in VA, and he most definitely can’t speak English. 

Unfortunately, he unmatched before I could report him and is still out there cat-fishing. If you run into him tell him he looks like he could be a Morrocan model in Germany!

Another instance I ran into was this excuse of a man who got annoyed because I used slang at one point, and I guess you shouldn’t do that when you’re discussing taxes?

I have so many problems with everything he said in those messages, I wouldn’t even know where to begin, but I’ll leave it at this; it’s him, it’s not me.

Graphic - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

I don’t have screenshots for my next point, but on my profile, I purposely chose to show that my “religious flavor” as Minder likes to phrase it, is Shia. 

Even though I don’t believe in sectarianism, there are others who do and there are a lot of misconceptions and prejudice towards the Shia label. For that reason I chose to disclose it on my profile, in case someone had a problem with my label, they could simply avoid me from the get-go and save us both time.

Yet many of the guys I matched with apparently didn’t bother reading through my profile before matching, so a few of them messaged me afterward to let me know that they’re unmatching because I’m Shia and they’re looking for someone Sunni. 

I was most offended by the guys who matched, proceeded to waste my time with a dry conversation, then realized my profile says that I’m Shia and then unmatched.

And while all these things happened on Minder, I also tried MuzMatch at the time and my overall experience made me feel overwhelmed because I didn’t feel like I could keep up with everyone. I also felt like beyond the basic biodata, the apps didn’t really help much in getting to know the other person. I just felt overall disappointed and like I wasted so much time that I’m never getting back. Not to mention all the creeps I ran into on the app.

While my overall experience was definitely not good, and the apps didn’t really help me find anyone, there are people who find each other this way.

I’m not sure what differentiates those who find success on these platforms from the ones who don’t, but I know that it is possible for some people and that there plenty of nice and genuine guys on the app who don’t lie about who they are.

For me personally, the experience wasn’t worth the time I put into it, only to find myself right back where I started. But if you’re thinking about trying out these dating apps, I’d say definitely give it a shot, but don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t get you the results you want.