There are fewer men than women in most countries, so the chances of finding a single man is slim, especially in the Muslim community where online dating may not be a safe place to meet people in a manner that complies with Sharia law.
However, there may be hope in finding a “suitable” companion through Moulana Dawood Sampson, also known as Doctor Love, and Iman Chilwan, founder of Iman Islamic Events
Mr Sampson, Imam of Masjidus Sabr mosque in Parkwood, said many single women have told him they are fed-up with trying to find companions online.
“Most of them are disappointed as many are not genuine,” said Mr Sampson.
Mr Dawood said some women are willing to be a second wife in Muslim rights, while others say they are too busy working in the corporate world and do not need a man.
“Iman Chilwan, from Kenwyn, ap- proached me as I’m running marriage classes to guide couples from A to Z in marriage. She is about to arrange a proper database for serious people longing halaal companionship.”
Ms Chilwan has started by hosting events where singles are invited to meet. Seating is arranged in age categories so those in their 60s, 50s, 40s and 30s are placed at different tables.
Ms Chilwan, 33, said she got the idea from travelling overseas in the United Kingdom. “They were hosting similar events, but not Shariah compliant.
“Having been raised in Australia then moving back here to Cape Town, and constantly hearing people complain about how rare it is to find other Muslim single people, I then decided to start hosting my own events, but in a Shariah compliant manner, in Cape Town.”
Ms Chilwan said she hosted her first event in 2014 and it was a huge success with close to 400 people attending. “I recently hosted the second one (in February), which I only organised in two weeks but it still had an amazing turn out of close to 200 people.
“I basically provide a halaal and fun environment for Muslim singles to meet. The women can bring a mahram (blood relative) to accompany them.”
Ms Chilwan said the initiative has been successful so far and couples have matched and later walked down the aisle.
“It is like a Muslim social club where people make new friends and others get married. So far, I know of 10 couples that have met and got married from meeting at my events. I am happy with that result.”
However, some women have been disappointed and did not find love, just yet
Widow Gaironesa Jacobs, 63, said she and her friend Shaeeda Emjeddi, who contacted Southern Mail, the Plainsman’s sister newspaper, in the hope of advertising
that they were looking for companions,
said she attended one of Ms Chilwan’s events.
“Unfortunately, there were not many 60-odd year old men. I also don’t want just anyone. I want a practising Muslim.”
She said she prefers a widower, rather than a divorcee. “I would also like a man who has a job. I have five children and I am living with my one son and sometimes it does get lonely. However, I am very independent and if I do get lonely, I just get into my car and drive somewhere.”
Best friend Ms Emjeddi, 60, who used to live close to Ms Jacobs, said: “Nobody clicked with us at the event. They were all too young. Everyone was treated with a table layed out with treats and it was a comfortable set-
Ms Emjeddi, who has seven children and also one son living with her, said her children are happy with her finding a companion. “I am divorced and am looking for someone to chat with or to take me out to the movies.”
The two friends said they will take a chance by going to the next event, as maybe they will strike it lucky.
Southern Mail asked a young man what he thought of the events.
Nathier Holland, 31, said: “I come from an Islamic background so the struggle for me is that the few women who are similar are hidden away.
“Most of the women I have met in general are either 100% into their career and don’t have any time for men and marriage or they have been burnt (in relationships) and close themselves off to marriage.”
Asked how he felt about the event, he said: “It had its teething issues but it’s always improving. I believe it’s very important as there are (few opportunities) out there to find Islamically inclined women.”
Ms Chilwan said there were many young single people but she noticed that the older men, in their 60s and 70s, were a bit shy to attend these meetings.
“However”, she said, “I am in the midst of creating what will be South Africa’s first proper Muslim singles online matchmaking database which will only be available to South African residents. This should be up and running in a few weeks.”
Ms Chilwan said so far she has been getting recognition for her efforts “as the Muslims here advise that this is a much needed service in Cape Town and even in South Africa.”
“I have invited Mr Dawood to host my events being a learned moulana and a beloved member of the community. He is known also to try and connect singles together so it was a perfect fit.”
* The next event will take place on Sunday April 15 at Rondebosch East Primary School, 4th Avenue, Rondebosch, at
2.30pm. For more information about the event and to register, WhatsApp Ms Chilwan on
079 729 1599 or visit www.imanislamicevents.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org