KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — In the digital age, love is just a swipe away. Dating behaviors have also changed post-pandemic, with dwindling “meet-cutes” and participants between the ages of 25 to 34 years old utilizing dating and matchmaking platforms.
Within the evolving dating landscape, Muslim singles are increasingly harnessing the power of technology in their search for love with close to 77.8% leveraging on matchmaking platforms to search for potential spouses. Popular Muslim dating and matchmaking apps such as Muzz, Salams, and Malaysian newcomer, BaitulJannah, are among the most commonly used.
This was recently revealed through a groundbreaking research report entitled “Match to Marriage” by global creative agency, TBWA Asia through its Malaysia-based Muslim insights unit, Halal Wave. The report mined data from 158,586 social media conversations and 16 interviews which were conducted from 2021 to 2023 across five countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
“This report has been ideated and spearheaded by 65dB Kuala Lumpur, an audience intelligence arm under TBWA Malaysia, in collaboration with TBWA regional offices. This concerted effort to gather data demonstrates our proactive stance in crafting strategies that resonate within this thriving and diverse demographic,” commented Hui Tsin, Yee, Chief Executive Officer of TBWA Group Malaysia.
Addressing Muslim dating and matchmaking, the report further sheds light on the experiences of Muslims in their journey towards marriage, while equipping businesses with essential data to better serve an influential and diverse audience.
“Experiencing isolation during the pandemic had a huge impact on me. I was missing my loved ones and turned to God at a deeper level, which sparked a desire to seek marriage.
“I began rewriting my priorities and purposes during this time. Finding a like-minded partner was my goal. I then delved into the world of online Muslim matchmaking, the psyche, challenges, and the opportunities, which then formed the essence and platform of this report,” said Nazirah Ashari, Head of 65dB Kuala Lumpur, Strategy Director at Halal Wave, TBWA\Asia, and Research Author of the “Match to Marriage” report.
The report highlights that the quest for marriage among Muslims is not without its challenges. As Muslims live and interact in a culturally diverse background, conversations concerning interfaith marriage are a significant topic of interest.
- 62.3% are concerned about marriage regulations between different faiths as well as conversion to Islam as part of interfaith marriage.
- 20.6% cite lack of guidance as the second largest barrier as they are unsure whether their approach to forming an acquaintance is aligned with Islamic teachings.
- 3.9% cite language barriers.
- 3.0% have expressed fears of being scammed in online dating and matchmaking realms.
- 2.6% are worried about mismatched intentions with individuals who may have a different outlook, especially those who are serious about their intent about marriage.
“With different levels of intent among Muslims who date, we have come to realize that there are areas of transformation that innately occur when they are preparing themselves for marriage.
“Through meticulous analysis of data found in social media conversations, the report identifies 8 Areas of Marriage Readiness which lists out spirituality, character, family consent and blessings, communication, financial and security, health, future home, and finally, the Nikkah/Wedding,” added Nazirah.
Within the stage of marriage readiness, there are three distinct personas that encapsulate the clarity & action as well as the seriousness of intent towards marriage.
- Someday, InshaAllah – individuals have an open timeline, seeking deeper understanding and practical knowledge for marriage.
- One Day, InshaAllah – seekers are actively planning for their future, aiming for growth, stability, and a reliable family-building plan.
- Today, InshaAllah – individuals are certain of their intention to marry, prioritizing blessings over extravagant spending.
“As one who is also journeying on this path of finding Mr. Right, I find myself fascinated by the plethora of opportunities available for the financial, real estate, and wedding industries.
“Household management, financial planning, and cost-effective wedding planning are amongst the many services that businesses can offer for all three different segments of the marriage personas,” added Nazirah.
With close to 1.9 billion global Muslim consumers worldwide, growth strategy research and execution management firm DinarStandard reported that this demographic spent USD 2 trillion in 2021 across various categories, with a projected increase to USD 2.8 trillion by 2025. There is a strong demand for products and services that cater to the Islamic way of life.
“Undeniably, there is a growing need for businesses to empower and support marriage-minded Muslims throughout their journey towards matrimony. Faith-friendly offerings customized to different life stages will certainly do well in this day and era,” Nazirah concluded.