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My name is Omar, 34 years old from Malaysia. I qualified as a medical doctor, specialising in HealthCare Financing, Technology and Systems. Basically I don't see patients anymore, more of building hospitals, managing hospitals, managing United Nations budget for countries etc. But since I did umrah in 2009 and then Hajj in 2010, Allah has guided me to focus more on learning and teaching about Islam and Quran, and of course with my Science background, learning and teaching Science as guided by Al-Quran and Sunnah. I ask Allah to guide me in my future activities too, ameen.

I started to seriously think of marriage when I was in my early twenties when I was finishing medical school in Ireland, especially when my older sisters got married. But none of my effort resulted to marriage. My parents were unwell and so we were left on my own to find potential husbands. My sisters got married in their late twenties. It was difficult as I was working in the frontier field where all of the men around me are in their fifties and the young ones i.e my peers are intimidated by my position. My male friends remain to be my school friends but again no marriage proposals came. During these times also I was discovering my purpose of life and confused about what Allah wanted me to do. I was also confused with the role of women in Islam. Almost everyone was saying to me I had so much to offer the society and the world with my rare expertise, and that marriage will come when the time is right. But I kept reading and learning that we should put effort and do our bit too! I was confused and asked Allah to guide me. I would redha with whichever He gives me : get married and fulfilling my potential career-wise, or if I am meant to sacrifice being married in order to give myself fully to the world.

Alhamdulillah slowly many things happened as Allah has decreed. After umrah I lost interest in working and decided to quit my work and just take care of my parents. I was introduced to Al-Kauthar courses and knew this was the happiest thing for me, taking care of my parents, studying the deen and it felt right. I completed Hajj in 2010 of which a week later my father passed away. May Allah have mercy on him. Before that during Hajj I made dua that I wanted to take care of my parents more than I wanted to get married. In 2011 I witnessed 5 deaths, including my mom's.So when Pure Matrimony was launched in Malaysia early 2011, one night I opened my laptop and registered. I was thinking that the most important thing is that I made an effort. Maybe even if I didn't find my future husband here, I had put effort and I was sure at least it was one step closer. I almost used up the whole word allocation! I really thought we should really use the chance! When I finished registration, I read other sisters' profile and theirs were brief! i was embarrassed I wrote my whole life story there! haha!

A few nights after that I looked at the website and saw that there were no matches made, there were no brothers that fit my criteria, none from Malaysia,maybe because it was newly launched. So I gave it some thought and decided to widen my criteria to include countries that I was familiar with.I saw 2 brothers profile and sent invitation for them to read my profile. One of them answered asking to see my photo of which after that he said we were not compatible. I liked that we didn't waste time and we could move on. The second brother read and started to correspond with. I asked for his photos and he never asked for mine. I read his profile and felt that he was honest and he has the same life vision as I did. Most brothers would start their profile with 'I am an accountant...or engineer..or lecture...' Whereas this brother started as 'I am a seeker of knowledge'. Subhanallah.

MashaAllah attending Al-Kauthar courses really changed my perception and way in finding a husband. So guided by what i learned from these shaykhs, I stated in the profile the important things I wanted and needed in my husband. Among things that I can remember is respect, mushawarah in our lives on every issue, the ambition to improve himself and family, loves to be healthy and most importantly shares my passion of learning the deen, or at least allow and support my learning, not to restrict me unnecessarily. If i chose not to work outside home, he must respect and accept that. In Malaysia most women work, and somehow husbands are used to not to support the wife so much that when wives prefer not to work, they find difficulty to do this. The brothers that I had taaruf with previously were all not keen when I suggested to not work outside home. They preferred that I work so that life can be a be a luxury...His financial situation doesn't have to be substantial and his job and background and family are secondary. Basically akhlak and deen first, then health, strength and not to be too bad financially.

After corresponding through Pure Matrimony for 4 months, I asked all the questions as suggested and showing his photo to my sisters( My mom got to see his photo before she fell ill and passed away in March 2011) and discussing this possibility, the brother suggested to come in Ramadan. The previous 2 Ramadhan he spent it in Makkah so he thought coming to a Muslim country is good too. I welcomed the idea very much saying that he is still my brother in Islam,my guest, even if this visit did not lead to marriage. He still hadn't seen my photo. I offered, but he said my heart was beautiful and it was enough. Awwwww....mashaAllah. This melted my heart because all my previous efforts with other broters before this-the issue has always been that they wanted me to style up myself, wear make up, not to hide my beauty etc.Him saying that to me is a brand new thing for me!

He came in to Malaysia in Ramadan/August 2011, 6 months after we first corresponded, and Alhamdulillah though he came alone and so simple, we got engaged 2 days before Eid. On Eid he went back to UK and we planned to get married in September 2012.

Alhamdulillah Allah gave us the ease, he came the second time to Malaysia in January 2012, 4 months after first face-to-face taaruf, all the nikah documents processing so surprisingly had a speedy approval and we had our nikah and a simple family reception,as Islamic as possible. I am now in Hampshire UK, spending the winter with my husband, yay!

We had challenges, some of my family members opposed. They had good intentions and I was confused too because though we had proper taaruf but we had some difficulty with family. There were times when I wasn't sure whether it's the right decision, should we wait longer and get everyone to agree first? But Allah the Most Merciful know that we needed His guidance and everything went faster that we planned, Alhamdulillah. There are still challenges like having to be apart only meeting a few times a year, the financial constraints because of the travellings etc.

I think Pure Matrimony has the right and comprehensive way of helping sisters and brothers to get married the right way. The taaruf guidelines, the wali access,the lectures, and the comprehensive profile are really good. The fact that Pure Matrimony is part of Mercy Mission makes it trustworthy. When I was doing online taaruf, I felt comfortable to lay all the cards on the table and to ask all the questions because we have been guided that's the right thing to do. People who register are people who are serious about getting married for Sunnah and to please Allah. I had never done taaruf feeling so safe and protected before. And even now after almost 1 year of being married, we become closer because our uniting power is the deen, despite our different cultural, family and academic background, and what's so special is that he has the same understanding of deen as I because he also attends Al-Kauthar classes and a few others, Alhamdulillah! In the beginning I did ask him whether he's comfortable with my 'overachiever' background and he replied that a mother and wife must always be smart because children need smart mother and husband needs a smart wife. MashaAllah! truly as Rasulullah SAW said the one who is the smartest is the one who remembers death.

What I really like the most about Pure Matrimony is that it is stated that our correspondences are monitored by the shaykhs. For me, a sister who doesn't have parents to protect me, I value this very much, more than anything else. I felt safe, cared for and protected.

Previously I tried 12 online Islamic website. 1-I think the brother just cut and paste his reply to me from other websites because I actually saw the same text somewhere else. And another one was really bad, the brother started to talk about sexual stuff, horrible!

My advice to others: Keep making dua, keep trying, and do the right way from the beginning. Meanwhile keep discovering yourself, because most of the time we ourselves don't know who we are, what our strengths are, what we want in life, and do we really want to lead our life in the next 40-50 years until we die. To the sisters, learn about what's important, learn how do taaruf. Many of my single friends don't even want to attend courses and so on because they haven't found a potential husband. That's wrong, we have to have the ilm now, not when we are already in the process.  Learn that we should fall in love after nikah not before, otherwise this may cloud our judgement and thus leading to wrong decision and disastrous heartbreak. If we don't fall in love during taaruf, if it doesn't work out, we'll be fine. Some sisters are scared to go through process because they are afraid of the heartbreaks. Ultimately all these stages in our lives like taaruf, heartbreaks, marriage etc are meant to be increasing our eeman and connecting with Allah. Ask Allah to guide every step of the way and InshaAllah whatever the result is we'll be happy in the love of Allah.


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