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These Muslims found love during lockdown (Picture: PA)

With the traditional way of finding love put on hold for everyone due to the pandemic, many Muslims turned to dating apps.

And for some, the swiping and the chatting paid off.

Two couples who found each other on a Muslim-centric app Muzmatch have made wedding plans within months after their relationships were ‘accelerated’ by lockdown restrictions.

Aisha Rosalie and her husband Sultan Akhtar met online just before lockdown came into effect and said it gave them a sense of fear about the future.

This encouraged them to speed up their relationship – at one point even considering an online marriage.

Aisha, 23, said: ‘We didn’t see each other for three months, we spoke every single day. We were just so topsy turvy because we didn’t have that in-person contact.

‘When you take your time to sit and think, wow I want to be with someone. I want to share everything I am going through, I want to share my successes and my failures with someone – being in lockdown forces you think like that.’

After a whirlwind romance, they were married in a small nikah ceremony in July. A nikah ceremony is an Islamic wedding ceremony, where the marriage contract is signed.

Aisha Rosalie and her husband Sultan Akhtar met on Muzmatch (Picture: PA)

Sultan, 25, said: ‘It put things in perspective.

‘I had a lot of time off work and in that time we were able to get to know each other, which obviously did help.

‘Otherwise, I would have come home from work and been a bit tired, and we would have only been able to spend a few hours rather than entire days.

‘Even if it was on the phone, it did help us understand each other quite quickly.’

After restrictions banned public gatherings, another couple said being bored was the reason they ended up spending more time on Muzmatch – and ultimately ended up together.

Fahima Mohammed is a relationship coach for SingleMuslim.com and says there is a culture shift in dating within the Muslim community (Picture: PA)

The couple asked that their names be changed due to a ‘stigma’ over meeting online.

Mariam said she usually doesn’t like other profiles, choosing instead to browse those who had liked hers.

The 33-year-old said: ‘There was one night that I came across Maheer’s profile when I’d just loaded up the app.

‘He ticked all the boxes and I thought, I am going to give this guy a like, which I never do. I then didn’t hear anything.’

However, because she had opted to blur her photos – one of the features on the halal dating app – Maheer had immediately put her profile in the recycling bin.

Maheer, 35, said: ‘During lockdown, it was so boring. I was so bored I went into my recycling bin and started looking through the profiles. I never do that.

‘As I was going onto Mariam’s profile I started reading it. I thought she seemed quite nice, I liked her profile, I couldn’t see her pictures but I thought I’d message her and see where it goes.’

The couple were able to meet up the following week as restrictions eased and now hope to be married before the end of the year.

Maheer said: ‘It was very unexpected. I never thought I would have met someone on Muzmatch and it end up being serious.’

Mariam said despite the fast-paced nature of their relationship, ‘when you know, you know’.

Fahima Mohamed, a relationship coach for SingleMuslim.com, said a culture shift had begun within the community and the number of Muslim couples meeting online, via apps and dating agencies, would only increase.

She said: ‘With what is happening right now, even if lockdown is not as restricted as it was, people are not going out as much and meeting as much.

‘Before, you would meet in families, and people would do things together – this has had a great impact.

‘It’s part of the culture to meet with family, and to have massive weddings and to have so many other occasions where people do tend to mix, and that is obviously all taken away. So the only other best bet is going to be online.

‘It’s here to stay, especially once people realise it’s given them more control as to who they want to look for and what is the choice out there.’

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