Germany, Asharq Al-Awsat- To find a Muslim wife or husband has become somewhat of a complicated task for many young Muslims in Germany. For that purpose, an Islamic marriage center was recently opened in Munich to assist those who have a genuine desire to marry. The Deutsche Ville internet radio stations said that most German Muslims would prefer to marry somebody of the same religion but due to an adherence to tradition, segregation between the sexes makes it difficult for men and women to meet in public and for young Muslims to talk to potential spouses to determine compatibility.
In an attempt to help these young people, Palestinian Samer Fahad established the first Islamic marriage center in Munich to bring Muslims of both sexes together. Since its establishment one year ago, 150 applications have been made. Surprisingly, most of the applicants are women. Samer explained, "The high rate of women is related to the fact that we reject applications from immigrants who seek marriage to acquire residency and work permits."
The center exclusively matches Muslim clients who are obliged to complete an application form that asks for personal details such as age, job description, appearance, hobbies, as well as the extent of religious practice about prayers, fasting, and Zakat.
The fee per application is 39 Euros for women and 59 Euros for men. In the case of successful marriages, the center is paid 500 Euros. The professional background of male applicants is varied as there are doctors, engineers, lawyers, technicians and laborers. Most female applicants hold a university degree. Furthermore, half of the female applicants have been previously married and have children. The percentage of female applicants of German origin is over 40% while their average age is 35 years old.
The center has had many successes. Concerning the first successful set-up, Samer proudly said, "Last February, a 50 year-old male German Muslim from Cologne who owned property and earned a secure salary applied to the center. We introduced him to an Indonesian Muslim woman who lived in Hamburg. He traveled to Hamburg to see her, and two months later, they got married. The center requires sincerity from all applicants and it vows to protect completely their personal information."