Ep 10. Halal ‘dating’ in the pandemic (with Merium Bhuiyan)

Finding The One is hard enough – but throw a pandemic into the mix and it’s almost impossible… or is it? Join us in this candid conversation about halal dating in the COVID-19 era with Merium Bhuiyan, CEO and Founder of CakeFace Makeup. Find out what it’s truly like to ‘halal date’ in the midst of a global pandemic; how prospective husbands slide into her DMs, and what happens when a right swipe doesn’t quite go according to plan.


WARNING: this is an explicit episode with adult themes and language. Please put your earphones on and listen to this in private. 

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Merium Bhuiyan is the founder and CEO of CakeFace Makeup, a makeup services company that champions confidence building through workshops and events sharing expertise. http://cakeface-makeup.com/


Merium holds a Masters in Education and is interested in inclusion and social mobility. She advises on several boards and committees in the community and utilises her roles as Vice Chair of her local faiths forum and Trustee of her local community centre to speak publicly on a variety of issues, including hate crime and youth violence. In her spare time Merium is involved with her local theatre and contributes to a variety of creative arts projects. Merium’s skills include consulting, leading and directing on a variety of enterprises including festivals, charities and youth projects, and aims to complete a PhD and advise on education at governmental level in the future.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on these podcasts are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Not Another Mum Pod’s management or of any sponsors. Any content provided by our contributors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, identity (gender or sexual) club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.


What do we mean by ‘halal’ dating? How do you keep it ‘halal’ when meeting strangers and then getting to know them? What makes people turn to alternative ways to find the one?

Tasneem:  Salaams and welcome back to another episode of Not Another Mum Pod.

Nafisa: Our recent episodes have been quite emotional and hard hitting so really looking forward to this one.


Tasneem: Yes iA, although it’s a serious topic, our guest Merium has a lot to share! We discussed how we met our other halves (listeners if you haven’t heard it yet, do go back and listen, we also released a short bonus track after that covering some pretty comic moments of meeting potentials) but today’s show will be very insightful and reflective of what actually goes on these days.


Nafisa: Can’t wait. So let’s get real, what on earth is ‘halal dating’? Islamically speaking, we’ve only got the concept of supervised courtship. You know, the concept of  courtship was actually a thing in Muslim societies for centuries but this was subdued during colonization where social restrictions and segregation was imposed by  Britain and Europe. So is this what this is, halal dating? Tas, shed some light on it seen as you’re the cool and hip one, and more in trend with today’s shenanigans. right?


Tasneem: Dating in general is seen as a western concept where two people meet with the intention to get to know each other and have sex basically at some point. ‘Halal dating’ is something this generation coins as where you meet someone for the purpose of marriage with no intention to have sexual intimacy. They feel it’s okay as you’re just  getting to know someone for the sake of marriage and not just to be boyfriend and girlfriend.


Nafisa: Oh, so you mean instead of sexual intimacy, by getting to know someone they are looking for emotional intimacy? So in mainstream Islam, the concept of meeting others without a chaperone ie their wali or guardian who is considered their mahram, is actually not permissible. Getting to know someone also has limits, ie, once you feel you have ‘gotten to know the main issues regarding marriage, you’re not meant to elongate the talks and become emotionally close due to fitnah. What do you think has changed in our community today that blurs these lines and why are people now more interested to get to know someone by dating them? (I do know in the Maldives culture for example, it is very common to date including amongst religious families, they have their wali present and allow the prospective spouses to get to know each other over a prolonged period of time)

Discussion points: 

  •  How has the pandemic affected your dating life?
  • Talk us through what goes down when someone swipes you
  • Worst opening lines;  best opening lines  
  • What sort of guys are on these apps; what dodgy people do you come across?
  • What sort of questions do you ask/get asked, what questions are important? 
  • How do you know if a guy’s worth meeting?
  • First impressions?
  • Do men approach divorced women for polygamy?
  • Worst meeting story – good meeting story
  • Any real potentials?  
  • How do you maintain your sanity through this process?
  • How do you reconcile this with Islamic guidance on how to meet someone, ie it must be chaperoned with a guardian? 
  • Traits that could annoy
  • Harder you age, succumb to pressure?
  • Do you have a list of do’s and don’ts?/ deal-breakers, non-negotiables?


Some links of common questions to ask your potential spouse:





Some links for marriage courses/resources:







Other useful links:



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