Online Halal Dating, Ta’aruf, and the Shariatisation of Matchmaking among Malaysian and Indonesian Muslims

Author(s) Eva F . Nisa
Contact Eva F. Nisa, Australian National University, Coombs Building, ACT 0200, Australia. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 15, Iss. 1, 2021, pp. 231-258
Published June 30, 2021
Type Article
Abstract Halal (permissible according to Islamic law) matchmaking and anti-dating campaigns and businesses have mushroomed since the 2000s in Indonesia and neighbouring Malaysia. In Malaysia, the Soul Seekers of Marriage Conference was established in 2008 and Halal Speed Dating was launched in 2014. In Indonesia, Rumah Taaruf MyQuran (MyQuran’s House to Get to Know Each Other) was founded in 2014 and Indonesia Tanpa Pacaran (Indonesia Without Dating) in 2015. In both countries, the presence of the Internet and social media platforms coincided with Islam playing a greater role in public life. The thriving presence of Sharia-compliant matchmaking businesses using advanced communication technology signifies both the strengthening of conservativism and the manifestation of the growth of contemporary Muslim publics. This article will focus on the role of the Internet and social media in Sharia-compliant matchmaking. Islamic theological doctrine stipulates that the Prophet Muhammad emphasised marriage as half of religion, denoting the importance of marriage to guard the chastity of Muslims. Therefore, the halal matchmaking and ta’aruf (getting to know each other) business have a flourishing market. The border between halal and non-halal online transactional matchmaking is, however, contestable. Online halal matchmaking also invites greater nuances in understanding the freedom and agency of Muslim women.
Keywords gender, Indonesia, Online, halal dating, Malaysia, women