This correspondent had sent in an application to our Matrimonial website. What follows is a letter of explanation which we gave him as to why we could not publish his ad. We thought our explanation would be useful for other people as well.

The person sent the following information for his ad:

my name is xxx and I recently embraced Islam. I was born from a Pakistani father and English mother but was adopted by a Jewish family. After much research into religion thanks to Allah I came to Islam. I am 19 years old and I am studying at University. I dont want to get married until Inshallah I get my degree but I would like to get engaged. Islam has shown me how important marriage is and I want to have a happy marriage and family.  A wife is very important as she is your soul mate and I want to take care of my wife, love her, care for her and give her happiness. Please reply and  maybe we could get to know a little about each other.



You indicate that the purpose of your ad is to find a match for engagement but not for immediate marriage. We would like
to explain why we prefer not to publish your ad.

In Islam, there is no such thing as "engagement" as this is a concept that is prevalent in western culture. However, sometimes Muslim couples do go through a formal ceremony of "engagement" which is obviously only a promise by each party to get married sometime in the future and as such, technically speaking it is not a recognised practise under the Islamic Law. However, what is usually  recommended is this: the couple instead of getting "engaged" will actually go through the legal process of finalizing the contract of marriage -- i.e. by fulfilling the basic requirements of an offer and an acceptance, settlement of mehr (dower, not dowry) in front of  two witnesses and postpone the consummation of the marriage to a later date in the future. This way, legally speaking, the couple is married, and in a position to see each other, socialize and do everything else involving free-mixing of sexes except sharing the bed. Otherwise these things would be forbidden.

If you wish to express your intentions in these terms, then we might favourably consider accepting your ad for publication. Otherwise, as a matter of policy, we do not accept ads from people who wish to follow western-style engagement or dating practises.