Although Irshad's family isn't aganist her dating, they have taken things into their own hands."My parents and my grandparents are constantly asking other people, anyone they meet 'do you know anyone good for my daughter? Irshad says her parents aren’t pushing her into a marriage, rather "helping" in the process.“Lots of grandmothers and aunties, they have these folders full of bio-data and they’re passing them around and saying, look at this girl, look at this guy, it’s like trading cards,” she says.
There were about 30 students and a couple of women wore colorful headscarves.
Muslim chaplain Celene Ibrahim Lizzio spoke about the "spiritual aspects of finding a spouse" — of asking God for guidance in finding love.
"The best advice I can give them is to think first about their relationship with God, with Allah, and then if they develop that relationship strongly, I tell them, make prayer, make supplication, that God put something in their path to make it easy to understand what type of spouse would be right for them," she told me. Tuba Muhlise Okyay, who is from Turkey, said in her conservative family, marriages are arranged.
There is, she said, a courtship period where the couple are accompanied by a chaperone on, say, a dinner.
"The only evidence that they had that the other person existed before their marriage night was simply a small black-and-white picture and the good wishes of a couple of relatives," he says.
"That's all they knew." Shaikh's parents are Muslim and they lived in India at the time of their wedding back in the 1970s.
He was born there too, but when he was 3, they all moved to the US.
Growing up, when it came to dating, relationships and girls, Shaikh would experience one thing at home, another outside.
At home, "there was no such thing as the words dating or relationships.