Past Events

The City Circle is an open circle for open minds

Love at first swipe: Discussing the challenges to Muslim marriage

Date: Friday 9 February 2018

Time: 18:45-20:30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, Marylebone, London W1H 4LP

Speakers: Fauzia Ahmad, Aamna Khokhar and Baber Siddiqi

Tickets: £10.00 - Click here to book your place

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s time for City Circle’s annual talk on marriage in a Muslim context, and the sometimes difficult journey to get there.

Despite new methods constantly emerging to help single people meet each other, the numerous challenges Muslim singles face in finding suitable partners suggests the existence of a Muslim marriage crisis.

As Muslims juggle cultural and societal pressures in who they can marry, second and third generation British Muslims are re-modelling the process of finding a spouse. Novel approaches include everything from halal speed dating to matrimonial apps and meeting through social media.

Meanwhile, those who are married are finding the number of divorces among Muslims on the rise. Research from the 2013 census collated by the Muslim Council of Britain suggests that almost half of Muslim marriages are ending in divorce and indicates a growing demand for services such as relationship coaching and counselling, both before and after marrying.

Join us as we discuss the challenges facing Muslims seeking to marry, what Muslim communities are doing to mitigate these challenges, and what can be done to help those seeking a partner, from the perspective of an academic scholar and leaders in the community.

Please join us after the talk for snacks and refreshments, and to continue the discussion and meet new friends.

Please note that this is a ticketed event: tickets are only available online in advance, so please book your place through Eventbrite.


Dr Fauzia Ahmad, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London @brisofa

Fauzia's research and publications focus on British Muslim women’s identities, representations and experiences of higher education, employment and social welfare. Her current research explores British Muslim men's and women's experiences on marital partner-searching strategies and relationships, and experiences of divorce and legal and counselling services.

Aamna Khokar, Relationship coach

With a background in Psychology spanning 20 years and a qualification in life coaching Aamna has chosen to specialise in Relationship Coaching. She works with individuals as well as in groups and runs workshops on self-development and the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships, including finding love. She has recently begun creating e-learning modules allowing individuals to work at their own pace and leisure to ensure that self-development is a pleasurable part of their everyday lives.

Baber Siddiqi, Systemic therapist

Baber initially trained as a scientist and after over a decade of social work and comunity development followed his passion in mental health and wellbeing and re-trained as a therapist and coach. He has worked with families, couples and individuals through a wide range of issues related to gender, age, ability, culture, religion, ethnicity, class etc. He's done research and presented in various forums on the challenges of modernity to people's mental health and wellbeing. He is a mountaineer and uses nature as a therapeutic space for reflection to connect more deeply with thoughts and emotions.

He has a particular interest in the interface between the approaches of western mental health and perspectives of Islamic faith and spirituality. He has teachers in the UK as well as in Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Qatar. He is also a Board Member for a leading mental health charity.

Additional details

Advance booking only. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking available from 18:30. Doors open at 18:45 and the talk begins at 19:00. If you have any questions, please contact us: [email protected].