Tauseeq : There used to be a time when arranging marriages and matches was considered a job only for the elderly seniors, and the bride and groom would simply agree to the suggested matches. Then came a time when the younger generation took this responsibility onto themselves. They said, “Mom and dad you don’t have to worry anymore, you already have so many responsibilities in life.”
Sabeen : We will do it ourselves.
Tauseeq : We will make this decision ourselves, and then some took it to the next stage. The got married too, right we have heard such stories as well.
Sabeen : After telling the parents.
Tauseeq : After telling the parents. Ofcourse, ofcourse. In all of this, we have all witnessed the age old concept for arranged marriages, in every family there are one or two very active senior members you used to love matchmaking. Like: hmmm lets get Mubashir married to Rukhsana it seems like a good match. Such matchmaking was also very productive in a society like ours. How Muslim families are closely knit in terms of society and culture. These people were really appreciated for the role they played.
Sabeen : Exactly.
Tauseeq : On the other hand, in this modern age, what kind of examples do we have?
Sabeen : So, in today’s age, you don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to think about which relative, Rukhsana Khala or Tahir Mamoo, or who to talk to. As we have websites now that we can talk about and matchmaking apps, so now you can find a match online. Today we have with us Humawar Shah, who runs a matchmaking website offering this service.
Humawar : Wa’alaikum us Salaam. Thanks be to Allah. All is well. Thank you very much.
Tauseeq : Humawar, first of all, this matchmaking service that you offer, you arrange matches? The image the pops up in my head, when someone says a matchmaker, like a Rishta aunty or a Rishta uncle. I had thought that there would be this aged man who would be joining us. Sabeen and I thought that this is great! A matchmaker is coming to the show and we might also be able to get a match arranged. Now that I see you I see a very young man sitting in front of me. So what’s the situation? SyedMatch is the name of your matrimonial website, tell us some details about it.
Humawar : Thank you Tauseeq! Basically, the background behind this is that there was an incident within the family, not too long ago. What happened was that there was a bit of misunderstanding between the couple because of lack of authentic information. So, at that moment, I thought that there is very basic idea that can create a solution for this problem. You know how high the rate of divorce was during corona…during all that time I was brainstorming to find a solution.
When people arrange matches, there is very limited information that is made available to people on the other end. I was thinking of a system through which, if I were to be a male genuinely interested in getting married, I would have wanted an avenue, where I could go and search e.g. I am a boy looking for a girl, so whichever girl matches my criteria, I could get in touch with her and see if we can make it work. The key factor being that each profile could be verified through picture IDs and for some people some other forms of verifications may be required.
Tauseeq : Actually how does it work? You go online and register to make your profile like how you make a profile on facebook?
Humawar : Exactly but FB is quite basic. So in that sense, this is more detailed for example I want a girl or boy with #fff eyes or hair. It goes into more detail so that you can fix your criteria. I want this type of male/female(partner).
Tauseeq : What the age should be.
Humawar : What the age should be. (affirmative)
Tauseeq : Which caste they belong to.
Humawar : Do they have tattoos…You know that kind of thing. Because these days in the west there are multiple problems. Families that are there…because I was based in England, my brother, who is the project director, Syed bhai. He also observed that the same problem in Australia. In Pakistan too, the problem these days is that people don’t find the criteria matching with what they are looking for.
Tauseeq : Especially the Pakistani families, for them.
Humawar : Exactly this is the problem they face; they are looking to find a boy from a good family or a girl who fulfills that criteria. Its very difficult, usually some misunderstandings are created, sometimes people set you up with the wrong people
Sabeen : You’re not able to find the perfect match.
Humawar : Exactly.
Sabeen : OK. Why did you name it SyedMatch?
Humawar : Syed is our family name. So for that reason, you know for blessings and trust. But basically SyedMatch is a brand name.
Tauseeq : So does it mean that you only offer matrimonial services to Syed families?
Humawar : No no. All across. Its for all Muslims from all sects.
Tauseeq : That too, when you go online and redister on it, you can write that you know, I am looking for a Sunni match or a Shia match or wherever you are writing your details, you can share this in there.
Humawar : I’m glad that you asked this question. We have grouped this into three categories. Majority in Pakistan are Sunni, Shia and Wahabi. So we have added a “regardless” category. So if you’re not bothered with whether you’re looking for a Sunni or a Shia, you can go into the “regardless” category and if you specifically want Sunni then you select Sunni or if you want Shia then you can select Shia.
Sabeen : Ok. You just talked about the fact that a lot of cases go wrong later and you also mentioned the divorce rates going up during Covid. In your opinion, what is a perfect match? When you are arranging a match for someone, what is it that you are looking for? How do you ensure compatibility?
Humawar : I think the basic thing is that you look at people who are at the same level as you. Don’t look to marry way up nor way down. Because look you have to spend an entire lifetime together. Secondly, the expectations from your partner should be limited. Don’t set high expectations. Because when you set expectations, that’s where complications start from. That I was expecting this from marriage but I dint get that. That’s where the problems start from. So, set your expectations of the person you are looking for very clear, from day one.
It is the same in SyedMatch, in the profile section. What you see is what you get. What is written on the container, that is what you will get. So, if you’re looking for a fair complexioned guy and other requirements, you have options, you may find who you are looking for. If you’re looking for someone with a dark complexion, you will find that too, if you are looking for someone from a middle-class background, whatever your requirements may be, they are completely on you. In that keep your requirements steady, don’t go for very high in a match. I am telling you that YOU have to make the match successful.
Tauseeq : Ok is this a commercial venture? As in, the website SyedMatch, do you charge for it as well?
Humawar : Right now everything is free, like the requests. For example, you can sign up, create an account for free, everything. You get some requests for free, if your purpose is achieved in the free requests, you select the right person and you settle… like our success story Romish and Shaheer, we launched around April and in May we had our first success story.
Tauseeq : Alright. So what is the success story? Tell us the story.
Humawar : Basically they met on SyedMatch and they kind of exchanged details and basically went on and got engaged.
Tauseeq : Ahan, did they invite you to the wedding?
Humawar : No, they haven’t got married yet.
Tauseeq : They will invite you for sure!
Humawar : Of course! I said I will dance on the wedding.
Sabeen : So you are able to find a perfect match? You also know how to make sure that there is compatibility. We also have a handsome young man with us and we hope that you find a perfect match for him too.
Humawar : I will set his profile myself.
Tauseeq : You will set it yourself!
Tauseeq : its settled then
Humawar : Absolutely will do it myself.
Tauseeq : On SyedMatch
Sabeen : So when can we expect the good news.
Tauseeq : You have heard of the success rate right. Created a profile in April and got married in May I mean engaged.
Humawar : Engaged
Tauseeq : One month
Humawar : Your profile will be made and then your criteria will be added, you know.
Tauseeq : Exactly
Humawar : Find the right person.
Tauseeq : I actually don’t have any preference like fair complexion or #fff eyes. I don’t have any issues. I am a very easy client, the only problem is that you must convince me first to create a profile.
Humawar : It’s the same question as you asked before, that only normal expectations should be set.
Sabeen : You must listen to it.
Humawar : Don’t add too many requirements. You know, the way things are done in the traditional way, the Rishta aunty goes and it is expected of the girl to come and present herself along with a tea-trolley. In today’s day and age it is taken as a bit of a strange thing. The girl should also have the right to see and choose who she wants to spend the rest of her life with. You know, kids should be able to set their preference so that they can select and tell their parents that this is the type of boy or girl that I like.
Tauseeq : OK so the response so far like how you shared a success story with us. Apart from that a lot of profiles must have been made, where are you getting the general response from on SyedMatch, this matchmaking website…are the registrations more from Pakistan or overseas Pakistanis as well, as you were mentioning Australia and England. Where are you getting more response from?
Humawar : How we managed it was, the way we targeted the market. We started with Pakistan, Australia, Canada and UK. Until now we have received more sign-ups from Pakistan and the UK. For Australia we have to check with our marketing team, what the plans are. But we have a lot from Pakistan. It’s a very new venture and we haven’t spent a lot of budget yet as its free and in the Beta stage. We are checking and if we encounter any bugs we will keep working accordingly.
Sabeen : So you are thinking of expanding it? It is free right now, what are your plans for later? Will it remain affordable for people? Because when you go around and talk about making a perfect match, you have to ensure that its credible, you have to check the authenticity; so will it remain affordable along with all that?
Humawar : You have asked a very good question. Right now, my elder brother, the project director…when the dollar rates changed recently, we had initially thought to keep the subscription at $100, but he said that we will keep it completely free for a year or keep it as low as possible. There was a meeting with the marketing team and we discussed that we will keep it free as long as possible as a public service and that it can grow in the meantime.
Tauseeq : Although finding a prospective spouse to get married, is not a bad deal at all for a $100.
Humawar : Making money is not the reason behind this business, its more of a service.
Tauseeq : Exactly yeah yeah I understand.
Humawar : My brother also has other projects and then some, so yeah we want that we should incorporate this as a social project under CSR and that people can get an opportunity through SyedMatch and they can make use of this service.
Tauseeq : Ok guys, so we have with us Humawar Shah. He has a matrimonial website by the name of SyedMatch.com, through which he arranges matches for Syed and Non-Syed families. We can call him Rishta uncle as well 😉 You don’t look like an uncle, you look like a boy. So after Rishta aunty and Rishta uncle, we have introduced a new category, Rishta bhai jaan, isn’t that right Rishta bhai?
Alright so Rishta bhai, this match making website called SyedMatch. Please google SyedMatch.com and his website will pop up, you can go and register on it, create a profile on it. Just how you can register and create your profile on TikTok or Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat you can also register and create your profile on SyedMatch. You can add your complete details and look for a suitable match. You can also add your partner preferences, like what kind of match are you looking for.
This is completely free of cost. Can you only make this yourself or you can also make it for your son or daughter? Can a profile be created like that?
Humawar : What is important in all this is that the ID documents should belong to the person who you are interested in finding a match for. Whosever’s profile is being created.
Tauseeq : Oh! Ok Ok.
Humawar : Until your ID and picture don’t match, your profile will not get verified and it will not go live.
Tauseeq : Very good.
Humawar : So, you need to make sure that you have your ID and your photo is there. For example, if I amd a father and I am creating a profile for my daughter, can I upload her ID and her photo on her behalf and create a profile?
Humawar: Nods affirmatively.
Tauseeq : Alright!
Humawar : But it has to be a person who wants to get married.
Sabeen : This is the credibility that we were talking about. You make sure based on this procedure.
Humawar : The reason behind this was to bring people towards Halal so that the dating process is eliminated. If I am serious then I’ll go this website and find the right person, because I know that the other party is also verified and is there for the same reason.
Tauseeq : OK! Interesting. Interesting! The entire concept behind this, so far in the experience. What do you see? The profiles from Pakistan are they more interested in the overseas Pakistanis and similarly are the overseas Pakistanis interested in the locally based Pakistanis? As you may be reading the requirements so what does your research generally show so far?
Humawar : Absolutely! Actually the site has a lot of resources, blogs, videos as well from an educational point of view. I would like to tell the viewers to please check them out. As far as our observation is concerned, our latest success story, both the boy and girl are based in Pakistan. It’s a young couple and they are in Pakistan and this is our success story. And the other contact that is being made, its quite obvious that Pakistani people prefer to find a match who is settled abroad and likewise people based overseas prefer to find a good family from Pakistan. So, its very hard to say right now, these are the early stages, not even 6 months into it. I don’t have enough data to shed light on this specifically. But God Willing within a year, we would know enough to discuss what the trend is.
Tauseeq : Humawar your own personal story. That is quite inspiring. Although today we have featured SyedMatch on Rising Pakistan, but friends I also want to let you know that Humawar Shah was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago and after that like I mentioned he lives in England. A young man gets cancer, psychological, emotional, medical issues the situation was quite bad unfortunately. However, he is in front of you today, after having beat cancer. Healthy and fine. You are so passionate, work so hard and are so energetic. We want to congratulate you. That you beat cancer in 10 years. Could you please talk to us regarding that, share a few tips if you can.
Humawar : First and foremost, its all thanks to Allah that I am alive today. The doctors told me that I had 6 months to live at the time of the cancer diagnosis. As the cancer cells were growing very rapidly. So what happened was that when they told me, I went home and I was in the state of disbelief. My daughter was 8 months old at that time. It felt like someone had hit me on the head. So very shocking. On top of that the doctors had given me 6 months to live, so you can imagine. I locked myself in my room and I actually spoke to God. I had a conversation with Allah SWT and asked him to give me a chance. Do we have tissues nearby mate?
Tauseeq : we did not want to disturb you but of course you have a very emotional story.
Humawar : No, it’s going to help a lot of people actually. So, what happened was that I gave myself two days. I couldn’t understand anything honestly, but I have experienced this, that whenever you face any problem, you should always look at the bright side, towards positivity. If there is anything negative in life, your company, people in general tell you that this is impossible or that is impossible. Remove yourself from that situation. So, what happened was like I said that I was locked in my room for two days. I thought, what should I do? Prepare to die or strive to live?
Tauseeq : WOW!
Humawar : So at that time what happened was, that I was so depressed and shocked that I took a tissue paper from the toilet and grabbed a pen and wrote 35 goals to live and not die. Then I prayed to Allah and begged him to give me a chance to fulfill those 35 goals. I will go in that detail some other time whether I have been able to achieve all of that or not.
Tauseeq : Alright, so out of the 35, quite a few must have been achieved, its been 10 years.
Humawar : Alhamdolillah, Alhamdolillah, quite a few have been fulfilled, In fact I would say about 50% has been done.
Tauseeq : SyedMatch was a part of those 35 as well? That I want to create a matchmaking website?
Humawar : No, SyedMatch in its own was not, but that I want to be able to do something for the general good of people before I die. I prayed for this, that I came into this world but don’t want to die like that.
Tauseeq : Absolutely absolutely!
Humawar : your body is in your control. What you eat what you nourish it with, if you feed it well then you will recover, if you add bad then…
Sabeen : You changed your thoughts towards positivity by sheer will power and positive thinking.
Humawar : Exactly! So that was a turning point, where I, that day, those two days that I went through. It was as though something happened to me. I was able to envision what I want to do with my life. And then after that when my treatment started, I went through the operation, they took out the tumor. Then I had chemotherapy, my treatment continued for 3 years. I underwent 3 major surgeries, my last surgery lasted for 11 hours. The opened me all across, they tool out the tumors and this is after that sorry this is after the treatment.
Tauseeq : Then recovery.
Humawar : Recovery period started, then too the doctors kept me under their observation. I would like to thank NHS, England’s health care system. It is the 2nd best in the world. I am thankful to them for taking such good care of me. Cancer is a bad, bad thing. It destroys a person, his family, finances, it destroys everything.
Sabeen : How much time did it take you to start recovering?
Humawar : I…around 4-5 years I was going towards recovery. When I got out of the hospital after 3 years, I couldn’t even walk 10 steps, I used to start panting as I would get so tired.
Tauseeq : now Masha’Allah you are totally cancer free?
Humawar : You can ask me to run 1km and I will.
Tauseeq : Mash’Allah Masha’Allah. So basically, a takeaway from your own personal story for all our viewers who are suffering from any form of terminal disease. Terminal diseases are those in which you are given a time frame. Although in life you can never be sure whether you will live to see the evening or not.
But, terminal diseases are those, like how there is a terminal for an airplane, you have taken your boarding card and now your flight will take off.
So, your doctors tell you that you are now in the terminal category and now you have 2 months to live. Like how Humawar was given 6 months.
So, the most important tip to come back to life after such a prognosis Sabeen that we have learnt from Humawar, is positive thinking. That whether I want to prepare to die or strive to live. This is a very important thing that it is all a mind game.
Humawar : Absolutely. It is said that us humans, in normal life use 4-5% of our brain. The power of your brain is enormous. How when I spoke to you yesterday, I was quite unwell, I went to sleep in the hotel after taking a couple of medicines. Ali was telling me that you look seriously unwell. My reply to him was that I HAVE to do it. No matter what, I am not going to give up.
Tauseeq : I do want to mention here that Humawar has a personal website as well. Humawar if you could please talk about it as well. If you are a cancer survivor, or are battling cancer right now or someone from your family is. You want to get some tips from Humawar on a personal level, or want to receive some guidance. Please tell us how can one reach out to you?
Humawar : Sure! www.humawar.com. Simple. On the website, I am a motivational speaker, inspirational. I guide people, I have my own consultancy as an accountant, and I also provide performance coaching. Thanks be to Allah.
Actually, those people who are going through a terminal illness. There are a couple of points in my mind. 1. Give Sadaqa. In whichever form. Secondly, involve yourself into something. Social work, any positive act, so that your mindset moves in a good direction. Because, when your mind is idle, it is obvious that it is not doing anything and thinking about the bad side. As in, what is about to happen to me. When you share other people’s sorrows your own sorrows get diminished.
That is what I did in that time. I used to motivate people. I did not have hair; I even lost my nails. My look was not at all like how I appear here, today. Alhamdolillah, at that time, I used to sit with other cancer patients, and they gave me a wig that Mr. Shah wear this wig and you will be a little better. They give you steroids and that had also made my body swell up.
Tauseeq : There is a lot of Hair loss
Humawar : Nods in agreement. Involve yourself in some useful activities like this.
Tauseeq : Excellent! This was a very inspirational story, Sabeen, that we shared with our viewers today. But in all this we will think of SyedMatch again before leaving. Humawar Shah has a passion that he…wherever they are, in Pakistan or outside of Pakistan. The families that are looking for a match or a proposal for their sons, daughters, boys and girls. They can visit the website syedmatch.com and register them. Insha’Allah Insha’Allah they will find their ideal match.
Humawar : God Willing
Tauseeq : we will stay connected. Not like you came to our show…
Humawar : I will make a plan myself Tauseeq. Sabeen are you married?
Sabeen : No
Humawar : I will create a profile for you too.
Tauseeq : You mentioned right that its not just for Syed families it is also for non-Syeds.
Humawar : It is for everyone.
Tauseeq : so now whenever you see that a match has been made or finalized. You must tell us, we will share on-air.
Sabeen : I think by the time you are leaving the studio. All our staff will have profiles.
Tauseeq : our sound and audio expert. Our guy who set up the mikes, Usman. I want to get his profile made by you as well.
Humawar : Sure!
Tauseeq : You will find a lot of clients here. I mean a lot of people like me here.
Humawar : I want to clarify on thing. They have to do the search themselves. I will not be able to help with that.
Tauseeq : Humawar got scared all of a sudden that I am not taking this responsibility on me.
Humawar : we will create the profile but after that the search has to be done by you based on the criteria that you like. I don’t want to take this responsibility for anyone.
Tauseeq : Thankyou very much Humawar. Thank you very very much. All the best. Alright, it is time that we take your leave.
Sabeen : absolutely. We will meet with you again tomorrow. Please do share your feedback on whatsapp. Take good care of yourself. Allah Hafiz.