Calling 700 For a Wife

I’ve just emerged from a 15 hour Lord of the Rings DVD daze so my eyes are having some difficulty trying to differentiate between fantasy and reality, which is why I was taken aback from this little news report.

A strange venture has started recently over the phone that offers customers an opportunity to call a 700 number and talk to an operator who might find them a match, provided they stay on hold long enough.

The purveyors of this new 700 service are spreading their advertisements over the Internet, via SMS messages and in brochures distributed in coffee shops and cybercafes. Their main target: Young Saudi men. The service is trying to legitimize this operation by claiming it is sanctioned by Shariah. But the motives for the service appear to be less than pure.

Callers must first wait through verses from the Holy Qurâ??an and a recorded message about the matchmaking program that lasts more than five minutes before speaking to a â??sheikhâ? â?? if theyâ??re fortunate enough not to be put on hold again listening to another recording informing them that the â??sheikhâ? is busy with another wife-seeking customer.

By now the main motive of this venture should be apparent: While on hold, customers are shelling out SR10 a minute.

For callers foolish enough to wait, they are met with an application form they must fill out over the phone that asks for name, age, gender, nationality, race, tribal affiliation, salary range, height, weight and other questions aimed at milking the forlorn customer out of more money.

The service also asks the customer to describe what kind of wife he is seeking, her ideal location, and whether he wants a â??misyarâ? or normal marriage. The costly phone call ends by giving the caller a secret number to track his application, and the service asks for contact information to verify the customerâ??s sincerity in his attempt to find a spouse.

Predictably, the service has faced criticism. Complaints by citizens have been filed to the Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) calling for a stop to this scam. STC officials have said that they only provide the technology and that it is up to telecommunications regulators to authorize or deny such ventures.

So, whatâ??s the alternative?

There are not-for-profit matchmaking charity organizations sanctioned by the Ministry of Justice that are designed specifically for this type of service â?? free of charge.

â??I know that marriage arrangement is something that people do for free. There are many websites available online that arrange for marriage for free,â? said Musleh Al-Shamari, a Saudi citizen. â??This service is a scam because any number that starts with 700 is a scam. It is very strange that I hear of a 700 number that offers marriage for people. It should be stopped and people should not fall victim to it.â? [article]

Well on Friday I saw this sign posted on the street in Toronto and after reading this I’ve come to the conclusion that it must be a good thing that both the eastern and western civilization are finally coming together on different ends of the spectrum in order to destroy the sanctity of marriage.


  • \”telecommunications regulators\”

    huh? I thought the telecom company IS the regulator! or do they regulate what they want only? it ticks me off how some abuse religion. I\’m sure they tell you that what they are doing is 100% halal.

  • :mouth dropping:

    I would expect such a scam to pass through in some countries, but not in Saudi Arabia. I mean does it really need much debate to find out that this is 7aram in Islam?

    It’s also sad to see that the misyar marriage is actually allowed in Saudi Arabia, I personally believe it’s wrong.

  • How do they give their full personal and contact information over the phone to a party that is not previously verified and known to them? This is so strange
    Besides; why do they need such a service? if they are looking for an arranged marriage; they can always ask their mothers or sisters and these are all free of charge and highly personalized .. This is is painfully funny

  • Actually I think the misyar marriage is allowed in Saudi Arabia, there are many muslim scholars in Saudi Arabia who said it was allowed in Islam, although others in Saudi Arabia said it should be outlawed, but I think it’s not outlawed and it actually is quite common already.

    I personally believe it should be outlawed.

  • Khalidah, lol sorry, the latter is the more popular term. Mut3a is pleasure, which pretty much defines it. They marry “legally” for an defined period of time and they have there way with each other and then they part. It is done (as I have come to understand) out of the need to grant young men sexual pleasure legally while avoiding the real duties of marriage and what it entails in terms of family building. It also allows for family’s of the daughters to be financially compensated. Temporary marriage was made forbidden in Islam during the time of the Prophet pbuh.

    Now the Misyar is the Sunni Muslim equivilent but without the preset date, which makes it a notch “better” I guess. The arguement for it is based on the present situation of society where people are marrying late and both genders are exposed to sex early on in their lives. So I guess it supporters are in favour of committing a “lesser” sin than the more major one of zina (pre-marital sex), the lesser of two evils I suppose.

    Although I do consider it, as most Islamic scholars do, an innovation which is strictly forbidden in Islam.

    you can read an interesting article about it here.:-)

  • Thank you for the explanation my dear
    I read the article … this is so sad indeed … for a woman to be forced to accept such arrangement .. I am still single and I passed the customary marriage age .. but that does not mean that I am ready to compromise in such a way whether this type of marriage is allowed or not …
    How can this be right? and how does KSA allow it? it is obviously 7aram, and I agree with whoever called it “Legal Prostitution” because that’s exactly what it is
    Interesting topic though

Your Two Piasters: