Call it legalized prostitution, male chauvinism, a loophole in Islamic Shari’a, sick, a solution to the problem of Iran’s youth, hypocrisy, or anything else you like. I could not help but see Hafezoon as Hafeze Oon or “the protector of ‘it’”.
I ran into the website a little while ago, when the domain was still “hafezoon.com” – it has since been moved to “moarefe.com”. According to the rules page, Hafezoon is a website dedicated to temporary-spouse-finding, and not at all for friend-finding. No loitering. They mean business. I wasn’t looking for a spouse on that particular day, so I loitered. Sorry.
They explain that temporary marriage is a solution foreseen in Islam for times of urgency. A true solution, they add, would be the promotion of permanent marriage, as a happy society requires having happy families, and families couldn’t form unless the youth are swayed toward marriage of the permanent kind. But…
“It is clear that not everyone has the same circumstances, and some do not have the prospect of permanent marriage. Some men have not succeeded in marrying due to their work or monetary situations, and there are women who have lost their husbands and are grappling with economic difficulties. Introducing these people to each other can solve their problems in a two-way fashion.”
“We believe an environment should be established in which men and women who meet the requirements for temporary marriage could introduce themselves, and upon consent, start a relationship according to the Sharia, instead of forming illicit street friendships, or, god forbid, being drawn to promiscuity. ”
“Let us not forget that Hafezoon are those believers who protect their skirts from sin and satisfy their needs only through Sharia law. ”
They say again that the website is not a social networking site for finding friends – it just really looks like one of the better-known ones – that it is operating under the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and list some other guidelines.
I logged on.
The “Ahkam” or “Commandments” page:
There’s some stuff on how to perform the marriage and what to recite. Blah blah blah…ah…”The father’s consent” section…
“According to the opinions of most jurists [Faghih], if the girl has been married before (is not a virgin) there is no need for the father’s consent. But if the girl is a virgin, the jurists differ in their views.”
Various Fatwas are then listed. Some say yes, some say no. Some say no, but better if yes.
They accept ATM cards from all major banks, and the prices are pretty cheap I must admit:
Regular membership is free (that’s the package I have so far), one month special membership is five bucks…three months is eight…unlimited is twelve…and there are spouse-finding ad packages for 45 bucks, and some SMS packages listed as well.
I did a general search without any criteria and got a list of ladies to browse through. Let’s look at Baran’s profile – Baran means “rain”.
She is twenty-eight years old, single, and from Tehran.
Height: 165 (cm I assume)
Weight: 60 (kg I assume…not a nice question to ask a lady)
She has given herself a “3″ for beauty, with “1″ being the lowest score (unfortunately the highest is not listed, so I cannot really judge) and a “4″ for appeal.
The most important reason for marriage: Financial need (This is what I saw for other profiles in the list, I should note.)
Lifestyle: Living with family
Place: Northwest of the city
Alcohol: No (I am now wondering what would have happened if she said yes.)
Religion: Islam – Shia
Hejab Condition: Without Hejab (I am now wondering what this question means. Is this when she is at home by herself, or out on the streets?)
Health Condition: Healthy
Contact Info: Hidden (Ah…This must be the catch with the regular membership.)
The little ad on the left is for the “Pearl Cream” which is for “face fatness” and “cheek placement” – to reduce the former and augment the latter, I imagine.
I then moved to a more advanced search. I was particularly curious about the “Health” and “Hejab” options in the profiles.
I’ll include this screenshot with the funky ads on the left for you to enjoy:
And Voila! “Health Condition” had a dropdown menu:
“With a specific disease (like Diabetes, Hepatitis, etc…)” (!)
“With a deformity” (!!)
I logged off.