TEHRAN: In a bid to provide the much-needed boost to marriages amid low birth rate, the Islamic Republic of Iran rolled out a maiden state-approved Islamic dating platform named Hamdam.
Reports in international media quoting Iranian state-owned broadcaster cited that the matchmaking platform aimed at facilitating ‘lasting and informed marriage’ for youth.
Tebyan Cultural Institute, which works under Iran’s Islamic Propaganda Organisation, developed the Hamdam app – the meaning of platform refers to the companion.
Meanwhile, Iran’s cyberspace police chief Colonel Ali Mohammad Rajabi while speaking about the service which allows users to ‘search and choose spouse’ said “This is the only state-sanctioned platform of its kind in the country while all others are illegal and banned.”
Furthermore, a press release issued in this regard from the center’s website stated that ‘the app will use smart artificial intelligence technology to find potential matches for its users while every potential user also needs to verify their identity with the official ID.’
A state-backed institute in #Iran today unveiled Hamdam, a matchmaking app promoted as a "spouse-finder". Based on the pics I've seen so far, there was only one woman in the unveiling ceremony.
Its goal is to help young folks "make informed choices" & have "lasting marriages". pic.twitter.com/rylRS0facu
— Kian Sharifi (@KianSharifi) July 12, 2021
‘The platform aimed to cater bachelors who are looking for permanent marriage and a single spouse’, the official news release added.
Besides this, all the users will also be asked to undergo a ‘psychology assessment, the state makes the system restricted as compared to western dating platforms so ‘the platform can limit its pool of applicants.’
The Tebyan Cultural Institute chief Komeil Khojasteh, while speaking at the launching ceremony, said that the platform intended to curb attacks on Iranian family values. ‘Family is the devil’s target, and Iran’s enemies seek to impose their own ideas on it,’ the official opined.
Low Birth Rate
Experts believe the alarmingly low population seemed extremely worrisome as the Iranian Health Ministry revealed, earlier this year, that the rate among Iranian women has plunged up to 25 percent just over the past four years.
The platform is likely part of the country’s efforts to boost its birth rate. A report of an international publication claimed that there are around 13 million singles [aged 18 to 35] in Iran. The country is also facing a fast-aging population. Iran’s annual population growth has steadily dropped from 4.13 percent in 1983 to 1.29 percent in 2020, per World Bank data.
The dating culture is not so popular in the Middle East country following the Islamic Revolution of 1979 which ended the Persian monarchy. The laws related to adultery fall under the Zina in the Iranian Penal Code while the punishment is absolute harsh including the death penalty otherwise lashes.
Nikah Mut’ah (temporary marriages)
Another reason that turns youth away from permanent marriage is Mut’ah in which you can specify the length of your marriage, from a few minutes to decades. It is a way for single men and women, and even for divorced to be in a relationship—including physical relations—in a way that is acceptable in Shiite Islam.
In this regard, the groom must pay a predetermined sum to his wife and the duration is set out in the marriage contract, almost like an apartment lease. Both the duration of the marriage and the dowry must be agreed upon in a private contract in advance. In the end, a woman must wait two menstrual periods before marrying again. The bride-to-be also cannot be currently wed to another man.
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