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As an added incentive, Malaysian Muslims face possible fines and jail terms for committing "khalwat", the Islamic crime of being alone with a member of the opposite sex other than a spouse or close relative.

"A true gentleman would seek permission from the woman's father first," said Zuhri Yuhyi, co-founder of Halal Speed Dating.

The weekend round followed an initial installment in May that Zuhri said resulted in 14 matches that he hopes will soon end in martrimony.

Though 2,000 people applied for the latest session, capacity constraints meant only around 50 could take part, but Zuhri hopes to stage a bigger event soon, with up to 500 couples.

What would have made me proud is for you to be happy. “When he said that, it was like being reborn.” Another woman, Maria Dimopoulos, a diversity and gender equality consultant, remembers the first time she attended the Muslim speed-dating event.