How to Spot a Narcissist on Muslim Marriage Apps: 20 Signs To Look Out For

Just because people are registered on a Muslim marriage app, doesn’t mean they actually want to get married, that they’re practicing, moral, or have good characters. Narcissists are chameleons and excellent manipulators who are good at coming across as being decent, religious, and well-intentioned people.

Just because people are registered on a Muslim marriage app, doesn’t mean they actually want to get married, that they’re practicing, moral, or have good characters. Narcissists are chameleons and excellent manipulators who are good at coming across as being decent, religious, and well-intentioned people.

This article isn’t going to sit comfortably with narcissists, but there are some issues, if left ignored, that will continue having detrimental effects on our personal lives, mental health, families, and societies. This article has been written to help my Muslim brothers and sisters who are members of Muzmatch and other Muslim marriage apps to choose the right partners and avoid those who would make their lives a misery later.

According to numerous research studies, social media platforms, marriage apps, and dating apps have become the perfect hunting grounds for narcissists, who can get their egos stroked by receiving likes, follows, matches, and messages from admirers. Not only does this validate their self-worth and attractiveness, but it also makes them feel important.

Narcissists use their good looks and the illusion of being successful to access a wide range of benefits from people who are drawn to outward beauty. Narcissists believe that people are easily replaced, so whenever the main victim isn’t complying with their wishes, they’ll simply find another. Unfortunately, the likelihood of matching with narcissists on the app is very high.

I know this is depressing news for single Muslims who are trying to meet quality people online that whom they can enter halal relationships with, especially during 2022 when the pandemic has forced many single people to socialise less in real life. I’ve been a member of Muzmatch, so I know exactly how difficult it is to wade through dark waters and avoid the sharks. I’ve also spoken to many friends and clients who’ve used Muslim marriage apps and I’d like to share with you the critical red flags that will help you recognise (and avoid) male and female narcissists before it’s too late. 

Many years ago, narcissists had to work hard and wait a long time to find the people they needed to fuel their egos, however, apps have made it easier for them to find people who are seeking commitment, marriage, and even sexual relationships. Yes, I’ll address the elephant in the room and mention that despite the great efforts Muslim Marriage App founders and CEOs make to create a halal platform for people to meet, unfortunately, many Muslims use them to hunt for people they can have unlawful sexual relationships with.

Just because people are registered on a Muslim marriage app, doesn’t mean they actually want to get married, that they’re practicing, moral, or have good characters. Narcissists are chameleons and excellent manipulators who are good at coming across as being decent, religious, and well-intentioned people. They’re also very good at reading people and will be able to tell by your photos and profile information if you’re a fellow narcissist, empath, or co-dependent who’s a potential long-term or short-term victim.

There’s an abundant amount of information online about who narcissists, empaths, and co-dependents are, but to understand these personality disorders within a Muslim and Islamic context, please read my book ‘The Muslim Narcissist’.  It could truly save your mental health and help you better understand yourself, the people around you, and the way you choose to live your life.

Islam on Narcissism

Most of the victims of Muslim male narcissists are independent women in their thirties and forties who are perceived as being lonely and in need of companionship, love, intimacy, and romance. They believe that women in this age bracket will feel lucky to have good-looking men who love-bomb them, make them feel special, and make them believe that their dreams of finding great husbands have finally come true. It is also the reason why women in this age bracket (up until their sixties) are often scammed by narcissists for money.

Narcissists know that if they love-bomb them enough, they can get women to trust them and send them money (to keep the men and romance in their lives), only to be heartbroken when they realise the men they loved disappeared after the money was received. They may tell an infatuated woman that they need an operation they can’t afford, knowing that her empathic nature won’t allow him to suffer. These types of online scams happen a lot to middle-aged men too. If anyone asks you for money, especially when they haven’t even met you yet or they start talking about their money problems, do yourself a favour and stop talking to this person.

People are increasingly being conditioned to believe that there’s nothing wrong with talking to and dating many people online, even though it’s leading more and more people towards superficial relationships, because it’s easy to find matches. It is also playing on people’s insecurities, as people will never quite know if they’re the only one the other person is victimising, love-bombing, and pretending to commit to.

I’ve come across Muslim women who looked for marriage partners online, only to be hurt and traumatized again and again, as they discover that every person they spoke to was a narcissist in one way or another. They mirrored their needs and desires, all the while hiding their true intentions and beliefs. Deception is common and quite easy on these apps, with people even hiding their real names, careers, and the fact they’re married and have children.

Muslim women I’ve spoken to have said that some men blurred their profile photos because they’re married or in relationships and don’t want to be caught or recognised. It is easy to look desirable and perfect on apps and marriage websites, but when it comes to real face-to-face meetings, the truth comes out, resulting in frustrating dates with emotionally unavailable people, small talk with socially awkward people, and a lot of wasted time and disappointments, because they aren’t who they say they are.

It is also not uncommon to be ‘catfished’, i.e., meeting someone who isn’t the same person in the profile picture or someone whose profile picture is well over ten years old when they were in great shape or someone who looks far better in their photos because they’re filtered, photoshopped and enhanced. This has been the complaint of most men who claimed that the majority of women they met or had a video call with didn’t look anything like their photos. The mask of the ‘ideal partner’ lures potential victims into abusive relationships, which is easy to do from behind a phone or computer screen.

During the Covid-19 pandemic we currently find ourselves in, more and more people signed up with marriage apps and while there are some well-intentioned people who use the facilities of apps to search for a suitable spouse, the majority are predators who are bored. This has especially been the case during lockdowns when going out to socialize in events, activities, meetings, and gatherings ceased and loneliness drove many people (who don’t normally use apps) to search for partners online, increasing the number of options for very happy narcissists. They find it really fun to waste people’s time and get them hooked on their attention and love-bombing.

What a person posts on their profile reflects how they wish to be seen by others, whether it’s a true reflection of them or not. The overt narcissists (wolves in wolves’ clothing) are easier to spot, as they love to show off and brag about themselves. They can also come across as rude, arrogant, and very entitled, for example, “If you’re not a ‘10’ I won’t match with you, sorry”, whereas the covert narcissists (wolves in sheep’s clothing) aren’t so obvious.

They’re usually the ones who write on their profiles what they believe everyone wants to read, for example, “I’m a family man”, “I’m an honest, genuine guy who’s looking for marriage”, “Looking for a practicing woman who fears God”, “Loyalty is everything in a relationship”, “Searching for the love of my life” and “Looking to complete half my deen with a sincere Muslim(ah)”. Some narcissists can’t be bothered to write anything on their profiles at all and if they make some effort will just write, “whatever you want to know just ask if we match” or “I’m not good at writing about myself, match and find out inshallah”. And you’ll surely find out.

While some people are genuine when they write these things, covert narcissists are known to use these lines to gain the interest of people and it takes longer to identify and expose them. For some people, the true reality of covert narcissists is revealed when it’s unfortunately too late for them to have an early escape, i.e., after they’ve really fallen for them, committed sins with them, invested in them, sent them money, and/or wasted a lot of time being strung along by them. 

If you’d like to know what else to look out for, here’s a list of twenty signs that will help you recognize narcissists on Muslim marriage apps. Note that some of these signs will only appear once you start to message, talk and meet them face to face.

1. Their profile pictures showcase a glamorous lifestyle in which they’re standing next to luxury cars, grand houses, or yachts.

These people view material things as important assets to their identity and having them or pretending to have them makes them feel better, special, and more worthy. Shiny objects in profile pictures are used to better their chances at attracting the attention of beautiful women who want to be with highly successful men.

They will turn up the charm and love-bombing to get what they want quickly before they ‘ghost’ them and disappear, as they’re unable to maintain the façade of being wealthy.

2. They’re standing next to someone famous.

By this, a narcissist wants you to know that he or she is important and has access to elites and celebrities. It could’ve been a once-in-a-lifetime chance for them to get that photo, but that particular photo is important for their public image. 

3. They list their good qualities, as mentioned earlier, such as “I’m a nice guy”, “I’m loyal” and “I’m religious”.

Many women found that men who emphasize the importance of loyalty, honesty, and being ‘nice’ in their profiles are the most disloyal, dishonest, and unpleasant men to deal with.

If they’re bragging about themselves, then more often than not they’re none of those things, as these qualities will come out in their character naturally, as you get to know them. 

4. Men who love to post topless selfies, very close-up shots of their best facial features, gym mirror selfies, selfies with sunglasses on, selfies in which they look aggressive, and worst of them all, selfies in which they’re pouting.

Police and CIA detectives have always said that people who wear sunglasses in their profile photos more often than not have something bad to hide about their character. Women also post similar selfies, but they’re heavily filtered and distorted.

It is also common to see them reveal as much of their bodies as possible or by wearing very tight clothes for maximum sex appeal. These women don’t mind being pursued for unlawful relationships, as they don’t really care about halal and haram

5. Narcissists have over-inflated egos and a grandiose sense of self-importance.

Even if you’re better looking than them, they’ll make you feel that you’re not special enough to deserve their attention.

They deliberately keep you waiting by taking ages to reply to messages. They’d rather a woman chase them than be the ones doing the pursuing and the more you chase them, the more their egos grow and the more they’ll disrespect you. They’ll only chase if they don’t see that you’re very interested in them.

Some narcissists take ages to message you first if you match with them (if they do at all) because they’re waiting for you to initiate the chat, while others don’t want to waste any time and jump right in to start working on you. 

6. Their words don’t match their pictures.

If they have some aggressive-looking selfies (to look ‘hot’) or images where they’re flexing muscles, but claim to be looking for a ‘pious wife’ to complete half their deen, go to Hajj with, etc, then run! Some come across as religious, bearded-men, but have a playboy look.

Be wary of these types, as they often use Islamic words and quotes to distract you from their reality, which is, they’re narcissists who’ll control practicing women with religion. They may send kisses and emojis at the end of sentences that show they’re immature and not who they say they are. Women who are inappropriately dressed in their photos but post Islamic quotes in their profiles are also to be avoided. 

7. They don’t have any passions or hobbies and feel intimidated by yours.

They won’t take much interest in, or inquire about your passions, even when you mention them, as it makes them feel jealous and hurts their sense of self-importance.

So, if you own a business or an art studio or offer a specialized service, they won’t ask to see your website or talk about it in detail. They can’t bring themselves to give you credit for your achievements because according to them, doing that will lower their stardom. With time, you’ll find that they’re very boring to talk to.

They spend a lot of their time online finding victims, as they don’t have much else in life to fill their days with. They’re also on and off the app regularly. One day you see their profile and another day it’s gone or it’s back up and this time their photo is blurred. These are huge red flags!  You may also de-activate your account and activate it again after a year or two when you feel ready to resume your search and you’ll find that they’re still on there! Sometimes they have different names too and have written a different ethnicity for themselves.

Many of these men are already married or in relationships. Also, they may be Asian, but choose their ethnicity as ‘European’ so that the people they’re hiding from can’t find them in searches. 

8. Narcissists hate being ignored or made to feel that you’re talking to their competition.

This is especially true when they’re trying to love-bomb you and showering you with attention and compliments to get you addicted to them. If they like you, they’ll want exclusivity and are quick to escalate things to ensure that they’ve ‘captured you’. They want to be the only one you’re talking to, while they have their list of options.

They may also pressurise you to delete your account to show them that you’re “serious” about getting to know them. Narcissists are very suspicious people and will start to act very controlling in the early stages of getting to know them. They won’t trust what you say and will sometimes demand proof that you’re spending Friday night with your friends and aren’t on a date with someone else.

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They’re always paranoid because they lie so much to people about what they’re doing and don’t want others doing it to them. They’ll also get paranoid and uncomfortable when you tell them you’re going to the gym or a wedding, as they assume that you’ll find someone more attractive than them there. Narcissists, however, always keep their options open, regardless of how wonderful you are.

9. They hate being called out for mistakes they might do.

If they tell you they’ll call you and they don’t, without any explanation or apology and you call them out on it, they tell you you’re “making a big deal about something very trivial” and that you’re “overreacting” by being upset. They may laugh and send passive-aggressive messages, pretending not to know the reason is that they’re ‘flaky’.

Narcissists hate being called out on their faults and will resent you for doing it. They’ll more often than not disappear afterwards, as they realise they can’t be bothered to make the efforts required to win you over or meet your standards.

10. They make inappropriate and offensive ‘jokes’.

If you notice that someone’s sugar coating personal attacks against you or others with jokes then avoid this person, as they’re testing your level of tolerance to disrespect.

For example, you may open up to them about something personal, such as being raised by a single parent and they may say something like, “I hope you don’t have daddy (or mummy) issues” or if you tell them you go to the gym, they may respond with “Why? Are you overweight?”.

11. After a few conversations on the app or other platforms like WhatsApp, you’ll start to feel like an option among many.

They’ll appear online almost all the time, but will deliberately not open your messages all day, just to show you that you aren’t important, after giving you constant attention for days.

This is the start of their mind games. They do this to make you feel anxious and worried that they may have lost interest to get a reaction out of you that strokes their ego.

12. They lie about this being their first real relationship.

After a couple of conversations, they may say things such as, “I’ve never felt like this before”, “I never thought I would meet someone like you”, “I didn’t believe that people like you existed” and “I’ve never been on the phone with someone for this long before”.

They may even say that it’s the first time they try online dating, when in reality, they’ve been on five different apps for the last five years.

13. Narcissistic men prey on pretty single mothers.

Many of them also try and come across as being a ‘knight in shining armour’.

However, you’ll soon notice that they aren’t very interested in your kids and what they like or do in life. 

14. They’ll impress you and mirror what you say.

Oftentimes they’ll do this by agreeing with your opinions and saying that they love everything you love, such as food, music, movies, and so on.

They’re chameleons who’ll adapt to make it look like you’ve found your soul mate. They’ll also call you names such as ‘baby’, ‘honey’, ‘wifey’, ‘beautiful’, and ‘handsome’ from as early as the day you match with them to get you warmed up for the love-bombing to come. Some will even tell you that they’re in love with you or love you before they’ve even met you or shortly after a first meeting because they “feel” you’re “the one”.

If you cringe when receiving those messages, your gut is warning you. These feelings aren’t genuine and are a major red flag.

15. Ghosting you isn’t a big deal to them.

If they find someone better than you as a victim, they’ll ghost you with no explanation and often re-appear days, weeks, or months later if that person figured them out and left, or if he or she was discarded by the narcissist because they didn’t live up to their expectations.

You’ll also often find them lurking on your social media and following what you’re doing.

16. They speak badly about their exes and play the victim in their story, so you feel sorry for them.

To a narcissist, a breakup or divorce is usually the fault of the ex (because they stopped accepting the abuse and complying with the narcissist’s demands).

A top-level narcissist will acknowledge that he had a part to play in the failure of the relationship to impress you with his honesty and maturity and make it look like he can address his faults. He does this to gain your trust so that you believe he’s genuine. 

17. Their body language says it all.

Do they look arrogant? Do they look like they have a big ego? Do they have a cold hard look in their eyes? Do they look like playboys? Are they flashing a full-set-of-teeth smile for the selfie? Chances are they had to really make an effort faking that one.

Are they revealing parts of their body that should be covered? Do they come across as non-practicing? Do they take a lot of pictures with children to make themselves look lovable? Do they joke a lot? (i.e., “I want a wife who can cook and clean – joking!” or “Looking for my sugar mama”). If the answer to these is yes, please do yourself a favour, press that ‘X’ and don’t accept message requests from them.

18. Beware of those who come across as snobbish right at the start.

If someone doesn’t bother to be humble in the beginning when everyone puts their best foot forward, they’re way too arrogant and full of themselves to respect anyone.

The “You’d be too lucky to know me” types like to show that they’re so confident and don’t feel the need to be pretentious. These men usually come from wealthy families and pose for the camera in their best suit while holding a cigar or sitting in a Bentley. They brag about liking the ‘finer things in life’. These men are extremely shallow and want young Barbie doll girls whom they can manipulate, control and use as trophies.

Women who are materialistic also want wealthy men who can meet their required standard of living. 

19. They’ll ask you for photos, especially full-body ones, and video calls to ‘check’ you meet their standards of attractiveness.

In just a few days after meeting them, you’ll find yourself sending lots of photos to them and wasting time on calls because they’re bored and want to be entertained. They do it sneakily by saying things like, “Hey, missing your pretty face, send me a selfie right now”. If you wear hijab, they may request to see photos without it. They’ll also randomly video-call you to check how you look off-guard.

If you don’t send them photos or answer their video calls (this can apply to women too), they’ll simply ignore you and move on to someone else. Narcissists are extremely shallow and if even one of your photos looks unappealing to them, because they didn’t like the angle of the photo, they’ll stop responding to you.

A normal person will prefer to meet you in person to see if there’s any attraction than asking for lots of unnecessary photos. Good people will understand that sending pictures to a stranger is uncomfortable and will respect that. 

20. They’ll either be in a major rush to get married when they find the perfect victim or they’ll disappear and stop responding when you mention that you want to get your wali involved.

A narcissist will use any trivial excuse he or she can grab hold of (or just ghost you) when they realise that the person they’re talking to isn’t falling for their love-bombing.

Narcissists have serious commitment issues and very rarely meet you with good intentions, regardless of what they say. They have too many options to even consider committing to someone, and so if you can’t be played, they’ll simply move on.

Some low-level narcissists may also feel a little guilty if they know the person they’re speaking to is a good God-fearing person and may send a message out of the blue to say that they aren’t ready for a serious relationship, enabling them to exit the situation. These messages usually leave the recipient baffled and hurt, as things seemed to go so well.

However, this is the explanation for it and the closure you need, so don’t take it personally. It’s always about them.

So, as you can see, you have to be very careful who you talk to, who you invest your time and emotions in, and what personal information you give to people. I strongly recommend you to check who they follow and interact with on social media to gain a better and more realistic understanding of them too.

If a Muslim man likes and follows accounts of bikini models, for example, or if a woman is following lots of men and accounts that reflect a problematic mindset, run. If they display any of the above red flags and claim that they don’t have social media accounts, it’s possibly because they want them to be hidden from you so that their activities and realities aren’t exposed. 

I pray that this article will help you to recognise the red flags quicker so that you can avoid narcissists and communicate with genuine and empathic Muslims. Not only will this make your experience on platforms such as Muzmatch a more productive and valuable one, especially if you’re a paid member, but it will also help you to find your partner sooner, as you’ll no longer be wasting your time communicating with people who have different intentions to you. As the famous saying goes, “Your king (or queen) won’t show up, until you get rid of the jokers”.

The last important note to mention here is that many people like to think and believe that narcissists who appear to be in love with them can change for them and become better Muslims and ideal marriage partners, but it’s not true. A narcissist will only change when he or she realises that they need to for themselves.

Therefore, hoping that they’ll change is a waste of time because the only time they’ll show you they’ve changed (temporarily) is when they want something from you. If they don’t get what they want, you’ll see their true self bounce back again quicker than you can blink.

We only have power and control over our own mindset and behaviour and so if people change their strategy and make the right efforts to change the outcomes they have from registering on apps and avoid those who display red flags, they’ll have a better chance at seeing, recognising, appreciating and meeting those who are both good Muslims and good for them, by Allah’s will.

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Al-Qur’an, Al-Ra’d:11)