Thursday, April 06, 2006

Marriage, Istikhara & Choosing a Spouse
A Question Answered

Recently, I wrote my first post on the topic of Marriage, within which I mentioned the topics I was intending to write about. However, I received a comment from one Sister who said the following:



I had a question I've been wondering on the topic of finding a suitable partner for marriage.

I remember hearing a hadith on how a person is married for 4 things - beauty, wealth, family status, righteousness, but that a believer should give preference to righteousness (or something to that effect).

My question is that of the 4 things, beauty, wealth and family status are things that can be seen straight up (generally). However, the one thing a person cannot know - what degree of taqwa another person has - is what we're told to look for.

Yes of course there are obvious things such as a person drinking or gambling,
etc that are indications. But assuming none of those exist, how do you know another person's taqwa.

I saw this because i recently had my Nikah broken off as the guy decided he no longer felt like marrying me.

This guy seemed God-fearing, spoke about the importance of taqwa, etc. but turned out to be someone who is unkind, unjust and materialistic (at least it seems so, Allah knows best). Thus how do you know.

Yes Istikhara is a way, but I received good signs in istikhara - which I believe means God wanted me to go through this. But back to my question - how can you judge a person's taqwa - how can anyone judge whats in another person's heart for that is where the taqwa resides."


One of my main reasons for writing about the Salaah of Istikhara was for this reason; and I was hoping to answer the question in my fourth topic, How to choose a suitable spouse. However, I feel that the question needs to be answered sooner, and therefore, I intend to make a brief answer until that topic is discussed in detail.

First of all, the Hadeeth that has been mentioned is as follows:

On the authority of Hadhrat Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم has said:

تنكح المرأه لأربع لمالها و لحسبها و جمالها و لدينها فاظفر بذات الدين تربت يداك

"A woman is married for four reasons:
for her wealth, her status, her beauty, and her religion; so
try to get one who is religious, may you be blessed."

[Saheeh al-Bukhari: Book 62, Hadith: 5090]

In the above Hadeeth our Beloved Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, is informing us of the qualities a person normally looks for in a women, he then mentions to us to marry the religious women so that we may be blessed. This Hadeeth applies to anyone looking for a spouse; he or she should be looking for a religious partner and if thereafter the other qualities are found then it would like a bonus.

However, as mentioned in the question, it is usually very simple to recognise a person for their wealth, status and beauty; they all are very apparent. But how does one recognise a religious person; that one quality which we are asked to choose over all others.

There are many ways in which one can 'try' to determine the piety of a person and to ascertain whether he is 'religious'.

However, before doing so, it is important to understand what 'religious' is and what it refers to.

Many people have the misconception that a religious person is he who has knowledge; one who talks about religion, someone who merely portrays religion or that person who offers his prayers and supplications. However, this is far from the truth.

Once a disciple of Hadhrat Ashraf Ali Thanvi came to him to ask of his advice regarding two proposals he had received for his daughter; one being from a clean shaven, not religious but at the same time very respectful and obedient man, whilst the second being 'apparently religious' but very disobedient, unfriendly and disrespectful. Who should the daughter be given in marriage to? Hadhrat Ashraf Ali Thanvi replied instantly that the person who was respectful should be given the daughter.

The lesson given here is that it is easier to teach a 'human' the religion of Islam, but it is a much more difficult matter to make a person in to a 'human'. The person who was 'apparently religious' was in reality far from religion; his actions were contrary to the teachings of Islam. Whilst the person who was clean shaven was in actual fact closer to religion due to his behaviour and manners and for that person to become inclined towards religions is far easier and likely.

Therefore, apparently being religious is not the sign of being religious and one should never mistake a person from their appearance, in fact not even entirely through their acts of worship.

This principle is well taught to us by Hadhrat Umar رضي الله عنه when once a witness went to depose before him. Hadhrat Umar رضي الله عنه said bring to me one who knows you. When he brought a person to him, the man began to praise his character. Hadhrat Umar رضي الله عنه asked him: Is he your closest neighbour? He said: No. He then asked him: Were you his companion in a journey? He said: No. Hadhrat Umar رضي الله عنه then asked him: Did you carry on business with him? He said: No. Hadhrat Umar رضي الله عنه finally said: So, you don't know him. He then said to the man: Go, take one who knows you.

This clearly shows that a person cannot be thought to be religious by just seeing his appearance or his apparent act of worship because being religious is far more than that. Hadhrat Umar رضي الله عنه explained that it is necessary to be a person’s neighbour, to have travelled with him or to have done some business dealings with him in order to really be aware of his true character for these are the affairs and matters that bring out the true colour of a person.

This leaves us with one final question, ‘how are we supposed to look for a religious person or what do you look for in a spouse to conclude or ascertain that they are from what the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم classed as بذات الدين.

Insha Allah this question will be answered when that topic comes into discussion and further explanation will be given on this matter.

May Allah give us all the zeal and eagerness to choose those who are ‘religious’ and may He give us the understanding and knowledge to differentiate between those who are religious in its true sense as apposed to those who appear to be religious. Aameen.


unknown said...

Assalamu alaykum

Jazakallah for that post..ameen to the duas.

Keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum,

A very interesting read Alhamdulillah.

Just wanted to ask if you had anything on Hajj on your blog?


Zain said...

As Salaamu Alaykum,


Jazakallah for the comments. Please remember me in your Duas.

Sister Aisha

Jazakallah for you comments. Unfortunately, I don't have anything on Hajj at the moment but Insha Allah I do plan to write something on that topic before Hajj. However, it will not totally consists of the rulings and method, more likely to be the rewards and merits etc. That's the plan anyway.

Please remember me in your Duas.


Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum,

No problem Zain Bhai. Insha'Allah looking 4ward 2 all the comin posts. keep it up! :)

comicsans said...

Jazakh Allah your posts really contribute a big deal in helping me understand Deen.
Fee Aman Allah

Anonymous said...

Jazakallaho Khaira for answering my question. I will keep these points in mind and Inshallah the next time I will truly find someone with true Taqwa. Please all pray this happens Inshallah soon and please remember me in your prayers.

Zain said...

As Salaamu Alaykum,

Sister Aisha

Jazakallah for the comments. I just realised that there was another topic which I was hoping to put up about Hajj. If there is anything in particular you wanted to read on please do let me know.

Remember me in your Duas.


Alhumdulillah, it is good to know that the posts are beneficial. I pray to Allah that He accepts the efforts and forgives the shortcomings. Aameen. Please do remember me in your Duas.


Jazakallah for giving me the oppertunity to help. Alhumdulillah, it was very beneficial for me also. IF you have any further questions please do let me know. Insha Allah I will be putting pointers on how to get an indication of someone's piety in the near future.

Please do remember me in your Duas.


Quest said...

Jazak Allah for the article. My blog is actually about my quest to get married. Check it out, and it would be great if you can link to it on your page!

Keep on writing those great posts!

Zain said...

As Salaamu Alaykum,

Jazakallah for passing by, Insha Allah I will be looking on your blog to see how you manage to find your partner. It may give me ideas and topics to talk about for my articles.

I pray that you find a suitable and pious spouse and that Allah makes your journey in achieving this successful and easy.

May He give you the strength and understanding to choose those paths and methods which are correct and favoured by Him, thereby making His love and Mercy shine upon your marriage forever. Aameen.

Duas Requested.


~*~ Maryam ~*~ said...

As salam alaikum wrahmatullah wa barakatu.
mashAllah nice post there. barak Allah feek.
maybe u can do a post bout what women should look for in men in marriage.

fee aman Allah,
as salam alaikum.

~*~ Maryam ~*~ said...

As salam alaikum.
mashAllah a good topic to discuss. may u could touch on the opp side of what a woman should do when appraoched for marriage. what she should look for and what to do when uncertain. many of us revert sisters are having problems with marriage.some men jst want our passports n green cards n leave with talaq. others are jst abusive n nasty. only few are ture n pious n we get the brunt of it.

shukran akhi. keep it up mashAllah.

fee aman Allah, as salam alaikum.

Zain said...

As Salaamu Alaykum,

Jazakallah for the comments. May Allah reward you for the excellent ideas for future posts.

Insha Allah, in my future posts I will mention what a women should do when approached for marriage and what she should look for in a Husband.

It is sad to know that revert sisters are having difficulty with marriage. unfortunately, this problem is very common between Muslims all over. May Allah make matters easy for us all. Aameen.

Please remember me in your Duas.

Talemul_haq said...

As'salaam Wa'alikum,

update on this:

"how are we supppsoed to look fo ra relious person or what do you look for in a spouse...."

insh'allah soon

dua mei yaad

Zain said...

As Salaamu Alaykum,

There are many guidelines that people can follow to find a religious spouse and Insha Allah this topic will be discussed in greater detail soon. Just a quick mention of some of the points:

What should one look for is a spouse:

A person is married for many reasons, some of the main being; status, wealth, beauty, compatibility and piety.

One should always give preference to being religious. Compatibility is also necessary in many areas of life.

After piety any other qualities will be a bonus.

How are we supppsoed to look for a religious person?

In Islam one is not allowed to freely mix with the opposite gender in any circumstance. Therefore, it will be incorrect to directly and freely talk to the opposite gender without the presence of a third person.

Islam has laid down some guidelines for the marrying couple as to how they can check their compatibility and assess one another on a necessary and limited level.

All these matters should be taken into consideration then a choice and decision should be made.

Insha Allah this topic will be further discussed in upcoming posts.

Please reemember me in your Du'as.