Pick up any book about a devoted Muslim’s way of life and you will find passages and even chapters devoted to married life. As marriage represents half of our faith, it makes perfect sense to make that half the best half. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a spouse.
Piety Is At The Top Of The List
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said that “a woman should be married for four reasons: for her property, her status, her beauty and for her religion; so marry one who is religious, so you may be blessed.” (Bukhari)
Piety plays an important role in marriage through life partners who encourage each other to love all that is halal for the sake of Allah (SWT) and hate all that is forbidden for the sake of Allah (SWT) too. So even if a man is attracted to a woman’s beauty, wealth or upbringing, her piety should take precedence over the other things.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) told us that ‘The whole world is a provision, and the best provision of the world is the pious woman.” (Muslim)
Choosing our spouses can shape our household and the generations of Muslims to come. And while these ahadith seem to be aimed at men, the same holds true for women. We all have a good idea of the traits we want in a spouse, but Islam advises choosing a spouse in terms of piety.
It Goes Both Ways
“And women of purity are for men with purity. And men of purity are for women with purity,” (an-Nur: 26).
The same way Allah (SWT) wishes for men to find pious wives, women too must seek out men with piety, who provide for, honour, and respect them, who will be doting fathers to their children, and will lead the family with the best values Islam has to offer.
However, with the verse above, it is also an important reminder that the spouse of choice is a reflection of the person who chooses them. Thus, for those who wish to marry, both men and women should ask:
- Am I deserving of a pious spouse?
- How shall I improve my aqeedah for the sake of Allah (SWT)?
- How do I represent Islam as a Muslim?
- If I truly wish for a spouse who is as pious as the Prophet (SAW) or as Khadija (RA), am I practicing my religion at the same level to provide favors in return?
The Prayer To Make A Choice
When a marriage proposal ensues, the prayer of Istikhara – a two rak’ah prayer with a specific du’a – is always recommended for guidance to help us make such an important life decision.
The Istikhara prayer was a Prophetic Sunnah when asking a favor from Allah (SWT). The essence of the prayer and the invocations that follow include:
- Acknowledging that Allah (SWT) has all knowledge and power in the dunya and hereafter, whereas we do not;
- Acknowledging that only Allah (SWT) knows best of decision that we make, and we do not;
- Thus, asking Allah (SWT) to guide us to the decision that would benefit our iman and taqwa.
- And lastly, it is through Istikharah that we ask Allah (SWT) to turn us away from decisions that may harm us and give us strength to take another route.
The Better Half Of Me
Choosing a spouse is a reflection of ourselves. And choosing a person to spend our entire life with will require constant self-reflection. What type of person do I want to spend my life with? How do I ensure I choose character over chemistry or material wealth? What can I do to better myself as a wife/husband for the sake of Allah (SWT)? How will our union be pleasing to Allah (SWT)?
However one looks at it, choosing your other half is a crucial stepping stone on the journey called marriage; a journey we share with that one other important person with the goal of Jannah as our final resting destination, Insha Allah.
When we make the choice of who to marry, who will be our other half, we must – with the guidance and knowledge of Allah (SWT) – make the best decisions. Doing so will not only give a promising start to our marriage but also complete half of our faith.
Written by Maria Zain, originally posted on sistersmagazine.com