"Women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity " (Quran 24:26)
Messenger of Allah Muhammad [Peace be upon him] said: "A woman may married for four reasons: for her property, for her rank, for her beauty, and for her religion (and character). So marry the one who is best in the religion and character and prosper". (Hadith-Bukhari and Muslim)
The following advice is relevant for both men and women equally.
Once there was a very handsome, pious, well educated young man, whose parents emphasised for him to get married. they had seen so many marriage proposals, and he had turned them all down. The parents thought it was becoming a little ridiculous or suspected that he may have someone else in mind.
However every time the parents left the girls house, the young man would always say "she's not the one!"
The young man only wanted a girl who was religious and practicing, however one evening his mother arranged for him, to meet a girl, who was religious, and practicing.
On that evening, the young man, and girl, were left to talk, and ask each other questions. (As one would expect).
The young man, being a gentleman that he was allowed, the lady to ask first.
The young girl asked the young man so many questions, she asked about his life, his education, his friends, his family, his habits, his hobbies, his lifestyle, his enjoyment, his pastime, his experiences, his shoe size..
The young man replied to all of her questions, without tiring, and politely, with a smile the young girl took up nearly all of the time, over an hour, and felt bad, and asked the young man do you have any questions?
The young man said, it's ok. I only have 3 questions…
The young girl thought, wow, only 3 questions okay, shoot.
The young man's first question was, Who do you love the most in the world, someone who's love nothing would ever overcome?
She said, this is an easy question; my mother.
He smiled second question, he asked, you said that you read a lot of qur'an, could you tell me which surahs you know the meaning of?
Hearing this she went red and embarrassed and said, I do not know the meaning of any yet, but I am hoping to soon insha'allah I've just been a bit busy.
The third question the young man asked, was I have been approached for my hand in marriage, by girls that are a lot prettier than you, why should I marry you?
Hearing this the young girl was outraged, she stormed off to her parents with fury, and said I do not want to marry this man he is insulting my beauty, and intelligence.
And the young man and his parents, were once again, left without an agreement of marriage.
This time, the young man's parents were really angry, and said what did you do to anger that girl, the family were so nice, and pleasant, and they were religious like you wanted. What did you ask the girl?? Tell us!
The young man said, firstly I asked her, who do you love the most? she said, her mother,
The parents said so, what is wrong with that??
The young man said, "no one, is Muslim, until he loves Allah, and his messenger (saw) more than anyone else in the world"
If a woman loves Allah and the Prophet (pbuh) more than anyone, she will love me and respect me, and stay faithful to me, because of that love, and fear for Allah (swt). and we can share this love, because this love is greater than lust for beauty.
The young man said, then I asked, you read a lot of qur'an, can you tell me the meaning of any surah?
And she said no, because I haven't had time yet.
So I thought of that hadith "All humans, are dead except for those who have knowledge"
She has lived 20 years and not found ANY time, to seek knowledge, why would I marry a woman, who does not know her rights, and responsibilities, and what will she teach my children, except how to be negligent, because the woman IS the madrasa (school) and the best of teachers. And a woman who has no time for Allah, will not have time for her husband.
The third question I asked her was, that a lot of girls, more prettier than her, had approached me for marriage, why should I choose you?
That is why she stormed off, getting angry.
The young man's parents said that is a horrible thing to say, why would you do such a thing, we are going back there to apologize.
The young man said I said this on purpose, to test whether she could control her anger.
The Prophet (saws) said "do not get angry, do not get angry, do not get angry" when asked how to become pious; because anger is from Satan."
If a woman cannot control her anger with a stranger she has just met, do you think she will be able to control it with her husband??
So, the moral of this story is, a marriage is based on:
*knowledge, not looks,
*practice, not preaching,
*Forgiveness, not anger,
*spiritual love, not lust.
One should look for a person who:
1) Has love for Allah (swt) and Muhammad [Peace be upon him]
2) Has knowledge of the deen, and can act upon it.
3) can control their anger
4) and willing to compromise.
IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE PRIOR TO MARRIAGE
- Dua/Istikhara[prayer to seek Allah's Guidance]- Ask help and guidance from Allah, Most High, in the matter of finding and choosing a mate. As often as you feel it necessary, pray Salaah al-Istikhara, Islam's special prayer for guidance, in order to reach a suitable decision.
- Consult your heart. Listen to what your inner voice, the 'radar' which Allah has given you to guide you, tells you about the prospective partner. It is likely to be more correct than your mind, which often plays tricks and can rationalise almost any- thing.
- Enquire. Find out the reason why this man wants to marry you. Is he interested in you as an individual or will just any person do? Is it a marriage just for convenience (citizenship, money, property, etc.), than forget it. This spells trouble. Consult with elders and wise people deeni (islamically educated) persons. Find out more about the persons character, lifestyle, family, education, personality etc
- Understand each other's expectations. Try to get a sense of your prospective partner's under- standing of the marriage relationship, how he will behave in various situations, and what he wants of you as his spouse.
- Don't be in a hurry. So many marriages have broken because the partners are in such haste that they don't take time to make such vital checks as the ones outlined above and rush into things. Never allow yourself to be pressured or talked into a marriage. Keep your eyes open and take your time. Since marriage is for life, for eternity, hurrying into it for any reason whatsoever is the act of a foolish or careless person who has only himself or herself to blame if things go wrong.
- Ask yourself, Do I want this man/woman to be the father/mother of my children? If it doesn't feel just right to you, think it over again. Remember, marriage is not just for today or tomorrow but for life, and for the primary purpose of building a family. If the person in question doesn't seem like the sort who would make a good parent, you are likely to find yourself struggling to raise your children without any help from him or her - or even with negative input - in the future.
- Never date or be alone with prospective partners -Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed:"No man has the right to be in the privacy with a woman who is not lawful for him. Satan is their third party unless there is a mahram". (Hadith-Ahmad)
This advice is for both, so women seeking a man, should look for the same things.
The Prophet (saws) said "Three groups of people Allah has obliged Himself to help them: Mujahid in the cause of Allah, a worker to pay his debt, and the one who wants to marry to live a chaste[pure]life". (Hadith-Tirmidhi)
Insha'allah, may Allah make every marriage a success, and let us create Love for Allah and his Messenger(saw) so that Allah can bless us, and create love in our lives.
Messenger of Allah Muhammad [Peace be upon him] said:
"There is no better structure founded in Islam other than marriage "