The art of choosing a spouse – Finding a Wife
So what should we look for when choosing a wife? Is it all about how she looks? Or what she cooks? Or is there something more important?
The prophet (saw) said: A woman is married for four reasons; her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her deen. So choose the one with (good practice of) deen, may your hands be rubbed in dust. (Bukhari)
From this Hadith we learn many things. We can see what is most important when looking for a wife but the other things mentioned should not be ignored completely. It was recommended by the prophet (saw) to first see her before marrying her. This is discouraged in some cultures however we need to distinguish between culture and Islam. Islam accepts cultures as long as they don’t contradict with its principles and teachings.
Men learn to love who they are attracted to, whereas women learn to be attracted to who they love.
Imam Ahmad recommend that a man should first enquirer about her beauty, if he is pleased with this then ask about her deen, if he is happy with her deen he should marry her. This is because if you say no, in this way you will be saying no based on her deen rather than her beauty.
It is important to ensure she a strong deen as deen is an obligation, the rest is a choice. It is based on our preferences of beauty, lineage, and wealth. On the day of judgement only your deen will help you not the other three aspects.
The prophet (saw) said: Have I not told you about the best treasure that a man possesses? The righteous woman; if he looks at her, she pleases him, if he asks her, she answers, and if he travels, she protects her chastity. (Abu Dawud)
There are other factors you can consider when looking for a wife, similar to what I already discussed in part 2.
The last thing that needs to done with prospective spouses is to see if they are compatible with you. Are they compatible intellectually, physically, financially, spiritually, morally, environmentally and psychologically? Compatibility is so important ass this will determine how well you can actually maintain your marriage after the honeymoon period.
4 point method
Once we find someone who we think we could marry what should we do? Just say yes straight away or take some time to think on our own?
The first thing we should do is Istisharah (consulting others). It is important to consult others as it is the most important decision of your life. However you should consult people of knowledge and wisdom and ask more than one person. You should ask people about the person you’re thinking of marrying and if you get recommendations then go onto istikharah.
Istikharah (seeking the knowledge of Allah) is important as nothing can be achieved without asking Allah for guidance. Praying 2 nafl and then reading the dua is the best way. Once it has been made clear act accordingly.
Determination in what has been made clear and do not go against istikharah. You should act according to a clear sign you get once you do istikharah. It is important however not to have a preconceived idea and also ensure that you have clearly gotten a sign. This sing could be one path being made easy for you and the other difficult. For example if you should marry this person then everything for the wedding will be made easy for you to do.
Trust, have tawakkul in Allah, once everything has fallen in place and you have committed yourself and do not hesitate.