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Seeking a Spouse
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8 Tips for Seeking a Spouse

by Siddiqua Hassan Haswarey

Perfection is an attribute of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) alone and there
is no such thing as a perfect companion, at least not in the way we perceive perfection in a companion, simply because we as humans are not perfect. Each of us has defects or drawbacks, but the beauty of Allah's creation is such that, each of us also has something that makes us unique. Fix your priorities on what you exactly seek in a spouse, as a Muslim. To simplify the long search, write down all of your priorities on paper and number them as to what comes first for you and what comes last. Also, make a separate list of the points that you are willing to compromise with in a spouse and those that you are not willing to over look. This way you will be better focused in your search for a life-long

1. Istikharah Prayer

If you wish assistance from Allah, then you have to ASK of him and He
(Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has promised to answer.

2. Deen

Remember the hadith of Rasullallah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) -
Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (radhi Allahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said, "A woman is married for four things: her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser." (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith)

Deen alone cannot certify the character or good nature of a person, but
fear of Allah can prospect an awareness of the consequences of one's actions in the sight of Allah. There are some individuals who can be the best of Muslims outwardly, but are lacking in their character inwardly and then, there are those that are of good character but may not be from amongst those that wake up each night for tahajjud. I personally cannot be the judge of who is a better Muslim than whom, that would be something that you will have to personally analyze, but be sure not to be blinded by outward appearances.

3. Emotional Independence

This goes in particular for the women. If the man you are interested in
has someone else making his life decisions (his parents, for example) you may want to address this issue directly before moving on. A man being the leader of the household has to have the emotional capability to make his own life decisions without worrying about what everyone else is thinking but rather worrying about what will be best for the family. After all, it will be he who will lead the family not everyone else.

4. Character

Narrated by Abud Darda': The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
There is nothing heavier than good character put in the scale of a believer on the Day of Resurrection. (Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith)

Narrated by Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: The Apostle of Allah (sallallahu
alaihi wa sallam) said: By his good character a believer will attain the degree of one who prays during the night and fasts during the day. (Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith)

Character can go a long way in raising a happy family, especially a just
character, like the character of Rasullallah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Of course, there is no human alive who can come close to his character, but certain aspects are very basic and crucial for a happy marriage. For example, being just in one's dealings is a sure sign of good character. Bad temper is not. An individual has to be able to make a decision more practically than emotionally. A sense of justice and other basic behaviors like consideration and kindness are important for a healthy, loving and successful marriage.

5. Financial Independence

A person does not have to be rich to be a prospective spouse, but if you
are particular about your lifestyle or living a certain way, you should talk about these details initially. In fact, even if you are not particular about the kind of life you intend to live, talk about where each of you sees your life ten years down the line. That way you'll know what to expect or at least understand how each of you sees your lives in the future.

6. Sincerity

Narrated by Umar bin Al Khattab: Allah's Apostle (sallallahu alaihi wa
sallam) said, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Apostle, then his emigration was for Allah and His Apostle. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for." (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith)

A very basic factor in any action - If you notice any form of duplicity
in your potential spouse, talk about it, don't ignore these minor details and presume them to be insignificant. Bringing minor details out in the open initially can help you gauge what kind of a person he or she really is, in turn how sincere he or she is. The end result of all of our actions are also a result of what we intended by those actions.

7. Compatibility

You have to be able to tolerate each other, be able to live together each
day for the next 20 or 30 years of your lives in the same house. A marriage lasts for a very long time, at least that is what most of us intend, but if you cannot even tolerate or feel a sense of affinity to your spouse, a marriage is definitely not going to work.

8. Physical Attraction

Narrated by Abu Hurayrah: I was in the company of Allah's Messenger
(sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) when there came a man and informed him that he had contracted to marry a woman of the Ansaar. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Did you cast a glance at her?" He said:
No. He said: "Go and cast a glance at her, for there is something in the eyes of the Ansaar." (Sahih Muslim Hadith)

Last but most certainly not the least - there has to be some sort of
physical attraction between the couple for a marriage to work. If you are
particular about beauty, then be sure to mention it as a factor. It is better to be honest at that time than to be dubious and unjust later on in the marriage. Do not, however, be blinded by the beauty of a person so much so that you forego the other factors you seek in a spouse. Beauty does not last; it is as ephemeral as this dunya.

No matter how hard we try as individuals to look for that perfect mate,
we will never be successful. "Perfection," like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It is important for us to remember, that if we have our priorities set right as Muslims first, keeping in mind the long-term consequences of each of our actions, everything will work out just fine, InshaAllah!

The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. Sometimes
we look so for what we do not have or possess that in the process we overlook the real treasures around us. The way this life works, or rather the way Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has designed this dunya to work, is such that each of our lives are directly or indirectly related to each other. Certain bad experiences in our lives may actually be the very catalysts that spurred us to become better Muslims, opening up our hearts and minds towards our creator. Being able to see our role in this dunya will help us set our priorities in our lives as a whole.

This list is to be only as additional help in the search for a spouse.
Most people have more specifications or less. Making a flexible list will ease the search.

May Allah bless you and your companions and family.

O Allah! Make all of our deeds righteous and make them purely for Your
Sake, and do not let there be any share for anyone or anything else in them. O Allah! Turner of Hearts! Keep our hearts steadfast on Your religion. Aameen.
Allahumma Aameen.

Subhanaka `Allahumma wa bihamdika, wa `ash-hadu `an laa `Illaaha `illaa
`anta, `astaghfiruka wa `atoobu `ilayka. (Glorified are You O' Allah and I am in Your praise, I testify that there is no deity except You, I ask Your forgiveness and repent unto You).


Looking at a Prospective Spouse

As we have seen, the Prophet (saw) encouraged men considering marriage to a particular woman to get a look at her. He (saw) said in another hadith:

"Idhaa khataba ahadukum al-mar'ata fa'in istataa'a an yandhura minha ilaa ma yad'oohu ilaa nikaahihaa falyaf'al."
"If one of you proposes to a woman and if he is able to look at of her that which motivates him to marry her, let him do so." Abu Daud & others (hassan)

Note that this hadith does not abrogate the limits of what a woman may expose to non-mahaarim. She must continue to be well covered except for her face and hands in front of all of them and the prospective husband, even if he has proposed, is no exception to this. Even such a one is still only permitted to see what anyone else is permitted to see. The difference is that he is allowed to take a good look - if it were not for the proposal of marriage, both would be required to avert their eyes after the first glance. As the Prophet (sas) said to Ali about the look at a non-mahram woman: "The first is for you, the second is against you."

Also, it is clear that the purpose of this look is very specific: to help one determine whether or not they would like to marry that person. Once that has been determined and the decision has been made, it is no longer permissible for them to look at each other. If a man and a woman decide that they want to marry each other, this does not make it allowed for them to continue to see each other. Just the opposite, since the decision has been made there is no longer any need for them to see each other and they are no longer allowed to do so. This is because until the moment the offer and acceptance of the marriage have been pronounced, there is no relationship of any kind between them and all of the laws regarding strange men and women still apply to them.

There are a number of important points which pertain to this issue:

- Some scholars say that this look is sunnah (i.e., recommended) while others say that it is simply permissible. The hadith would seem to favor the first point of view.

-It can only be done if the person actually intends marriage to the person AND there is a real possibility of it taking place. Otherwise, such a look remains forbidden.

-It cannot take place in private. In other words, it is not allowed for a man and a woman who are not married - even if they are "engaged" - to be alone together.

-The look can occur more than once - if and only if the objective has not been accomplished.
  Ibn A'bbas (May Allah have mercy on them both) related that a man came to the prophet (peace be upon him) and said O messenger of Allah! I am a guardian of an orphan girl. Two men betrothed that girl: one of them is wealthy and the other is poor. We like to give her to the wealthy but she wants the poor! The Prophet said, Marriage is the best thing for lovers. (Reported by Ibn Majah)
1. Love does not, mean the lustful desire. This is a false love. No sooner does a man desire a woman than he hates hereafter satisfying himself. Love, which is mainly portrayed in romantic stories, is just a kind of fiction and dreams. Love only grows between spouses. As years pass, company and kind treatment enhance such love. Real love gradually replaces the illusive love. By Sheikh Mahmoud M.Al-Istambulli