Choosing The Desired
Ibrahim Abu Khalid
praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, the Merciful, the Hearer
of supplications, and peace and blessings upon our beloved and humble
prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and companions.
marriage is spoken of during these "modern" times, Muslims
become horrified, conjuring images of an arranged marriage, trying
to find that "perfect" companion, how much of a financial
burden it will become, and so on. The reality is that Islam came
to solve these problems, not exacerbate them, yet unfortunately
we have integrated our local traditions and customs with Islam so
that marriage has become a major concern for a man rather than a
living in a free, perverted and corrupt Western society, the Muslim
male youth finds many temptations and tests, as a result of mixing
with females, which he must face and overcome. He must constantly
resist these temptations, which are thrown at him in the streets,
on the media, and at work. And so the wisdom of the Prophet (saws)
echoes on, when he said: "O young men, those among you who
can support a wife should marry, for it restrains the eyes from
casting (evil glances), and preserves one from immorality..."
seriously considering marriage, you must pose the question to yourself
as to just what kind of wife you want, what her qualities should
be in order to establish an Islamic and peaceful household, and
how you will know who she is.
Muslims, we believe that Allah wants the best for us, and that His
Prophet (saws) illustrated this through his own life. So note that
by following the advise of our own Creator, and that of His beloved
servant, we can only be successful.
is clear on the kind of wife you should be seeking. The Prophet
(saws) said: "A woman may be married for four reasons: for
her property, her status, her beauty, and her religion; so try to
get one who is religious, may you be blessed." This specifically
defines just what kind of a companion we are seeking, for if we
marry her for anything other than her religious piety, our marriage
is bound to fall into misery. True, beauty and charm is hard to
resist, yet beauty does not last forever and does not guarantee
you her obedience and religiousness. Financial status is dynamic,
and so is worldly status, yet religion strongly establishes a household,
and it may be that through your intention of marrying her for her
religion, the rest is given to you anyway.
another hadith, the Prophet (saws) said: "The whole world is
a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the
pious woman." Imagine! Nothing in this world is as valuable
as a pious woman! This point has been stressed many times by Rasulallah
(saws), who himself, when asked what three things he loved the most,
mentioned a pious woman. Once the following ayah was revealed: "They
who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah,
unto them give tidings of a painful doom. On that day when it will
(all) be heated in the fire of Jahannam, and their foreheads and
flanks and their backs will be branded therewith (and it will be
said to them): 'Here is what you hoarded for yourselves, now taste
of what you used to hoard' "[al-Taubah: 34-35]. Umar (r.a.a)
has been quoted to say that, when this ayah was revealed, he approached
the Prophet (saws), submitting that the ayah weighed heavily on
the minds of the Sahaba. Rasulallah (saws) replied that the best
thing to be treasured is the devoted wife who causes pleasure when
seen, obeys orders instantly and takes full care of herself and
her husbands property when he is away. Abu Bakr once asked Rasulallah
(saws) what was the best thing to be treasured, and he (saws) replied:
"the tongue in remembrance of Allah, the heart filled with
thanks to Allah, and a pious wife who helps in virtuous deeds".
Look at how valuable such a woman is in the sight of Allah! How
can a man live unhappily with such a person.
of the Pious Women
you say, you've convinced me, but what actually makes her a pious
woman? The answer is simple: Allah himself has described those qualities
most loved by Him in the Qur'an, and in the ahadith there are numerous
accounts of the virtuous attributes of a pious woman.
following are some ayahs on the attributes of the wife you should
be seeking, so note those fine and appreciative qualities.
women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for
women of purity"
the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husbands)
absence what Allah would have them guard" [Qur'an 4:34]
may be, if he divorced you (all), that Allah will give him in exchange
consorts better than you, who submit (Muslims), who believe, who
are devout, who turn to Allah in repentance, who worship (in humility),
who travel (for faith) and fast.."
then, in surah Ahzab, is a full list of those qualities loved by
Allah, qualities, which by the way should be evident in both males
and females. So, my dear brother, choose her for the following attributes:
-a Muslim woman
-a believing woman
-a devout woman
-a true woman
-a woman who is patient and constant
-a woman who humbles herself
-a woman who gives charity
-a woman who fasts and denies herself
-a woman who guards her chastity
-a woman who engages much in Allah's praise
the four known perfect women was Maryam. She was loved by Allah
because of her religious qualities: "O Maryam! Worship your
Lord: prostrate yourself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who
bow down"[s.3;v.43]. Another was the wife of Pharaoh:
Allah sets forth, as an example to those who believe, the wife of
Pharaoh: behold she said: 'O my Lord, build for me, in nearness
to Thee, a mansion in the Garden'."
Prophet (saws) loved his wives because of their religious qualities.
Aisha once related the fine qualities of Zainab: "(Zainab)
was the one who was somewhat equal in rank with me in the eyes of
Allah's Messenger (saws), and I have never seen a woman more advanced
in religious piety than Zainab, more God-conscious, more truthful,
more alive to the ties of blood, more generous and having more sense
of self-sacrifice in practical life and having more charitable disposition
and thus more closer to Allah, the Exalted, than her."
you think, but you'll never find such a woman! Well, if that was
true, Allah would not have described her in the first place, and
furthermore those qualities were emanating from the women described
above. Islam deals with reality, not fiction. Sure, the perfect
woman doesn't exist, yet "if you take a dislike to them, it
may be that you dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through
it a great deal of good"[s.4;v.19]. Remember also that you
are not perfect either.
Who She Is
find that pious woman, there are two steps to be taken, and that
first one relies on your personal observation. In surah Nisaa, Allah
asks the believing women that they should "lower their gaze
and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty
and ornaments," and also that they "should not strike
their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments"[s.24;v.31].
If you notice a woman acting modestly, being not too obvious through
her actions (by lowering her voice when around men), one who attempts
to hide her attractions (which includes her external beauty as well
as her internal charms), then you know she has some of those precious
qualities. When you see a woman unashamedly flirting, unconcerned
about her revealing clothes, and freely converses with males- keep
far, far away. I'm sure when you get married you want your wife
to devote her love to you, not to twenty other "just good friends".
simple observation, you can get a glimpse of her nature; for example,
the way she stands when conversing, how she maintains eye-contact,
her clothes, where she spends her time etc. Look for her strong
points, and don't stress on her weak ones.
after all this, we still have to come to the most important topic.
You can look all you want at her, set a private investigator to
track her movements, read her diaries (all of which I consider extreme
and unIslamic), yet, my dear brother, no-one knows her heart and
intentions, no-one knows whether she will turn sour or more religious,
or whether you are suitable for each other, except for Allah.
are choosing our wife for her permanent values; namely her religious
devotions, moral integrity, character etc. But believe me, if we
try ourselves to combine a marriage, we are almost sure to fail,
because we have no knowledge.
loves a servant when he puts his trust in Him. When we do so, it
is illustrating how we rely upon Him for help, and proving our sincerity
to Him, establishing that we recognise His infinite knowledge and
is likened to being as a house and in my estimation nothing cements
that house together as well as putting our trust in Allah.
is related on the authority of Jabir ibn 'Abdullah that the Prophet
(saws) used to teach his companions to seek, through a special du'a
(known as an istikharah), the guidance of Allah in all matters which
affected them. Rasulallah (saws) said: "When you are confused
about what you should do in a certain situation, then pray two rak'at
of nafl salaat and read the following du'a (du'a of istikharah)."
surprised at the criticisms thrown at this du'a, and of its negligence.
We are humans, powerless in this sphere of life, knowledgeable only
enough to survive. So why shouldn't we turn to Allah and seek His
perfect help whenever we require it? Allah responds to the call
of His servant when he asks for guidance, and we are after all seeking
to do something in order to please Him.
wrong notions exist concerning istikharah. Many Muslims will pray,
read the du'a, and run to bed expecting to see a dream showing them
their future wife, what her favourite colour is, and some other
weird fantasy. That is not the purpose of this salaat.
results of an istikharah can take many forms. Basically, you go
by your feelings, whether you now feel more favourable or not. Also,
you may notice events have changed, either for or against you. Finally,
as a wonderful gift from Allah, you may be blessed with a dream.
Note that you must follow the results of an istikharah, because
not doing so is tantamount to rejecting Allah's guidance once you've
asked for it. Also, you should firstly clear your mind, not have
your mind already decided, and then afterwards follow the results
Prophet (saws) once sent Zainab a proposal of marriage. She refused
to accept the proposal straight away, expressing her intention to
refer the matter to Allah: "I do not do anything until I solicit
the will of my Lord." Allah, the Responsive, answered her plea
for help and revealed an ayah approving of the marriage. We may
seem shocked at her refusal to accept a proposal from what is the
best husband any woman can have, yet she was just recognising that
it is Allah who knows how successful such a marriage will be, and
as a sign of appreciation, that reply is now preserved in our Holy
Book: al Qur'an.
Prophet (saws) once said to Aisha: "I saw you in a dream for
three nights when an angel brought you to me in a silk cloth and
he said: 'Here is your wife', and when I removed (the cloth) from
your face, lo, it was yourself, so I said: 'if this is from Allah,
let Him carry it out' ".
is a serious step, and requires the right attitude. If marriage
completes half our faith, shouldn't that half be the best half?
A woman married for the wrong reasons can only weaken the Muslim
household. Consider that she will be your life-long companion, the
rearer of your children. Don't marry her for her worldly wealth,
but for her wealth in Islamic wisdom and knowledge. Her status in
this life is but illusionary, so choose her for her status in the
sight of Allah. Beauty is but superficial, but the beauty of Iman
asking Allah for a wife, call upon Him by His beautiful names, as
He has commanded us:
Allah are certain and dignified names: therefore call upon Him by
for a companion who is devout, pious, patient and so on. Be among
those who say:
Lord, may our spouses and our offspring be a joy to our eyes and
make us leaders of the righteous."
[Qur'an al-Furqan 74]
provide a better conclusion than saying that you must put your trust
in Allah. You must have trust in His concern for us, and His ability
to help us. Allah says:
your trust in Allah, for Allah loves those who put their trust in
Allah help us in our sincere efforts in following His commandments
and the way of His beloved servant, and provide us with wives whom
my servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them):
I respond to the prayer of every supplicant when he calls on Me:
let them also, with a will, listen to my call, and believe in Me:
that they may walk in the right way" [Qur'an:186]