Wednesday, August 30

Marriage: The Quest for Love and Mercy (Part I)

Spouse Selection

The task of selecting a spouse is crucial, in helping to attain the desired fruits of marriage in the most fulfilling way:

“Marry those among you who are single or the virtuous ones among your slaves male or female: if they are in poverty Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah encompasseth all and He knoweth all things”
(24:32)
Allaah (swt) says,

وَمِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَا زَوْجَيْنِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ'
And We have created everything in pairs, that perhaps you may remember.'
(Qur'aan, 51:49)

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ'
'And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.'
(Qur'aan, 30:21)

وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
'And those who pray, "Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.'
(Qur'aan, 25:74)

Marriage is such an important step that our blessed Prophet (saw) spoke of marriage as being `half the religion':

'Whoever has married has completed half of his religion; therefore let him fear Allaah in the other half!'
(Bayhaqi)

Selecting a wife:

In Islam, a man is given some choice concerning marriage. Allah (SWT) says:

And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice.
(4:3)

There are certain qualities one must consider however when a man is choosing whom he wants to be his life partner and the mother of his children. The most important qualities are:

Righteousness:
A vital quality in a wife is righteousness. The Prophet (SAW) urged men to seek a woman of faith and piety and indicated that a man attains happiness through marrying her.

“A woman is sought in marriage for four reasons: wealth, social status, beauty, and deen. So seek the one with deen: may you then be successful”
(Al Bukhari & Muslim)

“Let each of you keep a heart that is grateful (to Allah), a tongue that remembers and mentions (Allah, and a believing wife who would assist him in regard to the affairs of the hereafter.”
(Tirmidhi
)

“A heart that is grateful (to Allah), a tongue that remembers and mentions (Allah), and a righteous wife who would assist you in the affairs of your life and religion: those are the best treasures for the people.”
(Al Bayhaqi, Tirmidhi)

Happiness or Misery:
A righteous wife is one of the main causes of happiness in this world. An evil wife on the other hand is a major cause of misery:

“There area four sources of happiness and four sources of misery. Among the sources of misery. Among the sources of happiness are:
1) A good wife who pleases you when you look at her; and when you are away, you trust her in regard to herself and your property.”
2) An easy ride that enables you to catch up with your companions.
3) A house that is spacious and of many facilities.
4) A good neighbour.
And among the sources of misery are:
1) An evil wife that viewing her dismays you, and who uses her tongue against you; and when you are away from her, you would not trust her in regard to herself or your property.
2) A stubborn ride that if you whip it would tire you, and if you leave it alone you would not be able to catch up with your companions.
3) A tight house or limited facilities.
4) An evil neighbour.”
(Al Hakim, verified hasan by al-Albani)

Good Character:

One should seek a wife who is known to be a good character and has been raised in a good moral atmosphere.

“A woman is (usually) married for one of three qualities: she is married for her wealth; she is married for her wealth; she is married for her beauty; or she is married for her religion. So take the one of religion and manners-may your right hand then be prosperous.”
(Verified authentic by al-Albani)

A woman of low moral standards (i.e. loose and promiscuous in dealing with men, dubious conduct and questionable chastity) should be avoided, even if she had other attractive qualities such as wealth and beauty.

“There are three individuals that, when they supplicate to Allah (aswj), their supplication is not answered: A man who has a woman of bad character(dayuyuth) and he does not divorce her, a man to whom another man owes money and he does not have witnesses over him, and a man who gives money to a weak minded person”.
(Verified authentic by al-Albani)

Virginity:

Virginity is not a condition for marriage but is a recommended quality – provided that one has both options and that the women he is considering are equal in other respects. Virginity then becomes a weighing factor for a number of reasons.

Jabir Bin Abdullah (RA) reported that when his father died, he left behind 9 girls that Jabir had to look after. Soon after that, Jabir married a non virgin, and when Prophet (SAW) met him he asked him “Have you married, O Jabir?” He replied “Yes”. He asked him “Is she a virgin or a non virgin?” He then said: “Shouldn’t you have considered a virgin who plays with you and you with her, and she laughs with you and you with her.” Jabir replied “Indeed my father ‘Abdullah died leaving many daughters. I did not want to add to them another young girl like themselves, so I married a grown woman to take care of them and look after them.” Allah’s Messenger (SAW) then said: “Indeed you have made a good decision. May Allah bless that tremendously for you”.
(Bukhari, Muslim and others)

Ability to bear children:

Since one of the important purposes of marriage is reproduction, it is recommended to marry a younger woman who would normally be more likely to bear many children. In turn, this is more likely to apply to virgins than non virgins.

“Marry virgins, because they have sweeter mouths (talk) and more fertile wombs, and are easier to be satisfied with little wealth.”
(Tabarani, Verified hasan by al-Albani)

A man came to Allah’s Messenger (SAW) and said “I have encountered a woman of honour and beauty, but she can not bear children. Should I marry her?” He said: “No”. After asking two more times, Allahs Messenger (SAW) said:
“Marry the woman who is living and can bear many children, because I will boast of you numbers (on the Day of Resurrection).
(Abu Dawud, An Nasai, Verified authentic by al-Albani)

Loving Attitude:

One should seek to marry a woman who is expected to have a loving and caring attitude toward her husband. This is normally possible to sense from the environment she lives in and her family’s reputation.

“The best of your women are those who are bearers of many children, loving 9to their husbands), comforting and tolerant – provided that they have taqwa of Allah”.
(Al Bayhaqi, verified authentic by al-Albani)

“Your woman who will be of the people f Jannah are those who are loving (to their husbands), bearer of many children and concerned (about their husbands).”
(Ibn Asakir, Tammam ar Razi, verified hasan by al-Albani)

Contentment:

This is an important quality to be sought in a wife. A dissatisfied wife would make her husband miserable and push him to do anything to please her.

“Seek (in marriage) virgins, because they have more fertile wombs, sweeter mouths, less slyness, and are easier to be satisfied with little wealth”
(At-Tabarani, verified authentic by al-Albani)

“Marry virgins! They have sweeter mouths, more fertile wombs, and are more satisfiable with little”
(Ibn Majah, verified to be hasan by al-Albani)

Naivety:

Naivety, simplicity, and innocence of heart are commendable qualities to be sought in a wife, and are more present with lesser experiences in the ways of life.

Beauty:

“A woman is sought in marriage for four reasons: wealth, social status, beauty, and deen. So seek the one with deen: may you then be successful”
(Al Bukhari & Muslim)

Beauty, wealth and prestige are all mentioned as secondary qualities – especially beauty. The Prophet (SAW) said:

“The best of women is that who please him (i.e. her husband) when he looks at her, obeys him when he orders, and does not subject her person or money to what he dislikes.”
(Ahmed, An-Nasai, Al-Hakim, verified authentic by al-Albani)

“The best of women is that who pleases you when you look at her, obeys when you order her, and safeguards you during your absence in regard to herself and your wealth.”
(At-Tabarani, verified to be authentic by al-Albani)

A woman’s appearance being “pleasing” to her husband applies first to pleasing him when he observes her righteousness and obedience to Allah. But it may also apply to pleasing him with her physical beauty. That is why it has been ordained to look at a courted woman.

Compatibility:

A man should seek a wife who is compatible with him, and a woman should seek a husband compatible with her.

“Make a (good) choice for your sperm (i.e. offspring): marry those who are compatible, and get married to them.”
(Ibn Majah, al-Hakim, verified authentic by al-Albani)

Compatibility has two major requirements: deen and character. These two are among the require qualities for a wife. Deen and character may not be compromised and are the focal point for compatibility. A man or woman who is lacking in either of this is a poor candidate and should not be considered. Other secondary compatibility factors are age, language, financial status, family status, national background etc, but none of these can be considered mandatory.

Qualities sought in a good husband:

Deen and Good character
The Prophet (SAW) instructed the guardian of women to marry them to men of good deen and character. When a man of known righteousness and good character seeks to marry a woman, he should be seriously considered.

“If one comes to you seeking marriage, and you are satisfied with his deen and character, marry him: otherwise, a fitnah (harm) and great destruction will become rampant on earth.”
(at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, verified hasan by al-Albani)

Wealth
Unfortunately, when looking for a husband, a woman’s family or wali first lok at his bank account, instead of his iman, taqwa and aqidah (creed).
Many Muslim women in both Islamic and western countries have been affected by the perverse ideologies of the west. They do not look for a man who possesses taqwa and character, which would guarantee or them a lasting loving relationship. Rather, they look for a man who has a strong buying power, owns a house, or possesses a higher degree of education – all at the cost of religion, morals and eventually, happiness.
This is not to say all Muslims should live in poverty, but emphasising that wealth is a minor factor and should never be compared to deen and character.

“Marry the unmarried among you and the righteous of your male and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His favors. Allah is bountiful and knowing.”
(An-Nur 24:32)

Allah gives such a generous and true promise to the righteous, there is absolutely no guarantee that he will not, in the blink of an eye, take away the wealth of a man who is non-religious and ungrateful to Him.

No Comparison
When a woman marries a man possessing din and good character, she will not lose out in any respect: if he keeps her, he will do so in a good manner; and if he releases her, he will do so in a good manner. A man of deen and good character will be a blessing for her and her children and they will all help each other learn and improve in their deen and righteousness.
A woman should strongly avoid a man who does not have these attributes, especially if he neglects her prayers, drinks alcohol, commits zina or any other major sin. Wealth and social status should never be her main criteria in deciding for or against a husband.

Once while the Prophet (SAW) was sitting with some of his companions, a man passed by them. The Prophet (SAW) asked one of the companions, “What do you think of this man?” some of them said, “This is from among the noble people. By Allah if he seeks marriage, he deserves to be married; if he intercedes, his intercession deserves to be granted.” The Prophet (SAW) did not say anything. Another man passed by them, and the Prophet (SAW) asked, “What do you think of this man?” Some of them said “This is one of the poor Muslims. It is expected that if he seeks marriage, he will not be married; and if he intercedes, his intercession is not granted; and if he speaks, no one listens to him.” Allah’s Messenger (SAW) then said: “This man is better than an earth-full of the likes of the other man.”
(Bukhari &Muslim)

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

salam aliykom wrwb

this section was mashaALlah fantasic. alot information from Quran wa Hadith really informative.
inshaallah keep the info coming love to read ur blogs. tc salam aliykom

faisal said...

BarakAllah! Fantastic article! JazakAllah khair =)