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Marriage:

Selecting a Marriage Partner

by Mohammad Mazhar Hussaini

Marriage is recommended for partners who share a common way of life. The matrimonial partners should be able to fulfill their purpose of creation as defined by Allah. They should be able to effectively carry out their responsibility as care-takers (khalifah) of earth. They should share the common goal of building a well integrated Muslim community and be able to work harmoniously towards it.

Criteria for Selecting a Marriage Partner

Normally the criteria for selecting matrimonial mates are many: wealth, beauty, rank, character, congeniality, compatibility, religion, etc. The Quran enjoins Muslims to select partners who are good and pure (tayyib)

"Women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity "(Quran 24:26)

Prophet Muhammad (S) recommended Muslims to select those partners who are best in religion (din) and character.

"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". (Bukhari and Muslim)

Prophet Muhammad (S) assured the bounty of Allah to those who wish to get married and live a pure and clean life.

"Three groups of people Allah 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 life". (Tirmidhi)

Freedom to Choose a Marriage Partner

Islam has given freedom of choice to those who wish to get married. The mutual choice of the would-be-spouses is given the highest consideration:

"do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree between themselves in a lawful manner" (Quran 2:232)

The process of mate selection should be a function of a healthy balance between the freedom of choice of the would-be-spouses and consideration of the influence and consent of the parents/guardians.

The freedom of choice of those who wish to get married should not preclude the influence and consent of the parents/guardians nor should the parents/guardians ignore the wishes and consent of the would be spouses.

Falling in love is not a pre-condition for marriage in Islam. However, for the purpose of selecting an appropriate mat, the would-be-spouses are allowed to see and/or talk to each other.

Prophet Muhammad (S) recommended:

"When one of you seeks a woman in marriage, and then if he is able to have a look at whom he wishes to marry, let him do so". (Abu Dawood)

The would-be-spouse are allowed to see each other for matrimonial purposes under the direct supervision of their mahram relatives. This provision is expected to be conceived and executed with piety and modesty.

Prophet Muhammad (S) 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". (Ahmad)

The would-be-spouses residing in non-Muslim societies are recommended to enter into a pre-nuptial commitment to safeguard Islamic values and Muslim personal law.

Reprinted with permission: "Marriage and Family in Islam' by Mohammad Mazhar Hussaini

LIFE BEFORE:
Purpose and Obligation
6 Etiquettes of Seeking a Spouse
How to help Muslims get married, Tips for parents and Imams
How ISNA Matrimonial Service works
Whom to Marry: Selecting a Partner
An-Nikah: The Marriage Ceremony

LIFE AFTER:
Ideal Muslim Husband: a review
Muslim Women Working Outside the Home
Tips for Better Husband and Wife Relationship


Your Comments

A.A., Chicago - wrote on 2/5/2012 5:22:31 PM
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Comment: This is for Sh from MRU, the hadith that the woman should be married for beauty, rank, etc. is for what MEN should consider when choosing a wife, not the other way around. as you saw, a man is advised to choose a wife who is religious and has good character, BUT it's entirely up to them what they choose upon. and about true love being important to get married..there are sooo many marriages done for true love that end up divorced. getting married in muslim society isnt like that, the partner that you end up with should be a good, religious person and not chosen on physical character. that is too picky. do you want a person who is attractive to you but a bad muslim. or someone that you dont find physically attractive and is a good muslim? you have to change your thinking about love and physical attractiveness. you can find out all about that after your marriage.


Sh, MRU - wrote on 8/21/2011 12:41:03 AM
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Comment: Assalamoualaikum wr wb. I find this article very useful too and would like to clarify concerning the criteria to select a partner. It is said for a woman she could marry for : her beauty, her rank, her wealth, her religion, what is implied through this? that she could marry for these purposes, like she needs wealth, so she get married to a noble person for his wealth or she has wealth and she gets married for this to a noble man? please do clarify on this. Also, it's true love is not a pre-requisite before marriage but it's also true we can't get married without love. If someone has a noble person as suitor but she or he doesnt find her or him appealing physically, should the person get married just because of her or his noble character? What about the accumulated frustration resulting from such situation whereby the person may be tempted to seek elsewhere despite her or his willingness to abide by the shariah, cos it's true we cannot go against our nature.


Bakary Sonko, Keneba - wrote on 2/21/2011 1:08:35 PM
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Comment: Alhamdoulillah!


Bakary Sonko, Keneba - wrote on 2/21/2011 1:07:41 PM
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Comment: Alhamdoulillah!


Bakary Sonko, Keneba - wrote on 2/21/2011 1:06:55 PM
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Comment: Alhamdoulillah!


Riza, Jammu - wrote on 2/15/2011 1:40:52 PM
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Comment: asalaaam alaikum brothers and sisters...very nice article... JazakAllahu khair


, - wrote on 1/27/2011 4:21:46 PM
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Comment: Marriage is important step in life and we should be aware of our responcibility toward this relation. Bakhshandah


altaf nazir, srinager - wrote on 1/25/2011 9:35:04 AM
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Comment: Problems of the selection among muslims is yeoman’s problem in the society that ends in terrific disappointment.If we go at ground level situation,divore is out come of miss-match.The persons which are tied in wedlock had not understood their habits,emotions, feelings. Before entering in wedlock they made castles in air and lives in romantic world but after mariage when they face real life, they felldown before real experiences.But there are many problems that lead to divorce which could have been avoided right from the beginning.


altaf nazir, srinager - wrote on 1/25/2011 9:33:34 AM
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Comment: Problems of the selection among muslims is yeoman’s problem in the society that ends in terrific disappointment.If we go at ground level situation,divore is out come of miss-match.The persons which are tied in wedlock had not understood their habits,emotions, feelings. Before entering in wedlock they made castles in air and lives in romantic world but after mariage when they face real life, they felldown before real experiences.But there are many problems that lead to divorce which could have been avoided right from the beginning.


FKarim, Fujairah UAE - wrote on 10/2/2010 2:41:41 AM
Rating: Rating

Comment: Talking about value of marriage in Islam this article is very helpfull for those who have less knowledge about an Islamic marriage


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