Choosing a Life Partner
When choosing a life partner, each person is overcome with certain concerns. The boy has the concern of choosing the right wife, who will be compatible to him in his nature, thereby bringing happiness and joy to his life. Likewise, he has the concern of choosing a partner who will be a capable mother for his children, and will be able to fit into his family circle with respect and dignity. The girl is overcome with the concern of choosing a husband who will fulfill her needs and requirements and provide her with financial security.
These are some of the overwhelming concerns which people have at the time of nikaah, as they understand that this is a new journey that they are soon to embark on. This decision could either be the means of adding to the joy and happiness in life, or it could be the source of grief, misery and life-long regret.
Islam teaches us that when choosing a spouse, then among the aspects that one may consider is the person being from a noble family, possessing attractive features or being affluent. However, the primary concern should always be the Deen and piety of the individual.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said that a woman is married for one of four qualities; either for her wealth, for her family status, for her beauty or for her Deen. Therefore, when choosing a wife, one should choose a pious wife so that one may become successful. If one does not marry a woman of piety he may later regret. (Saheeh Bukhaari #5090)
The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and Taabi’een (rahimahumullah) understood the importance of choosing a pious partner for their children. They knew that if the husband is pious, he will fulfill the rights of his wife and treat her with kindness. On the contrary, if he is not pious, then he may not fulfill her rights, and at times, he may even ill-treat or oppress her.
Once, a man came to Hazrat Hasan Basri (rahimahullah) seeking some advice. He said, “I have received many proposals for my daughter. Please advise me as to whose proposal I should accept.” Hazrat Hasan Basri (rahimahullah) replied, “Get your daughter married to a man who fears Allah Ta‘ala.” He then explained the reason saying, “If he likes her then he will honor and appreciate her, and if he dislikes her, then at least he will not oppress her.” (Mirqaat vol. 6, pg. 265)
Below is an inspiring incident regarding Hazrat Abu Dardaa (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) choosing a pious partner for his daughter:
On one occasion, Yazeed bin Mu’aawiyah proposed for the daughter of Hazrat Abu Dardaa (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Despite Yazeed being the ruler at that time, Hazrat Abu Dardaa (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) turned down the proposal. After the proposal of Yazeed was turned down, one of his attendants, who was a pious person, came to him and sought permission to propose for the daughter of Hazrat Abu Dardaa (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).
Yazeed became enraged at his request and said to him, “Get away from here! May you be destroyed!” However, the man pleaded with Yazeed saying, “Please give me permission, may Allah Ta‘ala keep you well!” Eventually, Yazeed relented and gave the man permission.
Thereafter, when the man proposed, Hazrat Abu Dardaa (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) accepted his proposal and gave him his daughter’s hand in marriage. The news of this then spread through society, as people spoke of how Yazeed’s proposal had been rejected, while the proposal of one of his poor attendants had been accepted.
When Hazrat Abu Dardaa (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was later asked the reason for him rejecting the proposal of Yazeed, and accepting the proposal of the poor and pious attendant, he said, “I gave careful thought to the future of my daughter, Dardaa, if I had to marry her to Yazeed.” Addressing the people present, he said, “You think, ‘What will be the condition of my daughter, Dardaa, on the first night, when she will enter the palace of Yazeed and will see the numerous servants and attendants, all at her beck and call, as well as the abundant wealth and riches of the palace shining before her eyes?’ Just thinking of the first night of my daughter’s future, where she will become so affected by the dunya, I wondered to myself, ‘What will become of her Deen on that day?’” (Hilyatul Awliyaa 1/286)