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
Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) recommended Muslims to select those partners who are
best in religion (Deen) and character.
"A woman may be 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 (p.b.u.h.) 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 mate, the would-be-spouses are allowed to
see and/or talk to each other.
Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) 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 (p.b.u.h.) 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
By: Mohammad Mazhar Hussaini