“It is imperative to have a comprehensive outlook when it comes to selecting a spouse. One undesirable trait doesn’t necessarily mean things can’t go ahead”
Hijr Miskeena Raudah
(Hajara Tijjani Elmiskin)
Four rules pertaining to anything we do and marriage:
1. Deeds are by their intentions. So make sure your intention is always good. Best to have multiple good intentions behind one single good deed as to increase reward.
2. Don’t innovate in the Deen.
3. No harm or reciprocating of harm
4. Don’t prohibit the Halal. Don’t make the Haram permissible. Avoid doubtful matters.
How that applies or translates to marriage.
1. Marry a spouse that will be a means to Jannah
2. Never do things that are not part of Islam then claim they are part of Islam e.g prohibiting looking at the potential spouse claiming that is modesty when it isn’t.
3. Even if something is permissible but will cause harm best to avoid it e.g It is permissible to marry a woman from the people of the book. However if it will cause harm then you must avoid it
4. The types of people you can marry are numerous and diverse. See who is compatible with you and don’t rule out anyone for no reason. At the same time avoid anyone who you are not allowed to marry. Avoid doubtful matters.
I ask Allah SWT to bless us with wellness and wisdom.
A believing woman of low worldly status is better than a polytheist even if she is very attractive. The latter will call you towards the hell-fire. Allah SWT wants paradise for us and one of the means for the attainment of paradise is a pious wife. That doesn’t mean we marry someone with low worldly status who we are incompatible with. Rather it is showing us the immense importance of piety. Put righteousness as your number one priority before beauty, lineage, wealth etc. Take worldly considerations into account but not at the expense of piety. Let the characteristics of your wife revolve around the central theme of piety.
From Abu Hurayrah: “I was with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when a man came and told him that he had married a woman of the Ansaar. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him, ‘Have you seen her?’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Go and look at her, for there is something in the eyes of the Ansaar.”
1. It is an innovation to prohibit looking at the potential spouse.
2. Beauty isn’t the be all and end all but it is a very important factor. If something in the eyes is enough to prevent the marriage from taking place then what about when a person is not attracted to the whole face. Make sure you are attracted to the person you are going to marry. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What you find unattractive could be marriage material for another so don’t feel guilty.
3. A group of people or race could have unique features (positive or negative) and there is nothing wrong in pointing that out. It can serve as a guideline. If the specific undesirable characteristic is there you can call things off or if it isn’t that bad you can go ahead.
Lower your gaze. If you give your sight a free reign the sour repercussions are many. It will corrupt your heart as well as making you desensitized to (the beauty of) women. Especially nowadays when we are being exposed to fake standards that are not part of reality. If you keep looking you could end up finding attractive potentials not as such. It is a bigger calamity when those feelings of aversion are felt towards your innocent wife. The patience in lowering the gaze is much easier than the consequences of having to deal with the consequences of not exercising restraint. When you lower your gaze you will be protected from all other prohibited vices e.g unnecessary talking, intermingling and isolation etc.
Just because something is permissible doesn’t mean it should be done without deliberation and thinking.
Locusts are permissible. However that doesn’t mean I have to eat them. I would avoid putting them in the fridge or on the dinner table if that will cause others to feel uncomfortable. I don’t force myself to eat them just because they are permissible. I also appreciate the tastes of others (aversion in this case) which could emanate from personal preferences, culture or mentality from upbringing. The same should be applied when selecting a spouse. If there is incompatibility with a potential I don’t go ahead. Permissibility must be accompanied with compatibility (alignment of lifestyle choices), chemistry (feelings of affection and rapport) and things being in accordance with my tastes.
Don’t succumb to the halo effect.
The halo effect is the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area. Just because a woman wears the Niqab that doesn’t mean she is righteous. It doesn’t denote that she will be a good wife. Of course Niqab when done with a good intention is a virtue. However you need to see what is the motive behind wearing the Niqab as well as looking at all other factors (which the Niqab won’t tell you). A person with a corrupt core can put on the Niqab. So it is incumbent upon you to do your homework. There is no place for naivety, shallowness and simplistic thinking. What I have realized is that a lot of brothers judge a sister solely on her Hijab. To them a Niqabi is hitting the jackpot (without consideration for all other factors). No sooner is this shallow outlook disconfirmed. Hijab on it’s own in a sister is not the pinnacle of the pyramid (it is the halo effect that is making it appear so).
Immense beauty on it’s own doesn’t necessarily mean a happily ever after. Some people who were one-dimensional and made beauty the sole component find themselves bored after a month.
Look at all factors pertaining to marriage and don’t let unrelated factors make you fill in the gaps.
Don’t rule out a good sister just because she doesn’t wear Hijab.
I remember a brother who would propose to non-Hijabis. When he was asked as to why he does this – he would say it is not black and white. He would advocate the characteristic of softness as something very important. He was absolutely right. When the heart is soft, the demeanour gentle and the manners are refined- all good will follow. It is imperative to have a comprehensive outlook when it comes to selecting a spouse. One undesirable trait doesn’t necessarily mean things can’t go ahead. If there are other good traits, compatibility and there is a readiness to wear Hijab once inside the institution of marriage then that is something which can’t be easily rejected.
The reasons as to why some sisters don’t wear Hijab vary tremendously. Obviously if the aversion towards Hijab is out of a bad intention then that is not a future spouse. However if not wearing Hijab is just one external weakness (that will be sorted out) accompanied with many strengths in the believing woman then she should be given a chance. If there is a non-Hijabi with good manners and a Hijabi with bad manners I would go for the former.
Don’t engage in black and white thinking, don’t filter and don’t catasrophize. Be just, rational, deliberate , forgiving and balanced.