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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger, his household and Companions.

We started in our last article with the first and the most important characteristic among the various characteristics which in reality contribute to a successful marriage in a spouse which is the characteristic of deen.

The characteristic of deen applies to both the groom and the bride. The guardian of the woman should make this his first and top priority just as the man looking for a wife should make it his. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

[إِذَا أَتَاكُمْ مَنْ تَرْضَوْنَ خُلُقَهُ وَدِينَهُ فَزَوِّجُوهُ، إِلَّا تَفْعَلُوا تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ عَرِيضٌ].

[If someone with whose deen and character you are satisfied with comes to you, marry to him. If you do not do so, there will be trials on the earth and a great deal of evil.] (Ibn Majah 1/632).

The previous hadith addressed those in charge of the marital affairs of Muslim women and girls, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded them to facilitate their marriage when they are satisfied with two issues: the faith of the suitor and his character. 

The second criterion in selecting a wife, which is closely tied to the first, is that she must possesses good morals. Indeed, a truly religious woman would have a good character, as her faith would prevent her from evil speech, whether through hurtful words or gossip, and actions. Having good morals is a basic characteristic when looking for a wife.

Character is of extreme importance in Islam and goes hand in hand with faith and piety. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has even described it as the purpose of his mission to mankind as we can see from the following hadith:

[إِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ لِأُتَمِّمَ صَالِحَ الْأَخْلَاقِ].

[I have only been sent to complete good characters.] [Ahmad 14/513].

[أنا زعيم ببيت في أعلى الجنة لمن حسن خلقه].

[I am a guarantor of a house in the highest part of Paradise for one who makes his character good.] [Abu Dawud 4/253].

In the Qur’an chapter An-Nur verse 26, Allah establishes the relation of this issue to marriage:

{الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ}. 

{Bad women are for bad men and bad men are for bad women. And good women are for good men and good men are for good women.} [Quran 24:26]

One of the most important issues of character in the spouses is the quality of “wudd”. This means kindness and love and compassion. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

[تَزَوَّجِ الْوَدُودَ الْوَلُودَ فَإِنِّي مُكَاثِرٌ بِكُم الأمم يوم القيامة].

[Marry the loving/friendly, the child-bearing for I shall outstrip the other nations with your numbers on Qiyamah.] (Ibn Hibban 9/364]. 

Among the great characteristics which contribute to a success marriage is virginity. Islam urges a Muslim to marry a virgin only because men naturally prefer a woman who has never been with anyone else before. Knowing their nature, the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), asked Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah, may Allah be pleased with him, after his marriage to a non-virgin woman: 

[فَهَلَّا بِكْرًا تُلَاعِبُهَا، وَتُلَاعِبُكَ].

[Why did you not marry a virgin who would play with you and you would play with her?] Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, told the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “that it was only because his father had died and left his young sisters in his care, and that an older, mature woman would be more capable of taking care of the house”.

There is no doubt that a bride who is a virgin devotes all her love to the one man who chose her from among countless women; and indeed, the first love is true love. Also, since a virgin does not have experience with men, she will devote all her affection to the only man who married her. 

According to Islamic jurisprudence, Homogeneity in marriage is in choosing a wife that is close to the man in age, culture and family background. This is because due to similar standards, the harmony of marital life may be maintained in a like-minded couple.

However, scholars have different opinions in this regard; some of them say that this is necessary, basing their stance on some Hadith of the Prophet(peace and  blessings of Allah be upon him).

Therefore, the prospective spouses must ask and find out about the other person's behavior and manners. As a sign also, one may look at the other person's family's manners and behavior and many times (but not always) the behavior of people of the same family are similar. In other words, some characteristics tend to run in some families whether they be good or bad characters such as anger, politeness, stinginess, generosity, lying, truthfulness and so forth.

We pray to Allah the almighty to give us wisdom and understanding of Islam and its teachings and help us succeed in our marital relationships.

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