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Choosing The Desired Wife
Ibrahim Abu Khalid
category: Marriage Advice
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, the Merciful, the Hearer of supplications, and peace and blessings upon our beloved and humble prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and companions.
When marriage is spoken of during these "modern" times, Muslims become horrified, conjuring images of an arranged marriage, trying to find that "perfect" companion, how much of a financial burden it will become, and so on.
The reality is that Islam came to solve these problems, not exacerbate them, yet unfortunately we have integrated our local traditions and customs with Islam so that marriage has become a major concern for a man rather than a delightful experience.
When living in a free, perverted and corrupt Western society, the Muslim male youth finds many temptations and tests, as a result of mixing with females, which he must face and overcome. He must constantly resist these temptations, which are thrown at him in the streets, on the media, and at work. And so the wisdom of the Prophet (s.a.w) echoes on, when he said: "O young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains the eyes from casting (evil glances), and preserves one from immorality..."
When seriously considering marriage, you must pose the question to yourself as to just what kind of wife you want, what her qualities should be in order to establish an Islamic and peaceful household, and how you will know who she is. As Muslims, we believe that Allah wants the best for us, and that His Prophet (s.a.w) illustrated this through his own life. So note that by following the advise of our own Creator, and that of His beloved servant, we can only be successful.
Who To Marry
Islam is clear on the kind of wife you should be seeking. The Prophet (s.a.w) said: "A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status, her beauty, and her religion; so try to get one who is religious, may you be blessed." This specifically defines just what kind of a companion we are seeking, for if we marry her for anything other than her religious piety, our marriage is bound to fall into misery.
True, beauty and charm is hard to resist, yet beauty does not last forever and does not guarantee you her obedience and religiousness. Financial status is dynamic, and so is worldly status, yet religion strongly establishes a household, and it may be that through your intention of marrying her for her religion, the rest is given to you anyway.
In another hadith, the Prophet (s.a.w) said: "The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman." Imagine! Nothing in this world is as valuable as a pious woman! This point has been stressed many times by Rasulallah (s.a.w), who himself, when asked what three things he loved the most, mentioned a pious woman.
Once the following ayah was revealed: "They who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah, unto them give tidings of a painful doom. On that day when it will (all) be heated in the fire of Jahannam, and their foreheads and flanks and their backs will be branded therewith (and it will be said to them): 'Here is what you hoarded for yourselves, now taste of what you used to hoard.'" [al-Taubah: 34-35]
Umar (r.a.a) has been quoted to say that, when this ayah was revealed, he approached the Prophet (s.a.w), submitting that the ayah weighed heavily on the minds of the Sahaba. Rasulallah (s.a.w) replied that the best thing to be treasured is the devoted wife who causes pleasure when seen, obeys orders instantly and takes full care of herself and her husbands property when he is away.
Abu Bakr once asked Rasulallah (s.a.w) what was the best thing to be treasured, and he (s.a.w) replied: "the tongue in remembrance of Allah, the heart filled with thanks to Allah, and a pious wife who helps in virtuous deeds." Look at how valuable such a woman is in the sight of Allah! How can a man live unhappily with such a person.
Qualities of The Pious Woman
Alright, you say, you've convinced me, but what actually makes her a pious woman? The answer is simple: Allah himself has described those qualities most loved by Him in the Qur'an, and in the ahadith there are numerous accounts of the virtuous attributes of a pious woman.
The following are some ayahs on the attributes of the wife you should be seeking, so note those fine and appreciative qualities. "And women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity." [An-Nur: 26] "Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husbands) absence what Allah would have them guard." [An-Nisa': 34]
"It may be, if he divorced you (all), that Allah will give him in exchange consorts better than you, who submit (Muslims), who believe, who are devout, who turn to Allah in repentance, who worship (in humility), who travel (for faith) and fast..." [At-Tahrim: 5]
And then, in surah Ahzab, is a full list of those qualities loved by Allah, qualities which by the way should be evident in both males and females. So, my dear brother, choose her for the following attributes: -a Muslim woman -a believing woman -a devout woman -a true woman -a woman who is patient and constant -a woman who humbles herself -a woman who gives charity -a woman who fasts and denies herself -a woman who guards her chastity -a woman who engages much in Allah's praise.
Among the four known perfect women was Maryam. She was loved by Allah because of her religious qualities: "O Maryam! Worship your Lord: prostrate yourself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down." [Al-Imraan: 43]
Another was the wife of Pharaoh: "And Allah sets forth, as an example to those who believe, the wife of Pharaoh: behold she said: 'O my Lord, build for me, in nearness to Thee, a mansion in the Garden.'" [At-Tahrim: 11]
The Prophet (s.a.w) loved his wives because of their religious qualities. Aisha once related the fine qualities of Zainab: "(Zainab) was the one who was somewhat equal in rank with me in the eyes of Allah's Messenger (s.a.w), and I have never seen a woman more advanced in religious piety than Zainab, more God-conscious, more truthful, more alive to the ties of blood, more generous and having more sense of self-sacrifice in practical life and having more charitable disposition and thus more closer to Allah, the Exalted, than her." Ahh, you think, but you'll never find such a woman! Well, if that was true, Allah would not have described her in the first place, and furthermore those qualities were emanating from the women described above. Islam deals with reality, not fiction. Sure, the perfect woman doesn't exist, yet "if you take a dislike to them, it may be that you dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good." [An-Nisaa: 19] Remember also that you are not perfect either.
Knowing Who She Is
To find that pious woman, there are two steps to be taken, and that first one relies on your personal observation. In surah Nisaa, Allah asks the believing women that they should "lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments," and also that they "should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments." [An-Nur: 31]
If you notice a woman acting modestly, being not too obvious through her actions (by lowering her voice when around men), one who attempts to hide her attractions (which includes her external beauty as well as her internal charms), then you know she has some of those precious qualities. When you see a woman unashamedly flirting, unconcerned about her revealing clothes, and freely converses with males- keep far, far away. I'm sure when you get married you want your wife to devote her love to you, not to twenty other "just good friends."
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