10 Beautiful Traits to Consider in Choosing a Spouse

And marry those among you who are single and the Salihoon (pious, fit and capable ones) of your slaves and maid-servants. If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people). — Qur’an 24[An-Nur]:32

In the cause of writing this piece, I was deeply immersed in smile and laughter. Not because the subject of marriage seem funny. It’s a very important matter that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I wind back memory lane with ecstasy. Those days when we were busy scouting Mrs. Right, a lot of factors came to mind. We often dreamt of marrying someone so gorgeous like the Hur-ul-ayn. Funny enough, the sisters’ situation was not much different. They’d will be looking for brothers with eeman like As-Siddiq. Strength like Al-Farooq and generosity like DhunNurayn. The fact remains: everyone wants to marry a truly amazing person. But the truth is; we all have our uniqueness. Only if we seek the beauty individually.

Although, marriage is not as simple as ABC. Yet, it could be easier than the arabic numerals if you tie the right knot. So here are some Islamic attributes to consider if you will be seeking a potential spouse for yourself or someone else. These snippets will be useful for both sisters and brothers in sha Allah.

  1. Righteousness: In the verse quoted above, Allah mentioned this distinctive trait — As-Salihoon. These are truthful, pious servants of Allah. They seek nothing but the pleasure of their Lord. It’s a special trait which you don’t find among gross people. Piety will make a man treat his wife fairly and remember he’s accountable before Allah on her upkeep. It’s this virtue that will keep a woman humble and submissive to the will of her husband in order to please her Lord. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t compromise, then this is it. Two righteous spouse will most likely raise righteous offsprings and build better communities.
  2. Attraction: Someone told me: ‘competence, beauty and contact lenses are in the eyes of the beholder.’ That sounds sarcastic, right? But it’s the simple truth. However, no one wants to marry someone who is not attractive. While attraction may be relative as defined by individuals. It’s a trait which was well stressed by the Rasul ﷺ. On the authority of Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘If one of you proposes marriage to a woman, if he can look at her to see that which will encourage him to go ahead and marry her, then let him do so.’ Hence, find that thing which will make your heart scintillate whenever you see your spouse.
  3. Uprightness in Character: Just as a Muslim is synonymous to submissiveness to Allah. So is being Muslim inseparable with excellent character. This has been over-emphasized in several ahadith of the Messenger ﷺ. One of such was on the authority of Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Among the Muslims the most perfect as regards his faith is the one whose character is excellent. And the best among you are those who treat their wives well.’ (Muslim). A man with good character will treat his wife well. The same way a woman upright in character will deal well with her in-laws.

4. Virginity: There’s excellence in marrying a virgin as depicted in the famous hadith of Ja’bir bin Abdullah. This isn’t a condition for marriage but it comes with it’s virtues. Virgins are pure, mild and innocent. They have no experience so, it makes the marital sojourn adventurous. Besides, this isn’t just about breaking the hymen. It’s about chastity and piety. A person who wasn’t promiscuous before marriage is most likely not going to be there after. It’s also important to mention that this is a two way thing — men are also enjoined to guard their chastity, even if they have no gauge. It’s sheer hypocrisy for a man to have messed around and later come searching for an untouched woman to marry. Equally, bare in mind some individuals may have lost this trait owing to some exceptional reasons. So if you seek this, deal with it with a high sense of maturity.

5. Fertility: One of the beauties of the world is having righteous descendants. You can’t have offsprings the natural way if you don’t have a fertile spouse. Allah’s Apostle ﷺ was reported to have said:“Marry the one who is loving and fertile, for I will be proud of your great numbers.” (Abu Dawud). Fertility here concerns both parties, it’s not only women that suffer from infertility.

6. Good Lineage: An African adage says: ‘you may manage to keep a bad spouse, but you can’t afford to put up with bad in-laws’. This is because marriage involves the union of families. You’d always want to be in good terms with your spouse’s parents and siblings. No one in sound mind will as well want to associate with families who have proven criminal records. This was why the Rasul ﷺ said a woman is married for four reasons and one of which is the family.

7. Sensibility with Wealth: Wealth is surely not the best criteria in selecting a spouse. Although, it’s a very important factor to most women. That’s why they sometimes prefer a banker to a teacher. No doubt wealth enhances harmony and good living, for those who can manage it. Allah gives you assurance of enrichment if you get married — you only need a means of livelihood. This I can attest to from personal experience. A good spouse should be wise with money making and spending. Allah has legislated the men to be solely responsible for the wellbeing of their wives. That doesn’t mean a woman should be a spend thrift. Every wise man runs away from such women. A smart husband should have multiple income streams. It’s also expected that a sensible wife should plan well how to manage her husband’s wealth. This will end up being a win-win scenario for both parties.

8. Previously Married: Like in the famous hadith of Jaabir earlier referenced, he married a mistress who had been previously married. The main reason been that he wanted her to help nurture his younger sisters. Besides, there are tons of divorced and widowed women out there seeking companionship. There also exist men of calibre who have experience in keeping family ties. One important thing is understanding what transpired in previous relationship so as not to fall prey of some sort. Over 90% of the wives of the Messenger ﷺ were of this category. This demographic today have often been exempted from marriage. If you really want to do the sunnah, then revive this sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ.

9. Inter-personal Relationship: No one wants to marry a robot. Even robots these days are equipped with intelligence to censor human presence. A prospective companion shouldn’t be an 'I don’t care' person. (S)he needs to show compassion and empathy to matters relating to you and your family. Such a person should have morals and manners. Good ways of presentation and problem solving tactics. Women will always discuss their problem with you. Even if you can’t solve it, give a listening ear.

10. Friendliness & Merciful: While we were in the university, the sisters always complained that brothers were not caring enough. And this was a singular reason to turn down proposals. That I never phantom until I got married. Women often need genteel touch and kind words. When Allah created Adam, he gave him a companion not a smartphone. Part of the beauty of marriage is to see yourselves as best friend and confidant. No matter the age difference or background, you need someone who could make you smile. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ used to race with his wife Aisha. You should seek a man who is not only willing to satisfy his gut and canal. A good spouse will treat the better half with kindness and mercy. For marriage is a master-slave relationship and it swings either ways.

Bye-Line: If you find this piece beneficial, it’s by the help of Allah.It’s no scholarly work, so the mistakes are mine. Kindly give it a “clap” to enable other readers on Medium to see it as well. You’re also free to share with others. Thanks for taking your time to read and see you next week in sha Allah!