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What do I Want in a Spouse?


Allah Ta‘ala, through His infinite power, has created humankind with such variety that despite the people on earth numbering more than seven billion, every person is completely unique. Be it in physical appearance, or in habits and tendencies, or in societal status and nobility, or even in intelligence and understanding – no two people are completely alike. Allah Ta‘ala, in His limitless wisdom, has given different people different proportions of beauty, strength, wealth, intelligence, honour, etc.

Nevertheless, when a person is looking to get married and settle down, then there are many qualities and traits that one will seek in a spouse. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained that generally people look at four qualities when considering a spouse. These four qualities are wealth, societal status, beauty and Deen. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then urged us to ensure that we marry a pious spouse, as from all the various qualities, it is the quality of Deen and piety that is the most important. (Saheeh Bukhaari #5090)

If a person gives preference to the quality of piety, and ensures that their spouse is pious, then insha-Allah, they will enjoy a happy, prosperous and peaceful marriage. Furthermore, on account of one pleasing Allah Ta‘ala by giving preference to the quality of Deen, Allah Ta‘ala will thereafter bless one with status and wealth in the world as well, as explained in the following incident, narrated by Yahya bin Yahya (rahimahullah):

I was once with Sufyaan bin ‘Uyaynah (rahimahullah) when a person came to him and addressed him by his kunyah (filial title) saying, “O Abu Muhammad! I have come to complain to you regarding my wife! I am the most insignificant and worthless thing in her sight!” (Hearing this,) Sufyaan (rahimahullah) lowered his head for a few moments, deep in thought. He then raised his head and said, “Did you perhaps marry her for the purpose of acquiring honour and respect?” When the man replied in the affirmative, Sufyaan (rahimahullah) remarked, “When a person makes attaining honour and respect his objective, then Allah Ta‘ala afflicts him with humiliation and dishonour. When a person makes the acquisition of wealth his goal, then Allah Ta‘ala afflicts him with poverty. When a person makes Deen the priority, then Allah Ta‘ala will bless him with honour and wealth together with Deen.”

Sufyaan (rahimahullah) then mentioned the following:

We were four brothers; Muhammad, ‘Imraan, Ebrahim and I. Muhammad was the eldest, ‘Imraan was the youngest, and I was between them in age. When Muhammad intended to get married, he made prestige and status the objective. Hence, he married a woman who was higher than him in status. As a result, Allah Ta‘ala afflicted him with disgrace.

As for ‘Imraan, he made the acquisition of wealth the goal. Hence, he married a girl who was wealthier than him, and the result of this was that Allah Ta‘ala afflicted him with poverty. His in-laws took the wealth that he possessed and never gave him anything in return.

I was concerned about what had transpired with my two brothers, until one day, Ma’mar bin Raashid (rahimahullah) came to us. I consulted with him and I mentioned to him the fate of my two brothers before me.

Ma’mar bin Raashid (rahimahullah) mentioned two ahaadeeth to me. The one hadeeth is the hadeeth of Yahya bin Ja’dah (rahimahullah) in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “A woman is (generally) married for four (qualities); her Deen, her status, her wealth and her beauty. Therefore, marry a woman of piety. (If you do not do this,) your hands will be soiled (i.e. if you do not choose a pious wife, you will regret).” The second hadeeth is the hadeeth of Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The woman who will have the most barakah (in nikaah) is the one who has the least expenses.”

Thus, (when I got married,) in emulating the blessed sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), I chose a wife who possessed Deen and did not require abundant expenditure and maintenance. The result of this was that Allah Ta‘ala blessed me with honour and wealth, together with Deen. (Hilyatul Awliyaa vol. 6, pg. 135)

When a person upholds the blessed sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in his life, then how can Allah Ta‘ala not bless him in this world and the next?

May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all to uphold the blessed sunnah in every facet of our lives, and to value the quality of Deen and piety over everything else.