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Looking for A Spouse: Great Expectations


By Fareed Ahmed

Marriage-related statuses, comments and articles usually get the maximum number of likes on social networking sites.  It seems that everyone has something to say.  People often vent their frustrations and share their experience and observations about this universal topic.

Indeed, marriage is a very vast and crucial subject; books have been written on it yet some aspects generally remain untouched.  The topic of marriage can be seen from both an element of seriousness and an element of fun.  It totally depends on the individual’s maturity and attitude towards life.  Anyways, today the aspect that I want to touch upon is the “Utopia Syndrome” with regards to marrying.

“I want to marry a righteous spouse…”, this is an oft-repeated, even cliched phrase among the practicing Muslim youth.  We keep on saying and hearing this in our circle of religious friends, but then we have our “Great Expectations”.  Religiously inclined men looking to marry are well-aware of the famous Hadith :

“A woman is married for four reasons: her wealth, her nobility, her beauty and her piety.  Choose the pious one, and may you be successful.” (Bukhari)

However, no matter how long and bushy a brother’s beard is or how high he wears his pants, very few of them actually compromise on beauty and age of the girl, though they might eventually compromise on wealth and nobility, and even piety.  Everyone wants to marry a Cinderella or someone who looks like a beauty queen from Hollywood.  The Hadith is forgotten, and one after the other, rejections are made under the guise of Kufw (compatibility) or negative Istikhara, while the real reason for rejection remains hidden.

Know, my brothers, that beauty fades away with time; it is character that continues to shines through.

The mentality of the majority of the sisters is no different.  They might hold graduation in Fiqh, maintain proper hijab, and claim (along with their parents): “We are looking for a righteous man.”; yet when someone from a lower-class family approaches them, righteousness takes a backseat and many more things get added up in their list.  They too know, but choose to ignore the famous Hadith:

“If a man, whose character and Deen satisfies you, asks for your daughter in marriage, you should marry them; otherwise, there’ll be corruption in the land.” (Tirmidhi)

Know, my sisters, that your spouse can’t reach your father’s level, and provide you with all the luxuries of your father’s home, at this early stage in his career.  You will surely get whatever provision Allah has destined for you.

Prophet Musa (alaihis salam) would have never have gotten married to the daughter of the pious man (Prophet Shuaib, according to traditions) who sheltered him in Madyan, if his father in-law had based his decision on material possessions.  At that time, Musa had no money or luxuries, nor had he been given Prophethood.  He was merely a modest and righteous man.  That is all he had to his credit.

I do honour the concept of Kufw (compatibility) in Islamic Fiqh, but there has to be a touch of realism and prioritization in our standards.  When we complain of delayed marriages and marriage-related sufferings, we must understand that many times the fault lie within us; our obnoxious attitude and high standards are to blame.  The truth is that materialism is rooted deeply in our minds and hearts.  Despite knowing the ahadith, the stories of the companions and righteous people, we just can’t seem to fix our minds and hearts.

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Do you agree with the author’s point of view?  Have you ever noticed or experienced these Great Expectations? Let us know in the Comments below!


0 thoughts on “Looking for A Spouse: Great Expectations”

  1. Spot on! I wish brothers and sisters realize this.
    However, I personally think that beauty is something that shouldn’t be ignored altogether living in this highly sexualized society. We must realize that beauty of the spouses attracts each other, and it necessary to be taken care of to some extent. Rasulullah salallahu alaihi wassalam has recommended a companion to look at the to-be wife. He salallahu alaihi wssalam has asked women to get dressed for their husbands and look beautiful, etc.
    The point is, beauty, wealth and nobility is important but Deen is utmost. One should not totally ignore them, but should lower their standard to normal!

    1. That`s true. lower your standards; that`s exactly what i meant. Several people reject so nice people because she/he was 1 cm shorter than their this way, they see 100 girls and yet remain unmarried. Actually i feel, love for spouse increases after marriage. as Allah says in Surah Ar-Room ch 30 verse 21.. this various case to case. ..

  2. I agree with you….But How can one lower his standards? Nowadays, one can easily see women who are well dressed and who have quite make up etc etc.. So how can one stop comparing?

  3. I absolutely agree to it. Very well put. Actually its an insult to pious youth. When they don’t respect and don’t want to live with a piuos person, what piety they brag about. A reminder to myself first. Extremely nice article. Eye opener.

  4. good article, but people now a days dont bother about deen, even some of us (who commented here and said nice article etc etc) will never marry a bit fat, or a bit less fair or a bit less tall girl, and girls will never be ready to marry a person having normal income, moreover, parents do pretend to be religious but they always need a millionaire for their daughter, its parents fault as well!

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  7. under the ‘guise’ of negative istikhara the article says .. that’l be plain lying man . but then again there are times when istikhara is in the negative

  8. I got married to a religious man . We both let before he sent me the marriage proposal . After our nikah he said that he did not say that I was not pretty enough or sexy enough because he wanted eman more than looks . Later on , we had an unhappy marriage . He said that he did not find me attractive .He never got visually aroused by me according to him . I feel that I tried to make myself attractive for him as much as I could .But he was not much responsive.(that’s what I felt ) .Now my marriage ended . Now I feel that it’s a lot better that people think we’ll before getting into a relationship .Rejection at the time of rishta is a lot better than hearing after nikah and rukhsati that you were not pretty enough and yet you were approached because of deen .But now your husband doesnt find you attractive and to see his lack of interest at all in conjugal relationship .

  9. Plus , my husband once also said that getting married was a mistake by him .He told me that getting married to” me” specifically was not a mistake he made .He thinks that marriage was a mistake he made .He is asking Allah for clarity in life ,he said .

  10. Assalma Alikum,
    Spot on. JazakAllah khair.
    i need some counseling.

    What if I have a standard set that is not in materialism but more in my security and in purpose?
    Like I highly prefer to marry out of Pakistan as I have been born and bought up in Middle East and have only visited Karachi a handful of times. I am very comfortable and feel secure living here than coming to Pak where i need absolute guidance on every single matter (honestly speaking who will help me out) Does that make me obnoxious to want to live here?
    And the fact that I wish to marry someone who is willing to work with me for orphans or the youth.
    Is it bad that i don’t find contentment when i am getting ‘rishta’ from another city/cast from Pakistan and wish to marry a man with similar mentality?
    I don’t mean to be ungrateful to Allah swt and my family as its hard to come by with proposals since this would be my second marriage. And the cherry on the top is that I mainly speak in English and am adopting a militaristic and environmental life style.
    I have started to feel that I am more of a hindrance to completing this part of my deen, and am facing difficulty in convincing my heart to change.
    Please help me out.

    1. Assalamu alaikum Maham, the YC Blog is not capable right now of offering suitable guidance on your issue. All we can suggest is that you keep making dua to Allah (SWT) for the right spouse for yourself. For further guidance, we suggest contacting a knowledgeable and experienced individual in your community.

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