Marriage is a spiritual connection between two people who share a common way to live life. Both the partners must be able to fulfill their purpose of creation as defined by Allah and must effectively carry out the responsibility as care-takers (Khalifah) of earth. They should share the common goal of building a benevolent Muslim community and work together harmoniously towards it.
Criteria for choosing a marriage partner
Usually, the criteria for selecting matrimonial partners
are many – beauty, wealth, rank, character, compatibility, congeniality, religion, etc. The Quran instructs Muslims to select partners who are good and pure (tayyib).
“Women of purity are for men of purity, and
men of purity are for women of purity “(Quran 24:26)
Prophet Muhammad (S) recommended Muslims to choose partners who are best in religion (din) and character.
“A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, for her rank, for her beauty, and for her religion (and character).
So marry the one who is best in the religion and character and prosper”. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Prophet Muhammad (S) assured the bounty of Allah to those who wish to get married and live a pure and clean life.
“Three groups of people Allah obliged Himself to help them; Mujahid in the cause of Allah,
a worker to pay his debt, and the one who wants to marry to live a chaste life”. (Tirmidhi)
Freedom to choose a marriage partner
Islam gives people freedom of choice to choose their life partner. The mutual choice of the would-be-spouses is given the highest consideration:
“Do not prevent them from marrying their husbands
when they agree between themselves in a lawful manner” (Quran 2:32)
The to-be-spouses should not exclude the influence and consent of the parents/guardians nor should the parents/guardians overlook the wishes and consent of the to-be-spouses.
Falling in love is not a pre-condition for marriage in Islam. However, to select an appropriate mate, the to-be-spouses are allowed to see and talk to each other so that they can take a wise decision.
Prophet Mohammed (S) said:
“When one of you seeks a woman in marriage, and then
if he is able to have a look at whom he wishes to marry, let him do so.” (Abu Dawood).
Both the to-be husband and wife should be allowed to see each other under the direct supervision of their Mahram relatives. This provision should be considered and implemented with piety and modesty.
Prophet Mohammad (S) instructed:
“No man has the right to be in the privacy with a woman who is not lawful for him.
Satan is their third party unless there is a mahram”. (Ahmad)
The to-be-partners residing in non-Muslim societies are recommended to enter into a pre-nuptial commitment to protect Islamic values and Muslim personal law.
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