Saturday, 22 March 2008

Questions to ask of a potential spouse

So I am having my regular weekend "stand outside the Masjid after Fajr and enjoy the cool morning air" chat with an older brother and the topic gets on to qualities to seek in a spouse. And so he advises the usual advice, you know, a person gets married for one of four things etc etc (not to belittle the advice in any way whatsoever but I won't repeat it here because I am very certain you have heard it many times before). We continue, he advises a little more, and then he hits me with these two gems, which I thought I would share with the wider world:

(1) How would her relationship be with your mother?
(2) How is her relationship with the Qur'an?

Questions to consider; very practical and very important in my opinion. You may disagree?


Wayfarer said...

Where is this leading Young Man? ... something you wan't to share with us? (lol)

adil said...

Where is this leading to? Insha-Allah a good compatible spouse. ;)

Something I want to share with you? Other than the two questions to ask of a potential spouse, no, nothing else right now. :)

Anonymous said...

Let me reply with two questions:
1) What would her relationship be with you?
2) What would her relationship be with your children?

adil said...

Very important questions maa sha Allah, from a woman an inkling tells me.

The answer to both questions: "wife and mother respectively".

Just joking. :) More seriously, noting that you have asked "what" questions and not "how" questions,
(1) Her relationship with me would be one of mutual Qur'anic learning, reflection and assistance in implementation. A lofty "pie in the sky" ideal, I know, but with great intention comes great return.
(2) Her relationship with my children (insha-Allah) would be one of love, play and mentoring, among other things.

Satisfactory answers? Too idealistic? Over to you readers for your ever appreciated thoughts.

'Wayfarer', you taking note? Time is ticking brother and you're not getting any younger! Enough wayfaring!!!

Anonymous said...

so there's nothing to worry about then. if your mother is religious she'ld appreciate your wife, otherwise you'ld still have a religious wife who would take pains to get on with your mother!

adil said...

No worries? Women (wives!) (married life!!!) are anything but... so I am told. :)

Just kidding (again; sorry).

More seriously, anonymous, I agree with you more or less but "no worry" in its totality is something we can only really look forward to in the Hereafter. As for this life (and marriage!), there will always be ups and downs, but the important thing is: "one who seeks guidance from his Creator and consults his fellow believers and then remains firm in his resolve does not regret, for Allah has said: '... and consult them in the affair. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah...' (Al-Qur'an, 3:159)." (taken from the Du'a book Hisnul Muslim - now available in audio!)

Another verse I really like (though a bit off-topic), which I think would reduce divorce rates in the Muslim community dramatically if more people knew: "... and live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing through which Allah brings a great deal of good." (Al-Qur'an, 4:19) Ibn Kathir provides a good explanation in his Tafsir, which is avaiable in English (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) - Volume 2) and really worth the read.

Over to you readers. :)

Anonymous said...

and what was your decision? It's just that I'm in a similar kind of predicament and as you have correctly guessed I'm female and I was wondering what people from mars thought on this issue.

adil said...

I am not at the "remain firm in your resolve" stage yet, walhamdulillah. Still at the "consult your fellow believers" stage, hence the original post and our having this conversation.

You say "this issue". What issue? Questions to ask oneself of a potential spouse?

Anonymous said...

the issue is that people have a set of questions/preferences but obviously they will never be all fulfilled. so the first problem is defining what is good, important and essential. the second problem is defining how many of the important points you are prepared to forego (because of course if an essential point is missing then you should just forget it).

adil said...

Maa sha Allah, I like structured thinking so maybe I'll give this a try:

Essential - thumbs up from parents (and subsequent blessings).

Important and Good - it "feels" right.

"Did this guy, a through-and-through logician, just say 'blessings' and 'it feels right'?!" you may be thinking. If so, yup, that's what I said. :-)>

Agree? Disagree? Want me to elaborate?

Thinker said...

Please elaborate I am amazed at your priorities!!!!

adil said...

Thinker, elaboration is beyond me at the present time. Heart and mind seem to be slightly out of sync. I think a trip to the mountains is due.

Anonymous, if your "predicament" (negative use of words might I add) is such that requires action, how about saying "bismillah" and drawing lots? No? Bad idea?

adil said...

Got it, I think:

As for the essential: Marriage for me is a bringing together of two families, not a separation of two individuals from their respective families. So, whilst I would not encourage somebody to marry blindly the first person his/her parents/family suggested (key word: suggested), at the same time I would encourage somebody to rethink marrying someone his/her parents were not comfortable with. You may disagree? Of course there are exceptions.

As for the good and important, I think this quote captures it well: "... hearts may recognize and love one another without actually speaking, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 'Souls are like conscripted soldiers; those whom they recognize, they get along with, and those whom they do not recognize, they will not get along with'."

But why classify the essential as essential above the good and important in this way? Selflessness. Considering the happiness of others is a source of unimaginable happiness, in this life and the next.

That is my opinion and my opinion depends upon your opinion, so... over to you readers. :-)>

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion. They say a parent chooses usign logic and reasoning and that as a potential spouse you choose with your heart subconciously considering whether you can make it work with the spouse.

I think, waAllahu a3lam, do an istikhara make a decision based on it and don;t worry. We're so lucky alhamdullillah, if it doesn't work out then divorce is always an option.

For those of us who do not want to rest our fate on two questions there are some more here:

adil said...

> For those of us who do not want to rest our fate on two questions...


About the link, "premarital counselling" sounds like a really good idea. I don't think it has been taken up yet here in the UK Masaajid. You know of any places where it has started? Working successfully?

About the questions, yes, that is a slightly more exhaustive list than mine, lol. Potentially the hardest exam anyone will face in their entire life. Definitely worth doing an Istikhaarah before sitting this one, or collapsing it all instead and following ones's gut... I mean heart! :)>

You say "divorce" with worrying ease!

Anonymous said...

I think the UK still relies on families.

Commitments can be suffocating, so leaving divorce as an accessible option means it's ok to go ahead and get married in the first place.