Well.. I am one of those people who believes in being prepared. So when it comes to finding a spouse – one of the most important things Islamically speaking one can do.. I have read everything I could get my hands on Qur’an, Hadith and everything in between! I have read the entire series on family by Muhamad Al Jibaly – which were very informative, I purchased a book of questions – so I would be able to pick the person’s brain and get to know more where they are on the spectrum of Islam- Before the Wedding: Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Married.
I have read books on everything from Islamic views on contraception to how to deal with Martial Discord (Nushuz).
I finally found the best pieces of advice from three sources 1. An Imam and 2. A book- written by Hedaya Hartford– a convert and 3. A friend’s mother. The Imam who I got this advice from gave it during a recent prison dawah fund-raising dinner. He said in addition to citing the hadith, ” A woman is sought in marriage for four reasons, wealth, social status, beauty and deen. So seek the one with deen – may you then be successful.” (Al Bukhari & Muslim)
The Imam said,” 1. Get to know her/his family. 2. Look at her/his lifestyle and 3. Make her/him angry.”
1. He said that by getting to know her/his family you will see what the character of the individuals who raised her was or is – this will be reflected in her/him.
2. In looking at her/his lifestyle- you will see what she/he is accustomed to – if she/he spends $300 a week and you only make $250 – indeed martial discord will arise.
3. Make her/him angry before you marry her/him – so you know what she/he really thinks about you. He went on to say that his wife still tells him what she really thinks about him still 🙂 – he has a great sense of humor – MashaAllah
I have read many books on marriage many of them written by born Muslims which don’t deal with the issues converts face when it comes to our perceptions of marriage and expectations – I thought Hedaya Hartford’s book was the best one yet! She even has a book just focusing on marriage contracts with one’s you can tear out and use as a guide for your own contract. So needless to say – I highly recommend this as a MUST read before anyone gets married.
The final piece of advice that a mutual friend’s mother told her son and puts picking a spouse in great perspective. A question you can ask yourself when your seriously considering someone for marriage is,” Am I comfortable with this man or woman being the example and role model of my daughters or sons?”
If the answer is yes.. I’d say your well on your way to getting married – InshaAllah 🙂
So that’s the best advice I have found in the Islamic world on marriage – if anyone else has anything to add or say about the best advice when it comes to marriage – please drop a comment!!