Choosing a partner - nikah

How to carefully select the ideal life partner

With the rise of materialism in society, more emphasis is laid on choosing one’s career path or car model than finding a suitable partner and building quality relationships. Ambitious girls spend nearly half a decade or more educating themselves in order to be financially independent so they do not have to rely on their husbands. Men too are pressured to work to build themselves up in order to be the ideal spouse to provide financial stability to their prospective spouses one day. Once both reach a time in life where they have fulfilled most of their ambitions, marriage becomes the next box to be ticked off.

The criteria which attracts us

The criteria for marriage for most people, unveils those things most significant and dear to him/her. To some, it may be a luxurious lifestyle, to others, an intellectual partner, to others, a prestigious family. A hadith narrated by Bukhari narrates:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser.”

Islam lays emphasis on religiosity because if a person is loyal and committed to his creator, he will no doubt be scrupulous in his obligations to his partner and be loyal. Moreover, if one follows Islam conscientiously, he/she will strive to be the best partner for the other. This also ensures Allah’s help is with the couple. Hence, no matter what obstacles come their way, Allah will help them overcome it. Following the commandments of Allah also allows one to have that confidence and reliance that if one puts Allah first in every decision in one’s life, He will give him/her the best; maybe not immediately but in the long run.

Selecting a lifelong partner is no easy task. A lot of thought should go into identifying what are the things most important to us; qualities like kindness, compassion, loyalty, forbearance and tolerance are universally desired by all as they help sustain a relationship. Having a growth mindset is definitely an asset. As we go through life and experiences, we change and evolve; a partner who is willing to grow with us through these transitions is a real asset and will enable us to become the best versions of ourselves. Then we have qualities which vary from individual to individual like beauty, wealth, family status, lineage, educational background, same culture, same belief system. It is absolutely necessary to know ourselves first and identify what are our deal breakers i.e things that are crucial to our nature and what is not acceptable to us.

It is definitely good to classify things into ‘Priorities’, ‘Deal breakers’ and ‘Other qualities’. When selecting, one will not find a complete individual exactly as we desire. However, we should, on the overall, get the things that are important to us in one person. Moreover, one should make lots of duaa and read salaatul istikhaarah to ensure Allah is happy with our choice. One should always keep in mind, superficial qualities like beauty and wealth are ephemeral qualities and should not be the most important criteria in determining a suitable partner.

On the whole, marriage is undoubtedly a milestone in life which determines the quality of our life in years to come. A good partner is a real blessing and will help us weather the storms of life. Islam encapsulates every milestone of our lives and teaches us how to go about it in the best of ways in order to become the best versions of ourselves and derive utmost blessings from our Creator.. InshaaAllah!