COMPATIBILITY WHEN CHOOSING A PARTNER
We live in daunting times where the choice of our friends is given more thought than our lifelong partner. When choosing our friends, we will find common grounds to base our friendship however when choosing a lifelong partner we decide “opposites attract”. While sometimes this may hold true, at least initially…. With time, the very qualities that were so endearing to us because they were “a refreshing change” may become annoying because they are not like what we are used to.
Compatibility is given due importance in Islam, contrary to Western society where “chemistry” is the main determining factor to decide upon a partner. Hence, partners determine a suitable spouse based on what they feel about each other, whether the conversation is flowing and if they are feeling the ‘spark’. Islam does not take the ‘spark’ right out of the equation; however it maintains that both partners should come from similar religious, family and intellectual backgrounds, have similar interests and goals in life. Compatibility is all about having the same vision and outlook on life. The couple needs to want the same things out of life and should be on the same page on how to live, raise kids etc. Thus, the choice of a partner must be decided rationally rather than going along with spontaneous emotions only.
Relationship between a husband and wife
The Quraan has described the beautiful relationship between a husband and wife as “they are a clothing for you and you are a clothing for them.”(2:187). Just as our clothes protect us from the outside environment and provide warmth when it is cold and coolness when the weather is hot, our partners should understand, support and protect us in all seasons of life; whether it be in good or bad moments. Similarly, just as the right clothes cover our flaws and make us look good, our partner should bring out the best in us and help us work on our strengths. Marriage, being a lifelong investment, should be our best deal, enabling us to grow into the best versions of ourselves and fulfil our goals in both worlds in the most excellent of ways.
Marrying someone from a higher social standing may seem very glamorous to many girls, however one must realise, it will come with certain expectations and compromises on your side. For example, one may have the advantage of material comforts while losing a degree of freedom as family may not simply manage the family business but may also pry and have a say in your way of living. Marrying outside one’s intellectual circle may ensure one’s husband/wife may be more domesticated yet lacks motivation and ambition as well as the intellectual conversations that stimulate you. Every choice one makes will have its perks as well as its downsides because Allah has made this world imperfect and a test for a believer. However, one must think long term and make choices one will be able to live with.. InshaaAllah..
Parents role and responsibility towards their child
Islam is a religion that caters for the best of the individual long term, rather than his immediate gratification only. Hence, parents are given a say in the choice of their child’s partner because of their experience, wisdom and love for their child. Parents must consider the wishes of their child while thinking about their long term happiness. Sometimes, a young person can be blinded by love or lost in dreams about the ‘perfect’ wedding day. Parents should contemplate whether their child will be able to live in this family and should not give in to any pressure. The happiness of the child should be given utmost priority. On the other hand, children should trust that their parents are working in their best interests and should pay attention to whatever objections they might have, otherwise it may become a source of regret for them one day.
It is of utmost importance to do one’s research not just on the person one is getting married to but also on the family. How true is the saying that “marriage is not just the bonding of two people but also the connection of two families”. Before marriage, one must try to get to know the family, what are their values, priorities, traditions, ways of thinking… Sometimes, a young couple, fresh in love, may not give a thought about the in laws, thinking it will be sorted out after marriage only for things to worsen after marriage leading to bitterness and disappointment. Choosing a good, supportive family with correct islamic values is definitely an advantage. The right kind of climate, cocooned within the strong support system of a supportive and warm family will enable a new budding family to thrive and give the children the stability and love to bloom and flourish..
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On the whole, Marriage is not just one lucky draw; one should follow the guidelines of the Quraan and Sunnah when determining a prospective spouse. Just as all our other relationships are based on shared qualities and interests, the same goes for marriage. Marriage needs a lot of time, patience, investment and communication in order to thrive. While opposites do attract to a certain extent, sometimes they do ‘attack’ when they are too different and can’t find common ground. Hence, one should make a wise choice while all the time making duaa and seeking Allah’s guidance for a spouse that will enrich one’s life and guide us all the way to Jannah.