Getting to Know Somebody Before Marriage

Marriage is a contract that permits intimacy between a man and a woman.

They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them…” [2:187] 

It is ratified the moment you say “Qabil-tu” (in Arabic ‘I accept’) to the father’s offer of his daughter to you in marriage, in the presence of witnesses and with an agreed mahr. As with any contract, it affords roles and outlines responsibilities. Unlike most other contracts, this one is the most significant and important because it is the most intimate and personal. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

The condition which most deserves to be fulfilled is that by means of which intimacy becomes permissible for you. (Bukhari and Muslim).

But before you can get married, you need to find and get to know a suitable spouse. So, where do you go? Firstly, start with your family, involve your parents by letting them know you want to get married. Secondly, let family and friends know too. The more people that know the easier it will be. You can try trustworthy matrimonial websites because there is no shame in using technology to find a compatible marriage match.

We learn through the hadith that once a woman came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and offered herself for marriage. He looked at her and lowered his head as he was not interested in marrying her. Then a companion beside him asked if he could marry her. 

How do you avoid wasting time by being introduced to somebody who is incompatible?  At the offset, you should set basic criteria. There are a couple of things you can do at the start. Only consider marrying somebody with the same values and long-term vision as you. The Prophet told men to prioritise deen in a wife and told women to prioritise deen and kindness in a husband. This is the foundation to build on. So what next? 

When you find somebody, you think they are compatible at first but do not rush. How can you know? Again, it is important in the first instance to consult your parents and siblings, as nobody knows you better than they do. Second, you should meet up in a safe setting, meaning with your wali or his representative. When you see somebody and you are attracted to them, it makes the relationship more lasting.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) told a companion who was engaged to get married, to go and look at the girl because it will instil love between them.

Getting married can be compared to putting your hand in a beehive, you might get honey or you might get stung, you can never be one hundred percent sure you won’t get stung, but how can you minimise the risk of it happening? You have to discover the person behind the persona. What are their likes and dislikes? What are their views on certain topics? Have they got a personality type, what is it? How do they communicate with friends, family, work colleagues? Remember, you have already established that they are on the same page as you from a religious perspective. Now you need to discover if they are socially compatible to live with you in harmony and strive to build a loving supportive long relationship. So, you need to do your research. 

In both cases the blessings and approval of parents is important. In the case of women specifically, it is essential for the father or guardian to evaluate and agree for the marriage. 
But before you get married, there is one last thing. What do you really know about being a man? Or a woman? And what do I mean by this? Being a husband is a responsibility that means being a man and embracing your masculinity. Likewise, being a wife is a role and means embracing your femininity.  While this might be obvious, modern society has seriously blurred the lines between the genders and while we are born on the fitra, our society influences and changes us. So just like you do a factory reset when your phone is glitching and not working properly because it has been corrupted, you may need a full or partial reset back to our default setting by learning about the role of a man or woman in marriage from the Quran and Sunnah, and work towards implementing it in the best manner. Islam gives the husband a job different to the job of the wife and both are going to receive the same rewards when they strive to fulfil the job role to the best of their ability. It will always come easily and naturally because you are going with the process that Allah has laid out for us. Allah, who is our Creator, made us in the best mould to fulfil our purpose as either a man or a woman:

Enter Paradise, you and your wives, in happiness.” [43:70]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Support the College

Donating to Madinah College is a way to develop the next generation of Muslims who will make a positive difference in the UK.