Connect with us

Uncategorized

When You Marry for Four Reasons, Don’t Forget Your Reason

Published

By Karim Serageldin

As a practicing psychologist, I was once consulted by a brother in Turkey in need of immediate relationship advice. In summary, the brother’s “emergency” was that he had met a nice religious girl from a good family but was not attracted to her at all. He was under pressure from both his and her family to make a decision after three short meetings with the sister.

I asked him what he liked about her; he said she was religious and came from a good family.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

“Okay, what else?” I could feel his anxiety through the computer screen. To marry or not to marry?

“Should I just go for it?” I was shocked.

Marriage is a lifelong commitment that requires compatibility, attraction and personality flow, none of which he felt. But he failed to recognize this, because he was stuck on the hadith (narration of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) narrated by Abu Huraira in Bukhari:

“A woman is married for four things: her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be unsuccessful.” (Book #62, Hadith #27)

In my opinion, this hadith is often misunderstood, because in pursuit of a religious spouse we forget the other reasons. In the case of the young man I talked to, he thought we should only marry for religion and ignore the other three. Are you likely to sustain and succeed in a marriage where there is no compatibility beyond sharing a similar theology and ritual practices? Furthermore, what someone else calls “religious” may not mean the same thing to you.

In my experience working with couples for many years, I know for a fact that this is irrational. When we fail to apply reason in matters of religion, we get pain, destruction and failure, especially in marriage. We cannot live a true path of spirituality if our attempt to follow Islam lacks sincerity, wisdom, and deep reflection on our context and ourselves. Some Muslims live the path of serving Islam, as if it is a person nodding its head in approval every time we apply a hadith or Qur’anic verse. Islam is a path to God. God is the one to whom this path leads. Did this brother think about God in his process? That one day he will meet Him and be asked about “just doing it” without regard for the deeper requirements for success in human relationships? He considered getting married in order not to hurt the sister’s feelings—what about when he divorces her because he realizes it was a huge mistake?

A few points to reflect on:

  1. Never ever marry someone you don’t feel right about out of fear or pressure. This is likely to lead to failure. In the end, you and your partner will suffer, not your family, your culture, or even your religion.
  2. Marry someone who possesses all four reasons mentioned in the hadith not just religion. This is more likely to succeed and sustain a life long partnership.
  3. If religion is important to you, avoid marrying someone who does not have religion, even if the other three reasons are alluring. This is just as unlikely to succeed.
  4. Use this hadith as a guide, not an axiom with closed borders. We also marry for love and chemistry, in addition to these four reasons.
  5. Islam teaches us to admire diversity. If we always married people from the same socioeconomic status, race, or ethnic group, for example, this would hinder a more colorful, multicultural ummah (community).
  6. Sometimes people act religious because it is more “marketable” for marriage. Be cautious and go beyond surface checkpoints of theology and practice. Get to know the person and their family more deeply.
  7. Take your time. If you do not feel you are given enough time to get to know someone do not get married to avoid cultural stigmas. Families that rush their kids into marriage are the ones to have sincere skepticism towards.

Karim Serageldin is practicing psychologist with years of experience working with the Muslim community. He facilitates workshops, counseling and life coaching with an integrated approach of Islamic spiritual values and contemporary psychology. He specializes working with relationships, youth, family and men.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Asma

    May 14, 2015 at 9:32 AM

    Mashaallah brother very good information to reflect. May God bless you Aameen

  2. Asmaa

    May 14, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    As salam alaikum,Ma shaa Allah,may Allah increase ur iman. Pls, what can I do? My husband doesn’t oobserve his solah in jumah @ home,but does any other place, n dia is a masjid by the side of the house,reason he said d iman is not observin d prayer well, I have tried convincing him but ends up as a fight,pls how do I help him,he is missing out rrewards.pls u can reply via my email addy (removed by comment team). I look 4ward 2 ur response.Jazak Allahu khyran

    • Seemin Fatima

      May 14, 2015 at 7:14 PM

      If imam is not observing the prayer correctly then imam’s prayer will be bad and not others. Your husband’s prayers will be correct in sha Allah.

  3. Reema

    May 14, 2015 at 8:22 PM

    “Islam teaches us to admire diversity. If we always married people from the same socioeconomic status, race, or ethnic group, for example, this would hinder a more colorful, multicultural ummah (community).”

    I feel that this core value of multiculturalism/diversity evades parents of older generations. For instance, some parents look down upon marrying Black muslims because of the impression they receive of African American culture in the deepest ghettos. They box Black Muslims and troubled African Americans in same categories.

    Many parents continue to pressure their children to marry individuals with similar ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds (i.e. pakistanis should marry pakistani’s; doctors should marry doctors).

    How would you respond such attitudes, brother?

    • Ravel Henry

      May 15, 2015 at 5:12 PM

      Salaam alaykum every race of people and religion have trouble people in it. That’s what’s wrong with people these days ALLAH (pbuh) never said one races is the best he said all races are it’s just some people that mess up race and religion. All praises to ALLAH (pbuh) and I am a Black MUSLIM.

  4. Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena

    May 16, 2015 at 5:19 AM

    Would like to invite Brother Karim Serageldin to visit Sri Lanka to conduct a few workshops please.
    Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena. Sri Lanka.

    • Dr. Majid Khan

      May 16, 2015 at 10:13 AM

      We at http://www.amcsva.org (a central Virginia based community services organization) have been providing advice to Muslims before and after they get married especially when their marriage is on rocky grounds.
      I frequently visit Pakistan and India and Sri Lanka will not be far to visit and give hands on workshops on very important and key issues that would help Muslims on what to consider especially the Do’s and Don’ts. There is no workshop fees.
      Dr. Majid Khan
      Richmond, Virginia, USA

    • Ravel Henry

      May 17, 2015 at 7:43 PM

      Salaam Alaykum I am a Black Muslim in Chicago,il I’m trying to see how do I find a Muslim women from another culture to marry and live a great life in ISLAM ALL PRAISE TO ALLAH(PBUH)

  5. Dr. Majid Khan

    May 16, 2015 at 10:03 AM

    Br, Karim articles brings out some good points. However, his opposition to look for a religious person is lost in his analysis. What the Hadith says is that the Deen (religion) is important and ignoring it will not guaranteed the salvation in the Hereafter. We should not look for worldly benefits alone but also think in a practical terms how our married life leads to a more balanced approach to attain our ultimate goal – the Jannah! After all, the only purpose of our being in this world is to be successful in the eternal life of bliss in the Hereafter.
    Dr. Majid Khan
    Chair, American Muslim Community Services
    http://www.amcsva.org

  6. Wajahat

    May 16, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    Assalam Alaikum..
    MasháAllah good analysis. However I do not agree completely with the solutions. For me, through my knowledge of Quran ans Seerah and Ahadeeth, Solutions lies within it, and these are the basis which provides hikmah of how to handle a situation. I am a bachelor and I am clearly said to my Mom that I want a Momina. She replied that I am getting it difficult for you to search a girl as you expect. Then I explained her my expectation like this; I asked her whom you have selected for me? She said so n so. I said tell me or report me about her salah.. which I m waiting for still. This is because I believe on words of Allah where Allah saya Salah lets evil distant. May Allah guide us all.

    • Dr. Majid Khan

      May 16, 2015 at 12:42 PM

      Many Muslim males are ignoring the Prophet’s advice in choosing a wife. When they ignore the Deen and look for other three qualities (richness, good family and beauty), their marriages are rocky with so mush emphases on materialism. The goal should be to have a successful and happy marriage but not to forget a bigger goal of successful in the al-Akhira. And you cannot meet that goal without the practice of the Deen!

      Dr. Majid Khan
      Richmond, VA

      • Wajahat

        May 17, 2015 at 12:22 AM

        Agreed… jazakallah khair

  7. Fayaz Pasha

    May 25, 2015 at 3:56 AM

    Brother Karim, you’ve rightly said that apart from the four guiding aspects one has to be aware whether his/her life-partner is compatible on other aspects too such as physical, emotional, cultural etc. I have also highlighted a few points in my post at
    http://muslimweddingflight.com/partner-or-opponent.

  8. Matchfinder

    October 30, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    I agree with karim. If a woman is not religious, she wouldn’t be afraid of anything and would not value her husband as well.
    Hadith gives direction to every unmarried Musalman.

  9. Mark

    July 26, 2018 at 11:39 PM

    hahaha. You twisted the Hadith to fit your agenda. hahahaha. not surprising. The Prophet was saying that the religious woman was higher in status than the ones who are beautiful or wealthy. Women are married for four reasons and the religious woman is the one who should be picked. And, “religious” was understood my the Prophet as someone who followed the Quran and had a faith and love for God. If a woman or man doesn’t have that faith or love for God than you shouldn’t marry that person. Funny, that you twisted that for your contemporary agenda. Because it is all about MONEY MONEY MONEY. We are no longer seen as human beings, but as chattel.

  10. Mirza Yawar Baig

    February 6, 2020 at 2:50 PM

    I would use religion as the baseline – if it is not there, then the other reasons don’t count. The key is to decide ‘how much religion’. The Faraidh are clear and MUST be practiced. So also all Halal/Haraam issues. But above that what else is important to you? How important is Madhhab? This must be clear in the mind.

    Once that baseline is satisfied, then we can look at the other reasons:

    Wealth: For the woman it is a consideration. For the man it means nothing because whatever is her’s, he has no control or right on it. However, wealth as in the lifestyle that the woman is used to, is something to consider. Love doesn’t compensate for a lack of whatever she was used to in her father’s house. Not to say that wealthy must only marry wealthy, but the less the difference between the two, the better it is.

    Lineage/Family Status: Has very little importance today. And so much for the good. In many countries people have twisted this to justify a caste system – as in India they have a caste system among Muslims (Ashraf- Ajlaf-Ardhal)

    Beauty: This is a major one. And that is why it is essential to meet each other face to face and talk. This is permissible in all Madhhabs. The only condition is that the meeting must not be in a secluded place but in public. So a restaurant, park etc but not in a room by themselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Trending