Salam Dear Sister,
Thank you so much for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
Our Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) has truly guided us to what’s best and what we should focus on in those specific situations.
He (peace and blessings upon him) said:
“If there comes to you one with whose character and religious commitment you are pleased, then marry (your daughter or female relative under your care) to him.” [Sunan ibn Majah. Chapters on Marriage]
So, what we need to focus on here is the character and religious commitment of the prospective husband.
With regards to his character, to further know about it, your mahaarem (male guardians) could do a bit of research and inquire about the gentleman among his peers, work mates, family members, neighbors,and basically in the settings that really show one’s true character.
They will be able then to get a good sense of the gentleman’s reliability, honesty, trustworthiness, and manners…etc. which are important and rather vital criteria for choosing the man you’ll live under the same roof with.
But truly advise your friend that the most important thing is to ask about that person’s deen (religious commitment). If he fears Allah and is mindful of Him, he will never harm her and he will honor her all their lives.
A true religious man knows the hadith of the noble messenger:
“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
He will know that it is a religious duty and a religious obligation to be kind, noble, and carry the best manners towards one’s wife. It is a responsibility of the man before Allah (Glorified and Exalted), and he who knows that shall always work on honoring his wife and being patient with her under all circumstances no matters how life goes.
So your friend needs to be wise in asking about the person’s relationship with Allah Almighty; does he really love Him and fear Him and is committed to Him and is prioritizing His Pleasure over personal whims, desires and weaknesses…?
This is truly important to ask; this is the foundation upon which you can build any good and pure life. Allah is The Only Constant. Beauty comes and goes, love comes and goes, so do health, money…etc. But Allah is The Constant, The Eternal, and if the spouses are united by Him and for Him, they’ll be able to endure all what life throws at them graciously and be united for eternity, if Allah wills.
Allah described marriage in His words in the Quran saying:
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” (Quran 30: 21)
Marriage itself is a journey of spiritual, emotional, personal and intellectual growth and elevation.
It is a sign, as Allah Almighty says, and a sign leads to a destination. He said this relationship is one of His signs.
How can marriage lead to Allah Almighty? When we experience mercy, we get reminded that Allah’s name/attribute is The Most Merciful, The Source of Mercy. When we experience deep love (wud in Arabic), we remember that His name is Al Wadud, The Source of Ultimate Love.
There are so many experiences we go through and they are a reflection of His Presence and His Connection… And when we love our partners, we also fall deeply in love and gratitude towards The One Who created them…
So let her remember that, and remember that this man shall also be her husband in Jannah. So, she needs to ask herself if this is the man who will be able to take her hands to Jannah.
She shall also ask about his relationship with the Quran. This Book of true guidance builds characters, disciplines characters and softens hearts like no other thing in this world.
She should ask if he intends to continue seeking knowledge of the deen and accompany her in this journey of gaining knowledge… this shall truly increase the bond between them and create a major common ground that never breaks.
This happens when they work on strengthening the foundations of their deen and growing towards the love of Allah together…
She can also ask him clearly and straightforwardly about what he really needs in a wife. He can take time to sincerely ask himself that question and work on his intention.
This brings us to one of the most major points here for your friend: her intention!
She shall sincerely ask herself, what is the intention from this marriage? If the intention is good and pure and for the sake of Allah, then He Almighty will surely descend His Ease and barakah (blessings) upon them both and guide and protect them throughout their lives. So purify the intention and be faithful towards Allah Almighty, He is Our Destination and Our Aid and Protector.
The more she focuses on those deep issues of the deen, the better, insha’Allah.
And tell her that she should feel true poverty towards Allah Almighty… we are always in dire need for Him and His Guidance… when the Ease and Blessings of Allah descend upon something, it completely transforms it. She should seek that from Allah.
Let her pray istikhara (prayer of seeking guidance) quite frequently and seek Allah’s Help. Ask Allah for someone who loves Him and fears Him. At the end, no matter what we do, Allah is The Only One who knows the future and sees the future and the unseen… so ask Him earnestly:
“If this man has goodness for her in her life, deen and final abode, that Allah facilitates this matter and expands her chest towards it. If not, then may Allah take this away from her and grant her what’s better and what’s best in this life and the next.”
And if she talks a lot then she should NOT stay for long. It is only something done briefly within the limits of Allah, they’re not there to hang out. Just tell her to ask Allah to give her clarity about his deen and taqwa (God-consciousness).
Keep it sincere, serious and straightforward, and so long as you meet upon Allah, then Allah will take care of both of you. Isn’t He The Most Knowing, The Protector?
Lastly, my advice to any sister of mine is always to fear Allah and fix your own neyya (intention). Let the gentleman know that you are seeking Allah and seeking in your life, and that Allah is your Wali (Guardian, Protecting Friend) and his Wali too, and He shall always be Al Hakam (The Judge) between the two of you.
May Allah honor and protect all our brothers and sisters and guide them to what’s best and pleasing to Him and to their hearts in this life and the next.
“…Our Lord, grant us from among our spouses and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” (Quran 25:74)