What Should I Ask A Potential Spouse?

10 March, 2019
Q A guy is proposing to me. He heard of me through friends and he proposed. My family and I are finding out about him. I want to know what questions should I ask and how can I make sure he is the one for me? Any tips?

Answer

Short Answer: Looking at our spouses should make us feel settled, home, comforted, and fulfilled. This is for one’s own spiritual/physical/emotional fulfillment. Keep on reading to check out the best questions to ask your potential spouse.

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Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you so much for asking this very important question.

Here are a few points to remember in this process, inshaAllah.

1-Submit your case and your affair sincerely and wholeheartedly to Allah Almighty.

Remember that Allah is The Only One who knows the unseen and knows the future. So, ask Him to guide you to whether the man is the one for you or not. This is a time to strengthen and deepen your reliance on Allah and to ask Him earnestly for His Guidance.  

So, make dua (supplication) sincerely, continuously and regularly and perform salat-ul istikhara (prayer of guidance).

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him -PBUH) used to teach us the istikharah (seeking guidance from Allah) in all matters as he would teach us a surah [chapter] of the Quran. He used to say: “When one of you contemplates entering upon an enterprise, let him perform two rak’ah [units] of optional prayer other than fard [obligatory] prayers and then supplicate […]” (Al-Bukhari)

Please find the dua of istikhara here.

2-Renew your intention.

Ask yourself: why am I getting married? How is this helping me fulfill my purpose in life? 

Allah Almighty says:

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)

So, marriage is a sign of Allah. A sign leads to a destination. Allah says marriage leads to Him, it is one of His signs. So, remember this in order to have the right mindset and intention. Remind yourself of your purpose in life. As Allah says: 

And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers. And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. […] (Quran 51:55-58)

Our purpose is to know Allah; follow His way; learn from Him; and seek nearness to Him through knowledge, worship, and the application of knowledge.

3-Remember to ask your potential spouse: what is your purpose in life and how is this marriage helping you fulfilling it?

You need to make sure that this is someone who is connected with Allah Almighty and His path, someone who wants to spend his life for the sake of Allah. If he has the same goals as you, he will be someone you can grow with and help you reach to your destination: Allah Almighty.

4-The Prophet (PBUH) taught us to chose a man of the deen (religion).

The Prophet (PBUH) 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)

You need to carefully examine your potential spouse’s character and religious commitment through specific questions.

For example, ask him the following:

  • How do you handle disagreements?
  • Do you get angry often?/ How do you express your anger?
  • What’s the best way to treat a lady according to the Quran and sunnah? How should one NOT treat a lady according to the noble teachings of the messenger?
  • How do you want to raise your children so that they are spiritually nourished and fulfilled?
  • How would you make dawah with family members (yours or mine) who are not practicing? Do you have patience and forbearance?
  • Do you intend to grow in deen (religion) with me? Are you willing to grow with me, help me, teach me, and learn from me?
  • Do you have a vision of what a perfect wife should be, and do you expect to simply demand this vision with no errors tolerated?
  • How will you aid me in my spiritual journey and my entire well-being?
  • Do you pray in congregation in the masjid, as men are asked to do?
  • Who are the sheikhs/scholars you most often listen to? What are the sources you rely on for Islamic knowledge … etc.?
  • How do you deal with the opposite gender at work/school … etc.?
  • What is your understanding of matters like lowering the gaze, jealousy … etc.?  
  • What are your dreams for the ummahand how do you plan on working towards benefiting the ummah?
  • What exactly do you need in a wife? What exactly do you want to avoid in a life partner (honestly and clearly)?

5-Remember that Allah Almighty taught us a beautiful dua in the Quran:

And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”

Those will be awarded the Chamber for what they patiently endured, and they will be received therein with greetings and [words of] peace.” (Quran 25:74-75)

The phrase “comfort of the eyes” in Arabic (quorate a’yonen) in essence means settlement/settled.

So, looking at our spouses should make us feel settled, home, comforted, and fulfilled. This is for one’s own spiritual/physical/emotional fulfillment.

The second part of the dua here says to make us an example for the righteous. So, marriage is not a selfish individual project. It is something that is supposed to bring goodness to the community of believers and the community at large.

So, ask for his take on that and whether it is something he wants to/can apply through this relationship.

Remember, your husband is going to be your teammate who helps you in your life journey.

So, choose someone who is concerned about what you are concerned about, someone who has the same vision you have for life and afterlife, someone who is willing to help you and support you and grow with you.

This is the essence of a loving relationship. And this is a beautiful sign from Allah.

May Allah facilitate this decision for you; grant you clarity; and aid you to be a righteous, merciful, and compassionate spouse for your future partner. Ameen.  

Thank you and please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Making Allah the Heart of Our Marriage

The Spiritual Marriage: Love for the Sake of Allah

Husband and Wife on the Path to Allah

Is Marrying A Non-Practicing Muslim Wrong?

Are Marriages Made in Heaven?