Why Are Some Couples So Mismatched?

22 December, 2018
Q My question is if in Quran it is written that good men are for good women and good women are for good men. Then in our society, why do we find mismatched couples? Some are divorced. Some are fighting with each other all the time. Some are not happy with each other. Why is this so?


Short Answer: The verse does not refer to the situation in the world. Rather it outlines the expected norm, which in a nutshell is: women of impurity are suited for men of impurity, and women of purity are suited for men of purity.


Asalamu Alaikum Haya,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

The particular Quranic verse you have referred to in your question is the 26th verse of Surah An-Nur:

{Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity: these are not affected by what people say: for them there is forgiveness, and a provision honorable.} (Quran 24:26)

The verse does not refer to the situation in the world.

Rather it outlines the expected norm, which in a nutshell is: women of impurity are suited for men of impurity, and women of purity are suited for men of purity.

Purity versus Impurity

Maududi in his note on the translation of the verse (in Tafhim al Quran) explains thus:

This verse enunciates a fundamental principle: Impure men are a fit match for impure women and pious men are a fit match for pious women. It never happens that a man is good in all other aspects but is addicted to a solitary vice. As a matter of fact, his very habits, manners, and demeanor, all contain a number of evil traits, which sustain and nourish that single vice. It is impossible that a man develops a vice all of a sudden without having any trace of its existence in his demeanor and way of life. This is a psychological truth which everybody experiences in the daily lives of the people. How is it then possible that a man who has all along lived a pure and morally clean life, will put up and continue to live for years in love with a wife who is adulterous? Can a woman be imagined who is an adulteress, but she does not manifest her evil character through her talk, gait, manners and deportment? Is it possible for a virtuous man of high character to live happily with a woman of this type? […]”

The verse also suggests that our choices usually lead us to get what we deserve. It also means that if we guard our modesty and are chaste and good, our spouse will be the same.

That is to say, as long as we are sincerely striving for good, God will look after our best interests and keep our spouses also good. 

Mismatched Couples and Divorce

The foregoing means that the prevalence of divorce or the problems of mismatched couples does not go counter to the Quranic verse you mentioned.

Humans by nature are subject to various kinds of impulses and influences. It is the wisdom born of moral and religious education that makes them lead a life of moderation and balance.

Indeed, the best moral education is the one provided by Allah Almighty’s own Guidance given in the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet.

Realizing this vital fact, we ought to lead our lives in accordance with the Divine commandments in the Quran and the Example of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

I hope this answers your question. Stay in touch!


(From Ask About Islam archives)

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

Why is Divorce on the Rise among US Muslims?

Maybe It’s Divorce We’re Taking Lightly

Your Spouse and Faith: Help or Hindrance?

How to Get Married: What To Look For in a Potential Spouse

About Professor Shahul Hameed
Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.