Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Marriage, in Islam, is solemn contract. Islam lays down rules and regulations that guarantee its stability and prosperity.
2- Among these regulations is that one should be keen to marry a righteous Muslim.
With regard to your question, Dr. `Abdel-Ghaffar Hamed Hilal, former Dean of the Faculty of Arabic Language at Al-Azhar University, answers:
In choosing a life-time partner, people are more inclined to having preference for beauty. But at the same we notice that some people go for wealth; others prefer nobility, and some other groups prefer the religious and righteous woman.
Actually, we go along with those who prefer the religious woman, as it conforms with the following command of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “A woman is married for four things, namely her wealth, her family status, her beauty, and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman, (otherwise) you will be a loser.” (Al-Bukhari)
Concerning the lady you got to know recently, my advice to you is to ask her about her readiness to pray regularly. If she is really determined to pray five times a day and you come to see the fruits of your advice by seeing her observing prayers on daily basis, then go ahead with the marriage.
However, if she does not respond to you and you see her always neglecting her Prayers, then you should drop off the idea of proposing to her.
You should search for a woman that observes Pray irregularly as Prayer is the cornerstone of Islam. It is the second pillar of Islam according to the well-known hadith, “Islam has been built on five pillars: To bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger; to perform the prayer…” (Muslim)
Also, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said,“Between man and disbelief is the negligence of prayer.” (Muslim)
So, dear brother, it’s very important for you to show caution when choosing your future partner. You have to pay attention to her commitment to Prayer and other Islamic ordinances, as well as her avoidance of what Allah prohibited, so that you get the righteous wife Allah told us to get married to. Allah Almighty says,
“Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah encompasses all, and he knows all things.” (An-Nur 24:32)
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.