If you follow me on Instagram you’ll be aware of the love and marriage topics I was going through in my stories. They were mainly me sharing things I learnt on the ‘Fiqh of Love and Marriage’ course I went on a few years before I got married. It was a 2 day course run by Al Maghrib Institute, taught by Sheikh Waleed Basyouni. In my stories I was talking about the different topics, what I learnt, some real life advice and sharing your real life stories. They were really good discussions and we all learnt a lot from each other. They were saved to my highlights but are difficult to follow so I thought I should share them in a more coherent format here.

So the first topic I wanted to cover is ‘What to look for in a potential spouse’

Obviously what people look for in a spouse is going to vary from person to person, but Islamically there are some core things you should be looking at.

-Religion

-Behaviour & Character

-Beauty

-Wealth

-Family Lineage

So when Bengali parents do the whole ‘background check’ it’s all for the best….however…

The Prophet pbuh said, “If someone whose religion and character you are pleased with comes to you to marry your daughter, then marry her off to him. If you don’t do so, there will be tribulation on the earth and great deal of evil” (Tirmidhi)

When parents make the ‘halal’ difficult, the ‘haram’ will become prevalent, which is what we’re seeing nowadays. Boy & girl want to get married, they go to their parents who then make life difficult and usually end up agreeing to it in the end, but unnecessarily delay the nikkah.

People often ask ‘how do you know if he/she is the one?’ and as cliche as it sounds you just get that gut feeling and ‘know’, this next hadith might explain that feeling.

The Prophet pbuh said, “Souls are like soldiers. When a soul meets its mate, it is naturally attracted to it and othe times it meets that which repels it.” (Muslim)

A few things you should be mindful of when meeting someone with the prospect of marriage:

You are the sum of the 5 people you spend most time with. Who your friends are says a lot about you and who you are as a person. A sign of taqwa or good chracter is having righteous and good friends.

If this is an arranged or semi-arranged marriage it’ll be really helpful to go ask around about the person, get someone to speak to his/her friends, close neighbours, work colleagues and travel companions. This us a lifelong commitment, do your research, don’t go into it blindly.

How does he/she spend their free time?

You can find out a lot about a persons character and their personality this way. Do they like social sports or are they more of an introvert? Are they outdoorsy? Are they lazy? Or a workaholic?

There are so many things you can learn from what someone does in their spare time and see if the line up with what you’re looking for in a life partner.

What are their accomplishments and acheivements?

Reputation is not built on plans. Look at what they have actually acheived so far in life as well as the plans and goals they have for the future. Someone can talk about being an entrepreneur or wanting to start their business but what have they acheived that’ actually setting the way for that to happen in the future? Have they got the qualifications? Have they got experience? A proper plan?

Before marriage guys will promise you the world, but words are cheap and actions speak louder.

Before things get serious meet the parents.

I speak about this all the time when we do these discussion topics. It’s really important that begore you get your hopes up and start to develop any sort of feelings for each other, to get the familes to meet to see if they’re compatible with you and your family.

Marriage is union of two families as well as two people.