Qualities in a spouse 

Whilst waiting at the Tyre shop today, a brother walked in with 2 young boys (presumably his sons), probably aged between 8 and 11. I was minding my own business, scrolling through my phone. They sat two seats away from me so it was hard not to hear. One of the boys said ‘I’m bored’. The man replied something like ‘You’re bored? Let’s get rid of your boredom. Say La illaha ilallah.’ Then he went on to say ‘Say SubhanAllah, Allahuakbar’. 

Then he started asking them ‘What does la illaha ilallah mean? What does illah mean?’. The boys were having trouble answering, and he patiently kept asking ‘What does la mean in English? What does illah sound like?’ And so on. SubhanAllah, he kept so patient and consistent with them. Many of us would just give up and tell them the answer or get frustrated, myself included. But he kept asking them different questions that related to the initial question so that they could figure out the answer. 

And I thought, that’s the quality we should be looking for in a spouse. It sounds like an obvious thing; look for someone who has deen, is patient, has a good character etc. But I think sometimes when we are faced with a potential spouse we compromise or think of compromising some very essential characteristics and traits. 

The idea of marriage and the feelings of infatuation can often get the better of us. And we might find ourselves forgetting to ask the person how they feel about kids, how they interact with kids and so on. We might feel like their looks make up for the qualities missing in their personality. And of course no one is perfect. But it’s better to look past someone’s looks rather than their deen and character. And we do this, intentionally or unintentionally. 

I was a little saddened when they told me my car was ready, as I found their conversation so beautiful and uplifting, MashaAllah. 

It made me think further about marriage and the pressure that comes from our family and society. Sometimes people settle for less because they’re scared that if they wait a few more years, no one will want to marry them. And yes, if you find someone that ticks all the boxes then go ahead. But don’t settle for less. Don’t compromise on things that you deep down know will have a detrimental affect on yourself and your children in future. Look for someone who will not only help you elevate your imaan, increase your knowledge etc. but also someone who will help you raise your children in the best islamic way, that is, in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah, in’shaa’Allah.  

May Allah keep the brother and ourselves steadfast on this deen, bless the marriage of those that are married, and grant a pious spouse to those of us who are not yet married, ameen. 

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