Criteria of Spouse Selection (1)

Criteria of Spouse Selection (1)

Now we have reached the most sensitive and important point of our discussions! Whatever we have discussed so far was a prelude and prefix to this chapter. That is to say, whom may we select as a spouse? With what sort of qualities, peculiarities, standards and criterions, so that we may lead a prosperous life with each other, and be the cause of each other's progress, completion, and comfort? This is the real stimulant and aim of our discussion.

All our pursuits in these topics and discussions is that the youth (girls and boys) may select spouses in a way to be equal, well-matched and proportional to each other, and conventionally speaking they must go together well. If this condition is procured and secured, and this co-ordination and balance is realized, then the other matters and difficulties are comfortably solvable. If they do not slip at this stage crossing and traversing, then the other phases would be easy.

We can say boldly and daringly that most of the difficulties which appear in the family life" are due to the fact that the boy and the girl have made a mistake here and have not selected a spouse well-matched to themselves. Many spouses have been seen to be pushed into a state of misery and destruction due to an imbalance and lack of homogeneity. Most of the difficulties, controversies and conflicts in the selection of the wrong spouse.

SUBTILITY!

Brother, sister! As you intend to select someone to be beside you for the whole of your life, observe minutely whom you are going to select. No selection, in human life, after the selection and choosing of belief and school of thought, can reach and match the spouse selection in its importance and sensitiveness. This selection has a basic and fundamental role in your success and prosperity or misery and misfortune!!!

Do care, check, examine, and seek advice as much as you can. Be cautious and careful not to make a mistake. Beware not to take a sentimental decision. Be careful not to be subjected and affected by digressive factors. It would be very difficult for you to cope and deal with an unsuitable, unequal and heterogeneous, and inconsistent spouse. Do not ever tell yourself: "For now, let us marry! If we cannot live together in the days to come, we can divorce and separate!" Drive such an idea totally out of your mind. Divorce is a very difficult thing and sometimes even impossible, particularly when there are children.

Encourage and uphold the idea that I want to choose a spouse with whom I intent to spend a prosperous and happy life." You must burn your boats and accumulate and concentrate all your sense to choose a permanent and lifelong partner. Exercise extreme care!!! As far as the recommendations about a quick and swift marriage, are concerned, which we discussed in the previous chapters, it does not mean haste, disregard and neglect. Instead, speed must be with precision, accuracy, and carefulness. And these two (speed and accuracy) are not contradictions to each other; instead, it haste which is in contrast to precision.

SUBTLETY IN SELECTION, SMOOTHNESS IN MARRIAGE

When we consider the collection of laws of Islam with regard to marriage, we conclude that: Islam has commanded to be easy, lenient, indulgent and simple most of the matters pertaining to marriage; such as dowry, wealth, ceremonies, rituals, and customs, but it has ordered carefulness in 'spouse selection'. For example.

"Be lenient ... do not exercise extreme care."

"The best marriage is the easiest one."

"The best of wives are those whose dowry sum is small and their expenditure and upkeep is low."

"But when it come to the discussion of 'spouse selection' and 'its criteria and standards' ,Islam says be very careful.

"Avoid the greenery (herbs) growing over a sewer (cesspool)."

"Avoid marrying stupid and silly (insane) ones."

"See what you are putting around your neck."

And tense of other caution and warnings.

So be completely mindful and alert that these two kinds of ordains are not mixed up an taken erroneously. Leniency and easy attitude have their own place; whereas minuteness, precision, carefulness, and strictness have their own. Everything is suitable in its ow place."

CRITERIA OF SPOUSE SELECTION

We must have certain standards for the selection of a spouse. That is to say, girls and boys must have criteria and know what kind of spouse they wish to have and with what qualities and virtues. This is the actual work. It is much like someone who wants to travel, so he must fix and specify his destination and then start the journey. But if he only knows that he needs to travel but does not have any aim, objective or destination in his mind, he wanders around and gets lost.

There are two kinds of standards, qualities, and specifications that should be taken into consideration when selecting a spouse: (a) Those which are the pillars and foundations and definitely required for a prosperous life. (b) Those which are the conditions of attaining completion, and are necessary for the betterment and welfare of life and are mostly relevant and dependent upon the taste, style and the status of a person. Now we consider these standards, criteria and qualities.

FIRST: RELIGIOUSNESS

(FROM THE FUNDAMENTAL AND INEVITABLE FACTORS)

He who does not have religion does not have anything Whatever he owns and possesses, he is considered and evaluated as 'nothing'. An irreligious man is actually a 'moving dead body'. The person who is not committed and bound to religion, which is the most real matter of life, there exists no security and guarantee that he would be committed to the rights of his spouse, and be bound to the norms of a shared life.

A religious and pious person cannot go along with an irreligious spouse and have a prosperous and blessed common life. A pious person may possibly tolerate and bear other shortcomings of the spouse, but can never bear and accommodate the irreverence and recklessness of the spouse.

Yes, if both of them are without religion and heedless to the laws of religion, it is possible. But their lives would never be successful. Prosperity is absolutely impossible to achieve without honesty. Absolutely impossible to achieve without honesty. Absolutely impossible!! Yes, they might have accepted something as prosperity and consider themselves as prosperous, but this consideration is 'sheer ignorance.' That is to say, they are in fact unfortunate and miserable, but they think they are blessed and successful.

Anyhow, a religious and pious person wants a religious spouse. If one is religious and the other, irreligious and uncommitted, they will not become prosperous.

Of course, being religious means being so in the real sense of it. Meaning being absolutely committed to Islam, accepting it from the core of one's heart, and practicing upon it,not the shallow, rootless and feigned religiousness.

A reflection of the Prophet's (a.s) saying: A man came to the Prophet (a.s) to seek guidance in connection with the selection of a spouse. He (a.s) said to him:

"It is (binding) upon you to have a religious spouse."(1)

On another occasion, he (a.s) ordered all people of all ages: "It is binding upon all of you to select a religious spouse."

And again in another case he (a.s) said: "A man who marries a woman for the sake of her wealth, Allah leaves him in his own condition, and the one who marries her (only) for her beauty, he will find in her (things) which he dislikes (displeasing matters) and the one who marries her for the sake of her faith (religiousness), Allah will gather up all these things for him."(2)

There is an elegant an subtle point in the tradition; that is, if he marries her (only) for her beauty, he sees unpleasant things in her. Perhaps these 'unpleasant matters' mean that the beauty of an irreligious wife would be the cause of a bad name, scandal and disgrace. The same beauty that was the stimulant of marriage with her becomes th cause of unisance and dishonour.

Continue in the next article: ( Criteria of Spouse Selection (2) )

NOTES:

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1. Wasail al-Shia, vol. 14,p 30.

2. Wasail al-Shia, vol. 14, p 31.