Criteria of Spouse Selection (4)

Criteria of Spouse Selection (4)


Hamida was a religious, sagacious, wise and honorable lady who was faced with a characterless, cunning, libertine, and witless person. She was greatly agonized and distressed by the character and conduct of her husband. The husband earned money by unfair and illegal means like forgery, fraud and unfair mediations. Hamida was extremely perturbed and terrified about his doubtful prohibited earnings. Her husband did not mind having unlawful and illicit relation with other women, whereas she herself was a pure, noble woman and was much pained and distressed by the anti-moral activities of her husband; yet, she guarded the reputation and honor (of the family) and kept silent about it.

A few years passed in this manner and for all her endeavors she could not reform and set her husband aright. On the contrary, the wealthier he became, the more corrupt and debauched he became. At last, her patience came to an end, and she could not no longer tolerate and stand his bad, evil character and unwise conduct and finally left him. But alas! She was no more the same Hamida she used to be before marriage. Her felicity, sound mind and joyous spirit were withered and destroyed by that witless devil. "O you watchful people, take lesson!"


Physical and spiritual health has an important role in the success and prosperity of the joint life of a couple. Some of the ailments do not have much importance and are not hurdles and hindrances in performing marital duties and responsibilities. They do not give any shock or blow to life and one can bear them, or they can be cured and remedied by treatment and looked after.

Our discussion does not pertain to such diseases. Instead, those which must be taken into view while selecting a spouse are chronic ailment and deformities and disabilities, both of a physical and spiritual nature, which are incurable and accompany a man for the whole of his life, and where their endurance and bearing difficult for the spouse. Moreover, they are constraining factors in playing the perfect role of a spouse. A spouse must love his or her mate to have a good life, and some defects and deformities hinder this love. Letting this matter go unnoticed and having a sentimental and unreasonable attitude to may cause heavy loss and damage to life.


Hadi was a healthy and enthusiastic youth. He married a girl who had a physical deformity. he was aware about it before the marriage, yet being overwhelmed by sentiments, and not contemplating the consequences and the other dimensions of the matter, he, through pity and sympathy, accepted to perform a good deed by marrying her.

After a curtaining time, the man started making excuses. The physical defect of the woman was such that it affected his sexual satisfaction. Hadi was shy to say distinctly and clearly, what troubled him. And so he made other excuses. The confrontation and disputed increased. These differences and tussles were on hand, while on the other, the women felt very humiliated due to her deformity. Thus, she began to suffer from spiritual and psychological diseases too. The complications increased with the passage of time.

Hadi consulted me about the problems in their lives, and believed the psychological and nervous ailment were the real factor of their differences and difficulties, not as a disease, but in the form of his wife's faults. But I knew where the actual difficulty was. Psychological treatments were undertaken, but the differences continued, until Hadi's energies failed and he could no more tolerate and carry on with that life. He married another girl. Now, as I write these lines, that poor girl lives in her father's house. She is neither divorced nor does she have a joint life.

Islam has prohibited marriage with certain patients. For instance, those carrying diseases like leprosy, madness, etc. which are the cause of spouse misery and the destruction of the future generation.


Q: So what must disable and deformed patients do? Should they always remain spouseless?

A: At the end of this chapter, and similarly in the discussion under the topic of 'sacrificial marriages' which is located in 'chapter 6' we will inshallah, answer this question.


Beauty is a distinction and has and exceptionally great effect in sweetening and making marital life prosperous. When persons, as spouses and helpers, want to raise a prosperous and felicitous centre and live together with love, purity, and intimacy for the whole of their lives, it is necessary that they should like each other from every aspect and must also like each other's physiques, faces and apparent looks.

Beauty does not have a certain standard and fixed scale and lacks a 'law of criterion' so that individuals may be judged by that; instead, to an extent, it is pertinent to the taste of the individuals themselves. It is even possible that a person is beautiful from one person's view and ugly from that of another. It is said about Laili and Majnoon (two lovers) that Laili was an ugly girl from the point of view others, but from majnoon's she was pretty. So the quality of beauty is a relative quality and it must not essentially be at the loftiest grade. Instead, what is necessary, is the mutual liking and attraction of the two spouses. If a person does not like the apparent looks and the face and figure of his spouse, he may unintentionally commit excess upon her and find faults and criticize her make her life bitter.

The beauty of the spouse has effect on protecting and strengthening the modesty and faith of the spouse. If a spouse is pleased with the beauty of his spouse, he would not divert his sight, mind and practice towards others and would not envy others' beautiful spouses. As a result, he would not go after strangers and would not commit dishonesty with his wife (both men and women), unless he comes out of the course of nature and does not have a share of faith and modesty.

Islam has emphasized and stressed this point. The Prophet (PBUH&HP) said: "When one of you intends to marry a woman, he should ask about her hair, just as he asks about her face (beauty), since the hair is one of the two beauties (of women)."

And similarly, it has been recommended that the spouses beautify and decorate themselves for each other and please and satisfy one another to remain safe and sound from deviations, corruption, and debauchery. When one of the infallible Imams has colored his blessed hair with Henna (dye made from a shrub), someone surprisingly asked him, "Have you beautified yourself?" Imam (PBUH) said: "yes! Decorating and beautifying (oneself) increases the modesty of women."(1) Indifference and carelessness toward these matters may bring about miseries and scandals. It is necessary to discuss love and sexual problems separately, which we will do in the chapter under the topic 'Love, the axis of life'.


Beauty should be considered beside other qualities and standards, no as an independent one. That is, beauty devoid of religiousness, modesty and morality is not only unappreciated as a distinction, but also is a dangerous calamity. Beauty is taken to be a perfection, worth and distinction for someone, only when that person is equipped and decorated with religion, morality, modesty, nobility and reason, otherwise it is a defaming affliction. Beauty lacking modesty is greenery growing upon a dung hill. The saying of the Prophet (a.s), which has been described, is very suitable here:  "Avoid the greenery growing over the dunghill (heaps of dirt)."

Similarly, "The one who marries a woman for her beauty (only), he will see unpleasant thing in her." 'Beauty' is not considered one of the basic and independent factors in marital life, rather it is a 'quality of perfection' which if accompanied by fundamental and basic qualities has worth, otherwise no! Regrettably, sometimes this quality dazzles the insight of the youth and they sacrifice most of their values upon it. The apparent attractions and charms deprive them of farsightedness and make them fascinated and enchanted, so that having forgotten the real and actual standards, they neglect those. Thus they raise the structure of life upon a weak and unstable foundation. As a consequence, after a period, when that freshness and apparent attractions have a fall and, on the other hand, the enthusiasm and emotional storm of passions also subside, then dismay and disagreements evolve on the scene and the displeasing factors and peculiarities become obvious and evident.

But for the person who establishes his life upon the foundations of faith, religiousness, modesty and the real and noble values, and considers beauty as a 'completing distinction' the passage of time cannot wear out and erode that life. "Surely (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, for them will Allah bring about love." Allah places such an intense love and immense and profound fondness as a reward in the hearts of faithful spouses that cannot be wiped out and annihilated even by the termination of youth's livelihood. "What is with you passes away (finishes) and what is with Allah is enduring." The relation that is established on the basis of Allah’s values is an eternal and everlasting bondage and those contrary to it would be unsteady and unstable.

Continue in the next article: ( Criteria of Spouse Selection (5) )



1. Biharul Anwar, vol.103, p 237.