There follows a description of the most important qualities which should be present in the man whom you choose or accept to be your husband and the father of your children if Allah decrees that you will have children.
This is the most important thing to look for in the man you want to marry. The husband should be a Muslim who adheres to all the laws and teachings of Islam in his daily life. The woman’s guardian (wali) should strive to check out this matter and not rely only on outward appearances. One of the most important things to ask about is the man’s prayer (salaah); the one who neglects the rights of Allah is more likely to neglect the rights of others. The true believer does not oppress or mistreat his wife; if he loves her, he honours her, and if he does not love her, he does not mistreat or humiliate her. It is very rare to find this attitude among those who are not sincere Muslims.
Allah says (interpretation of the meanings): “and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you” [al-Baqarah 2:221]
“Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwaa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious)]” [al-Hujuraat 49:13]
“Good statements are for good people (or good women for good men) and good people for good statements (or good men for good women)” [al-Noor 24:26]
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If there comes to you one whose religious commitment and attitude pleases you, then marry [your female relative who is under your care] to him, for if you do not do that, there will be tribulation on earth and much corruption.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 1084).
As well as being religiously committed, it is preferable that he should come from a good family and a known lineage. If two men come to propose marriage to one woman, and they are equal in terms of religious commitment, then preference should be given to the one who comes from a good family that is known for its adherence to the commands of Allah, so long as the other person is not better than him in terms of religious commitment – because the righteousness of the husband’s close relatives could be passed on to his children and his good origins and lineage may make him refrain from many foolish and cheap actions. The righteousness of the father and grandfather is beneficial to the children and grandchildren.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them, and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord” [al-Kahf 18:82].
See how Allah protected their father’s wealth for the two boys after the father died, as an honour to him because of his righteousness and taqwa. By the same token, if the husband comes from a righteous family and his parents are good, Allah will make things easy for him and protect him as an honour to his parents.
It is good if he has sufficient wealth to keep him and his family from having to ask people for anything because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to Fatimah bint Qays (may Allah be pleased with her) when she came to consult him about three men who had proposed marriage to her, “As for Mu’aawiyah, he is a poor man who has no wealth…” (Narrated by Muslim, 1480). It is not essential that he should be a businessman or rich, it is sufficient for him to have an income that will keep him and his family from having to ask people for anything. If there is a choice between a man who is religiously committed and a man who is wealthy, then the religious man should be given preference over the wealthy man.
It is preferable that he should be kind and gentle towards women, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to Fatimah bint Qays, in the hadeeth quoted above, “As for Abu Jaham, his stick never leaves his shoulder”, referring to the fact that he used to beat women a lot.
It is good if he is a sound body and healthy, free of faults, sickness, etc., and not disabled or sterile.
It is preferable that he should have knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah; if you find someone like this it is good, otherwise, you should realize that this is something rare.
It is permissible for the woman to look at the man who comes to propose marriage, and for him to look at her. This should be in the presence of her mahram, and it is not permitted to look more than is necessary, or for him to see her alone, or for her to go out with him on her own, or to meet repeatedly for no reason.
According to Islam, the woman’s wali (guardian) should check on the man who proposes marriage to the woman who is under his guardianship; he should ask those whom he trusts among those who mix with him and who know him, about his commitment to Islam and his trustworthiness. He should ask them for an honest opinion and sincere, sound advice.
Before and during all of this, you must turn towards Allah and pray to Him to make it easy for you and help you to make a good choice and to grant you wisdom. Then after all these efforts, when you have decided on a particular person, you should pray Istikhaarah, asking Allah for that which is good. Then after you have done your utmost, put your trust in Allah, for He is the best of helpers, may He be glorified.
Adapted from Jaami’ Ahkaam al-Nisaa’ by Shaykh Mustafaa al-‘Adawi.
We ask Allah, the Exalted, the Powerful, to make things easy for everybody, to help everyone make a wise choice, and to bless with a righteous husband and good offspring, for He is Able to do all that. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
– Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Whenever we see our reflection in a mirror what do we see? According to Allah, we should see a reflection of the Prophet (peace be upon him). But do we? The Qur’an says: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah, you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much” (Al-Ahzab, 33:21).
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is supposed to be our role model, our mirror image – that which we are striving to be and the human criteria for us to judge ourselves by. In reality, however, how many of us actually see this beautiful person when we gaze into our mirrors?
Let’s face it. The problem in the Muslim world today is the Muslims. Right now, the “enemies of Islam” are the people we see in the mirror. When we look in the mirror, we don’t see the Prophet (peace be upon him) – rather, what we see are the enemies of Islam.
Let’s go back to basics for a second because that’s really where the problem lies. How many Muslims in the world pray five times a day? And of those who do, how many pray in the congregation? What about Fajr prayers and `Isha?
Of those, how many pray with sincerity and concentration – in full awe of Allah’s greatness? How many perform ablution correctly? When you consider all of these together, the figure is probably less than one percent of all Muslims, and this is only one aspect of the basics of Islam.
Yet, despite this depressing reality about our Ummah, certain members of our community are quick to call for jihad, label non-Muslims as the “enemies of Islam,” or call other Muslims who may not follow their school of thought “kafir” (unbeliever). But what are we doing? Each and every one of us? And what about our families? And then, what about our communities?
As Ummah, we have strayed so far; yet, we still expect Allah to help us (which He often does in His infinite mercy despite the fact that we are not living up to our end of the contract). And we wonder why Allah allows our enemies victory over us.
When will we realize that Islam is not a religion of convenience? When will we stop acting like the Christians who believe that just because they are Christian, they are saved and forgiven and that Allah will help them just because they call themselves Christian? Islam is not a privilege – it is a responsibility.
When will we truly heed Allah’s word in the Qur’an when He says that He will not help a people until they help themselves? Why did the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Companions and scholars of Islam literally spend their entire lives and sacrificed so much to preach and demonstrate to us the correct way to live, and to provide us with all the knowledge and guidance we could ever need? So that we can disregard it – yet still claim to be the greatest Ummah ever and still expect Allah’s mercy and help?
In the Battle of Uhud during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), it was apparent that the Muslims – despite being outnumbered by the Quraysh – was going to enjoy an easy victory. However, at the point of triumph, the unit of archers that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had entrusted with the task of rear-guarding the Muslim army fled their positions, as they wanted to take part in collecting the war booty that they saw their brethren starting to collect. They felt that the battle was over, despite strict orders from the Prophet not to leave their posts until he gave the word – “even if you see us being killed, left right and center.”
Despite their disobedience at Uhud, these men were of the highest caliber, bravery, and iman, being Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). If Allah granted them defeat because of one act of disobedience, how is it that we can expect success in our endeavors despite our failure to obey Allah in even the most basic aspects of Islam?
The answer to our problems is simple – forget all the complications. The answer was given to us 1,400 years ago, and it is still the same as it has always been. Practice Islam. Just two words – practice Islam.
Don’t follow our desires, our lusts, greed, or emotions just practice Islam. This doesn’t require a new movement, a new sect, a new organization, a lot of arguments over minutiae, or fancy jargon. It just requires humility and effort. Our individual and collective will is in line with Allah’s Will. That’s it.
Start praying – five times a day, each time as if it is our last prayer. Start paying zakat and acting charitably, just like the Prophet (peace be upon him). Start fasting, with the consciousness of Allah. Start raising and teaching our children to be good Muslims, and to fear and love Allah more than anything else – regardless of what society might say.
Start reading and striving to understand the Qur’an. Start seeking knowledge. Start being kind and respectful to our wives, and following Prophet’s (peace be upon him) guidance as to how to treat one another. Start treating non-Muslims not as enemies, but as potential Muslims.
Start putting our egos aside and listening, asking questions, reading, and taking an interest in our education, and, ultimately, our fate. Start treating our neighbors in the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him), with kindness and respect. Start correcting our brothers and sisters when they are wrong in the best way, a way that will create change and not sew hatred. All in all, start practicing Islam.
Now, if all of us, or at least a good percentage of us, began to take these steps toward Allah – looking inwardly at ourselves and outwardly at those for whom we are responsible – what can we expect that Allah’s response would be? Just as the Hadith says, if we walk toward Allah, He will come running toward us. Many of us have experienced this individually, but what would happen if Muslims acted in such a way on a collective basis? One can only imagine, given an Ummah of over one billion followers. Details aside, we can be sure that some amazing things would happen – within ourselves, our communities, and throughout the entire world.
All of the horrible, un-Islamic, inhumane things happening in the world today are caused by illnesses of the heart. Although many of these things are not caused by Muslims, many unfortunately are. Regardless of who is to blame, the illnesses remain the same. Hearts are diseased, and disease likes company so people suffering from the same illnesses often act together in their attempts to bring down as many others as they can with them. The only solution, the only remedy is practicing Islam – not simply “being Muslim”.
“The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail. Except him who brings to Allah a clean heart (clean from shirk, polytheism and nafaq).” (Ash-Shu’ara’, 26:88-89).
As Muslims, we need to stop talking about what is due to us and start thinking about what is due to us, and what and who we are responsible for.
We are responsible to Allah, first, for ourselves, and second, for the world. Thus, we cannot help the world figure out its mess until we clean up our own house, starting with each and every individual Muslim. We must begin the work of returning to Islam through practice. This is the only hope for us and, in effect, for the rest of Creation.
Honesty is one of the greatest of all moral virtues. From it springs forth many of the noblest of human qualities like integrity, chastity, and valor. Some people might suppose that honesty is restricted to words. This is not the case. Honesty can manifest itself in our actions and our innermost state of being.
The great scholar and ethical thinker, al-Muhasibi, once said:
“For honesty to be complete, it must exist in three things. It must exist in the heart as one’s faith, it must exist in the intentions behind one’s deeds, and it must be present in the words that one speaks.”
Honesty penetrates the innermost fiber of a person when his inner being is in harmony with his outer self. A person’s deeds are honest only when he practices what he professes. Dishonesty in deed is more despicable than dishonesty in word, for it is naught but a hypocritical display of sincerity. This is what the brothers of Joseph (peace be upon him) did when they came with Joseph’s bloody clothing to their father.
Allah says: “So they came with his shirt stained with false blood.” [Surah Yusuf: 18]
Allah warns us saying: “O you who believe, why do you say what you do not do? It is loathsome indeed with Allah that you say what you do not do.” [Surah al-Saff: 3]
Truth in the word is the most familiar and obvious kind of truth since every statement that is inconsistent with reality is obviously a lie.
Allah says: “Verily those who fabricate a lie against Allah will not find success.”
Allah commands the believers, saying: “O you who believe, fear Allah and be among those who are honest.”
Allah gives glad tidings to the believers who are honest. He says: “Allah will reward the honest people for their honesty.”
Allah informs us that our honesty will bring us well even in this world: “And when a matter is resolved upon, it would be best for them if they were true to Allah.” And of course, honesty will be of doubtless benefit to us in the Hereafter.
Allah says: “This is the day that the honest people will benefit from their honesty.” [Sûrah al-Ma’idah: 119]
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was renowned for his honesty long before he began to receive revelation and became Allah’s Messenger. He had been known among his people for years as al-Amin (the Trustworthy).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) informed us of the effects that both honesty and dishonesty have on our personalities when he said: “Honesty brings about security and lying fosters doubts.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Honesty leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man remains honest and concerned about honesty until he is recorded as an honest man with Allah. Lying leads to sinfulness and sinfulness leads to the Fire. A man keeps lying and remains partial to lies until he is recorded as a liar with Allah.” [Sahîih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]
He also explained the effects that honesty and dishonesty have on our interpersonal dealings:”Honesty and clarity are blessed for both parties to a sale, while concealment and deceit destroy the blessings of their sale.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]
We must be honest in our relationship with Allah. There are many dimensions to this most important expression of honesty. There is our sincerity to Allah. Then there is being cognizant that Allah is ever watchful of what we do. There is a sense of humility and shame that we must feel before Him. If we truly want to be honest in our relationship with Allah, we must become so fully sincere to Him that there remains in our hearts no other motive for what we do but to seek His pleasure. We must care nothing for the thanks and appreciation of our fellow men. We can achieve this by making our greatest concern the attainment of Allah’s mercy. We must be constantly aware that Allah is ever watchful of us. This will make us feel too shy to ever willingly disobey Allah.
Honesty with other people is also extremely important. There are many aspects to this as well. First, we must be honest in our dispensation towards others. We should not behave deceptively and present a false face to people. Instead, we must be genuine and straightforward with people as much as possible.
We must be honest in what we say. This requires us to be careful to ascertain the truth of the news that we hear before we go ahead and pass it on to others. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “It is enough to make a person a liar that he tells others everything that he hears.”
We must be honest in giving advice to people. We should be sincere in our advice and truly do our best to help people avoid misfortune and attain what is good for them.
We need to be even more honest with our spouses. We must be able to confide in them and speak freely to them about our concerns, our secrets, and our ambitions. A husband or wife is a life partner, a friend, and a confidant. The more openly a husband and wife are able to communicate with each other in an atmosphere of trust and confidence, the stronger their relationship will be.
Honesty, in fact, engenders strength on every level. On the personal level, it provides integrity, self-worth, and inner fortitude. On the social level, it lends depth and substance to our relationships with other people. On the spiritual level, it brings about the sincerity to our Lord that is the key to our salvation.
When Bismillah Was Revealed
Sayyidina Jaabir (RA) is reported to have said that when Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem revealed, the clouds gave way by moving to the East, the winds ceased blowing, the oceans became calm, the creatures prepared themselves to listen, the Shaytaan got pelted with fire from the heavens and Allah Ta’ala, swearing an oath by His honor, declared: Anyone who says this name of mine (ie. Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem) upon anything, I will surely impart barakah in that thing, (Durre Manthoor and Ibne Katheer)
Bismillah Before Wahee
In Durre Manthoor Sayyidina Ibne Umar (RA) is reported as saying that surely, whenever Jibreel (AS) used to bring Wahee to Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu-alayhi-wasallam), he used to first recite Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem .
The reason for the above is as follows: in Bismillah there are three names of Allah:
(1) Allah which is His personal name indicating that all projects can only be initiated by the will and wish of Allah.
(2) Rahmaan (Kind) which is His attributive name indicating that only Allah can keep that project intact and existent (guarding it against destruction).
(3) Raheem(Most Merciful) which is also His attributive name indicating that only Allah can, through His mercy and grace, enable any person to derive benefit from that project.
This clearly proves that any project begun with Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem will be granted barakah and blessings from the beginning till the end.
Bismillah Before Doing Anything
It is for this reason that Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu-alayhi- wasallam) used to recite Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem before doing any work. And he (sallallaahu-alayhi-wasallam) also advised the Ummah to do the same. For example, reading it before shutting the door for the night, before putting out the light, before taking meals, before drinking water, before boarding a conveyance, and when alighting any conveyance.
Remembering Allah Through His Three Thousand Names
It is mentioned in Tafseer Roohul Bayaan that Allaamah Sayyid Haqqi (RA) said that Allah Ta’ala has three thousand names. He revealed one thousand to the angels, one thousand to the Ambiya(AS), three hundred are mentioned in the Toraah, three hundred in the Zaboor, three hundred in the Injeel, and ninety-nine in the Holy Qur’an. One Name He has kept to Himself; He revealed it to no one. Also, He has condensed all His names into the three names contained in Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem. They are Allah, Rahmaan, and Raheem. Any person saying Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem; it is as though he has remembered Allah by all His names.
Bismillah – A Means Of High Status In The Hereafter
Rasoolullah (Sallaahu-alayhi-wasallam) is reported as saying that any du’a which is begun with is not rejected. Because of saying Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem the scales of my Ummah will become heavy on the Day of Qiyaamah. The other people will enquire: “Why are the virtues of the Ummate Muhammadiyyah so heavy?” Their prophets will say: “In the utterances of the Ummate Muhammadiyyah there is such an honourable name of Allah that if it is placed on the one side of the scale, and the sins of the entire creation is put onto the other side then the side with the virtue will be heavier.
Saying Bismillah Before Wudu
Rasoolullah (Sallailaahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: “One who does not say Bismillah before wudhu, his wudhu is incomplete.” (Tirmizi). It is reported from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah (RA) that anyone who does not say Bismillah before wudhu, only the sins committed by the limbs which are washed in wudhu will be washed away; and one who says Bismillah before wudhu, the sins of the entire body will be washed away. (Mishkaat)
Saying Bismillah Before Meals
Sayyidina Umar Ibne Abee Salmah (RA) reports that Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu-alayhi-wasallam) said to me: “Say Bismillah and eat with your right hand the food that is in front of you.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi)
Whoever used to eat without saying Bismillah, Rasoolullah(Sallallaahu-alayhi-wasallam) used to hold his hand and urge him to say Bismillah. (Zaadul Ma’aad,Uswah-e-Rasoole Akram).
The Ulama have said that it is preferable to say the Bismillah aloud so that it is a reminder for those who forget. Also, Ibne Habbaan is reported as saying that if Bismillah is said prior to utilising any bounty of Allah and Alhamdu- lillah is said after utilising it, the user will not be asked to give account for that bounty on the Day of Qiyamah.
Sayyidina Anas (RA) reports from Rasoolullah (Sallallaa- hu-alayhi-wasallam) that when a person undresses for the purpose of either relieving himself or bathing or having relations with his spouse then the Shaytaan interferes and plays with his or her private parts. But if he or she says Bismillah before taking off the clothes, then this serves as a barrier and safety against the Shaytaan and jinn. (Tirmizi)
Other Wonders Of Bismillah
Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu-alayhi-wasallam) is reported as saying that as long as people keep on saying Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem it will be a means of safeguarding them against sicknesses; a means of granting riches to the destitute; a means of freedom against the Fire; a means of safeguard against being swallowed by the earth; a means of safety against faces becoming distorted; and a means of safety from stones raining down from the heavens. (Ghunyatut Taalibeen Page 157)
(2) Ayyaz breaks the precious jewel
Sultan Mahmood had a servant whose name was Ayyaz. Ayyaz was well known for his good manners and wisdom. Once, Sultan Mahmood was holding a precious jewel in his hand while sitting with his ministers. He told one of the ministers to break the jewel. Since the jewel was very expensive, the minister refused to break it. Then the Sultan told another minister to break it. He also denied breaking the jewel. One by one all the ministers refused to break the precious jewel due to its great value. Now, Sultan Mahmood passed the jewel to Ayyaz and told him to break it. Ayyaz immediately took the stone to his hand and threw it hard on the floor. The jewel shattered into pieces. The Sultan asked Ayyaz why he broke the jewel while others denied doing so. Ayyaz said, “The jewel is valuable, but your order is more valuable.”
We should learn from this story that even if the things of this world are very precious and valuable, the orders of Allah are much more valuable. So, we should follow them.
The Highest Level is that of the Messengers…[may Allah extol and grant them perfect peace and security]and they are of three  levels… the highest of them being…
- ‘Those firmest in resolve’ [Oolul-’Azm]Nooh, Ibraheem, Moosa, ‘Eesa and Muhammad, [may Allah extol and grant them peace & security] then…
- Those beside them from the Messengers [‘Rusul’] then…
- The Prophets [al-Anbiyaa] those who were not sent as Messengers their nations; and then…
- The Truest and Sincerest followers of the Messengers [as-Siddeeqoon] the inheritors of the Messengers, those who established what the Messengers had been sent with, in their knowledge, actions, and in calling to Allah, then…
- The just Emaams and Rulers. then…
- Those who strove and fought ‘Jihad’ in Allah’s cause, with their wealth and their persons, then…
- Those who preferred others over themselves…! treated the people with goodness and performed charitable acts… and then…
- Those for whom Allah opened a door to performance of good which was restricted to themselves such as Prayer, Charity, Fasting, Hajj, and so on, then…
- The Level of the people of Salvation, and they were those who carried out Allah’s obligations and avoided that which He prohibited, then…
- The level of a people who wronged themselves and committed major sins forbidden by Allah… ! however Allah granted them sincere repentance before death. So they died upon sincere repentance, so Allah accepted their repentance, then…
- The level of a people who combined righteous deeds and evil deeds, meeting Allaah whilst persisting upon their sins and not repentant. However, their good deeds outweighed their evil deeds: the balance of the good they did being heavier. So they are also saved and successful, then…
- A people whose good and evil deeds were equal, and they are the companions of the Heights [al-A’raaf ]which is a place between Paradise and the Hellfire; and they will eventually enter Paradise, then…
- The level of those who were afflicted and put to ‘Tahaadeeth’ [trial] (we ask Allah for well-being and security.) and they were Muslims whose scales were light:[their evil deeds outweighed their good deeds.]There are ‘Ahaadeeth’ concerning them showing that they will enter the Fire and will be in it in accordance with their deeds; and then they will come out of it through the intercession of those who intercede and the Mercy of the Most Merciful who shows mercy, then…
- A people who had no acts of obedience or disobedience, nor Unbelief, nor true Faith [‘Eemaan’], and they are of different types; from them are those who the true call did not reach, and from them is the insane person who did not possess intellect, and from them is the deaf person who never heard anything, and from them are the children of the ‘Mushriks’ who died before being able to correctly discern anything. So the scholars differ concerning them, having eight positions.
The most correct of these is that they will be tested on the Day of Resurrection, and a Messenger will be sent to them there: whoever obeys him will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys him will enter Hellfire. Because Allah does not punish anyone until the Proof is established upon him and he then turns away from it and obstinately refuses it, just as He, the Highest said:“
And We do not punish until We send a Messenger.”
[Source: ‘Qur`an’ Surat al-Israa 17: A #15]
- The level of the Hypocrites [‘al-Munafiqoon’] who outwardly displayed Islam but inwardly concealed Unbelief [‘Kufr’], and they are in the lowest depth of the Fire, then…
- The heads of Unbelief [‘Kufr’], its leaders and its callers, then…
- The level of those Unbelievers who were blind-followers and ignorant ones, and the ‘Ummah’ are agreed that they are Unbelievers, and lastly…
- The level of Jinn, and they were bound with duties-liable to reward or punishment in accordance with their deeds, just as Allah, the Highest, said: “And for all, there will be degrees in accordance with what they did, so that He may fully recompense them for their deeds, and they will not be wronged.”
[Source: Qur`an ~ Surah-Ahqaaf 46~ A # 19]
‘Our Lord! Bestow on us Mercy from Your presence and dispose of our affairs for us in the right way’…Aameen
[ Qur`an~18:10 ]