In the selection of a bride, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam gave the most valuable counsel to the prospective young man for the selection of an ideal wife. He said: “A woman is sought in marriage for four qualities: her prosperity and opulence؛ her pedigree and family status؛ her beauty and graces; and finally her character, morality and faith or religious bias.” All the four conditions are worthy of consideration and there are pros and cons for each quality. A rich woman and a woman with high family background may turn out to be insolent, disobedient and rude. A beautiful woman may be self-conscious and boasting and ignoring the right of her husband. However, a woman with high character, morals, faith and knowledge will always keep in view the teachings of Islam and, under thick and thin, will prove to be loyal to the husband and run his house in a proficient manner. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam gave the following advice for the benefit of young bachelors: “Do not marry woman for the wealth (alone) because their wealth is likely to make them arrogant.”
Similarly, pedigree and family status are not the qualities to influence a correct decision. Again, beauty and graces of a woman may become the cause of troubles and trials for the man. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam advised: ،،Do not wed a woman only on grounds of beauty because most often their beauty may land the family in ruin.”
Good character, good morals and religious knowledge and bias are the best qualities for which a woman may be selected for wedlock. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam advised: “You should marry women on the basis of their good religion.” A religious woman is always conscious of the rights of her husband as taught by Islam. She runs the household to the satisfaction of her husband. She is devoid of arrogance and takes pains to bring up her children on Islamic lines. She is not quarrel some, and maintains good and amicable relations with the relatives of her husband. She is liked by her neighbors for her good conduct and adds to the dignity of her husband’s house. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “A man who is fortunate to have (i) a grateful heart in his bosom; (ii) a tongue in his mouth which is committed to the continuous memory of Allah; (ii) a physical body which is patient and forbearing under troubles and triais and (iv) a virtuous wife who avoids evil in every form and jealously guards the property of her husband. Such a man has been granted the best of everything in this world and the Hereafter.” Scholars of Islam have recommended that a woman of good character, morals and modesty may be accepted as a bride. Too tall, too short, ugly, very aged and given to lewdness may not be accepted in marriage.
Points of preference in selection of a Bride:
From detailed study of Traditions of the Holy Prophet and the scholars of Jurisprudence, it has become known that, good morals, good character, righteousness, religious bias are the qualities which must be preferred to other matters in selecting a bride. However, handsomeness and age are factors, which should not be lost sight of. Good character combined with beauty and graces is certainly to be preferred. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam recommended to the young bachelors among his followers to go in for virgins for their wedlock. He said: ،؛you should marry virgin ladies because they are sweet in speech, fertile to bear many children and are satisfied with whatever is available of worldly comforts.”