Questions to Ask a Prospective Marriage
derived from Bent Rib: A Journey through Womens
issues in Islam by
compiled by Chloe Chaudhry
The following questions
are offered in the interest of helping Muslims to think through
issues important to marriage. You may wish to ask these questions
when youre considering someone for marriage, either of
them or just of yourself. You may also wish to ask them of an
intermediary, who may be able to provide you an unbiased perspective.
Some of the questions may seem "unIslamic", but they
deal with the reality of today's social situation, and NOT asking
a question may ultimately prove to be a bigger mistake than asking
- Why are you interested in marrying
at this time?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What do you consider your greatest
achievement to date?
- Describe three experiences youve
had that youve benefited/learned from.
- What has been the hardest obstacle
youve faced thus far in life? How has it affected you?
- If there was one thing you would like
to change about yourself, what would it be?
- What are your goals for this life?
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
- What are you looking for in a spouse?
- What role do you think parents should
play in helping to select your spouse?
- What process do you want to use to
determine whether you have found the right spouse? Phone? E-mail?
Chaperoned or unchaperoned in person? How much time do you want
DEEN (ISLAMIC LIFESTYLE):
- What do you do to feel close to Allah
- How to you hope to get closer to Allah
(swt) through marriage?
- What do you want to improve about yourself
- How many times per day do you pray?
What about while at work?
- How much Quran have you memorized?
- To what extent are you involved in
the Islamic community?
- Do you fast during Ramadan?
- How do you determine how to distribute
Zakat? How do you give in Sadaqa?
- Have you been on Hajj or Umrah? When
would you like to go?
- Are you affiliated with a particular
masjid or Islamic group?
- How important do you think it is to
only eat Halal meat?
- How important do you think it is for
women to wear hijab? What about men?
- How do you like to celebrate religious
- Do you go for jummah prayers?
LIVING AS A MUSLIM
- Do you have non-Muslim friends?
- What do you think Muslims should do
on American holidays?
- What do you think parents/extended
familys role should be in making important decisions: wedding
planning, child rearing, vacations, where you will live?
- What do you do if there is a conflict
between your spouse and your family?
- Are you comfortable living with extended
family, particularly as they age? Are other accomodations possible?
- How much time do you anticipate spending
with your extended family, in person or by phone?
- Would you describe the character of
your family members?
- What have you learned from observing
your family that you do or do not want to incorporate into your
- What career path do you plan on taking?
- Will both husband and wife work outside
- Under what conditions would you be
willing to move to further your or your spouses professional
- How much time do you spend at work?
- How do you plan to balance time at
work and time with the family?
- What kind of business functions will
you ask each other to host/attend?
- Would you encourage/support the idea
of me going back to school for advanced degrees?
- How would we support ourselves if we
both had to be in school?
- How do you like to spend your free
- How much time do you spend watching
- What interests would you like to share
with your spouse?
- How much time alone would you like
- How do you feel about separate vacations?
Business trips? Conferences?
- How much time do you want to spend
with friends? By yourself? As a couple?
- How would you feel about your spouse
having friends of the opposite gender?
WHERE TO LIVE:
- Where do you want to live? Why?
- Will you want to live near your extended
- Do you prefer city? Suburb? Countryside?
- Do you want to live in the U.S. or
- How important is it to live in a large
- How many children do you want to have?
- When do you think youll be ready
to have children?
- How will you distribute responsibility
for child rearing? Diapering?
- What do you think it is important to
- What is your view on raising children?
Do you spank?
- To what extent would you be willing
to utilize family members, friends, baby sitters or day are to
watch your children?
- How will you ensure your children have
a good Islamic education?
- What would you do if you could not
- Do you want your children to grow up
bilingual? In what languages?
- How many personal savings/checking
accounts would you want?
- Who should be responsible for paying
- What about prior assets?
- How will you determine how much should
be spent on the household? On personal items? On charity?
- How much should either person be able
to spend by themselves without consulting the other?
- How much should be paid out in maher
(dowry)? Up front versus deferred?
- If we were on an uncomfortably tight
budget, and your brother asked you for a generous loan for a
third attempt at a start-up when the first two had failed, would
you give it to him?
- What would be your top five criteria
for developing a financial plan?
- Should the wife change her last name?
- What last name should the children
- How do you feel about cleanliness,
neatness and housework?
- How do you feel about knickknacks and
- Who is responsible for work around
- What are the household chores you are
used to doing?
- Have you ever lived alone? Have you
ever had a roommate? Have you always lived with your parents?
- How do you feel about pets?
- What are your preferences in terms
of food? Mostly from your own ethnic group, or a more diverse
palate? Only home-made, or also convenience or from restaurants?
Meat or vegetarian?
- If we were both working and we both
got home about the same time, would you expect the wife to always
be the cook?
- How do you feel about smoking?
- What are your pet peeves?
- How should disagreements be resolved?
- How do you act when you get upset?
- How would you go about making you spouse
happy when s/he was feeling down?
- What would you want your spouse to
do if you disagreed about something?
- What if the disagreement is over an
interpretation of Islam?
- Who would be your choice of arbiters,
or how do you feel about arbitration?
- How do you feel about marriage counseling?
- What are your views?
- What is your experience with families
with a second wife?
- Will infidelity automatically end the
- What role does culture play in your