Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Confused about choosing a spouse


I am stuck in a dilemma right now. I am looking towards getting married and hence on the lookout for a suitable partner. Alhamdulillah, I pray five times, have a beard, fast, and am doing my best to be a better person. I am also looking for a girl with the same kind of commitment towards deen.

My issue arises from dealing with sisters who wear hijab but struggle to practise. My story begins from last year when I proposed marriage to a sister who, to the best of my knowledge, prayed, wore hijab, and was generally of good character. However, she hung out with males from her program and wore tight clothing which I did not approve of. Regardless, I approached this sister for marriage and she said that she wasn’t interested in marriage.

I continued my search and found a second sister who also prayed and wore a hijab. However, since she was my sister’s friend, I came to find out that she listened to music and also socialized with males freely. In both of these cases, the sisters did things that were not Islamic.

Knowing about this experience, my friends have said that I won’t be able to find someone who is 100% compatible with me, and that I should consider someone who is trying to be religious and accept their faults. My parents have said the same and they are encouraging me to reach out to my cousin this time who to the best of my knowledge, recites Quran and prays (haven’t verified), but does not wear hijab regularly (she wears it on and off). Her mother is religious while not the father.

From the description above of my cousin, I am getting the impression that she is struggling with deen and by marrying her, I can (In shaa Allah) encourage her to become regular in Islamic deeds. My parents always say that after I am married, I can gently encourage her to wear the hijab and pray regularly. As a result, I have begun considering the possibility of marrying a semi-religious girl with the intention of encouraging her to practise regularly and foster a relationship where we and both grow together religiously.

I do not want approach my cousin (besides her struggling with Islam) because we had a cousin marriage in our family that failed leading to a deep divide between my aunts and uncles. Our family still hasn’t recovered from that even though that marriage failed 18 years ago. I am afraid that if my marriage should fail with my cousin, our family will become even more fractured.

To sum this up, I am asking for your advice on whether I should approach my cousin or continue searching for a better match considering what I have described above.

JazakAllah and Salam.


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6 Responses »

  1. Personally, I think you should not marry your cousin. It is not advisable to marry anyone with the hope or assumption that they will change - what if after marriage your cousin feels that she is practicing enough and does not want to change? Then you'll be married and stuck. Therefore you have to take people as they are, not as what you hope they'll become. So if you want a wife that wears hijab and prays regularly and doesn't listen to music, you have to marry a woman who already meets these criteria.

    If you've been looking for a year already with no luck, I can understand why you may feel frustrated by the process of looking for a spouse. However, I am sure that there are many Muslim women in your area who would meet your criteria, so keep looking. If I were you, I would revisit your sister's friends. I know you've tried that already once, but I think you should try again. Inshallah if your sister is practicing in the way you wish your wife to be, then she should have other friends who wear hijab, don't listen to music and don't have male friends. At the same time, I think you should be somewhat flexible as well - don't dismiss a woman because she goes to school or works in a mixed environment.

    Before you make any decision, make istikharah and Inshallah Allah will guide you to what is best for you. Good luck!

    • Salam NE. JazakAllah for the quick response.

      I am flexible with regards to women going to school and working in a mixed environment. However, what I observed is that the sisters I approached used to have casual conversations with brothers for no reason. It wasn't work or school related and the relationships often bordered on becoming a bg/gf type. That's what I meant to say about them hanging out with guys.


  2. It is shocking that these girls wear hijab and also have boy friends other thread i see similat concerns about not finding real muslimah ..I think you should not marry these kind of girls .I suggest you to keep searching for a girl till you don't find the right match ..

  3. In my area when brothers want to get married they inform their local mosque, and then the imam or someone else informs the sisters that attend the mosque to be on the lookout if they know anyone who is also looking for marriage.

  4. Assalaamu Alaykum,

    I agree that you should not marry expecting or hoping to change someone. When marriages start off with that type of expectation, it usually goes downhill. Expectations within the marriage are created rather quickly, and end up causing enough problems on their own. Going into a marriage with unrealistic expectations will only make things worse.

    While it's true that you won't find a flawless person, or someone without faults, it doesn't mean you have to compromise on things that are clearly important for you to be compatible with someone. I can assure you that for as many girls as you see who don't wear hijab, or who wear tight clothing, or who mix freely with boys unnecessarily, or who entertain themselves with secular entertainment---there are many other girls who don't do any of that. There are so many muslimahs in the world- even at very young adult ages- who take their practice of islam seriously and are looking for a husband who will complement that, just like you.

    What you see around you is not all there is. Sometimes we have to be open to broadening our horizons and checking out other areas. Have you considered taking some time to travel somewhere else, and see what you notice there? Or have you been open to online matchmaking sites? They aren't altogether unsuccessful, you know.

    Your best bet is to continue to seek Allah. He alone knows who in the world is a good match for you, where she is, and how to bring you two together. He can and He does pair people in amazing ways every day. Believe that He is listening to your cries and cares about what you need, and He wants to give you what is best for you in this life and hereafter...nothing less. It may take some patience, frustration, and even sad or lonely times, but in the end your jihad will be eased with a loving, deeni marriage to a sister you feel is your true soul mate in shaa Allah. May Allah bring hope to your heart and a wife to your hand soon, amin.

    -Amy Editor

  5. Assalamwalekum brother iqbal
    I am replying to you because i am a sister who has been at the place of all the flawed muslum girls you have been coming across. i did pray regurlarly but I did not wear a hijaab and i came from a very secular environment and interacted very freely with men. It was bordering on flirting even if i was not in a relationship with them and because it was so much lesser than what all my non muslim and some even muslim friends were doing i never saw the sin in what i considered was harmless flirting. And all my life i was in a boarding school and hostel so had no one to correct my ways.
    However i didnt and still dont consider myself someone who cant change if taught the right way. I feel i am very willing to become a better muslimah if i am given the right environment. I was married once and on our wedding night i told my husband the same that i wanted to become a better muslim and wanted his help in it. I had chosen him because i had beleived him to be a good muslim. However the marriage just went downhill after that. We were so diffirent and his expectations were so high and he was already so judgemental about me that no amount of changes i bought in myself wete enough and he didnt help me at all... he was always condescending and patronizing and i lost all confidence in me. What could have been a learning platform for me took away anyrhing that was good in me.... anyway my point is that if the man and woman are not on an equal footing as far as deen is concerned it can become very difficult to cope. For both. However its also true that most of us who are flawed but are still beleiving are just waiting for that gentle hand to make us better. If it hasnt come from our parents we are waiting for our spouses to be that. So if you want to marry anyone you hope to change then discuss with her before hand if she wants to change and have exuberant patience towards her and teach her with love. And why not InshaAllah you two may grow together in religion... thats the most beautiful gift one spouse can give another but it requires a lot of patience to marry someone like that... and not all of us are capable of that. And agsin as everyone said your wife should be willing to change first and foremost and even then she will make mistakes initially. You have to have the patience. It will be your test too.
    Choose wisely. Search yourself

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