Muslim Matrimonials and More's Ask Bilqis


Monday, April 19, 1999


Salaam Sister Bilqis,

I would like to ask for your opinion/advice regarding choosing a husband. I have heard that a woman should marry a man that is at or above the same status as she is. Do you think that education and occupation should be considered a big factor in choosing a partner? I realize that some people are quite picky by only considering doctor/engineer etc. The reason I am asking this is because I have received a proposal from a man who has not completed college, but I will be receiving my degree very soon. The fact that I have more education than him is bothering me. However I feel terribly guilty in declining just for this reason. Do you feel that marrying someone with lesser education/status than oneself (especially for woman) could cause problems later on in the marriage? Also, is it wrong to decline a proposal for this reason? I would really apprectiate your advice on
this subject.

Wa salaam,
-your sister in Islam



Dear Sister,

As you know, marriage is truly one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. There are many factors to be considered for both the man and the woman:

  • Marriage is the union of two souls for love and for procreation and legalising of children.
  • Marriage contributes to the many-sided progress of a man (and woman): physical, mental, social, moral and spiritual.

The Holy Qur'an says: "And out of His signs there is that He creates mates for you from yourselves, that you may find peace of mind in them; and He put between you love and compassion. Surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect." (33:21)

Marriage requires committment. The husband and the wife in their complementary roles should function as a unit with Faith (Iman), sensitivity, compassion, maturity and responsibility toward one another. Islam, being a complete way of life, does address the question of STATUS in choosing a spouse and even suggests similarity in backgrounds for a happy union. However, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was 15 years younger than his first wife, Khadijah. She was a wealthy woman and turned over her business to his management because of his reputation for "trustworthiness". Education may or may not influence the question of status. If a man is KIND, INTELLIGENT and INDUSTRIOUS, whether he has a college education or not, he will probably provide well for his family and be a good husband and father.

Your concerns are valid for YOU, and you need not feel guilty. Honesty being the best policy, you could express this concern regarding "education" to the brother and see what he has to say about it. An open
and honest discussion of the subject should clear up any questions or reservations you might have.

Also, whenever making an important decision a Muslim should perform salatul-istikhaara which consist of 2 nafl rakats (see the books, "Prayers of the Prophet" or "Prayers of Muhammad" for further details). May Allah guide you and grant you a happy marriage.

-Bilqis Muslim Matrimonials