Look Beyond the Packaging: How to Choose a Husband, Wife or Friend

Majestic tree

The most beautiful things in the world don't come in packages

By Wael Abdelgawad | Zawaj.com

Is his hair nicely styled? Is he the perfect height?

Is her makeup just right? Does her body have the perfect curves?

This is packaging, it’s irrelevant.

American, Pakistani, Mexican, Egyptian, Bengali, Indonesian, black, white, brown, this is a veneer. It’s unimportant in the long run. When you’re sick and battling to recover, it’s not an American who holds you and tells you that it will be okay, who makes you chicken soup with lemon and ginger… It’s a human being, a husband or wife who loves you.

We must get beyond superficial and meaningless classifications like race and nationality.

Does he wear Armani suits cut just right? Are his shoes sleek and shiny? Does her clothing drape elegantly on her figure?

You know what? That Armani suit can’t stand on its own. It needs a hangar just to stay upright. That elegant clothing can’t raise your children right.

We must learn to look beyond appearances. I’m not saying that appearance is irrelevant, but how much of our attraction is based on true human beauty, and how much is based on distorted standards and poisonous imagery pumped into our brains by TV, movies, advertising, magazines and billboards? In other words, to what degree have we been brainwashed?

The world of advertising teaches us to focus on the wrong things. Consultants are paid millions of dollars to design the perfect package for a box of cereal or an energy drink, just the right shape and bright color to catch your eye and entice you to buy. Meanwhile, the product – as often as not – is actually bad for you, consisting of empty calories, sugar, chemicals and dyes. They are teaching us to make choices based on packaging and image, and what they are teaching us is entirely ruinous and wrong.

Human beings, however, are not consumer products. We’re not disposable. When you marry someone you’re in it for the long haul. You’re with them when they wake up in the morning with crust in their eyes and hair stuck to one side of the their head; when they get laid off from their job and you don’t know how the bills will get paid next month; when they’re depressed, tired, sick; when they make mistakes, when they say and do the wrong things, when they lose their temper, when they’re afraid or insecure…

This is as serious as it gets. This is life, and the right package won’t get you through it, won’t help on you the path, won’t hold you up when you’re weak, or put a smile in your heart when you’re down. The package can’t do that. Remember that when you buy something, the package ends up in the trash. If you choose someone for the package only, you may be bitterly disappointed when the storm comes and no one is there to keep you safe.

These are lessons learned through heartache and disappointment. These are lessons I have learned.

Look deeper. Find a gentle heart, a strong backbone, a striving spirit. Look to what the person does, how they live, how they treat people, how they relate to the Almighty. Look to that shimmering soul inside, and discern whether it’s a selfish and bitter soul, or loving and true. Look beyond the packaging to the person inside, and trust your fitrah-based instincts, and you’ll find yourself a rare happiness, and a precious partnership.

The most beautiful, powerful things in the world don’t come in packages. Mountains, trees, ocean, sky, stars… their true attributes are bared to the world. They don’t need packages because they are beautiful and profound in their essence.

By basing your life choices on matters of substance, you’ll avoid social and financial traps that ruin so many. You’ll build friendships as real and solid as mountains, with people you can trust with your honor, your heart and your life. You’ll do work that matters, and leave a legacy that improves people’s lives in unforgettable ways.

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Choosing a Spouse


  1. i love you the sake of Allah

  2. nice article brother wael.the issues you mentioned in this article have key importance in any relationships.peoples who respect and love others without appearence always enjoy a peaceful life but those who only follow apparent things remain in tension.
    May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala bless u .

  3. Thank you my brothers for joining is web, this wab is very important to the muslim especial arab countries wishing you all the best

  4. MashaAllah…

  5. may Almighty Allah increase your knowlege. Amen.

  6. friendship in islam is highly accepted, because prpht Moh’d (SAW) said in hs hadith ‘seven pple tht wll entr de shdw of Allah de day dat thre no any shdw ecpt his’ nd no. 3 of thm is ‘two pple lov one anthr 4 de ske of Allah, they met bcos of Him nd seperated bcos of Him’
    Lov one another!!

  7. i agree that colour or nationality doesnt really matter, but the shape/look of the woman who a man is going to marry MUST be pleasing to him.

    if he wants a woman with wide hips/large breasts, pretty face or whatever, then he should look for that in a woman also, without committing haraam.

    because lets face it, if you have a nice submissive pious wife, but she doesnt have much to please you with looks-wise, you are going to be very bored at home are’nt you?

    the prophet[saww] EMPHASISED on looking at the person you are going to marry, whether or not they are your “type”
    he ordered a number of companions to go back and look at the woman.

    looking for faith and manners are first and foremost without a doubt, but physical attraction is also very very very very important to keep the marraige “spicy” as they say.

    and i dont think any man should settle for a woman who doesnt arouse him whenever he looks at her.

    Allaah ma’akum ayna maakunt

  8. Alhamdulillah 4 finding dis web. May Almighty bless us all.

  9. tnx and blss ur fmlys 4 mention dis aticles; jazaqalla khair

  10. I’m really happy to be here.

  11. you made me smile ……..

  12. Thats really nice.

    plz will b very gratefull if anyone makes my confusin clear aur guide me acc to islamic way…m fighting with my own dont wana hurt anyone love my parents..all i want to now how to b pleased truly on dis descison…plzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  13. Alhamdulillah. God bless u all

  14. Thank u my muslim brothers I a m a young boy, I need a wife!!

  15. Jaza kum llahu khaeran. May Allah continue 2 blez u & be wit u.

  16. Allamdulillahi wahda,jazakumullahu bi kairah

  17. I am very grateful for seeing this type of information.

  18. our thinking mental atate cnt change mind the thoughts of our parents

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