Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: Assalamu alaykum
What should I look for when marrying someone for his “deen” (religion)?
Answer: Wa’leykum Salam,
The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) himself explained that the primary consideration in choosing a spouse should be their deen.
“Deen” is a very comprehensive word. It does not only mean praying and fasting. The deen relates to one’s entire life-transaction:
(1) One’s relationship to Allah, through belief, worship, and following His Commands;
(2) One’s relationship to others, through being good in one’s dealings, good character, honesty, uprightness, and so on;
Therefore, it covers:
(2) Outward worship;
(3) Good character and manners (akhlaq);
(4) Good, upright dealings with others (mu`amalat), in accordance to the Sacred Law and guidance of the Beloved of Allah (peace and blessings unlimited be upon him, his family, companions, and followers);
(5) One’s turning to Allah in all one’s affairs (suluk).
Therefore, these are things one needs to consider when marrying someone. Someone with the above is better than someone of noble lineage or social standing with shortcomings in the above, and the former would be a more suitable choice in marriage. This is why another condition for a legal match is that their “deen” be comparable to the deen of the girl and her father. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said,
“Whoever’s actions slow him down will not be speeded up by his lineage.” [Muslim 4867, Tirmidhi 1853, Abu Dawud 1243]
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).