How Do You Know If a Potential Spouse Is Religious?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I have heard of the Hadith about the four reasons of why individuals getting married with the deen being the most important. However, because you aren’t allowed to talk extensively etc, how are you meant to determine whether the person is religious?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Please forgive me for the delay.


Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I was sent to perfect good character.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

Please know that it is extremely important for you to do your due diligence before you get married. This involves speaking to your prospective husband as much as you need to, before you are sure. This is a useful resource for you – Before the Wedding: Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Married.

For starters, you can ask basic questions such as whether or not your prospective husband does his obligatory prayers, fasts, and so on. And then you can ask what other acts of worship he does. Remember that part of someone’s religiosity is character.

Investigate what he is like with those close to him – does he treat his parents with kindness? Does is get along with his siblings? Watch how he interacts with strangers. Is he kind to waiters? To small children? What is he like with animals? These may seem like strange questions, but if a big warning sign to look out for is any sign of cruelty.


You can do your research by doing courses such as Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages, read books such as Before You Tie The Knot: A Guide For Couples.


Limitations can help you be more creative.

I have heard of interesting stories such as asking one’s young niece or nephew to tip water over a prospective suitor’s lap to see how patient he really is. I may not recommend that, but perhaps you can brainstorm with your family and close friends about what you can all do to further investigate the character and deen of the man you are interested in. What is he like under pressure? How does he cope with different religious opinions?

Often, what someone does is a lot more telling than what someone says. Anyone can lie and claim to be religious. This is why you need to ask around – ask his family, ask his friends etc. It is better for you to be married to a man who fulfils his basic obligations, and who knows how to be kind and loving to you, compared to being married to a man who goes above and beyond his religious obligations but does not know how to treat you with compassion. Balance, as always, is key.


Every marriage involves risk. It is not possible for you to find out what your future husband is truly like until after you get married to him. This is where the Prayer of Guidance is so important. Use this to guide your decision, and watch for what Allah unfolds in your life.


Marriage, like anything else in our lives, is something that can bring us closer to Allah. This sacred contract is an opportunity for us to grow into the best versions of ourselves. Growth is also painful. Know that whoever Allah chooses for you is what you need, even if it may not be exactly what you want.

I pray that Allah sends you the a husband who has both deen and good character. May He bless your marriage with love, tranquility and the gift of pious children.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Humanity Before Religiosity, a series by Habib Ali al-Jifri (English subtitles)

Habib Ali al-Jifri’s Ramadan program Humanity Before Religiosity has been translated into English and Sign Language. SeekersHub will feature each new episode on this page.

Our sincere thanks to Habib Ali’s team, particularly those who manage his YouTube channel and his Facebook page, for making this wonderful resource available to us, Alhamdulillah.

Episode 18: Dealing with Non-Muslims

Episode 17: Citizenship and Rights

Episode 16: When Religion is Violated

Episode 15: Sexual Identity

Episode 14: How to Deal With Wrongdoers

Episode 13: Forgiveness and Pardon

Episode 12: Chanelling youthful passion (part II)

Episode 11: Channeling youthful passion

Episode 10: A Humane Approach to Dealing With Transgressions

Episode 9: “Al-Walaa Wa-l Bara’a” – Is It From Islam?

Episode 8: The Impact of God’s love and the Prophet Muhammad’s love

Episode 7: How Love Affects Humanity

Episode 6: On Human Rights

Episode 5: Ethics and values

Episode 4: Striking the right balance

Episode 3: The Different Types of Desires in Humans

Episode 2: What is Humanity?

Episode 1: The Vessel of Religiosity

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Humanity before Religiosity

”Whoever sees the crimes committed today in the name of religion will realise that the problem is the state of our humanity.”

habib-ali.pngIn this television clip, Habib Ali al-Jifri and Shaykh Usama al-Azhari show that mere outward manifestations of religion are of little benefit if someone’s humanity is deficient.

After all, “the Kharijite who killed our master Ali ibn Abi Talib spent the entire night before the murder standing in worship until his feet were swollen. People like him perform the rituals of religiosity but do not possess the reality or receptacle of religiosity.”

Habib Ali also talks about his latest book, “Humanity before Religiosity,” in which he calls people to look at the state of their humanity and to build their religion on that basis.

English subtitles available – press CC on the above Youtube video.


Resources for Seekers: