Thursday, 30 June 2011

Islam Question and Answer - I proposed marriage to a religious girl, but she is not beautiful. Should I marry her?

I proposed marriage to a religious girl, but she is not beautiful. Should I marry her?
I proposed marriage to a girl who is very religious but she is not beautiful, and I want a wife who is more beautiful. What is the right thing to do?.


Praise be to Allaah.

One of the
important reasons for which Islam has prescribed marriage is to achieve
chastity and to protect oneself and prevent one from looking at haraam
things. In order to achieve that, Islam encourages looking at the fiancée
before getting married to her, as that will ensure that love and affection
will be generated between them, and will create a happy family, based on
love, affection and respect, and neither spouse will be tempted to do
something other than that which Allaah has permitted. Hence beauty is one of
the attributes which one is encouraged to seek and pay attention to. 

It says in
Sharh Muntaha al-Iraadaat, which is a Hanbali book (2/621): 

It is also
Sunnah to choose a beautiful woman, because it is gives a greater sense of
transquillity and is more likely to help him lower his gaze and love her
more. Hence Islam prescribes looking (at one's fiancée) before marriage. 

It was
narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: It was
said: O Messenger of Allaah, which of women is best? He said: “The one who,
when he looks at her he feels happy, when he tells her to do something she
obeys him, and she does not go against his wishes with regard to herself or
his wealth.” Narrated by Ahmad (2/251); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in
al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (1838). End quote. 

scholars regard it as mustahabb, if a man wants to propose marriage to a
woman, to start by asking about her beauty first, then about her religious
commitment. That is because it is known that people seek beauty first and

al-Bahooti said in Sharh Muntaha al-Iraadaat (2/621): 

He should
not ask about her religious commitment until he has been told good things
about her beauty. Ahmad said: If a man wants to propose marriage to a woman,
he should ask about her beauty first, and if good things are said, he should
ask about her religious commitment, and if good things are said, he should
marry her. If he does not hear good things about her religious commitment,
then he will have rejected her because of her religious commitment.  He
should not ask about her religious commitment first, then if good things are
said, the he asks about her beauty, then if he does not hear anything good,
he rejects her because of beauty and not because of religious commitment.
End quote. 

What is
blameworthy is when a man seeks beauty and forgets about character and
religious commitment – which form the foundation of happiness and
righteousness. As this is how most people are, the hadeeth urges them to
look for one who is religiously committed and of good character, to stop
people focussing on outward appearances and ignoring inward qualities. 

It was
narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Women may be married
for four things: their wealth, their lineage, their beauty and their
religious commitment. Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your
hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” Narrated by al-Bukhaari
(4802) and Muslim (1466). 

said in Sharh Muslim (10/52): 

The correct
view concerning the meaning of this hadeeth is that the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was speaking of what people usually do,
which is that they look for these four characteristics, the last of which in
their view is religious commitment, but you who are rightly guided should
choose the one who is religiously committed. End quote. 

The view
that it is mustahabb to seek beauty in one’s intended wife does not mean
that dazzling beauty is essential, and that a young man should imagine the
image of a girl who is one of the most beautiful women in the world and
spend his whole life pursuing the image that he wants, because in most cases
he will not find her, she may be weak in religious commitment and

Rather what
is meant by beauty is the kind of beauty by means of which a man will keep
himself chaste and avoid haraam things, and he will refrain from looking at
other women. The definition of that beauty will vary from one person to
another, and what matters is the opinion of the one who is proposing

Our advice
to you is not to propose marriage to any girl unless you know that she is of
the level of beauty that you are happy with, so that it will not be a matter
of initial keenness after which you get fed up or start looking for
something new, which will lead to a difficult series of problems in married

Whatever the
case, the matter of religious commitment should take precedence over
everything else. 

With this
balanced approach and balanced way of thinking, you can build a happy family
life, in sha Allaah. I ask Allaah to help you and decree good for you.  

See also the
answer to question no. 8391 and

And Allaah knows

Islam Q&A

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