Criteria of Spouse Selection (5)

Criteria of Spouse Selection (5)


Knowledge and education have a great effect on the prosperity and felicity of man. Being educated and gaining knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim man and woman. (1) This specification is the focus of attention in spouse selection and a joint life and is considered to be a distinction for a decent and suitable spouse. It also has a deep effect on attaining perfection and the progress of life, performing marital duties and the bringing up and training of children. But this peculiarity (like beauty) is the condition of perfection, not its foundation and should be considered beside real and basic qualities and standards, not independently. All that has been discussed about 'beauty' stands valid and is true this discussion as well. Knowledge, short of commitment and faith is always harmful, as is beauty without faith and modesty. That which is important in this topic is the proportions and equality of learning between two spouses, which will inshallah, be described in the next discussion, i.e.'equity.'



It has been said in the beginning of this chapter that this part, (standards of spouse selection), is the most important chapter out of all the discussion. And now we say that the vitally important part of the discussion is 'equity and balance between the two spouses.' This is the most sensitive matter to concentrate on while selection a spouse. Equity between the couple means: a proportion, balance, co-ordination, concurrence and congeniality between the boy and the girl, and conventionally, the harmony of a man and woman to get along together.

Marriage is a form of combination between two human being and two families. Joint and common life is 'a compound' thing, the actual and basic elements of which are the man and the woman. The more the harmony, co-ordination and congeniality of thought, spirit, morality and physique in this compound, the more its strength, enjoyment, fruits, positive consequences, stability and continuance. The less the ration of its consistence, the more life would be unstable, bitter and fruitless.

The main cause of the miseries, turbulence and turmoil of family life is due to the lack of co-ordination and proportion between men and women. Two people who join each other's company and wish to prolong this company for the whole of their lives and share all matters, taking joint decisions, bringing children into existence, training them and making them reach prosperity must definitely be harmonious, concurrent, and contentious and have reciprocal equity. Regrettably, in the wake of the spouse selection problem, conventional goodness is usually taken as sufficient , and less attention is paid to the equity and balance between the boy and the girl; whereas this is the axis and pivot of the standard of spouse selection.

There are only a few people on our society who are completely incapable of marrying and having a spouse. All boys and girls have the capability and capacity for marriage, but all that needs to be taken into consideration is which girl suits which boy. These problems that we see all around us for e.g., that such and such a woman has difficulty with her husband and their life is disturbed and in a bad shape, or that such and such a man has conflict with his wife and is offended and annoyed with her and they pass an 'unwanted' and 'undesirable' life, are due to the fact that mutually proper and suitable spouses were not chosen. If this had been done, these difficulties, odds, conflicts and family disturbances would not have existed of at least, been minimized.

"The persons who, before their marriage, Endeavour to study their spouses and find spouses who are suitable and proportional for them and are conventionally their counterparts, have solved a part of their post marriage difficulties and problems regarding children training. Otherwise, they save and secure the difficulties which could be solved before the post marriage period." (2)


A hundred percent co-ordination and congeniality is not possible, since every individual has his own mind, spirit, morality and character, specific environment and family and has a certain distance and difference from the other one. But an attempt should be made to lessen and reduce this distance to a minimum, so that the two spouses are as close to each other as possible.


Before arriving at the instances and cases of 'equity' and 'compatibility', I wish to describe a self-witnessed example, closely touched by me. I was present at all its stages, so that the topic will become clear and conspicuous, and the ground for the later subjects is leveled. Ismail and Safoora were both religious, good-natured and committed to Islamic values and the Islamic revolution, but their views about these issues were different.

Ismail had been brought up in a village environment along with its rural culture, rites,and ceremonial specifications and was committed to the peculiarities of his social cradle. Safoora had been bred and brought up in a large city along with its peculiar, typical atmosphere of rites and rituals. Each of them looked at the world from the window of his and her personal perception and ideas. No spiritual,moral, educational, physical, familial or cultural harmony existed between the two. So much so that their points of view about Islam and the Revolution, to which both were committed were different and a vast (ideological) gap existed between them.

A mediator had introduced them for marriage. He did not have any negative intention and did it as a religious duty and for the pleasure of Allah. But regrettably, he did not have any information about their spiritual, physical and social harmony and congeniality. And so he was unsuccessful in his introduction and mediation and this did not result in a good life for those two. Ismail and Safoora married. And right from the beginning of their joint life difference and conflicts and tussles started taking shape. Ismail said there were things important to her (Safoora) that did not have any importance for him, and there were things important to him. which did not mean anything to her. Safoora too held the same opinion.

Both of them were highly educated with good academic career, but they had a vast difference of opinion on various topics and version of knowledge. Each one of them had their own particular ideas and styles regarding family linkages, bonds, relations and the visits of guests, which were quite distant from each other. Their views and conduct about the problems pertaining to children's education and training, too, were completely diverse and dissimilar and they could never practice in a common, uniform and co-ordinated style. Neither of them would step down from the height of his opinion and approach, and conventionally, neither of the two gave in to the other's yoke.

Many times their case was presented for the judgement of others, where they put forward their problems before family consultants, and yet they never reached any understanding and agreement. Finally, one of their consultants and advisors who was very cautious and rarely advised the separation of a wife and a husband expressed that they should separate, saying, "His life is not sustainable, and there is no alternative except separation." Finally, Islmail and Safoora separated through divorce! And this event took shape at the expense of a victim and that was their child.

Continue in the next article: ( Criteria of Spouse Selection (6) )



1. Prophet (a.s), Usool-e Kafi, vol. 1, the chapter on Excellence of knowledge, Hadith 1

2. How to conduct the children, by Dr. Mohammad Reza Sharafi, p 50.