Actually, Allah has prescribed marriage for people for many sublime purposes. He (glory be to him) wishes them happy and enjoyable life, decency and keeping away from heinous acts. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated in the Hadith that Allah supports those who plan to marry to attain decency. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘There are three who are all entitled to receive Allah’s help: the one who gets married seeking chastity, …” (Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasaa’i and Ibn Majaah)
The Prophet taught us in many Hadiths about the various characteristics which one looks for in a spouse, their relative importance, and which ones determine success, and bring Allah’s blessing on a marriage, in sha Allah. On top of these characteristics is religion. We must be careful in this issue and it should be the main focus of a man. This is because the woman who observes Allah and fulfills His rights will likewise observe her husband and fulfill his rights.
Consideration may also be given to the difference of culture as it can incur some problems that may threaten marital life. The late Sheikh Sayyed Ad-Darsh, former Chairman of the UK Sharia Council, says:
“Cultural and family background is very important. Common language is an essential way of communicating. Such things help the two partners to understand, communicate and relate to one another and are factors of stability, success, financial independence and the ability to provide a decent acceptable level of maintenance. Again, this is a way of ensuring that outside influences do not spoil an otherwise happy life. All ways and means should be considered, giving a solid basis for a new human experience which is expected to provide a framework for a happy, successful and amicable life.
The questions of common language, background, education and age, etc., are meant, in an ordinary stable context, to maximize the chances of success and stability in a very important Islamic institution like that of marriage. However, considering the particular position of Muslim communities living in minority situations, young Muslims, male and female, are exposed to all sorts of challenges – be they cultural, linguistic, racial or social.
The most fundamental question when choosing a partner is a religious one- As far as language, background, or social position are concerned, these are not significant factors that absolutely must be fulfilled before a marriage can take place. If the prospective partner is of good character, with a strong religious inclination, and the two young people are happy and feel compatible with one another, other considerations are not of such importance.”
Finally, below are a few points that a man who is planning to get married may consider:
1. Following the teachings of Islam and applying them to his life.
2. Making constant du`a’ to Allah, the Almighty, with sincerity that Allah gives him the wife that will draw him closer to Him and help him practice Islam better.
3. Keeping in mind the importance of choosing a wife who cares about the practice of Islam and focuses on moral obligations more than she focuses on material achievement.
4. Constant seeking council of good people, sincere friends, family members and the local Imams in his area as their advice will be definitely useful to him.
5- Offering Salat-ul-Istikharah for it is very beneficial in this concern.