Marriage is for those who share some common way of life. The partners should fulfill their purpose of creation. So, they should be able to carry their responsibilities. They should share some common goal.
Criteria for Selecting a Marriage Partner
Generally, the criteria for selecting a partner are wealth, beauty, rank, character, religion, etc. The Quran enjoins Muslims to select those partners who are good and pure (Tayyib).
“Women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity.”(Quran 24:26)
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said Muslims to select those partners who are best in religion (Deen) and character.
“A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, for her rank, for her beauty, and for her religion (and character), so marry the one who is best in the religion and character and prosper.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
“Three groups of people Allah obliged Himself to help them: Mujahid in the cause of Allah, a worker to pay his debt, and the one who wants to marry to live a chaste life.” (Tirmidhi)
Freedom to Choose a Marriage Partner
Islam has given freedom of choice to Muslims who wish to get married. Every individual has the right to select the partner according to one’s choice. The mutual choice of both partners is given the highest consideration:
“Do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree between themselves in a lawful manner.” (Quran 2:232)
To fall in love is not a necessary condition for any marriage in Islam. However, for the purpose of selecting an appropriate partner, both individuals are allowed to see and/or talk to each other but under the supervision of their mahram relatives.
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) recommended:
“When one of you seeks a woman in marriage, and then if he is able to have a look at whom he wishes to marry, let him do so.” (Abu Dawood)
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) instructed:
“No man has the right to be in the privacy with a woman who is not lawful for him. Satan is their third party unless there is a mahram.” (Ahmad)