Marriage without Islam is just a worldly action but with Islam it is an act of worship~ it gives this matrimony a purpose, a stronger foundation, a beautiful reason.
Today this marital bond is based on the most expensive dowry, solely on the beauty of a woman, religious attraction of a man’s attire or the wealth he has or the car he drives.
It has been stripped of it’s purity and we are reckless of our understanding of this blessed reunion.
It is Allah who instilled in His servants this desire to seek love and tranquility with another; we must ponder over the lives of our pious predecessors and how they lived their lives in blessed marital peace, – you see it was all for His sake and in the end their love for each other did not equate their love for Allah.
You may have come across the story of the boy and the apple (there are a couple of narrations regarding the exactly who the man was but I just want to share the moral of the story). So this poor man ate an apple which fell from a tree which did not belong to him- burdened with guilt he requested for the owner to forgive him~ the owner proposed the condition that he had to marry his daughter in order to pay off this debt. He said his daughter was disabled in many places, her senses not functioning, limbs not working. The poor man sighed and thought that this was just a worldly debt, it is better to marry this woman than face a disgraceful punishment on the day of judgement where justice will be given to whom they were taken from. He agreed to the marriage ~but the most beautiful part? He went to see his new bride and she was the most beautiful of women he laid his eyes upon. For when her father described her incapabilities it was metaphorical i.e she was blind as in she never looked upon haraam, her legs crippled because she never walked towards haraam. You see how this young man had such faith in Allāh? His decision to marry was purely for the sake of Allāh سبحانه وتعالى
They lived these precious lives but they never allowed life to overtake them, they remembered it was all from Allah, everything, their marriage, their property, their kids, their intentions as pure as ever.
We are told many a times, ‘looks do not matter.’ However much we want to believe this statement we know that to a certain degree~ attraction does matter. However do not let this be the overriding judgment – when you read about our pious predecessors- Umar wa Ali رضي الله عنهما do you not think they are so beautiful despite never seeing them? We have never seen images of the mothers of the believers but mention one thing about them our hearts begin to melt and we are captivated by their beauty.
Beauty is important but you have come up with your own definition if you think it lies entirely in one’s face for when a person has faith then he is beautiful and there is no doubt.
Simply just ponder over this particular ayah,
‘و خلقنكم أزوجا’
[And we created you in pairs]
Initially whenever my friend would recite this surah in class I’d give her a gigantic smile, teasing her that this is her most favourite ayah in the whole of the Qur’an. Looking over it now it amazes me, surely marriage is something which is not to be entered into lightly, Allāh has ordained your other half before you were born- before your soul was breathed into your body and Allāh knows best regarding his servants.
Let not petty desires become a obstacle, enter this religious reunion with the intention of only pleasing Allah and then following the sunnah of Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم – do not let your needs and rights become first priority, it is indeed half of religion but the one you marry does not necessarily become your other half.
Some will aid each other into the hellfire but it is only the righteous couples who will be a source of benefit to the ummah and raise pious offsprings- question the state of your heart when you desire marriage to someone who is not abiding to the laws of Allah.
Marriage is an act of worship and like every other act it must be sincere to be accepted but rather it has become an act distorted and mutated through cultures, desires and whims.
Make it about gaining the love of Allah first, realise this is one of the longest acts of ibaadah one can act upon.
So become righteous because Allah is not un-just; he is Al-Adl.
He gives you what you deserve- be the standard you seek and if they love Allah more than you then praise Him immensely, you have indeed found a worthy companion.