Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher
In the Name of Allah the Absolutely Gracious, the Absolutely Merciful.
Praise be to Allah.
May Allah bless our Beloved Prophet and give him peace.
I apologize for the delay in responding.
I pray you are in good health and iman.
The number one thing to do is to make the Guidance Prayer, or Salat al-Istikhara. The details of this prayer can be found at
Both you and the brother need to make this prayer. Once you have turned to Allah Most High for guidance, then take the next steps.
The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, gave us certain criteria to use when selecting a spouse. The first and foremost is religion. In a rigorously authenticated hadith, the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, "A woman is married for her wealth, her reputation, her beauty or her religion. Choose the religious one or you may be ruined." Scholars explain that this hadith also applies equally to choosing a husband.
Our first choice may be to go with our feelings. However, it is important to note that the fires of passion can be quickly extinguished, particularly when the novelty of the spouse wears off and the realities of married life set in.
After making istikhara, it is important to have some serious conversations with this brother. Obviously, the conversations must be chaperoned, so why not choose someone with experience in marriage counseling? Allah willing, this person can help you identify areas of potential conflict and suggest useful strategies for dealing with these issues.
Make no mistake. Every marriage has some degree of conflict, even when the spouses appear to be completely compatible. What's important is how the spouses react to each other during the conflict.
Are these issues so fundamental in nature that they could drive you apart? That is something you and the brother will have to determine. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find someone who has completely matching views. On the other hand, such differences, if strong enough, can be a source of constant bickering.
My advice is to take these concerns to a reliable scholar. You may also want to consider running the household according to a particular school of thought. If both husband and wife agree to run the household according to a particular school of thought, this may resolve some potential conflict.
Last but not least, please consult Ustadha Hedaya Hartford's excellent guide to Islamic marriage. You can find Initiating and Upholding an Islamic Marriage at almuhajabat.com. This book addresses some of the key issues you've raised: romantic love, selecting a spouse, and conflict resolution.
Additionally, here are some links to relevant articles on SunniPath:
"Choosing a Spouse: Deen, any other criteria?"
"RE: confusion about marriage partner and the question of loving someone before marrying them"
May Allah Most High give you and the brother taufeeq.
And Allah knows best.
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