By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
I was as asked to write the following article for Muslim Family Services publication and I thought I would print it today because of a special occasion occuring this Saturday in my married life. On April 11, my wife and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage by renewing our vows. Our three children and their spouses are putting the affair on, of which we are grateful.
This article was written a few months ago and came out in the nick of time to be handed out at the affair. I hope you enjoy it and please send out duas for us as I pray you have good wishes for our continued good life.
First of all I am honored to write this article because I realize that by being asked to write this article, I recognize that someone must have thought my wife is such a good lady and Muslim spouse that I must really know how to pick â€˜em. Well, the truth is, praises to ALLAH, I did get just what I was looking for.
You see, my wife was Muslim before I was. I first saw (recognized) her at Cobo hall in Detroit, Michigan in October, 1977. We were both on duty as host and hostess at an affair featuring Imam Wallace D. Muhammad. I saw her standing at the top of the stairs dressed in a white dress and white scarf, the scarf tied in the â€œBilalian lookâ€. She looked just like a pure angel. So I went up to her and introduced myself. After the Cobo affair, the masjid was having a dinner at a hall and I asked her if she would go with me. She said â€œno, I donâ€™t think so. Iâ€™m going homeâ€™. That meeting convinced me that if there is such a thing as love at first sight, that meeting was very close to it.
When I became Muslim, the last part of 1976, I knew the first thing I would need was a good Muslim wife. I was looking for someone who could help me become a better person by helping enhance good Islamic character. If you are a new Muslim man looking for a wife, donâ€™t look at the same kind of woman you knew before Islam. That would take you backwards.
A pious woman is high on the list of favors from ALLAH. My wife (not the sheik or the mufti) is actually the one who influenced me to pray five times a dayâ€”not by badgering me, but by actually doing it herself; (And here I was the one trying to be an imam.)
If you are looking for a good wife, you want a woman who has regard for ALLAH and bows down in prayer. I see many men make the mistake of getting a non-Muslim woman or a woman weak in her deen, and think he can â€œIslamizeâ€ her to his satisfaction. You should never think you can change a person into what you want. As a matter of fact, you canâ€™t even change some things you donâ€™t like about yourself. Try changing yourself first. And always remember, only ALLAH makes Muslims.
Look for piety in a wife. Look for femininity graced in lady-like character. Look for the type of woman that you would like to raise your children. Would you want a street woman raising your children? I donâ€™t think so. You want a woman who makes your home peaceful and puts the Islamic atmosphere in the house.
You want her to be intelligent. And if she is educated and intelligent, so much the better. I say that because I want to make it known that a woman/person can be intelligent without having formal education. And, on the other hand, a woman can be formally educated and not have the intelligence to peacefully run a household. This human, morally-conscious intelligence only comes from a submissive heart that feeds the mind so that good decisions can be made. This submissive heart is not submissive to man; it is submissive to ALLAH alone, which is guaranteed to make the man happy.
So look and choose carefully brothers… (and sisters looking for mates). Look for the characteristics that ALLAH lays out for the human beingâ€”then choose a woman whose character most closely comes to that which ALLAH desires in a human being and you will be happy.