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How do we say "his deen is good"?

Last updated: 15th November 2005
Question ID: #1082
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Asalamualaykum warahmatullah

when it comes to marriage and finding a spouse for sisters, things aren't always fair, halal, or easy, but alhumdulillah many times they are. The question is below given in situational form, insha'Allah this way it will make more sense.

a family recieves a proposal from a brothers family, the sisters parents know the family for quite a long time and both families have always had great relations. The problem is the sister is on one [western]country with her family, while the brother is in another 'western' country studying, both of them are on different continents. The sister or the brother in question have NEVER met one another, unless he remembers her from his childhood as the girl was very very young then while he must have been between the ages of 5-7, and she was probably a toddler or infant.

All of this aside, even now the brother and sister have no contact and pretty much the proposal has been lingering as she is still young and he is still studying, but its something both parental sides would love for their children to consider and analyze, and insha'Allah accept. The sister doesnt know how the brother feels about any of this, and the sister in question isnt really too keen on looking into this proposal as she has no idea about his deen.

From what she knows of the family-mostly the dad- as she's seen him before and heard form him more[both fathers are good frineds and keep in contact everyso often] since he travels alot.they are a reall good family, but when it comes to deen she isn't sure, moreover she is hesitant to even bother looking into this because hes been living away from home [abroad] studying etc. She isnt TOO concernrd if the family members arent strict strict but she does care. She herself does hijaab, jilbaab and insha'Allah has plans to start niqaab[right now the issue is her parents, who arent too fond of niqaab.] the issues are many, one for instance would be what if this brother isnt too strict about gender interaction or fond of niqaab? What if he doesnt agree w/ her having already given bayah, what if he doesnt even understand it?

Aside from that what if he isn't one to pray 5 times a day, reading quran, making astaghfar and salwat regularly etc? Now if she asks her older sister-who knows teh fmaily from when they were young- and the answer she recieves is: "yea he prays"... wat if shes not content with that?

The sister isnt looking to marry a saint but she would prefer her future husband to be one who follows not only the shari'ah but ALSO the sunnah [i.e sunnah beard etc] she wants to marry someone who doesnt practice Islam only b/c he was raised to do so..but someone who does it becuase he LOVES to do so and also other obvious reasons.... again she isnt looking nor expecting to marry a saint..but someone who Loves Allah, Habibullah Sal'Allahualaihiwasalam, the sahaba Akram RadhiAllahuanhu, Islam, Shariah, Sunnah.. the whole package... Respected Shaykh im sure you understand what she is meaning by this.

If the answers she recieves are things such as "yea he prays..." etc.. how does she go about deciding if she should even look more into the proposal? From what i understand, if a proposal comes for any sister, and the brother in question is one who's "deen is good," who can support her, etc, she does not have valid reason to decline his proposal or to not even look into it.

Is this true? Afterall how would she go about deciding if "his deen in good" with simple answers like "yes he prays" "yes he belives in Allah"... what is a sister to do? We can't judge anyones character, which is why she is hesitant on making judgments but how does she decide. how do we figure out where to draw the line of finding out abt a prospective spouse? as sisters how can we judge someones' deen..as we generally as humans arent supposed to judge anyone at all?

if we can tell who is well off masha'Allah, who can support a spouse, who will repsect their in-laws, etc..How are we supposed to know if "someones deen is good?"

Your replies are greatly appreciated, may Allah reward you and your family abundantly insha'Allah.

Walaykumasalam warahmatullah.

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Al Jawaab Billahit-Tawfeeq

Respected Sister,

What you have stated is indeed true when it comes to judging a person's deen. We can only judge a person from what he/she makes apparent in front of people and not what is in the heart as that is solely between him/her and Allah SWT. By just a mere 'Yeah, he prays.' is not good of a justification that the brother's deen is good as a person's deen is not focused only on solat but other things too.

A person might seem to be a practicing Muslim as far as the eye can see but who knows, he can be a munaafiq (hypocrite) at the same time. In another case, a person may seem to be indulging with sins but from the bottom of the heart, he has been trying and striving to become a true mu'min (believer) but, unfortunately, falters every now and then.

Similarly, when it comes to choosing the right candidate. Rasulullah SAW has advised us to look at a person's deen as compared to wealth, beauty and lineage. When a person's deen is good, insya Allah his dealings with others, characteristics, composure will be in accordance to Islam and Syari'ah as the other things mentioned (wealth, beauty and lineage) are temporary things.

One way on determining whether a person's deen is considered to be good or not is by looking at the person's family. How are the person's family members when it comes to matters of deen? Do they give preference to what Allah SWT and His Prophet SAW say? Do they establish their daily prayers punctually? What about their fasts in Ramadhaan? Are their zakaah paid on time? Are they observing the proper hijab and niqab?

When we are aware that the entire family practices in accordance to Syari'ah and Sunnah of Rasulullah SAW, then automatically and naturally our mind and impression towards each and every member of the family would be, "They are practicing Muslims and their deen is good." Although, not forgetting, there can be cases that the entire family is not practicing but only one or two are and vice versa. However, to see whether a particular individual's deen is good or not, will have to be decided separately.

Another way to establish whether a person's deen is good or not is by observing one's company. We can usually get an impression on one's behavior and characteristics by looking at one's company as the saying goes, "Birds of a feather flock together." which means that people with the same interest will group together. So, if a person's group of friend is punctual on solat, obedient to the parents, avoids haram communication with na mahram, likes to engage in dhikr, recites the Quraan frequently etc. then we can safely conclude that insya Allah, that individual's deen is good.

On the other hand, if a person's company is of those people who are very negligent in solat, vulgar in speech, disrespectful to elders and parents, enjoys going out to haram places, likes to waste time etc. then immediately we would say that that individual is not a good person and his deen is not good either.

When a person receives a proposal, matters that are doubtful or unconvincing, should be investigated either during the time the male and female speak to each other (with a mahram present) or even by inquiring from the mahram of the candidate - the sister can ask the brother's mother or female relatives regarding the brother while the brother can also do the same when asking about the sister via her father or male relatives.

Then, after the meeting, the sister and brother can then sit and discuss with their family for opinions and suggestions. Istikharah would be the subsequent step as to seek guidance from Allah whether to proceed or not with marriage. If for some divine wisdom of Allah SWT, both of them were not meant to be, then so be it. Allah SWT at the end of the day, has something better in stored for the both of them and they should have full yaqeen (conviction) in Allah's decision.

It should be noted that there is nothing wrong in desiring and wanting a husband/wife with certain qualities which sometimes may seem far fetched. We should always remember that Allah SWT's treasure is vast, therefore, ask from Allah and nothing from Allah's treasure will decrease in the least. Insya Allah, Allah will grant us the candidate that fits our criteria and at the same time suitable and compatible with us.

One thing to be reminded is that, it is good to have certain expectations of things and people but everything besides Allah SWT has a flaw and only Allah SWT is free from flaw. Thus, it would not be wise to be too picky and choosy. When a good proposal comes knocking at our door, don't let it go just because 10% of the criteria could not be met as we may never know when someone with a 90% criteria will come again.

And Allah knows best.


Answer last updated on:
21st January 2008
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 10
Location: Malaysia