TRUST IN ALLAH
We are choosing our wife for her permanent values; namely her religious devotions, moral integrity, character etc. But believe me, if we try ourselves to combine a marriage, we are almost sure to fail, because we have no knowledge.Allah loves a servant when he puts his trust in Him. When we do so, it is illustrating how we rely upon Him for help, and proving our sincerity to Him, establishing that we recognise His infinite knowledge and wisdom.Islam is likened to being as a house, and in my estimation nothing cements that house together as well as putting our trust in Allah.It is related on the authority of Jabir ibn 'Abdullah that the Prophet (s.a.w) used to teach his companions to seek, through a special du'a (known as an istikharah), the guidance of Allah in all matters which affected them. Rasulallah (s.a.w) said: "When you are confused about what you should do in a certain situation, then pray two rak'at of nafl salaat and read the following du'a (du'a of istikharah)."
I am surprised at the criticisms thrown at this du'a, and of its negligence. We are humans, powerless in this sphere of life, knowledgeable only enough to survive. So why shouldn't we turn to Allah and seek His perfect help whenever we require it? Allah responds to the call of His servant when he asks for guidance, and we are after all seeking to do something in order to please Him.Many wrong notions exist concerning istikharah. Many Muslims will pray, read the du'a, and run to bed expecting to see a dream showing them their future wife, what her favourite colour is, and some other weird fantasy. That is not the purpose of this salaat.The results of an istikharah can take many forms. Basically, you go by your feelings, whether you now feel more favourable or not. Also, you may notice events have changed, either for or against you. Finally, as a wonderful gift from Allah, you may be blessed with a dream. Note that you must follow the results of an istikharah, because not doing so is tantamount to rejecting Allah's guidance once you've asked for it. Also, you should firstly clear your mind, not have your mind already decided, and then afterwards follow the results willingly.The Prophet (s.a.w) once sent Zainab a proposal of marriage. She refused to accept the proposal straight away, expressing her intention to refer the matter to Allah: "I do not do anything until I solicit the will of my Lord." Allah, the Responsive, answered her plea for help and revealed an ayah approving of the marriage. We may seem shocked at her refusal to accept a proposal from what is the best husband any woman can have, yet she was just recognising that it is Allah who knows how successful such a marriage will be, and as a sign of appreciation, that reply is now preserved in our Holy Book: al Qur'an.The Prophet (s.a.w) once said to Aisha: "I saw you in a dream for three nights when an angel brought you to me in a silk cloth and he said: 'Here is your wife', and when I removed (the cloth) from your face, lo, it was yourself, so I said: 'if this is from Allah, let Him carry it out' ". Marriage is a serious step, and requires the right attitude. If marriage completes half our faith, shouldn't that half be the best half? A woman married for the wrong reasons can only weaken the Muslim household. Consider that she will be your life-long companion, the rearer of your children. Don't marry her for her worldly wealth, but for her wealth in Islamic wisdom and knowledge. Her status in this life is but illusionary, so choose her for her status in the sight of Allah. Beauty is but superficial, but the beauty of Iman is transcendent. When asking Allah for a wife, call upon Him by His beautiful names, as He has commanded us: "For Allah are certain and dignified names: therefore call upon Him by them"[s.7;v.189]. Ask for a companion who is devout, pious, patient and so on. Be among those who say: "Our Lord, may our spouses and our offspring be a joy to our eyes and make us leaders of the righteous"[al-Furqan,74].I cannot provide a better conclusion than saying that you must put your trust in Allah. You must have trust in His concern for us, and His ability to help us. Allah says: "Put your trust in Allah, for Allah loves those who put their trust in Him"[s.3;v.159]. May Allah help us in our sincere efforts in following His commandments and the way of His beloved servant, and provide us with wives whom He loves. "When my servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I respond to the prayer of every supplicant when he calls on Me: let them also, with a will, listen to my call, and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way"[al-Baqarah,v.186].