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Finding your soul mate

Date: 2007-01-12

WHY is it difficult for some of us to find our soul mate? One answer would be that Allah is testing us in at least two aspects: whether we seek our spouses in the way that Allah and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have guided us, and whether we apply those guidelines in humility and submission towards Allah who has the final say.

Prophet Muhammad informed us that when Allah created mankind, spouses were among the things that had been decreed for them. Some people interpret this to mean that Allah has named specific individuals for us whereas others think that Allah instead has decided only on the qualities of our potential spouses.

The better we develop ourselves, the better will our spouses be, because Allah says in the Quran that good women are intended for good men, and good men are intended for good women.

This article explores steps in our search for our soul mates and nikah (marriage) partners.

Self development

If one wants to have a good wife/husband, one needs to first work at being a good husband/wife material.

Prophet Muhammad taught us to continuously develop five dimensions of ourselves. The first dimension is our spirituality and we improve and enrich it by improving the way we worship Allah.

Next, we need to keep on building our intellectual dimension by constant learning and reading.

Third, we develop our emotional dimension by helping others in need and difficulties.

Fourth, we develop our physical side through exercise and consumption of halal and quality diet.

Finally, we develop our life skills by learning new things.

Design a strategy

Treat the subject of your future family as you would a project from the office professionally and in earnest. Focus on your short-term, medium-term, long-term goals not only during your lifetime but also for the afterlife world.

Establish a set of criteria of a potential spouse. Your spouse would be your life partner in creating a noble life and achieving triumph in the hereafter you would therefore need to find somebody with good qualifications. If you are a woman seeking a husband, check whether the man never misses congregational prayers for the past three years.

If you are a man, check whether that new office beauty really respects the concept of aurat and wears the hijab, etc.

Communicate with your parents and friends

Some of us might think it's cool to keep this business a secret from our parents.

Try the reverse, for once, and feel the difference in your heart when you speak to your parents about what spouses you'd like to have and what your plans are from the beginning.

The Prophet said: "Allah's ridha (pleasure over someone) follows the ridha of your parents."

Ask good Muslims around you to help you find good candidates based on your criterias

Launch an Islamic introduction (ta'aruf) process. This step is uniquely Islam and replaces dating.

The Prophet never recommended dating. What counts as dating today would be classified as a step that brings us closer to adultery (zina).

Besides, who can guarantee that dating provides one with thorough information about a potential spouse?

Instead, be a detective and investigate a potential spouse by interviewing people close to them. Your next step would be for you to meet the potential spouse with trusted people chaperoning the encounter. Raise critical questions but keep the balance between being critical and being realistic.

Say your prayer. Ask Allah for a specific guidance. The Prophet had guaranteed that one would never have regrets when making decision after salat istikharah, a special prayer for seeking guidance.

Allah created us, so who better to consult on this matter than Allah? Allah says in the Quran: "And if you have done your best, then leave the rest to Allah."

This is the prayer that the Prophet taught us to do: "O, Allah, please, guide me by Your Unlimited Knowledge and Power to decide upon this. If he/she (mention the name) is good for my religious life, for my life in this world, and for my life in the hereafter, please place this destiny upon me, make everything easy, and bless us. If not, please steer me away from him/her."

Make a decision. If the previous steps are taken carefully, decision making will be a breeze.

Follow up. A wedding proposal or qitbah should be launched soon, as should the wedding date. Do not wait too long as you risk ruining the purity of the process.Two or three months after the proposal should be enough time for you to organise your wedding.

The Prophet suggested that we should not rush except in three things: burying the dead, paying debts and a wedding ceremony for two people who have agreed to marry.

What is most important is that you need to maintain your intention. The Prophet said: "Verily, every deed will be counted by Allah based on the intention."

The strongest foundation for our marriage is the intention to live together in the path of Allah in this world and in the hereafter. Keeping this vision would help us stay true and solve problems of marriage life.

The Brunei Times

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