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Praise be to Allaah.

 

It is not permissible for a woman to show her adornment except to those whom Allaah has mentioned in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”

[al-Noor 24:30-31]

The suitor is not one of these, rather he is only permitted to look for the purpose of proposing marriage, and the woman does not have the right to adorn herself for him.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It is permissible for the suitor to see the woman to whom he is proposing marriage, but that is subject to certain conditions:

1 – That he needs to see her. If there is no need then the basic principle is that a man should not look at a woman who is a non-mahram to him, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things)” [al-Noor 24:30].

2 – He should have made up his mind that he wants to propose. If he is still hesitant then he should not look, but if he has made up his mind then he may look, then he should either go ahead or give up the idea.

3 – This looking should be without being alone with her, i.e. it is essential that she have one of her mahrams with her, either her father, brother, paternal uncle or maternal uncle. That is because being alone with a non-mahram woman is haraam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man should be alone with a woman without a mahram being present.” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Beware of entering upon women.” They said: O Messenger of Allaah, what about the in-law? He said: “The in-law is death.”

4 – He should think it most likely that she and her family will accept. If he does not think that is most likely, then there is no point in looking in this case, because his proposal will not be accepted, whether he looks at her or not.

Some scholars stipulated that his desire should not be provoked when looking, and that his aim should be only to find out. If his desire is provoked then he must stop looking, because before the marriage contract is done with a woman, it is not appropriate to enjoy looking at her, so he must refrain. In this situation the woman must come out to the suitor looking ordinary; she should not come out wearing beautiful clothes or makeup, because she is not yet his wife. Moreover, if she comes to him looking beautiful and wearing her best clothes, then he may propose because he was dazzled by her the first time he looked at her, then he will find out that she is not as she appeared to him at first.

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb

Elsewhere he (may Allaah have mercy on him) indicated that this may have the opposite effect, because if he looks at her when she is wearing makeup and fine clothes, he may see her as more beautiful than she really is, and in that case when he enters upon her following the wedding and sees her as she really is, he may be put off her and no longer interested in him.

To sum up: If a suitor comes to a woman it is permissible for her to uncover her face and hands and head and that which usually appears, according to the correct view, but without wearing any cosmetics or adornments.

And Allaah knows best.

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The first two years: a marriage survival guide

More Muslim marriages in North America are breaking up in their first year than ever before, according to Shahina Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association of the United States and Canada (ISSA).

The first five to seven years are the most challenging of any marriage. They are a time a couple spends getting to know each other better and adjusting to each other’s habits and personalities.

Below are some of the main problems couples face in the early years and some possible solutions.

1. Lack of proper information before marriage

A number of problems are caused simply by the fact that the couple and their families have not discussed crucial issues beforehand. Some of these include:

  • whether or not the wife will work outside the home
  • will the couple wait to have children
  • which city and country the couple will live in after marriage
  • will they live with his parents or have their own apartment

These and other relevant issues need to be discussed and decided in the beginning stages of the marriage process.

2. Who’s in charge?

One of the biggest problems is the tug-of-war between couples over who is in control in the relationship. This has led to a stalemate in disagreements, as well as bitter feelings.

Many couples today are refusing to compromise within moderation when differences arise.

While from an Islamic perspective, the husband is given the leadership role in the marriage relationship, this does not mean he runs the couple’s family life like a dictatorship.

It must be remembered that Islamically, a leader is one who serves, manages, provides and nourishes. A leader must also have humbleness and humility.

A husband exercises the right kind of leadership by being listening to and consulting (doing Shura) with his wife.

Also, a husband is bound to follow the rules of the Quran and Sunnah. So differences in opinion should be referred back to these sources, instead of becoming a source of tension and problems.

3. The divorce option

Once upon a time, “divorce” was the seven-letter word most Muslim couples avoided using. Today, amongst many Muslim couples in North America, it is one of the first recourses turned to when conflicts occur in marriage.

It should be remembered that out of all of the things Allah has made Halal, divorce is the one He hates the most. Couples need to look at several other alternatives before turning to this drastic measure.

They should seek the help of older, wiser and trustworthy elders who will try to help them resolve their differences. Generally, they need to make a sincere, concerted effort to try to work things out before divorce is seriously considered.

4. Sexual problems

It is unrealistic to expect the issue of sex and sex-related problems to mysteriously disappear once a couple gets married.

In the sex-saturated culture of North America, couples tend to place very high expectations of each other in this area. They also expect instant results.

In reality, it takes time, commitment, disappointment and investment to establish a sexual relationship in marriage which is in tune with the needs of each partner.

It’s important for Muslim couples to walk into marriage with proper information about sex and sexual etiquette from an Islamic perspective. They need to know what is Halal (permissible) and what is Haram (forbidden). They should also keep in mind that spouses must never discuss their sexual relationship with others, unless it is to get help for a specific problem with the right person or authority figure.

On a similar note, it’s important for both the husband and wife to remember that they need to make themselves physically attractive to each other. Too many couples take marriage to mean an excuse to now let themselves go. The couple or one of the partners may gain too much weight, or may not care about hygiene and their looks in general. The reverse should be true: spouses should take the time out for these things and give them even more attention after marriage. Our beloved Prophet has recommended husband and wife both to do that, May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.

5. In-laws

The first few years of marriage are not just a period of adjustment for the married couple. It’s one of getting used to in-laws and vice-versa.

Husbands, wives and in-laws need to practice the Islamic rules of social relations with each other. These include: avoiding sarcasm, backbiting, calling each other by offensive nicknames, and making a special effort to respect each other as family members.

As well, comparisons need to be avoided, since every individual and every couple is different. So wives should not be compared to mothers and sisters. Husbands should not be compared to fathers and brothers. In-laws should not be compared to parents, etc.

In addition, there should be regular, healthy contact between spouses and in-laws. This can mean visiting each other at least once or twice a month, or calling if distance makes it difficult to get together.

6. Realism

Boy meets girl. They fall in love. They live happily ever after.

This is the plot of many a Hollywood and Bollywood movie, where everyone is “perfect”. Real life is very different.

Couples may enter marriage with high-flying romantic ideas and expecting their partner to be the ideal human. But all humans have good and bad points. Husbands and wives have to learn to accept each other, warts and all.

6. Making a schedule and establishing rituals

Making a schedule may seem like an end to spontaneity but it’s not.

This allows you to establish your own lifestyle and rituals as a couple. It’s especially important if both the husband and wife are going to school and/or working. In this scenario, a schedule helps in setting time aside for each other during a fast-paced week of work and studies.

Some rituals couples can establish may include:

  • praying at least one prayer together
  • attending a study circle together once a week
  • deciding on a weekly menu
  • having a pancake breakfast every Saturday morning
  • setting aside one day on which no work or studying will be done
  • setting a day when both the husband and wife will clean up the house
  • setting a time to discuss finances and a budget
  • making a phone contacting during the day
  • deciding on a particular day and time once a month at least to visit each other’s parents

By discussing and setting up these rituals, couples learn how to talk to and feel responsible for each other. They also learn to become a team instead of two people living in the same with separate lives.

7. Marriage as a restriction

Muslim men who have grown up in North America may find marriage restricting. After all, before, they could hang out with their buddies and get home by 11:00 p.m. and no one would say a word. After marriage though, they have to be home by 7:00 p.m if not earlier.

While marriage comes with responsibilities and a tighter schedule, the benefits are also there. It takes time and patience to realize that in the end the benefits (i.e. a life partner, kids, etc.) are greater than the restrictions.

8. Friends and Islamic activities

Friends are a joy and a good friend is someone you want to be close to for the rest of your life.

But friends are often the source of many marriage conflicts. Too much time spent with friends, either hanging out or on the phone, means time lost with a husband/wife.

Also, friends, especially if they are of the same age group, may give the wrong advice on marriage, due to their own inexperience in the area.

Some possible solutions to the friends dilemma could be:

  • working out a “friends time” at least once a week where the husband and the wife meet and/or talk with friends privately
  • developing friendships with other married couples so spouses can befriend spouses

Islamic activities fall in a similar category. Young Muslim activists may think they can keep attending those three-hour Muslim Students’ Association meetings as they did before marriage. Not so.

Too much focus on outside Islamic activities takes away from spouse time. Give Islamic activities their due but within a balance of everyone’s rights, including those of your spouse.

9. Not keeping secrets

A number of young married couples are notorious for not keeping secrets, especially related to sexual matters, and exposing their spouse’s faults. This is not only unacceptable. It’s unIslamic.

Couples should seek to hide each other’s faults. They should seek advice on marriage problems from a “marriage mentor”, someone who is older, wiser, trustworthy and has the best interests of both parties at heart.

10. Finances

How much should be spent on furniture, the house, food, etc. These are staple issues of any household and can lead to a tug-of-war between husband and wife.

To keep spending in check, husbands and wives need to draft a budget then stick to it. The household will run more efficiently and that’s one less source of conflict in the marriage.

A special note to husbands: in the beginning of marriage, husbands tend to shower their wives with gifts. They do this as an expression of love and because they want to provide for their wives. However, as time passes and they keep giving, they go into debt or experience financial difficulty. As well, wives get used to a certain level of comfort which husbands can no longer afford.

Providing for a wife (and later on, a family) is not just reserved to material things. It includes spending time with her, and treating her with equity and kindness. In fact, most wives would prefer this kind of provision over expensive gifts.

11. Give each other space

A number of couples think being married means always being together and serving each other hand and foot.

Wives may initially take over all household chores, not letting the husband help or even do his own things (i.e. ironing his own clothes). They later regret this as household responsibilities increase and their husbands become dependent on them for the smallest things.

Husbands may think getting married means being with their wives all the time. This later may lead them to becoming irritable and cranky.

The key is to focus on being caring, fond of and accepting each other and giving each other sufficient space. Doing this provides a necessary balance in a relationship which is so close physically and emotionally.

In the rush of preparing for marriage

and the glamour of the dunya

and aspirations of making your fiance happy

 

In the sleepless nights before the big day

and the hours spent in the shopping malls

and hopes of an ideal marriage

 

How much time did you spend remembering

Your Creator

the One who brought this moment of happiness to you

 

An eye opening khutbah about the miraculous reality of the Qur’an.

It all started, one day in september
and now Im thinking…will he remember?
Will he remember the day that we met?
or on this day, that we separate, will he forget.

I walked into the living room and with a loud voice I said
Assalamu Alaykum! Its time to be fed!
The brother jumped back–not sure what to think
is this the same sister who when I spoke turned pink?
The times have changed, and so have I
“No more mr. nice guy…or gal”, I sigh…

He walked behind me, angrily, all the way to the kitchen
Where are the eggs, he demanded...did I look like a hen?
He wanted me to feed him and take his suggestions as well?
Who did he think I was…ahh this marriage has been swell.

Id rather be at work, than at home all the time
I beg relentlessly, hoping a job will be mine
Women stay at home, he snaps–that is his stance
He never wants to discuss–never gives me a chance!

Between tears I mumble– what did I do
I should have asked you questions before I married you!
You didnt know me, and I surely didnt know you
But what possessed me that day–to say “I do”???

I forgot istikhara—musta slipped my mind
and ignored all the information that my friends did find
“He isnt who you think he is–I promise you’ll regret”
Now in this living room today, my friends are winning the bet!

He thought I was calm–obedient–and serene
But now he knows, Im the craziest thing he’s ever seen!
I wanted someone hip–lenient and kind
but today I sit with a man who is losing his mind!

“Im trusting in Allah” I assured myself not so long ago
But I forgot to tie my camel…although everyone told me so
Now I sit with consequences of my decision made in haste
these few months–have been nothing but waste!

If I could turn back time, I would never do this again
I was woman marrying a male who isnt of the men!

Today I walk out the doors, all covered dust
When he gets married again, clean she must!
I wont come back, not for another day
all this and its only been nine months…September to May.

By Naiyerah Kolkailah

“You’re just like a brother to me!” she’d often tell her Muslim college friend whom she’s grown close to over the years. She feels comfortable with confiding in him, trusting him, opening up to him – but she’s never thought of him as a husband. They hang out together during their breaks, she calls him whenever she needs to vent, and she loves how he’s never judgmental towards her. To him, she was a friend at first — but he soon discovered that he’d often feel a tinge of jealousy whenever she spoke nonchalantly and joked with other male classmates. It burned him inside, and he’d always try to pull her away casually without making his irritation apparent. Many times, he’d look at her with admiration, smiling and melting away with his dreams of what could be for them. He would never dare bring up marriage to her, though. How could he when she only viewed him as her brother?

 

So, would you call these two good friends? Brother and sister maybe? Boyfriend and girlfriend? As with many cases in the Muslim community, this is a confused pseudo-marriage framed under the guise of friendship or an innocent brotherly bond. As the two become lax in their interaction, their hearts naturally – albeit unintentionally – gravitate towards each other, their minds become occupied with each other, and one or both parties eventually develop feelings that either remain trapped or expressed and acted upon unlawfully. With their increasing closeness and intimacy, the special reserves of loyalty, emotional sentiments and halaal physical attraction may be exhausted before their rightful outlet in marriage. If they end up not getting married and search elsewhere for a partner, they may never be content because they can’t resist comparing potential spouses with their former “friend”. Even if they eventually marry someone else, they will always have a history, and sometimes Shaytan can push them to reconnect and rekindle that past relationship during marriage.

It is no wonder why our wise Creator `azza wa jall, who is well aware of our natures and inclinations, says in the Qur’an “…Nor of those who take (boy)friends…(4:25). With many commands and prohibitions in Islam, Allah has mercifully forbade the prerequisite acts that would lead to major sins. He is protecting us from Shaytan and from falling prey to our desires, which saves us the emotional distress and painful regret that often come as a consequence to disobedience.

It’s also no wonder why it is purer and more chaste for both men and women to lower their gaze when speaking to those of the opposite gender (24:30-31), and to focus only on the tasks necessitating their communication. Remember Musa (`alayhissalam ) with the two daughters of Shu`ayb? Their interaction and communicating was exuding hayaa’and self-respect; Musa (as) never struck personal, unwarranted conversation with them and when one of the daughters informed Musa (as) that her father is inviting him to reward him for his assistance, she walked (and spoke) with utmost modesty and dignity.

One of the greatest manifestations of modesty and also a safeguard to indecent conduct is the Muslimah’s Islamic dress. Besides obeying Allah and the Messenger’s commands in wearing loose, non-transparent, non-perfumed clothing, the attire brings with it an entire set of behavioral traits that the Muslim woman finds befitting to uphold. She is no longer comfortable mingling with men, joking and laughing loudly with them – or behaving in any way that may ignite their desires. Her taqwa (God-consciousness) and hayaa’ with Allah become embodied in all her mannerisms – her body language, how she speaks and carries herself – and reminds her of amicably maintaining the boundaries that Allah and the Messenger (peace be upon him) would be pleased with.

There is a profound hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), which if practiced and truly believed in, can adorn our lives with blessings and many successes. It states: “There is nothing that you leave out of God-consciousness except that Allah will compensate you with something better” (Ahmad). We all long for acceptance and relationships that quell our loneliness and make us feel needed and loved. Perhaps if we devote our lives to increasing our love for Allah and gaining His love in return, He will bless us with halaal relationships that will be the greatest source of happiness, love, loyalty and compassion in this life and the better one to come.

O You Who Are About to Marry, Any Last Words? Any First Words?

by abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

Allah Created. And among His unique qualities is that He Creates without precedent.

Before Allah Decreed it, there had never been a “pair” of anything.  What He made could never have been imagined by any of His Creations, and what He Created was something wonderful, walhamdolillah.

He has described the husband and wife as garments for each other.  Think about that — if you are unmarried something about you is fundamentally incomplete.

Allah has decreed that man and woman each has free choice.  So how will you choose to complete the pair?

When you shop for your spouse, what will you look for, who will you ask, and what questions or discussions will follow?  Length?  Width?  Color?  Perhaps.

The sunnah in Islam is to find out the information that will cause you to know whether to propose to someone or accept that person’s proposal.  And when you have what you need to know, then you should proceed with the proposal or else stop.

This differentiates Islamic practice from other courtship rules in as much as other rules would permit courting as entertainment, ie, dating.

If you want to take your spouse on a date, bismillah.  If you want to go on a date with someone to whom you are not married, beware the evil into which shaytan would lead you.

The same discretion should enter your questions and conversations before marriage.  It is perfectly reasonable to have conversations whose only purpose is to establish that you two can have an easygoing and light conversation.

Yet too many open-ended conversations might lead to affections developing, and at that point many commentators have pointed out that people’s brains switch off: at that point they see only good in the other person.  One writer even said that the person in love is as unreasonable as a drunk person.

Indeed Allah does not hold us accountable for our feelings: just as the pen is lifted for the intoxicated person — but the person who is intoxicated now may find tremendous punishment for his actions while he was sober: when he had the aql to avoid drink.  And in the same way, Allah may hold us to account for indiscretions committed before we fell (intoxicated) in love — blameworthy actions that led us to a state of love, actions committed when we still had the aql to avoid them.

At the same time, how the other person makes you feel is important.  Indeed when the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam found out from Jaabir that Jaabir had selected a woman to marry, the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam did not first ask Jaabir if she were a pious woman.  He asked if Jaabir had seen her, looked upon her.  And he advised doing so until Jaabir saw what would cause him to marry.  Implying that it would have been possible he might not see it, and thus might not marry.  And Allah’s Decree was that he saw, and they did marry, alhamdolillah.

So we know looking is allowed and that implies that other investigation is, too, because when you observe a person you do not see them posed or on a runway, naudhobillah, like clothes in the store.  You see them in life, and you observe their interactions so inquiries into those are like what you would see, permissible at least as to what could be seen.

With so many warnings in mind, you may imagine that the only conversations and questions should be about deen: “How many verses have you memorized and of how many of them have you studied the tafseer?”  “What are your favorite adhkaar — in salaat — before the basmallah?”  “Do you read Muslim more often, or Bukhari?”

Those questions are… odd.  Let’s face it — if you are starting out with conversations like those…  Who are you marrying?  Your shaykh?  Shaykh Waleed is already married, folks. :)

So which questions then should come first?  Indeed, Imam Ahmed, RahimAllah, advised that questions about deen should be the very last ones a person asks.  Why?  For a beautiful reason: good deen beautifies a person and it is better to reject a physically beautiful woman for her ugly deen, than to reject a woman whose deen is beautiful to you for any other reason.

This principle is so strong that it may help explain why the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam re-married the daughter of Omar, Umm al Mumineen Hafsa, radi Allaho anhumaa.  Jibreel alayhis salam conversed with the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam about her taqwa and ibadat after their initial divorce, and it was some time after that conversation that they remarried, alhamdolillah.

Interestingly, from the sunnah, there is also the case of Umm Salamah, also Umm al Mumineen, walhamdolillah.  She was widowed and had children from her marriage.  And after her iddah the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam came to her to propose marriage.  And clearly no one had more beautiful deen than him, sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam.

And yet, knowing that, she was prepared to reject him — not for his qualities, subhanAllah, but for her own issues that needed reconciliation.  Her children — that they should have a father who loves them.   Her age — that she avoid a situation whereby her husband find her at all lacking.  And her jealousy of other women — including the other wives of the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam.

And mashaAllah, this case shows us one of the keys to a successful courtship — indeed a successful courtship by the way, is one that ends in a marriage that pleases Allah.  The nikah is just one moment, the exchange of a few words.  And what follows the nikah is much more than just one night.

Keep that in mind: the success was more likely to come in marriage because the qualities the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam showed in his responses to her were qualities of a successful husband.  Her children he promised would be just like his own to him.  As for age he compared theirs as reassurance to her.  And he prayed to Allah for an easing of her jealousy, walhamdolillah.

Three beautiful qualities (at least) are easy to see in the responses: accommodation, empathy, dua/taqwa/tawakkol.  Okay i squeezed three qualities in there for the last example, but alhamdolillah alaa kulli haal, it is difficult to pick only a few traits from his example.

We know that Umm Salamah was a perceptive and intelligent woman — witness her advice to the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam at Hudaybiyyah.  Thus she must have seen in his answers what she needed to know to accept his proposal, alhamdolillah.  And indeed it was a successful marriage.

Before embarking on advice about specific questions or conversations you could have when looking for your wife or husband, reflect again on the example of Umm Salamah’s proposal and what followed: how could she have asked such good questions?  She was aware of her own needs.  And she knew the difference between her needs, and her wishes.

A Messenger of Allah for a husband?  A wish.  Her questions reflect that she knew, too, her needs.  And you should, too, before you propose or respond to a proposal, wAllaho’Alim.

Otherwise, if you merely read to each other from a list of questions or conversation-topics — at best you are throwing darts in the dark wondering if you will hit something that yells out in surprise.  And at worst you are ignoring the concerns that should be addressed.

Specific topics and questions to consider — an outline to build on:

Air and Water
–What are the roles of a husband?
–What are the roles of a wife?

This is a separate category because no other topic was so identified in research by Muslims and non-Muslims as a cause of divorce.  Huh?  Divorce?  Yes, couples that have completely different ideas about these roles, and lacked the ability to concede or compromise — they often end their marriages.

“Air and Water” are essential for life, but we hardly ever have to talk about them.  You might have additional topics that are “air and water” for you, but these two are different: they will affect everything else.  If you are honest with each other now about your expectations, and if you can both breathe easily (accommodate each other), then later on, bi’idhnillah, you will only talk about these roles when you need to clear the air or get through murky waters.  You can start the conversation in the abstract, what is the role of “a” husband and “a” wife, but you’re talking about each other.

Bread and Butter
–Finances including expectations of income and spending, who will work, what kind of work/income you would seek or refuse.
–Kids including how many and when, and how to raise them.
–Parents (ie., your kids’ grandparents, bi’idhnillah), other family, friends, socializing.
–Living arrangements including with or without parents and city/neighborhood and expectations of how big and how much.

Unlike “air and water” you can have as many bread and butter topics as you want.  All of these things are important, and they may become the subject of arguments in a marriage if you do not discuss your expectations before marriage.  But one thing that makes this category different from the others is that all the items are material or external in some fashion.  Numbers, sizes, other people, stuff: how much of it do you want, by when, where, and does it even matter to you — assuming the other person has the same answers as you would be a mistake.

Veiled Gems

If you pay close attention to the discussions you and your potential spouse have during bread and butter topics, you will not only address each other’s expectations, bi ‘idhnillah, but also learn a lot about each other’s character.

For the same reason have conversations about goals and accomplishments, past and future — find out how each of you defines an accomplishment.  See how much your goals, expectations, and priorities match with each other.

Have conversations about people in need — to find out whether the person cares about others or is more self-interested.  Also to find out whether the person really listens to you, or is just waiting for his/her turn to speak.  Finally, remember that marriage will have challenges, too, and these conversations will help you figure out whether you are talking to someone that you can rely on if times are tough.  Or naudhobillah, someone who would run at the first sign of trouble.

Note: see “poison pills.” When it comes to any conversation, but especially for a veiled gem, you are not digging for faults, but searching for genuine understanding.  Allah is ar Rahman nir Raheem — you can be forgiving and merciful to each other without being judgmental, while thinking seriously about your compatibility.

Poison Pills

Anything at all about which you yourself do not care while you speak.  Even a noble subject, if you talk about it when you do not care what you or the other person are saying could become ghafla.  There is also the disastrous possibility that the other person will see you do not care about the conversation and believe you do not care about them — (perhaps) mistaking your attitude.

Immodest conversations in general.  Imagine the two of you were sitting in a room with the woman’s father, and the man’s mother.  if you think the topic would cause the mother to look away or the father to pull out a sword, then you’re probably thinking of a topic that should not be discussed.  Maybe the problem is only that immodest words are being used to discuss a topic that is permissible for you — so exercise good judgment.

What happened to deen?
Fasabrun jameelun.

The Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam praised the quality of deen in a future spouse above wealth, beauty, family, and nobility.

Yet, you should realize that finding a religious person is not enough.  You should have other things in common before marriage.  Do look for a religious spouse, and choose one who is more compatible with you.

And a word of wisdom from past TDCs spoken by multiple shuyukh and advocates: when you search for a religious spouse, ask yourself if she would be happy with your religiosity, too!  As Shaykh Yaser puts it, “Would you marry you?” — in this context would you be satisfied with a spouse who was only as religious as you?

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