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ESSENCE OF GOOD LOOK IN MARRIAGE





By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

"Good look is vital in marriage. Marry someone you love seeing. Even when you are quarrelling, looking at each other could end it"

I posted this quote on the importance of good look (appearance) in marriage. I think there is need to shed more light on it so that we can understand and learn from it.

Firstly, I believe there is no one without good look. The phrase "good look" is relative. I want to believe that we all like the face and stature of persons we married as a man or woman. The definition of good look to me might be bad look to another person. Allaah has created us all well, and it is easy to understand that everyone would have his or her own partner no matter how bad anyone may think his or her look is. That is why I said "marry the one you love seeing". 

The phrase "good look" goes beyond the words "beauty" or "handsome". That is what some people don't understand. I deliberately didn't mention the word beauty (handsome) because it is a relative term. We interpret it differently. When we say look, it is not just about the face, it includes everything about his or her physical features.

Two, In the past, I had written severally on other important prerequisites for choosing a suitor, such as fear of Allaah (piety), good character, patience, honesty, wealth, family background and so on. They are well documented in some of my previous articles. So, the fact that I said the look  (appearance) of a proposed husband or wife is vital doesn't mean there are no other vital things and even more vital things (e.g. piety and good character). The look might not be a priority in selecting a spouse because anything can change it in the future. But this doesn't mean it is not vety important. If appearance is not important in marriage, the Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه وسلم wouldn't have said:

 "The best of women are those that the husband feels happy when he looks at her". [Sahīh Jāmi', 3298.]

The post only deals with good look and nothing more and I think it ought to be understood as succinctly put. It was not intended to be used to supercede the more important matters in marriage. So, we don't need to read extraneous meanings to it. Whether we like it or not, good look by individual taste is part of what defines a successful marriage. This doesn't mean that there are no other important things or more important things.

Our mother, Aa’ishah رضي الله عنها was reportedly asked about the best of women and part of what she said was,

"....her focus is on adorning herself for her husband and taking care of her family" [Muhaadaraat al-Udaba’ by ar-Raaghib al-Asfahaani (1/410)]

This is an indication that a woman should learn how to beautify herself for her husband. She should know the taste of her husband in almost everything. She should know what to wear and what not to wear at different times. The husband too should endeavor to buy things that he loves seeing in women for her wife. He should buy her undies, clothes and sprays and perfumes. Instead of viewing those things in women that are not halal for him, he should buy them for her halal wife and view them as long as he likes. This is how to enjoy a marriage in a sunnatic way. Apart from enjoying your wife, you will also have the reward of taking good care of her.

Three, Allaah gave us the institution of marriage, then He added divorce as a way out if the marriage doesn't work. But He still gave us the opportunity of 'iddah (waiting period) before final dissolution if the relationship had broken down beyond repairs. 

Anyone who had gone through considerable training on Islamic Family Law, would understand that the main point that defines the concept of 'iddah is the "look", the appearance of couples during this period. Allaah want couples to use the opportunity of 'iddah to remember those days they were suffering and struggling to have one another in order to give room for proper reconciliation. This is why Allaah says regarding the purport of 'iddah:

وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ ۚ لَا تَدْرِي لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرًا

And those are the limits [set by] Allah . And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah has certainly wronged himself. You know not; perhaps Allah will bring about after that a [different] matter. [Surat At-Talaq 1]

The eyes, pink lips, toothgap and dimples you saw at first sight, are they no more there or something happened to them? What about the pointed nose, the round face and the layers on the neck? The chubby or slim nature that you saw or noticed that drew your attention at first instance, has it been removed or what happened it? The catwalk and elegant walk you like in your wife, has it gone just like that? And so on. All these can draw couples back to each other easily. 

Unfortunately, how many people do 'iddah appropriately today in our society? A lot of Muslims engage in divorce wrongly and without observing 'iddah. They give themselves flimsy excuses for not staying together for the period of 'iddah, so that the purpose of 'iddah would not be achieved. No matter how worse a spouse is, by the time you look at him or her again and realize everything could soon be over, your sense will come down at this period and correction of errors would be made. 

The reverse is the case in our community.  What most people don't understand is that when we make short quotes, they are often pregnant with more explanations. They have a lot in them. But time may not permit us to explain. However,  people of understanding and wisdom would think beyond the few words and pick some benefits.

Lastly, on a more serious note, if a marriage is started with special consideration for physical features, coupled with some other important criteria as prescribed in the Sunnah, it would last by the permission of Allaah. A man should always take time to remember the day he went to beg for her to come and stay with him forever, he will be calm even at the middle of a serious anger. A wife should also remember the day he came to her and she said yes to his offer, she would regain her calmness even at the middle of a fight. Both parties must have seen some things that they liked in one another that made them to agree to be together forever, so why the sudden change?

I think the main problem is that many people lack counseling and adequate admonition before entering into marriage. They weren't emotionally prepared for it. They only prepare themselves physically and not mentally. Just little issue, they become hostile against one another. They say unprintable words towards one another and as a result, the relationship suffer several cracks. At this stage, it will be difficult to fix or amend the broken parts. So, the post on considering good look in marriage might not work for this kind of people. They don't even see any beauty in one another anymore due to consistent aggression and dangerous encounters that could have been avoided if they had been patient and enduring enough. 

May Allah assist us.

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