Before Marriage Relationships

Am I Marrying the Right Person?


This is the question you must ask before marrying someone. While many factors are used to determine compatibility, you may be surprised to read that the answer to this question is in fact mostly based on feelings. Through the process of getting to know different types of people, you will discover a variety of personalities and, more importantly, the type of person you are most comfortable being around. Over time, and with increased maturity, you will also develop a deeper understanding of your own personality.

Eventually, you will meet someone you feel compatible with and want to consider for marriage. You will inevitably ask, “Is this the right person for me?” As described to us in Surat An-Nur: “…women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity: these are not affected by what people say: for them there is forgiveness and a provision honorable.” (Qur’an, 24:26) This verse reminds us that people are matched by Allah. The following is a description of the feelings necessary to know that you have found your match.

The right person is someone you feel comfortable opening up to – someone you can be vulnerable with. The right person encourages you to make decisions that are right for you. This may include decisions about a healthy lifestyle and supporting your efforts to find balance between work and family. You feel encouraged and supported to grow in all areas of your life because the person you want to marry is not negative, selfish or critical. Rather, when you are with this person you feel safe to share your thoughts and ideas and you feel uplifted by their support. The right person is someone you have developed a deep friendship with and you mutually enjoy each other’s company. Building a marriage on a friendship is important because love grows out of friendship.

You and the right person for you have similar life goals and values. This doesn’t mean your goals and values are exactly the same, but they don’t contradict. You are able to agree on long term goals that you can attain together. When you are with the right person, you are able to communicate your feelings and concerns and you don’t feel that you need to keep them bottled up inside. When you disagree on something, you are both able to share and listen to each other’s opinions, then you both seek to compromise. Conversations with the right person are interesting and help you grow intellectually.  With the right person you are comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings on various topics. Couples naturally grow and change throughout the course of their marriage and this requires an ability to effectively communicate and resolve concerns as they come up.

The right person is kind, considerate, and polite to you and the people around you – and not just to impress you. This person encourages you to have good relationships with your family and friends. You both realize marriage is the bringing together of two families, not becoming an isolated couple. These behaviors toward your friends and family are a natural reflection of a person’s true character. Showering you with kindness, but not extending this to your friends and family, is a sign of inconsistent character. Character is shown through the actions that come to us naturally – whenever and to whomever. Both of you will show your character through what comes naturally more than anything that will ever be said. The person who is right for you isn’t rude, childish, arrogant or selfish. Rather, they are thoughtful and caring of everyone around them, not only their parents and their boss but the waiter and the clerk. A marriage is built on the feelings of respect and compassion; unless these come naturally, whatever behaviors are used to impress you before marriage will not last the everyday interactions of a marriage.

Finally, the right person is honest with you and is someone you can trust. This person is truthful with you about life decisions and concerns. The person you want to marry does not seek to control your life but seeks to share a life with you. The right person trusts you and does not scrutinize you or make you justify your every move. When you are with the right person, you will feel safe and accepted for who you are. You feel you can share your mistakes and work on your weaknesses.

It must be said that anyone who is dishonest or does things that are against your values is someone you should not marry. The foundation of a healthy marriage is one that is based on honesty and trust between two partners.

Establishing compatibility for marriage is based on many factors and the most obscure – yet most important – are the feelings we have about the person. There are some people we instantly “click” with and there are others we find interesting and want to learn more about. These are the initial feelings, but as we get to know someone and seek to find compatibility in values and goals, one must carefully examine their feelings.

Being with the right person is uplifting to our spirit; the relationship brings us tranquility, as is described in the Qur’an:


“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (30:21)

While no human being is perfect and we should not be looking for unrealistic qualities, you will know if you have found the person that is a good match for you. Remember that finding the right person is only half the challenge – you must first be the right person that someone would want to marry.

Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine is the author of Before the Wedding: Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Married. She received her Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling at California State University, Fullerton and a Bachelors in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Ezzeldine is currently co-hosting an internet radio show, Family Connection, on One Legacy Radio. She has also written prolifically for Muslim publications, including two Islamic Studies textbooks for the Bureau of Islamic and Arabic Education.

About the author

Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine

Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine formally contributed to the VMCounselors Column from 2011-2014. She is the author of Before the Wedding: Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Married. She has written prolifically for various Muslim publications and co-hosted a radio show on One Legacy Radio. She has a Master’s in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton and Bachelor’s in Economics from UCLA. She is a certified Positive Discipline educator as well as Prepare/Enrich Premarital Counseling facilitator.


  • Excellent, helpful points. These will be very useful in the near future :-). I would also love to read the author’s book – will try to get a hold of a copy insha’allah. Jazak’Allahu Khairan for the post.

  • Nice article. But how will I find out if the person is ‘right’ in a halaal way ? Since I’m having a hard time trying to think of ways in which this can be possible without having conversations and meetings over a period of time, or chatting over the internet which have been called as forbidden and I have avoided them.

    • Maybe someone in ur family of friends could arrange for u to meet up with someone, under supervision of a mehram u two can talk to each other thats VERY Halal..

      • Thank you very much for the reply.
        But one meeting or two under the supervision of a mahram can’t help us in finding whether the potential spouse has the qualities given here , can they ? I hope there’s some solution.

        • Salaam,

          You could ask certain psychological questions to the person which you could google. They indirectly let’s you assess a person without even asking them anything directly, then leave rest to Allah, do sincere istikhaara and then he’d choose the best for you. Blind faith in Allah is all that we need.
          May Allah bless you. 🙂

      • How do you say no to a potential wife that someone recemmended to you? the person said one thing about the girl, then you dicovered the girl does not fit the description of what you have been told?

        • Salaam. I have just noticed this article and thread due to this recently posted comment, so I hope these remarks may not be too late.

          One situation that I fear is not often enough addressed with respect to marriage is that of those who come to Islam in mature age. Some people come to Islam in their twenties, thirties, forties, or even, believe it or not, older. Some of them might not have previously married but now would be willing and interested in entering into marriage.

          A serious issue is, how do these mature people find potential spouses? Sadly, there remain ethnic groupings within the Muslim community here in North America. Some men might be willing to marry outside their group, but woe betide the sister or daughter who has interest outside the group. This means that for convert men, especially, of mature age, the “marriage pool,” so to speak, is very small.

          Also, there are the dynamics of meeting. What of a woman (or man, for that matter) who comes to Islam is mature years? She (or he) has no one to assist in finding someone. No family, certainly, and often no friends within the Muslim community.

          A mahram? What is such a thing for many converts? Such a thing does not exist. Some will assert that a woman must have a mahram in order to seek a husband, but what good does it do for some “elder” in the community whom she does not even know to serve as her “mahram”?

          Also, the blunt fact here in North America, as unpalatable as it may be to some people from the “old countries” with their traditional values, is that many mature converts just are not like the young potential “blushing brides” and “blushing grooms” of traditional societies. It is entirely possible, almost probable, that many mature converts who would seek to marry, even if they have never married before, are already sexually experienced, to be perfectly frank, whether traditional Muslims from the “old countries” like that fact or not. That is the reality of life here. Why would such a woman, for example, need a mahram? And in the case of either a woman or a man, how will mature converts outside the typical ethnic groupings find someone?

          Allah (swt) knows best. I do not.

    • Salam! Indeed, many of us face the same matter. Yes, I understand that after a meeting a two, you might think that you may not know the person enough. But, even if you were to meet the person for a year with a supervision of a mahram, I personally believe you still won’t know the person enough because you can truly see the attributes, strengths, and weaknesses of the other person when she or he becomes your wife or husband. Because an engaged relationship does not go through the same situations as a married couple, they do not go through a practical life. So, I just feel like we need to depart from the idea that “we can know the suitor very well”, because we will never know the person “enough”,until the practical life actually begins as a wife and husband, inshAllah. This particular part relates with the article “you must first be the right person that someone would want to marry.” So, any attributes you wish for your life partner to have, ask yourself if you have those attributes? And if not—inshAllah work on attaining them. In addition, along with your actual question of how to get to know the person before marriage without surpassing the Islamic principles, you can have family dinners, invite the suitor and her family over and I am sure they will invite you and your family as well. The youth of both families (your siblings and yourself, and her(or his) siblings can come together and just sit and talk. This can be a great opportunity, even if it is a half an hour, still take advantage of this opportunity to find out things that are important to you about the person. Another option can be, ask the suitor’s parents if it’s okay if you can take her and her siblings and along with your siblings and yourself of course, to an outing, so neither of you are alone. (i.e: lunch or dinner, or to the park or bowling). And like the others had said, DO istikhara and a lot of duas, inshAllah may Allah SWT guide you on the right path with ease, and as well as others.

  • Salaam – great article and excellent detailed advice. A major problem I see for women, especially as they get older, however, is to accept any suitor that appears to have good character and sound faith (or not even both of those!). If they don’t they are seen as too picky and deserving of their single-hood. I’m glad this article is written as a way to convey the greater complexity of establishing compatibility 🙂

  • “The right person is someone you have developed a deep friendship with and you mutually enjoy each other’s company. Building a marriage on a friendship is important because love grows out of friendship.”

    Munira (or SDW),
    I’d appreciate more details on this point (building a deep friendship) within an Islamic context, if possible.

    Jazakallakhyr for the article.

    • Deep frndship grows with time. And that has to me after marriage because that is halaal way. And even if see this haram way of growing frndship, let me say you that frndship and love are both different. In a relationship of marriage there r some unexpected things happening and at that point of time u will regret marrying ur frnd. Becuase, we need to involve our families in this relation while frndship is only for two. Moreover, talking and being frndly with non-maharam is not islamic way to get married.

  • Excellent article, this article is useful for me as I am considering marriage as this has given an overview of what quality to look for in a person.
    Thank you

  • “Through the process of getting to know different types of people, you will discover a variety of personalities and, more importantly, the type of person you are most comfortable being around. Over time, and with increased maturity, you will also develop a deeper understanding of your own personality.

    Eventually, you will meet someone you feel compatible with and want to consider for marriage”

    I don’t mean offense by this – but that sounds like dating? How else would one know the opposite sex’ personality – and in fact their real personality rather than what they project to their opposite sex?

    • I think you don’t have to date to learn one’s personality. If you’re involved in the same community, and you encounter that person, bit by bit, you’ll learn their personality. Like how that person interact with others, how others are treated, how that person treat the animals, the environments, etc. How they work (if you’re in the same workplace)People don’t usually show their real selves dating, do they? Not sure. If you still want to know more about that person, ask someone married that knows that person well enough to tell you. And, lets not forget about istikharah.

      After you’ve done istikharah, and got married, whatever challenges that comes, treat it as a mere challenge and solve-able. Don’t simply take divorce as the solution. Hope that helps.

  • ma sha Allah, this is very beautiful. In practice though, developing deep friendship and depth of experience that would reveal all these character traits and level of trust…it just seems a little difficult in the Islamic context.

    Yes, I do agree there should be more courtship and more prolonged getting to know you…but this creates hazards of getting one’s heart severely broken in premarital relationships that have become very deep very quickly yet do not conclude in marriage.

    We are scared to get hurt and rejected – males and females – and we are afraid of hurting and rejecting others. We are afraid of failure.

    We are even very scared just to show our initial interest in each other, let alone subjecting ourselves to family scrutiny, getting to know you rituals etc. It is very hard to withstand this tension and this leads to making snap decisions (usually to reject the person at the first sign of trouble).

    When we do feel closer (in the ways described in the article) to someone, then we start feeling we are doing something wrong, that it is becoming haram, and that it either has to “go somewhere” (i.e. marriage) quickly or it has to end. This means that both people have to be at the exact same stage at the exact same time, or one has to reject the other immediately, often with some abrupt, wierd non-explanation.

    It is a lot of pressure – again, for sisters and brothers.

    I’m not speaking for all singles, but surely many of us feel this way. I don’t mean to discourage these sorts of articles — in fact, it is excellent that you are addressing these issues. However, also wanted to share some concerns.

    • Absolutely right. I relate to the same concerns. The fact that we end up liking someone a lot, and then requiring us to be on the same page with them at the same time, or facing rejection soon enough without real explanation..this is very true. We leave ourselves emotionally vulnerable in this earnest process of getting to know someone. And heartbreak is a very unfortunate and risky consequence. I loved this article though, for realizing that marriage is best based on compatibility and mutual respect, which is often overlooked.

  • A few people brought up a great point that I would like to try and address: How do you become close friends and get to know the person and stay within the Islamic realm – without ‘dating.’

    Bocoming friends and getting to know the person sounds like it’s possible only through dating, but that is not the case. Although it’s not really mentioned in this article, I think Munira’s point is that building a marriage on friendship and finding the characteristics mentioned in the article in a person is very much possible within Islamic restrictions; through Islamic courting. And she makes this point very clear in another article, ‘Lets Talk About Dating’
    “Islamic courting would allow individuals to develop friendships as they learn about each other’s character and they would also understand the responsibility they have to guard each other’s hearts until the outcome of their relationship is known. Islamic courtship would encourage interaction and friendship between young men and women as well as the entire family. This shift in thinking would require eastern cultural customs to be accommodating and accepting of a new way to meet a spouse.”
    She goes into detail on the permissibility and conditions of Islamic courting in the article.

    I’m not saying that the couple can become best friends or get to know everything about each other 100%, but a couple should be able to determine compatibility and learn important characteristics through Islamic courting. The rest of it comes after marriage and living together, Insha Allah.

    Jazakallah Khair for the articles. They are very much needed.

  • Bismillah

    As-Salam ‘Alaykum wr wb,

    i had a conversation with a woman intending to marry her,insha’allah. I did ask her about her past marriage and the reason for her divorce. She gave me some superficial infos but she did not want to tell me the whole story. As i tried to focus on the reason for divorce…she got angry about it and decided to stop the conversation for now.
    She told me that he did lie and did live a double life.Calling him also a Munafiq who is not living the Sunnah…so i got curious about it.. am i wrong to ask further questions? i mean,her marriage did last only for 10 months…

    would be nice if some brothers and sisters can give their view of this issue..and also a qualified comment is desired,insha’allah.

    ma salama

    • Assalamualaikum…

      I am in a state of kithbah (courting) and he was married before whilst I had never married. Sometimes i did asked him questions about his previous marriage especially about the reason of his divorce. Thus far, Alhamdulillah he took it positively every time i asked about it and responded well. I know that i would hurt him by asking questions about the divorce, yet i had always remind him that my questions were juz for the sake of knowing him better and to get myself clear on his likes and dislikes.. not to dig out flaws nor to hurt him at all.

      I think we can ask about his/her previous marriage, however do it with hikmah.. find a right moment to ask him/her about that. And most importantly, make sure that our intention or the niyyat is positive. InsyaAllah..:)

    • Assalamualaikum.

      I am divorced myself, my previous marriage lasted 20 months. There were a few issues leading to it but that’s not the point of me replying this comment.

      If my future suitor were to ask me the same question, I wouldn’t even know how to answer him. I would’ve given superficial answers to that.
      My reasons?
      (1) Yes, he left me but that doesn’t mean I can say bad things about him to my future husband, who is a total stranger to him
      (2) Saying bad things about him would actually show a bad character on my side, because once I start talking about all the wrong things he did, I may not be able to stop. If I don’t stop, you might regret asking for too much details at the first place.
      (3) Maybe I do feel guilty about something. Sometimes I blame him for everything. I suppose both sides have their own mistakes that lead to the breakdown of the marriage. But whatever happened has happened. All that my future husband needs to know is whether or not I have learnt from her mistakes (and his mistakes too), and try to improve my own personality and most importantly my faith.
      (4) Talking about him may include talking about his parents, family, upbringing, which is, again, not a good thing to do.

      Maybe she’s angry because she felt like you don’t trust her enough, sceptical about what she might be able to do to build her next relationship. I don’t know, but the above are my reasons.

      I honestly think she’s keeping it a secret not because she couldn’t trust you, but she has better reasons than that.

      My advice is, look forward to building a new life with her. Maybe you are the person most compatible with her. Maybe you could lead her in a better way than her ex-husband did. The past is there only for her to take lessons from.

  • Walaykumussalam wa rahmatullaah brother Muhammad,

    may Allah reward you for your righteous intention to get married, ameen. Brother I’m no scholar but if you ask me as a brother I would say you should give it another thought. Cause by the look of your comment I am thinking you are moving a bit fast, and Allah knows Best of course whats in the minds.

    Anyway akhi, what i would like to advise you is you be a bit more critical bout it. Because getting angry on a serious matter is in no way a part of islamic etiquette. She should have been more understanding & answer you with patience as the brother answered sister Humaira bout the reason for his divorce.

    I do realize that it must have been an emotional matter & people generally tend to avoid these things. But this is bout marriage, whether it’s a man or a woman it is an obligation upon them to clarify things before it gets worse. It is indeed your right to want to know bout the person you want to marry as it is her right to know bout you.

    So the point is you think things over & most importantly do istikharah akhi. Don’t misunderstand me please as I in no way want to spoil your intention to get married but I am just suggesting that you take proper precautions. Since this is bout your lifelong partner.

    I hope things work right for you & may Allah give you a pious wife, ameen,

  • Thank you for writing and sharing this to the world. This is the first time I visit your website. One tweet lead to another and lead me to this page eventually. I can only say that your entries, especially this one, opened up my eyes about what kind of relationship I want to pursue in life. A lot of us moslem woman or just woman in general got blinded by short-lived worldly blings and missed the essentials foundation for a lasting marriage.

    Allah bless you!

  • Thanks for sharing this article. Actually I am interested in learning more about the tips that help in succeeding marriage.

  • my husband finds me naggy….whereas its nvr my intention to nag, all i ask for is to be given this chance to share my views and opinions…… Dont i hv my rights as a wife to share my views and opinions? is it sinful to speak up just because we are a women? Does it makes us any less just because we are a women? I’m still in the process of learning in these areas of marriage. i just dont want these marriage to end as an ugly marriage….Im just a normal human learning constantly who hv flaws… bt why am i to blame for everything…… its stressful……..

  • Salaam, very beautiful article masha Allah, may Allah bless us with righteous wives?husbands ameen.
    I am a young African man, 23, i have been trying to come to terms with getting married to an older woman or atleast a persons age mate, alotta people i asked have given me the” its okay but’ which means, islamically and naturally its okay but it is not really a good idea. i dont really get it. i would appreciate an explnation from the religious angle as well as an advice from some one with experience. jazakhallah khair

  • This is indeed very true but what about the sectarian issues amoung Muslims which becomes the impossible to get-over hindrance sometimes.As it also unites two families but what would be the solution for the couple to convince or make them realize that get over it and it does not mean that the couple is disrespecting their families’ desires.

  • great article. but i wish life was as simple as knowing some details. you may know all the right things to look for but you may never find someone having all those qualities. in the end it is your fate. for some it will be easy marital life and for some bitter. some will slip into bitterness later on and some will slip out of bitterness later on. there is simply no way to predict what will happen to you. life cannot be lived without hardships. future contains possibilities but now is the time to make a decision. i pray it is worth it in the end.

    rabbi yussir wala tu ussir!

  • This was very interesting because it reflect exactly on me and the person I really want to marry. But the big challenge we are facing is her family rejection of us being married simply because I am black and she is Arab, nevertheless we are all practicing Muslims, MashAllah.

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