What Muslim Men Look For In A Wife

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By Pure Matrimony -

What do Muslim men really want from a woman? What do they
look for?
What are they attracted to? …Why don’t they listen?

Insha’Allah we shall try to understand what exactly Muslim men
look for in potential wives, and why, very often, they don’t get it.

*Disclaimer: much of the following is from various Islamic
studies and a result of research. This is not definitive nor
applicable to all men, but it is a standard. All subheadings are
to be taken as general guidelines. Some content is adult
material.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Bismillahi’Rahmani’Raheem. In the name of God, entirely
Compassionate, especially Merciful.

Beginning with Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ famous marriage
criteria, he said:
“A woman is married for four reasons, i.e., her wealth, her
family status, her beauty and her piety. So you should marry
the pious woman otherwise you will be losers (your hands will
be covered in dust).” Narrated by Abu Huraira, in Sahih Al-
Bukhari & Muslim (Book 62:27, Marriage)
{Read more of the Holy Marriage Criteria on MUSLIMNESS}

Let’s break this hadith down.
1) WEALTH » It is acceptable and encouraged in Islamic
culture to marry somebody with the same socio-economic
background. People marry rich daughters of businessmen all
the time. Although it is common to hear that in South
Asian/African countries men pressurise prospective wives and
their families for high dowries etc, it is very unlikely a Muslim
man will marry purely because his future wife is filthy rich. He
will have his own money, he’s not looking for a joint savings
account. Wealth is a great turn-on; it’s power, opportunity,
intimidating for some (for example if a wife earns more), but
real wealth is not tangible. However much a woman or her
family earns does not reflect on what Muslim men are really
looking.

2) STATUS » During the Prophet’s ﷺ time status was
categorised into two.
1) “Nasab”, which means heritage and lineage. Just as women
hope to marry into ‘a good family’, Muslim men love the idea of
marrying into a ‘religious family’ – being connected to a woman
whose family have ethical commitments and she herself is
morally upright. 2) The other type of lineage is “Hasab”, which
is what the ancestors have done that distinguish the potential
partner. “Status” for contemporary Muslims can mean
popularity, respect, famousness or achievements. We may
deny that social ranking means nothing to us, but there is a
difference between marrying the daughter of a farmer and the
daughter of a professor, or a woman who is a farmer and
another who is the professor. Most Muslim men do not use
status as a measure of success for potential wives but they do
tend to look into it for reasons of prestige and influence. Men
will look at a woman’s current work in terms of how she may
behave in their marriage or raise their future children. IQ and
personality is involved. This is explained better further below
(see: Personality).

3) BEAUTY » Now, for men, marrying someone for her beauty
“jamali ha” is basically love at first/second/third sight, and it
happens – a marriage based on looks, I mean. Or it can be a
deeper attraction which transcends into her “inner beauty”, and
this happens too, cliché though it may be. Basically what
attracts a man most is a woman’s femininity. But the problem
here is that Muslim men do not know how to articulate this very
personal criteria appropriately. In the above hadith Prophet
Muhammad ﷺ is telling men that it’s o.k. to be captured by
outward attractions but to not fall in love with the ephemeral
nature of beauty. Initial attractions will be lost with ageing and if
there is no or little appreciation of a woman’s other non-sexual
assets, that marriage will breakdown pretty easily. This is why
women are drawn to a mans’ character first (inner beauty)
while most men require a visual beauty, that’s packed with
stimulating contents.

4) PIETY » When men say they are looking for “religious”
wives they each refer to very different attributes. They might
mean simple women who don’t wear bright colours or follow
fads; it may be directed at women not orientated towards the
material world “dunya”, but the events after death “akhirah”; it
may mean a woman who has already completed her 5 basic
pillars of faith or just one who wears the full H’N’J combo:
Hijab-Niqab-Jilbab. Or it may mean all of the above.
Realistically, men don’t know how to clarify their pious wish-
lists. Still, they hope for a woman who is connected to God in
her daily life outside of prayers, as well as being aware of the
nature of life’s challenges. Men tend to tick off a woman’s deen
straightforwardly but it’s not as black and white as it seems,
which comes back to outward beauty. The package may look
religious, but without a conversation on worries and ambitions,
you may later find she’s all about the wedding day and shoes.

A note from sh. Yasir Qadhi,
“Understanding the facts of life and things that men do may
gross you out. Guys are very simple; they don’t worry like
women, they don’t analyse or think too far ahead. He will take a
relationship for granted. For men it’s more about ‘what can she
do for me?’ Men want physical services from woman and there
are key differences – he says it’s the ‘things she does for me’
whereas women will say it’s ‘how he makes me feel.’ To
Muslim women: don’t be insulted or upset for it is by Allah’s
creation that men are way more simple and want basic needs.
Of course there is a a need for complex love, but it is not an
overriding yearning.”
The 3Ds: Drive, Determination & Disposition
While it’s not high on their list, it is clear that men find a
woman’s drive, determination and energy attractive qualities in
a life partner.

1) DRIVE. A woman with a zest for life tends to have a more
exciting presence than one who is reserved or afflicted with
sloth. Men see women’s drive as a measure of their mood. It’s
action, it’s motion, it reminds them of themselves. And not
surprisingly, men prefer a woman in a generally positive frame
of mind.

2) DETERMINATION. Determination is an admirable quality
which shows this woman will not give up no matter what Allah
throws at her. She will fall. But she will get up. With natural
instincts to problem-solve themselves, men can tolerate
complainers (“nagging”) but not a person who gives up at every
obstacle.

3) DISPOSITION. A pleasing disposition overlaps with sound
mental health and an easy-to-get-along-with personality. Is your
wife-to-be a worrier or a warrior? Is she unhappy and moody?
Does she get along with everyone? As the hadith above
suggests, a pretty face and religious background are excellent,
but they will not necessarily indicate whether she gets easily
abusive or jealous.

And now, onto the check-lists.

• Looks
→ What Do We Mean By looks?
For men, looks are incredibly important and most will openly
(and shamelessly) say they want someone they are physically
attracted to. Saying that though, men are not as concerned
about looks or as worried as women can be.

→ Dress Sense
Women are not expecting a service through a man’s
appearance – his good looks are a bonus. Men on the other
hand need visual solace, eye-candy (whatever you want to call
it) from a Muslim wife. A ladylike and dignified presentation is
reassuring. Similarly, a woman that can ‘work it’ in pj’s, an
apron or less brings a needed stimulation. Men look forward to
showing off their elegantly sophisticated wives, as well as
keeping the simpler beauty to themselves. If men could, they
would say: clothing should show your confidence. It’s a case of
believing in what you wear.

→ Fertility, Stability & Purity
Visual attractions are a primary factor for men yet this
appearance isn’t just about how voluptuous a woman’s shape is
are or how large her eyes are. Appearances give a sense of
fertility, stability and purity. Men do analyse a woman’s dress
sense somewhat and they do like stylish women, even when
they deny it (keyword: ‘simple’). Make-up, that is, face paint,
only covers up the natural beauty a man desires: the smiles
and sweet perfumes which men like to ‘feel’. Of course it is a
sunnah (prophetic tradition) to dress fantastic for your partner
in crime, but in a woman’s daily single-life attire, men pick up
important information from the ‘real’ woman underneath. In
short, Muslim men look at the outside to see whether there’s
natural femininity on the inside.

• Experience & Age
→ Why Age Is A Factor
Now that women are receiving more college degrees than men
according to the US Census, and outperforming in the UK’s
employment sector, men are looking for women who are both
intelligent and educated. Id est: interesting and accomplished.

Age is a direct correlative to sexuality and fertility. While
estrogens (primary female sex hormones) impel women to
choose men who are assertive and powerful, androgens in men
ensure they look for youthful women and their apparent
childbearing abilities.

It is true that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ wanted us to have many
children. “Marry loving (passionate) and fertile women,” he
encouraged his Companions, “because I want to compete with
other nations (in size).” Thus sex for procreation has a reward
and an impact on the community unity. Ibn al-Jawzi said,
“Sexual intercourse (of two pious Muslims) brings the likes of
Imam Ahmad and Imam Shaf’i […] By Allah! Sexual intercourse
that produces such is better than a 1000 years of worship.”

Eager to continue their lineage, Muslim men look for women
who are ready to share those parenting roles. They see a
woman’s biological make-up as something that benefits the
Ummah, that can take the responsibility of nurturing a little
Muslim, and provide the sex to create them.

→ Personal Baggage
In addition to age and youth, and this is something to note for
women – men look for dependable character. Men want a life
partner who will be reliable and faithful. A wife who will stand
by their side and defy divorce rates. Experience explains
whether a potential wife is capable of being a man’s rock and
this comes down to assessing baggage.

Everyone has baggage. Everyone is affected by past
experiences or problems with family or friends or relationships;
it is the burden of the human soul. If someone claims to be
totally unscathed, they are living in la-la land. The question is
not whether a person has baggage, but how a person handles
their baggage. Unless it’s too heavy to carry. If a woman is
crippled by her experiences, it’s not good. If all she can talk
about is her horrible childhood, poor relationship track record,
traumatic divorce – she is trapped in the past. She isn’t carrying
her baggage, she’s lying underneath it. Men: look for a woman
who is comfortable with her history.

Men want to know certain things that have shaped the woman
she is today, however there’s a Muslim etiquette to sharing
personal information prior to marriage. New Muslims in
particular will face probing. Although there is a necessity to
share medical history and traumatic events that could affect the
marriage, there is no obligation to spill the bitter truth about
everything. Everyone lies. Men lie, women lie, whether Muslim
or not. As a man you cannot take an absolutionist position to a
woman who admits a few mistakes. Honest women admit their
imperfections.

Men do not want to babysit their wives. They want someone
who’s lived a life and knows how to support him. Guys – she
should be interested in your struggles and strivings. She should
be your biggest fan and waving your flag.

• Personality
→ Intellectuality Verses Education
For men, intellect and playfulness are two highly desired
qualities in women. Every man likes to have an intelligent wife
who can advise and support him in day to day matters.
Education and intellect aren’t same thing. All deep thinkers
don’t have degrees and lots of PhD graduates don’t think at all
(!) Men are attracted to the women who appreciate their
thoughts, who are interested. Intelligence comes in different
forms – a logical skill, emotional intelligence, a creative talent,
or a scientific imagination – there are many areas of
intelligence. Men look for a woman who can meet him on his
intellectual level. A woman who is exciting, who can challenge
him but not overpower every conversation.

Personality comes from Allah and character is moulded out of
it. Men are attracted to the woman who has a life of her own
and is open to compromise. The best way for a man to test
whether personality meshes is to make observations when
interacting. Check how rigidly you define masculinity and
femininity. Some men expect women to live tradition
stereotypes of feminine roles. If she violates your code of
womanhood or she’s offended by your vision, look for a
different woman or recheck your ideals. Rigidity is a sign of
insecurity.

→ The Funny Bone
Humour is far more important than most think it is. A man
doesn’t look for a ‘funny woman’ or one with a ‘good’ sense of
humour. He looks for a woman who laughs at the same things
he does. Some people cannot stand sitcoms, others have a
crude collection of jokes for the masjid after-party. It can be
alienating when a group is gripped by hilarity but you don’t find
that thing funny. Instead of feeling like a pariah, you want a
sense of belonging. Humour is a very basic response, unique
from person to person yet recognised the world over. A man
will say “I love to laugh”, to which a woman will respond, “to
what? do you find everything funny?” And vice versa.
• Wealth
→ Women, Perfume And Prayer
The wealth of a woman is not in what she has, it’s in what she
protects. Islam motivates men towards marrying women with
taqwah (piety) because that is what lasts. However, it’s difficult
for Muslims to find the middle ground.

More often than not Muslim men fall into extremes. One says,
“I don’t care how she looks, I only want a religious woman.’ All
Muslim men say this. The other extreme says, “I want my hijabi
supermodel.” The unnatural media portrayal of women has a
part to play in this. Television and print vomits out beauty
whores who are paid to look super-skinny with surgery and
Photoshop. Even Cindy Crawford said “I wish I looked liked
Cindy Crawford!”

Brother, no matter how beautiful your wife is, you will desire
something else. Trapped in a world where temptations do not
cease and every eye wants the forbidden fruit, ‘Imaan (faith) in
Allah is the only thing that will keep a Muslim grounded.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ recognised this unquenchable desire,
saying to anyone attracted by another woman, “Go to your wife!
She has what she has!” (A note for polygamy, perhaps)

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also said:
“Beloved to me from your world are women and pleasant
scents, and my greatest pleasure is in prayer.” (Ahmad)

In Islam, women are not sexual objects; granted they are
sexual beings, but their sexuality is not for sale or public
property. Men desire women more than women desire men
(read that again). Created with “Rahm”, Compassion, and
carrying “ar-rahm”, the womb, women are naturally more family
orientated, closer to Allah and more loving. There is no shame
in being the woman Allah pre-ordained – unpretentious,
dignified, chaste. When Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said he loved
women, perfume and prayer, he was not separating one from
the other. He included their qualities and their effect upon one
another. A man who marries a woman with taqwah will be
inspired to pray, and therein lies the “greatest pleasure”
because it builds another bridge towards Allah – hence, “half
your deen”. By marrying, men therefore gain a means to
protect and express themselves lawfully,
“The Creator requires men to make more effort to reach
(women’s) degree of fitra.” – Abdal-Hakim Murad
• The All Important Connection
When you’re motivated by Allah, things fits into place. The
Prophet ﷺ said, “The best enjoyment is a righteous wife (or
husband).” There are some things in this world which, when
benefitting us, we love them. The best coolness for eyes
though is salat (prayer). Following up from the point above,
when two people marry with the correct intention and attitude, it
becomes a rewarding act and brings a peace similar to prayer.
Men being the simple creatures they are however, will forget
what they’re doing.

Three things mistaken for compatibility
1) Sexual attraction – the trouble with sexual attraction is that
couples have to it to succeed, but it is not enough. As its the
most powerful it can seem to be enough. At the beginning of a
marriage you’re caught up in the dance of desire and you
“click” superficially. Five years later you’re sat silently staring at
each other across the dinner table making du`a Allah gives you
something better. Why? Because that relationship was based
on sexual attraction alone. If you dive in just because you’re
excited, you might ignore the red flags. Such as…

2) Falling in love – as the ultimate drug trip, falling in love is
dangerous especially for men in that when you fall for
someone, you don’t care if they love you back. You persist in
this madness and feel they should love you back. If the love
isn’t returned, it isn’t a tragedy. Lust is about ‘me’, it’s selfish;
love is about ‘us’ – giving. But a Muslim marriage is ultimately
about Allah – receiving love. Love for dunya and people seems
to carry an approval from the universe: “this person is perfect
for you, she’s right in every way possible. MARRY HER NOW.”
Being in love carries an illusion of compatibility. But you need to
think with a clearer head to avoid a broken heart as too often,
we fall in love with the wrong people. That feeling of ‘love’
makes us forget what we’re looking for = a partner in crime.
For life.

3) Ideals – Another aspect men mistake for compatiblity is a
dream relationship for himself and his future wife. He wants a
type of relationship based on Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and
Khadija’s marriage, but he doesn’t know what type of woman
he wants. If we analyse the beautiful personality of Khadija we
see she carries 3 top characteristics of many working Muslim
women: Financial Independence, a managerial position and a
previous marriage. That is not the type of relationship most
men look for – but it is the type of woman our beloved leader
Khadija (ra) was. That’s the difference.

• What Muslim Men Really Need
It’s a large reality bite to swallow but at the crux of the
marriage, a man is looking for what his wife can do for him,
and 4 particular services she can provide. *Women ma women,
put your feminism away, take it as empowerment.

(4) Maintaining a home – Men look for and need a woman who
is adept at household chores. Washing, cooking and cleaning.
These are basic mothering services. Being able to cook
delicious food is what he really expects from his lady love. If he
loves your food, he will love you more. As the saying goes, the
way to a man’s heart is his stomach. Note that for women, the
exact same applies with different effects: men washing dishes
is like physical arousal for women. He’s at home, maintaining
the house together, pulling his weight, women love that effort.
Men, get your apron on!

(3) Men look for admiration – They want to be number one,
admired by their wife, respected. A man wants love from a
nagging-free woman. He will hate being told what to do and
what not to do. Respect has to be earned, nonetheless, Muslim
men expect their wives to hold a high regard of them. (And not
mention their shortcomings and mistakes – men’s egos are so
large they have postal codes).

(3) Being left alone in solitude – Men need alone time to think
by themselves, to reflect, to not expose everything. Just as the
Prophet ﷺ spent time in a cave, Muslim men have a mental cave
in which they retreat to figure out a problem or recharge.
Women talk out their issues, while men want solace to find a
solution.
“Men don’t think too deep. Feed them, love them, give him
what he needs and he’ll be your slave.” – Sh. Yasir Qadhi.

And the number one thing Muslim men look for in a wife. The
number one thing?

→ Halal sex ←
Shocking, isn’t it.

(1) Halal sex – Intimacy is the only unique thing a woman can
provide that men are powerfully dependent on. If you look to
the dating culture, a man’s aim is to get her into bed. He will
fulfil her material wants, show signs of adoration, all the things
to get her to comply, but this is just foreplay that leads to the
end goal. Sex. The maxim changes: the way to a man’s heart is
slightly below his stomach. Our Muslim culture is not like
“theirs”. We do not date, we do not give up our “services” with
flowers and a wink.
• Sex, Sex, Sex… Yawn, Sex, Sex
In Muslim marriage, both men and women’s primary need is
catered to. Men crave intimacy while women crave emotional
care. Men’s first need is guaranteed in marriage as Allah
stipulates it for a wife, and financial comfort, love and support
is obliged on men. What one spouse needs, the other has to
give. A woman with this knowledge is in a powerful position as
technically, all she needs to “please” her husband is meet this
one need. These huquq (rights) are from Islamic Shari`ah and
unfortunately an area which Muslims haven’t educated
themselves on.

The consequences of this mean that women freak out at the
realisation of their husband’s sex drive, and men wonder why
their wives aren’t on an equal level. By the age of 18 most
Muslim men are aware of their sexuality, most Muslim women
are not. And so the limits, permissible methods of expression
and being aware of one’s body, is muddled up and too sensitive
a topic to discuss.

More on gender differences later insha’Allah.

A note for our brothers – sex is good, but sex is not god. ‘Good
sex’ is not enough, and a woman will enter a marriage with a
different agenda altogether.

Sex is the number 1 cause of tension in most marriages. The
reason being that the couple has a different take on what to
expect and give. Thus, men are searching for a woman who is
aware in this department, a woman who knows and will learn
how to treat a man. Sisters: that’s you.

 

Love is action. You start ‘in love’ but you need to be ‘loving’ in
your relationship. All too often men expect to receive bedroom
thirlls without starting the fire as it were, (for want of a better
expression). As soon as you as a husband feed the needs of
your wife – even if it’s housework – you’ll see the increase in her
attention towards you. It’s an amazing circle of love which only
existed because of Allah.
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves
mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed
between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a
people who give thought.” (Qur’an, 30:21)

• Looking For Your Missing Turban
Clothing protects us from external elements, the sun and cold.
“Like a garment”, spouses protect one another from haram
elements in society. Pornography, illicit relationships and
degrading behaviour. Allah mentions the act of intimacy literally
as one spouse covering the other, a metaphor for a type of
beautification, without which, you are naked. And while the
magic of marriage and eternal sakoon (tranquility) feels far-
fetched in our grey days, the bond is incomparable to any other
pleasure.

‘Aisha (ra) said,
“I heard the Prophet ﷺ saying: ‘Souls are like conscripted
soldiers; those whom they recognise, they get along with, and
those whom they do not recognise, they will not get along
with.’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Source: http://www.zaufishan.co.uk/2011/07/what-muslim-men-look-for-in-wife.html

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