Selecting A Mate
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
I the above verse, Allah is telling us that people who are given to behave in a way that is morally improper are for people who are given to behave in the same way. And that people who are given to morally proper behavior should be mates for those whose behavior is also morally proper. So, people who are lustful and irresponsible in their conduct and moral behavior should not seek morally upright men or women to marry. If you are really a Muslim, you do not want to mate yourself with somebody that is not like you. If you are filthy, marry someone like yourself until you can become clean.
You should mate with somebody like yourself, because you wouldn't want to carry your filth into the good life of someone who is not doing filthy things.
Parents should educate their children not to look at unclean people. If they are clean, they should look at clean people. Parents look pretty cheap looking for a prostitute for their son who has never touched a woman outside the law. Furthermore, it is against the religion to do so.
When you accept Al-Islam, your slate becomes clean. What you did before you became Muslim is forgiven. But, if you are still committing unclean acts after you become Muslim, those things count against you. Let me give you an example. A brother confessed before the community that he had committed adultery. And in a few weeks or less, he approached a sister who is a virgin, and said to her, "I would like for us to know each other." Does that make sense? Here is a man who has confessed adultery, and now he wants a sister who is a virgin, and never has committed adultery. Why should she be interested in getting together with this brother who has just announced, "I'm an adulterer." Members in this community should question such people like that who are among us.
Importance of Chastity
In verse 32 of chapter 24, Allah says, <(Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among your slaves, male or female. If they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace. For Allah encompasses all, and He knows all things. Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah gives them means out of His grace. And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed. If you know any good in them, give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that you may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
These verses are telling us that Muslims should seek virtuous persons to marry — that it is better to marry a slave than to marry a corrupt person, and that it is better to marry a poor person than to marry a corrupt person. Those verses also instruct the person who is restricted because of poverty not to just get a mate out of sexual desire, but to remain chaste and disciplined until they find the means with which to marry.
In a Muslim society it is important for a woman to be a virgin because it speaks for her honor. It says that she has been able to restrain her appetite and keep the law of this religion. It also says the same thing for a brother who keeps the law.
Man's Financial Obligations
It is clearly expressed in the Qur'an that financial means are very important in marriage. Certainly the poor person is not expected to come up with a very large sum as a guarantee to his wife that he will be able to take care of her for a certain length of time. But he is at least expected to come up with what is fitting and proper for a person of his means. He should not say, "I am poor. I don't have anything." He should say, "I am poor. Will you wait until I can earn something?" He should not ask a woman to marry him if he does not know how he is going to pay this month's rent. That is not right. The poor man should not marry until he has a way to take care of his wife.
In Al-Islam the wife is not an equal associate with the husband in the financial upkeep of the home. That burden falls on the male. And no matter how much this society changes the attitude of equal respect for the sexes, the Muslims are not going to change. Allah has set the role for the male and the female, and it is going to stay that way. The male is going to remain the maintainer, the protector in the public life for women, and as Muslims, we should not expect it to be any differently. As males we want to accept our responsibility.
Allah tells us in the Qur'an, "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other and because they support them from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard."
Men in the Muslim community should look forward to accepting the responsibility for bringing in the needs of livelihood to their wives and children that they expect to have from their marriage. If the American society makes a woman equal to the man in financial obligations to the extent that the man is not financially responsible to his family, then that is going to take a lot of drive, a lot of incentive out of the man.
A Muslim must follow the guidance of the Qur'an. The man must be what the Qur'an projects and the woman must be what the Qur'an projects. The only way we are going to survive is that we follow the guidance of the Qur'an. The only movement that will be successful is the movement that respects the law of Allah. It has never been otherwise. People have never been able to overcome the nature that Allah has established. People who try to change the nature Allah has created will never be successful. But, in the meantime, we want to protect the ignorant people among us who are not aware of these tricks so they won't become victims to the tricky things going on in the world. <>