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characteristics of ideal women

This is a discussion on characteristics of ideal women within the Family Life forums, part of the Main Topics category; Considering the importance of marriage, it was natural for jurists to describe the favourite characteristics of the wife carefully, so ...

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    real stranger abu raas's Avatar
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    Default characteristics of ideal women

    Considering the importance of marriage, it was natural for jurists to describe the favourite characteristics of the wife carefully, so that the ideal goals of marriage, as they view them, should be achieved. These desirable characteristics that a wife should possess could be summed up as follows:


    1. The woman should be less in age than the man, so that she should not age quickly and be unable to conceive. She should be less in esteem, power, honour, and money since men are to support women (Sura al-Nisa 4:34) and protect them. We read in narrated traditions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that he said, "A woman is married for four things, i.e. her wealth, her family status, her beauty, and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman [otherwise] you will be a loser."

      "Do not marry women off for their comeliness; their comeliness may lead them to perdition. Do not marry them off for their possessions; their possessions may lead them to domineer. Marry them for their religion. A black, believing slave is better than a beautiful free women who does not believe."

      The woman should not be tall or gaunt, short or ugly, or have bad manners. She should not be old or have a child from a previous marriage. She should not be a slave if the man can marry a free woman. Al-Jaziri, however, keeps silent on the issue of the good characteristics a man should possess in order for him to be an ideal husband for his wife!
      A younger wife is the tradition (sunna) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). "The Messenger of God married me when I was seven years old" `Aisha said, (Sulaiman says six), "and consummated the marriage with me when I was nine years old." Muhammad (saw) died when she was eighteen years old. Muhammad's (saw) marriage with `Aisha has always been a problem for the jurists, for they do not unanimously agree on the marriageable age of the girl:

      Concerning the issue of consummating the marriage with [a girl under age], it was said that she should not be slept with before she attains puberty, but it was said in al-Bahr al-raiq that she can be slept with at the age of nine. The majority of Imams are of the opinion that the issue of age plays no role in this respect, and that the criterion is that the woman should be physically fit and big enough to accommodate men, and consequently there would be no fear that she would get sick if she is copulated with, even if she has not reached the age of nine. But if she is thin or gaunt and cannot bear sex, and is in danger of getting sick, her husband is not allowed to sleep with her, even if she is of age- this is the sound opinion." In a book entitled al-Furu` we read the following, "The best state for a woman is between the age of fourteen and twenty? Her maturity is made perfect at thirty, and she stops at forty, and declines after that."

      2. Besides youth, she should preferably be a virgin. Prophet (saw) Muhammad said, "Seek virgins; they are sweeter of mouth, have more productive wombs and can be contented with the least." When Jabir told him he married a matron, he said to him, "Why not a virgin that you should play with her?"

      This inequality between the virgin and the matron also manifests itself through prophet Muhammad's own treatment of his wives. Anas Ibn Malik narrated, "If prophet Muhammad (saw) marries a virgin he stays with her seven days. If he marries a matron he stays with her three days. This is the tradition." Marrying a matron is permissible if a man is in need of doing so; for example if he has children who need to be raised up by someone who is used to raising up children, or if he is old to a degree that puts a young virgin off and thus intimacy between them will not endure.

      3. The jurists not only touched upon the qualities an ideal wife should possess, but went so far as to list the offensive characteristics and faults she should not have. Man's defects that forbid or abolish his marriage are basically these three: madness, castration, and incontinence. Yet woman's defects are enumerated and accounted for in detail. The main defections of woman are seven: madness, elephantiasis, leprosy, cornu, breathing difficulties, and lameness.

      Madness is the corruption of mind to the extent that one's decisions becomes erratic owing to passing incapacity and not due to fainting bouts, in which one's decision-making remains the same.

      Elephantiasis is the disease that causes stiffening of the organs and rending of the flesh. It is not the same as losing energy, having nodes in the face or roundness of the eyes.
      Leprosy is white spots that appear on the surface of the body due to the domination of phlegm.

      Cornu is a bony protrusion in the vagina that prevents sex. But if it does not prevent sex, marriage may not be dissolved because there is still a possibility of enjoyment, but it is also acceptable to dissolve marriage because of it in keeping with the outward meaning of the tradition.

      Lameness is still debatable whether it could be included among the causes of divorce; but it is certain that it dissolves marriage in case it makes the woman an invalid.

      According to some, blockage of the vagina is one of the defects that involve divorce. This may be correct if it prevents sex to start with, as it deprives [the man] of enjoyment when it is impossible to remove it, or when it is possible but [the woman] refuses to submit to medication.

      There are no other defects that a woman can have apart from these seven.
      In another tradition, Muhammad said to Umm Salim as she was looking at a certain woman, "Smell her shoulders and take a look at her heels."

      4. Beauty is a quality that should not be neglected when looking for a wife. A weak tradition teaches us that looking at a beautiful woman sharpens and strengthens eyesight. As mentioned previously, man marries a woman for either of three things: for her beauty, her family status, or for her religion.

      `Aisha narrated, "The Messenger of God betrothed a woman from Kalb [tribe]. He sent me to look at her, and asked me, 'How did you see her?' I said, 'I saw no use in her.' He replied, 'I saw a mole on her cheek that caused each of your hairs to stand on end.' I said, 'There is no secret hidden from you.' "

      5. It is also agreeable that her bridal gift should be appropriate. Prophet Muhammad said, "The marriage that has the greatest blessing is the one that is suitable to provide for."

      6. Yet being "fertile" is the most important quality a woman must have. Ma`qil Ibn Yasar narrated, "A man came to the Prophet and said, 'I fell in love with a woman of great beauty and family status; but she does not conceive, shall I marry her?' He replied, 'No.' The man came to him again, and the Prophet forbade him. He came to him a third time, so the Prophet said, `Marry the amiable, fertile one; for I will vie the nations in number by you.' " Al-Jaziri says, "It is better that she [the wife] be fertile; because a barren one cannot carry out the function of reproduction which is necessary for human society." We conclude this chapter by quoting the first benefit of marriage that occurs in Ihya `ulum al-din:

      Children: They are the original purpose of marriage for which it has been established, and it is for perpetuating offspring so that the world would not be empty of mankind. Lust, however, was created as a stimulating motivation, as is the case with male animals in the production of seed, and the female ones that make cultivation possible. Thus they are gently led to produce a brood through copulation. The same principle is used in scattering grain, which birds lust after, in order to trap them into the net. The eternal power [of God] was not incapable of forging people afresh without cultivation or copulation, but Wisdom required that effects should be dependant on causes, though these causes can be done without, so the power [of God] should be manifest, the wonders of His creation should be made complete, and to accomplish the foreordained purposes of [divine] will. It is a safeguard from the calamities of lust, in that none of them wished to meet God unmarried. In the achievement of offspring, there are four aspects of closeness: The first is being in agreement with the love of God by achieving offspring to preserve mankind. The second is seeking the love of the Messenger of God by increasing the cause of his boasting. The third is seeking the blessing of one's good offspring after one dies. The fourth is seeking intercession by the death of a young child, in case this child dies before his father.
    ,

    "Islam began as something strange and it shall return to being something strange as it was. So, glad tidings for the strangers."

    quran 3:104 '' Be a community that callsfor what is good,urges what is right, and forbids what is wrong: those who do this are the successful ones.

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    Default Re: characteristics of ideal women

    I totally agree with you and i want to add something. The woman who you will marry must be argumentative, but you must argue with her in same channel. You must laugh to same things and must keep eachother open mind.

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    Default Re: characteristics of ideal women

    Madness is the corruption of mind to the extent that one's decisions becomes erratic owing to passing incapacity and not due to fainting bouts, in which one's decision-making remains the same.
    Well...I wish there was someone wise to talk to me right now...but it's too late I already got married
    it doesn't matter if I get divorced...
    I trust Allaah that I wont be living on the streets...

    anyways I told my husband that he was going to be marrying a crazy girl...
    anyways thinking of death sometimes brings soothing relief.

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    Default Re: characteristics of ideal women

    I feel ugly.

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    Default Re: characteristics of ideal women

    Whoever feels ugly he/she should look at someone uglier, and whoever feels poor he/she should look at somebody who is even more poor ...

    And about craziness - this has lots to do with living in this crazy world, especially living in the west.

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    Default Re: characteristics of ideal women

    Quote Originally Posted by Soul View Post
    I feel ugly.
    Contemplate your signature

    "Allaah is my Rabb and he is Most Just."

    Do not let Shaitan whisper into you the words of sorrow, denial, and regret.

    You are blessed to be in the state of Islam* - What could a Muslim possibly find ugly about him or herself after that - other than to deviate from this path?

    * something which the vast majority of people (999/1000) will regret at the end (of not having.)

    What do you fear of ugliness (in any way) when on the Day of Judgement, your face will be brightened, filled with joy - while most of humanity will be walking with blackened face, uglier than dust - lamenting in the sorrow that was their lives?

    Be proud of your identity. You are not ugly, you are someone whom Allah (swt) has blessed.

    "Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny? (Surah ar-Rahman)"
    Last edited by ahmad10; 9th August 2011 at 10:58 PM.

    ٰ ۚ ۖ ۚ
    ٰ ۚ ۚ ٰ

    Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah , so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah ? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.

    (Surah at-Tawbah 111 - 111 )
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    Default Re: characteristics of ideal women

    Ok, so... if you don't mind brother, where is this compilation from? As in who brought it together?

    Because I understand some of these points as 'desirable' characteristics, rather than 'important' characteristics in a potential wife, or preferences a man might have, but to say that these are important characteristics in ideal women I find it a bit... much, and some parts cannot understand. Such as this part:

    She should be less in esteem, power, honour, and money since men are to support women (Sura al-Nisa 4:34) and protect them. We read in narrated traditions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that he said, "A woman is married for four things, i.e. her wealth, her family status, her beauty, and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman [otherwise] you will be a loser."...

    The woman should not be tall or gaunt, short or ugly, or have bad manners. She should not be old or have a child from a previous marriage.
    Because I don't or cannot fathom how even if she had more esteem or honor in her community than her husband - how that would be a negative attribute to her and distance her from being the characteristic of an 'ideal woman'?! I mean sure a husband having respect is good, but why would it mean that she should be less than him in these traits? Especially seeing as they are good traits?! As for being less in power and money, then they too can be questioned can't they? A husband must support his family yes, but why would it detract from a woman's qualities if she had power within her community or more money than him?

    As for the second... a woman cannot help being tall, she cannot help being short, she cannot help being ugly either. Now why would they have bearing on an ideal woman? Or the characteristics of one? I understand that beauty is important to some, and shouldn't be a neglected aspect, but about being tall or short? Aren't these more preferences in a wife than things which should have a negative effect on how ideal a woman is or is not?

    I don't know if I'm coming across correctly, but reading in many senses that you may not have 'important characteristics of ideal women' for things you cannot control, and which do not have a negative effect on your mental, physical, or psychological self - or defy any of the 'goals' of marriage - is a bit ... annoying.
    Last edited by Prolix; 9th August 2011 at 10:56 PM.


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    Default Re: characteristics of ideal women

    Thanks brothers

    Alhamdulillah for being muslim

    Alhamdulillah.

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    Default Re: characteristics of ideal women

    anyways I told my husband that he was going to be marrying a crazy girl...
    anyways thinking of death sometimes brings soothing relief.
    You're not crazy sister, you're just passing through a difficult time, and ALLAH will bring you ease when the time comes, just have faith in Him.
    Being mentally or psychologically sick doesn't mean that you're going to remain permananetly that way, we all have our own shortcomings and falls in the way or the other.

    May ALLAH ease your affairs, and remove your sufferrings, and replace them with joy and happiness, and fill your life with the safety and Iman inSha'a ALLAH.

    It's Ramadan Brothers and Sisters, don't forget to make Du'a for every Mubtala that ALLAH will betow upon him/her the bliss of health and sanity, patience and remembrance of ALLAH, and a quick recovery from whatever it affects him/her, especially in the last 10 days of Ramadan inSha'a ALLAH.

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    Default Re: characteristics of ideal women

    The List feels incomplete, I would definitly add deen to the list.

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