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When choosing the father of our Children

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَمْرٍو السَّوَّاقُ الْبَلْخِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا حَاتِمُ بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مُسْلِمِ بْنِ هُرْمُزَ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَسَعِيدٍ، ابْنَىْ عُبَيْدٍ عَنْ أَبِي حَاتِمٍ الْمُزَنِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِذَا جَاءَكُمْ مَنْ تَرْضَوْنَ دِينَهُ وَخُلُقَهُ فَأَنْكِحُوهُ إِلاَّ تَفْعَلُوا تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَإِنْ كَانَ فِيهِ قَالَ ‏”‏ إِذَا جَاءَكُمْ مَنْ تَرْضَوْنَ دِينَهُ وَخُلُقَهُ فَأَنْكِحُوهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثَلاَثَ مَرَّاتٍ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ ‏.‏ وَأَبُو حَاتِمٍ الْمُزَنِيُّ لَهُ صُحْبَةٌ وَلاَ نَعْرِفُ لَهُ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم غَيْرَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ ‏.‏

Abu Hatim Al-Muzani narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said: “When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with comes to you then marry (her to) him. If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil (Fitnah) in the land and discord (Fasad). If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil (Fitnah) in the land and discord (Fasad).” They said: “O Messenger of Allah! What if there was something about him?” He said: “When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with comes to you then marry him.” (And he (pbuh) said this) three times.

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1085; Book 11, Hadith 6

The 5 most important qualities which should be present in a man when choosing a husband and the father of your children are:

His commitment to the deen:

You should look for a man who adheres to all the laws and teachings of Islam in his daily life. Your  wali (guardian) should do his checks and ask questions about his salat (prayer). A person who neglects the rights of Allah is more likely to neglect the rights of others and it is very rare to find a man of good character if he isn’t a sincere Muslim.

His attitude or behaviour

As part of his checks, your wali should find out who the man’s friends are and the kinds of people he is around . Your wali should also ask people he trusts, within the man’s circle if possible, about the man’s trustworthiness, his sincerity and how he treats those around him.

It is haram for you as a virgin to marry someone who committed zina (adultery) unless they sincerely repented to Allah.

ٱلزَّانِى لَا يَنكِحُ إِلَّا زَانِيَةً أَوْ مُشْرِكَةًۭ وَٱلزَّانِيَةُ لَا يَنكِحُهَآ إِلَّا زَانٍ أَوْ مُشْرِكٌۭ ۚ وَحُرِّمَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

“A male fornicator would only marry a female fornicator or idolatress. And a female fornicator would only be married to a fornicator or idolater. This is ˹all˺ forbidden to the believers”.

Al-Nur 24:3

Adultery is a major sin in Islam and it is a source of fitna (corruption) to the ummah. The mindset and actions of the zaani is worrisome because it weakens faith; darkens the hearts and removes virtue; and it corrupts morality.

Make sure you marry someone who knows the magnitude of how wrong zina is so that your own children will not see it as a simple act or behaviour without the fear of Allah.

Fertility

You shouldn’t marry a man who is sterile or infertile unless you know that it is possible for him to be treated and recover.

The man has to disclose his infertility when he proposes if he already knows. You also have the right to annul the marriage if you find out that he is infertile or sterile later, after getting married.

Lineage and socio-economic status

It is a bonus that the father of your children comes from a good family and a known lineage. If two men come to propose marriage and they are equal in terms of religious commitment, then preference should be given to the one who comes from a good family known for its adherence to the commands of Allah.

The fathers righteousness and those of his other close relatives could be passed on to his children. His good origins and lineage may also make him refrain from many wrongdings which will be an important example to his children and descendants.

وَأَمَّا ٱلْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَـٰمَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِى ٱلْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُۥ كَنزٌۭ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَـٰلِحًۭا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبْلُغَآ أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةًۭ مِّن رَّبِّكَ ۚ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُۥ عَنْ أَمْرِى ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًۭا

“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and under the wall was a treasure that belonged to them, and their father had been a righteous man. So your Lord willed that these children should come of age and retrieve their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. I did not do it ˹all˺ on my own. This is the explanation of what you could not bear patiently.”

Surah Al-Kahf 18:82

We look to this as an example where Allah made things easy for orphaned children by protecting their wealth because of the fathers righteousness and piety after he had died.

Wealth

You should note that wealth should not be a benchmark on whether you want to have children with a particular man or for you to limit how many children you’ll want to have with him because of it. Remember that Allah is the Sustainer and Provider and all provision is due from Him.

Allah condemned the people of the Jahiliyyah (the age of ignorance, before Islam) who killed their children in fear of poverty:

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوٓا۟ أَوْلَـٰدَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَـٰقٍۢ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْـًۭٔا كَبِيرًۭا

“Do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely killing them is a heinous sin”.

Al-Isra 17:31

Health Considerations

This isn’t one of the 5 qualities mentioned above but it is equally important. Pre-marital medical examinations should be considered necessary when choosing the father of our children as both couples should prioritise health considerations. A pre-marital medical examination is advisable to assess genetic compatibility, screen for infectious diseases, and evaluate chronic conditions. Thalassemia, sickle cell anaemia, cystic fibrosis and other genetic disorders can impact children, so testing both couples is essential. Additionally, discussing lifestyle factors, emotional well-being, and shared values contributes to a supportive environment for raising children. Consult healthcare professionals and immediate family members to make informed decisions.

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