Monday, 20 June 2011

Questions to Ask a Prospective Muslim Marriage Partner

Questions to Ask a Prospective Marriage Partner

Derived from Bent Rib: A Journey through Women’s issues in Islam
by Huda al-Khattab

compiled by Chloe Chaudhry

The following questions are offered in the
interest of helping Muslims to think through issues important to
marriage. You may wish to ask these questions when you’re considering
someone for marriage, either of them or just of yourself. You may
also wish to ask them of an intermediary, who may be able to provide
you an unbiased perspective. Some of the questions may seem "unIslamic",
but they deal with the reality of today's social situation, and
NOT asking a question may ultimately prove to be a bigger mistake
than asking it.


  • Why are you interested in marrying at
    this time?

  • How would you describe yourself?

  • What do you consider your greatest achievement
    to date?

  • Describe three experiences you’ve
    had that you’ve benefited/learned from.

  • What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve
    faced thus far in life? How has it affected you?

  • If there was one thing you would like
    to change about yourself, what would it be?

  • What are your goals for this life? What
    would you like to accomplish before you die?

  • What are you looking for in a spouse?



  • What role do you think parents should
    play in helping to select your spouse?

  • What process do you want to use to determine
    whether you have found the right spouse? Phone? E-mail? Chaperoned
    or unchaperoned in person? How much time do you want to decide?



  • What do you do to feel close to Allah

  • How to you hope to get closer to Allah
    (swt) through marriage?

  • What do you want to improve about yourself

  • How many times per day do you pray? What
    about while at work?

  • How much Qur’an have you memorized?

  • To what extent are you involved in the
    Islamic community?

  • Do you fast during Ramadan?

  • How do you determine how to distribute
    Zakat? How do you give in Sadaqa?

  • Have you been on Hajj or Umrah? When
    would you like to go?

  • Are you affiliated with a particular
    masjid or Islamic group?

  • How important do you think it is to only
    eat Halal meat?

  • How important do you think it is for
    women to wear hijab? What about men?

  • How do you like to celebrate religious

  • Do you go for jummah prayers?



  • Do you have non-Muslim friends?

  • What do you think Muslims should do on
    American holidays?



  • What do you think parents/extended family’s
    role should be in making important decisions: wedding planning,
    child rearing, vacations, where you will live?

  • What do you do if there is a conflict
    between your spouse and your family?

  • Are you comfortable living with extended
    family, particularly as they age? Are other accomodations possible?

  • How much time do you anticipate spending
    with your extended family, in person or by phone?

  • Would you describe the character of your
    family members?

  • What have you learned from observing
    your family that you do or do not want to incorporate into your



  • What career path do you plan on taking?

  • Will both husband and wife work outside
    the home?

  • Under what conditions would you be willing
    to move to further your or your spouse’s professional growth?

  • How much time do you spend at work?

  • How do you plan to balance time at work
    and time with the family?

  • What kind of business functions will
    you ask each other to host/attend?

  • Would you encourage/support the idea
    of me going back to school for advanced degrees?

  • How would we support ourselves if we
    both had to be in school?



  • How do you like to spend your free time?

  • How much time do you spend watching TV?

  • What interests would you like to share
    with your spouse?

  • How much time alone would you like to

  • How do you feel about separate vacations?
    Business trips? Conferences?



  • How much time do you want to spend with
    friends? By yourself? As a couple?

  • How would you feel about your spouse
    having friends of the opposite gender?



  • Where do you want to live? Why?

  • Will you want to live near your extended

  • Do you prefer city? Suburb? Countryside?

  • Do you want to live in the U.S. or abroad?

  • How important is it to live in a large
    Muslim community?



  • How many children do you want to have?

  • When do you think you’ll be ready
    to have children?

  • How will you distribute responsibility
    for child rearing? Diapering?

  • What do you think it is important to
    teach children?

  • What is your view on raising children?
    Do you spank?

  • To what extent would you be willing to
    utilize family members, friends, baby sitters or day are to
    watch your children?

  • How will you ensure your children have
    a good Islamic education?

  • What would you do if you could not have

  • Do you want your children to grow up
    bilingual? In what languages?



  • How many personal savings/checking accounts
    would you want?

  • Who should be responsible for paying

  • What about prior assets?

  • How will you determine how much should
    be spent on the household? On personal items? On charity?

  • How much should either person be able
    to spend by themselves without consulting the other?

  • How much should be paid out in maher
    (dowry)? Up front versus deferred?

  • If we were on an uncomfortably tight
    budget, and your brother asked you for a generous loan for a
    third attempt at a start-up when the first two had failed, would
    you give it to him?

  • What would be your top five criteria
    for developing a financial plan?



  • Should the wife change her last name?

  • What last name should the children carry?



  • How do you feel about cleanliness, neatness
    and housework?

  • How do you feel about knickknacks and

  • Who is responsible for work around the

  • What are the household chores you are
    used to doing?

  • Have you ever lived alone? Have you ever
    had a roommate? Have you always lived with your parents?

  • How do you feel about pets?

  • What are your preferences in terms of
    food? Mostly from your own ethnic group, or a more diverse palate?
    Only home-made, or also convenience or from restaurants? Meat
    or vegetarian?

  • If we were both working and we both got
    home about the same time, would you expect the wife to always
    be the cook?

  • How do you feel about smoking?



  • What are your pet peeves?

  • How should disagreements be resolved?

  • How do you act when you get upset?

  • How would you go about making you spouse
    happy when s/he was feeling down?

  • What would you want your spouse to do
    if you disagreed about something?

  • What if the disagreement is over an interpretation
    of Islam?

  • Who would be your choice of arbiters,
    or how do you feel about arbitration?

  • How do you feel about marriage counseling?



  • What are your views?

  • What is your experience with families
    with a second wife?

  • Will infidelity automatically end the



  • What role does culture play in your life?

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