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I would like some advice please regarding two possible women who have approached for marriage.

The first girl is conscious of her deen and prays regularly. She is modest in her dress code and has a good personality. However although I do not think she is bad looking, I personally do not find her as attractive as I would like.

The second is also deen conscious and prays regularly. She also has a good personality and I do find her attractive. However she has informed me that although she does try her best to cover herself, she does wear tight clothing and she is aware that she should wear hijab.

Please could you advise what would be the best course of action to take. I am naturally more attracted to the second girl. But I fear I may be going against Islam if I know she wears such clothing sometimes

  • Think of it like this: Which person do you think would raise your children to be the most God-fearing? Although looks should be part of the deciding factor, Deen should trump attractiveness. After all, attractiveness does not last while deen does (even into old age and through your children). – The Z Mar 26 '18 at 22:15
  • Maybe you should look for more people? A person who is better at the deen and whom you find attractive. But its hard to find perfection. – The Z Mar 26 '18 at 22:17
  • I think I disagree with classifying this as a peer-support question: we can distinguish between the motivation for the question (which is personal) and the underlying question (a means of choosing). However, if people misunderstand that and post advice answers, I'd change my mind. – Rebecca J. Stones Mar 27 '18 at 9:26
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Typically questions that revolve around "what should I do?" are closed as being of peer support nature, which this forum is not meant to accommodate. However, your question has a general rule in Islam.

The Prophet ﷺ laid out the criteria for selecting a wife:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: تُنْكَحُ الْمَرْأَةُ لأَرْبَعٍ لِمَالِهَا وَلِحَسَبِهَا وَلِجَمَالِهَا وَلِدِينِهَا فَاظْفَرْ بِذَاتِ الدِّينِ تَرِبَتْ يَدَاكَ

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status, her beauty and her religion, so try to get one who is religious, may your hand be besmeared with dust.

— Sahih Muslim, Book 17, Hadith 68

The phrase "your hand be besmeared with dust" (تربت يداك) refers to the hands touching the ground (hence the dust). It is an Arabic-language literary device that means wishing for a person to get rich.

This hadith is a form of prioritization for men in the criteria of selecting their future wife:

  1. Religion is the most important
  2. Wealth, family status, and beauty follow as a second priority.

This list does not mean completely abandoning what is a second priority but aims at putting things in their proper perspective as men tend to go for beauty over religion. Hence, my recommendation is:

  1. Carefully consider the pros and cons of each wife-to-be, and put more weight on the more religious one
  2. Pray istikhara (see Islam Q&A: How to pray istikhaarah and Islam Q&A: Praying istikhaarah is not contrary to be using one's intellect and examining matters to see which of two choices is better).
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