There is no certain way of proposal or choosing a spouse in Islam. Each of the male and the female can propose to another, but normally in many societies the male is the one who does the proposal. However, it the case of ‘aqd the female (or her lawyer) starts reading the first part of sigha which should be followed by reading the second part by the groom (or his lawyer).
Although, people are free about how to choose their spouse, but there are some criteria mentioned in hadiths which suggest a way for finding a proper person to marry with. These criteria are as follows:
- being religious, not only in words, but also in practice. Especially it is forbidden to marry someone who drinks alcohol or commits adultery.
- being good-tempered. There is a narration about someone who asked Imam Ali b. Musa al-Rida (a): “someone proposed to my daughter but he is bad-tempered. Should I agree with their marriage?” Imam (a) replied: “If he is so, do not agree”.
- family honor.
- kufwiyya (similarity) It’s been said that the more the couples are similar in their characteristics, the stronger their marriage bond will be.
- drug addiction has been also considered as a factor which makes a person not being a good choice as a spouse.
There are also some other factors relating to one’s taste or status, but they fall into the second category of importance, such as beauty, similarity in race, financial status and so on.