You want a conscious brother who is also a God-fearing man, but that same thing you wish for can be the weak spot a reprehensible man can exploit to deceive you into marriage. It is really a dilemma. Now I don’t have all the answers, nor do I claim to do all these guarantees that you won’t fall victim, but here are some points that may help.
- Don’t go at marriage alone. Allow your parents do due diligence on your prospective suitor, investigating him properly. I do understand this is also dicey as some parents have a pathological hatred for persons who strive to be religious. There is also a tendency to misjudge their (i.e your parents’) genuine concerns thinking it is just because they dislike his religious belief. Try to give them benefit of doubt, and whatever you do, try your very best to carry them along till the very end. Many women who defied their parents to get married have come to regret it, realizing too late their mistakes (of course there are exceptions). The truth is that parents are better at sniffing out fakes and prospective problematic men than we can. His outward presentation of piety may fool you, it is unlikely to work on your parents (unlikely, but even parents have fallen for such, God’s aid is sought).
- Be a little more mature with your thinking. Don’t be easily impressed upon. Avoid unnecessary narrowing down of your options by cult-like religious followership, like people who insist you must marry within their group or those who think no one else practices Islam right except those in their fold, those they or their scholars have not ‘removed’ from their fold. You need a strong mind not to be impressed upon by claims such as this. Sometimes the real intention is to ensure they have an abundance of women to pick from since they brainwash their women to see just them as the only ideal husband for them. You will see someone who ordinarily Shouldn’t even have one wife have 3 to 4 wives with more waiting to get in if they had the chance, and no matter how hard you try to convince them, they just can’t see things from your perspective.
- My Dear Sister, looking religiously conscious doesn’t automatically translate to being a good husband. Many Sisters before you have made this mistake and many are still making it. Do not ignore red flags and other warning signs simply because he sounds pious. He can be the imam of the hostel mosque, be a popular Preacher on social media, be whatever he may be, but don’t let that distract you from finding out about who he really is. Some people’s persona is only good in public. What is the relationship between him and his parents? Who are those that can caution him? If possible, what is his life like off public glare? There are character blemishes that are sometimes disguised as religiosity, like losing respect for elders on the excuse that they are not religious and intolerance for differing opinions. Does he have any respect for women or he thinks they, needing to obey their husbands implies they become like zombies with no mind of their own?
- A little moderate exposure will do you some good. What some people think is been religious is deeply enmeshed in a poverty mindset. You will be shocked by how some people think, and once in a while such a warped mindset trickles to social media. There are people who think taking your wife out on a lunch date is a sign of impiety. Weird and rather uncommon ones I have heard is that wanting to use Givenci, Gucci, Versace and Prada products is akin to unlawful spending. So, a little exposure – knowing that there exists brothers who strive their best to be religious and still provide as much comfort as their income can support for their wives – will easily make you spot people trying to twist religious dictates to accomodate their mediocrity and silence you from considering things they may not be able to afford. There is a huge difference between a brother who is circumstantially unable to provide comfort, and one that sees comfort as a luxury and wanting it is an indication of extravagance and impiety.
- Pray dear Sister. These are trying times, where you may run from falling into the hands of men who will not help you grow spiritually, and fall into a dungeon where you live like a prisoner with someone you thought will give you the best of two worlds. May God assist you in making the right choice.