What shall I look for in a prospective spouse?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Your spouse will be the one you spend your entire life with. Your days and nights will be with her. When you awake from your sleep, her face will be the first you see. When you retire to bed, her eyes will be the last you fix your eyes on. All the highs and lows of life will be shared with your spouse. When you are in need of a shoulder to cry on, her shoulder will be ever ready. Your smiles and laughter will be in her arms.
From all the women on the surface of the Earth, the ideal woman is the one described in the following ahādith:
“The world is a collection of treasures. The best treasure in this world is a righteous wife.”
(Sunan Ibn Mājah hadith no.1855)
The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam said in another hadīth:
“After taqwa (Allah consciousness), a Muslim does not benefit from anything more than a pious wife. If he orders her to do something, she obeys him. When he looks at her, she is pleasing to him. If he takes an oath, she fulfils the oath. If he is absent from her, she safeguards herself and his wealth.”
(Sunan Ibn Mājah hadith no.1857)
Do not melt in front of beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Seek a spouse who has true values and ethics; a woman who loves Allah and His messenger salallahu alaihi wasallam; a woman which would wake you up for tahajjud salah; a woman who would encourage you to spend in the cause of Allah; a woman which would encourage you to give your life for Allah.
External piety and righteousness is not sufficient. What is meant by piety is true piety; a piety which stems from the heart and bears its fruits on the physical limbs. Piety revolves around good character. A person is not attributed with piety by merely performing salāh, fasting in the month of Ramadhān and offering zakāh.
You want a spouse who is gentle, sweet, soft, loving, tender, caring, affectionate and compassionate. Her heart is moved if she sees you in pain. Her world turns upside down if a tear rolls on your cheeks. Her happiness is pegged on your happiness.
However, this does not mean you do not consider beauty and physical appearance. You should be physically inclined and attracted to your prospective spouse. Being attracted to one’s spouse compliments the marriage in mysterious ways.
Thus, we advise you to seek the following in a spouse:
1) True piety
2) Mesmerising character
3) Pleasant appearance
With all this said and done, it is equally important if not more that we make a conscious effort to rectify ourselves. A woman desires the same features in a man. A marriage will not reach the peaks of felicity by merely one spouse being righteous. A marriage is like a bird; it needs two wings to elevate; piety is required from the husband and the wife in order to reach lofty stations.
We make dū’ā’ to Allah he blesses you with a pious, loving, sweet and attractive partner. Ameen.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mawlana Faraz ibn Adam,
 عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: «إِنَّمَا الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ، وَلَيْسَ مِنْ مَتَاعِ الدُّنْيَا شَيْءٌ أَفْضَلَ مِنَ الْمَرْأَةِ الصَّالِحَةِ» (سنن إبن ماجه رقم الحديث 1855)
 عَنْ أَبِي أُمَامَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، أَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ: «مَا اسْتَفَادَ الْمُؤْمِنُ بَعْدَ تَقْوَى اللَّهِ خَيْرًا لَهُ مِنْ زَوْجَةٍ صَالِحَةٍ، إِنْ أَمَرَهَا أَطَاعَتْهُ، وَإِنْ نَظَرَ إِلَيْهَا سَرَّتْهُ، وَإِنْ أَقْسَمَ عَلَيْهَا أَبَرَّتْهُ، وَإِنْ غَابَ عَنْهَا نَصَحَتْهُ فِي نَفْسِهَا وَمَالِهِ»(سنن إبن ماجه رقم الحديث 1855)