Many people do not appreciate the girl’s upon her engagement, and some people demand girls to take the risk and accept the first person who knocks at the door, although a girl is more entitled to be worried than men.
They reside with the family of the husband, therefore, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commended people to treat them kindly when he said: “Treat women kindly as they are like captives in your homes.”(1)
Since it is difficult for women to known the qualities and characteristics of her fiancé, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) instructed their guardians to ask and investigate about the fiancé. When they find them in good condition, it will be better but if they find them bad, it is better not to marry them. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “When it comes to you someone whom you agree to his religion and good manners, marry him (to you girls), otherwise, there will be confusion on earth and great corruption.”(2). The meaning is if you refuse to marry your girls to people of good religion and manners, seeking only the prestige, beauty, or money, this will cause great corruption on earth because when you refuse to do so, most of your women will be without husbands and that will cause corruption to prevail. Guardians may be disgraced, ties of kinship will be cut off, and lack of uprightness and chastity will show up.(3)
Guardian and other people are entrusted to choosing a good husband for the girl, so it is not permissible for any of them to lie or to hide a bad quality found in the fiancé. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) is our good example. It was reported from Fatima, the daughter of Qays (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said: "I mentioned to him (i.e., the Prophet of Allah peace be upon him) that Mu`awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan and Abu Jahm asked my hand in marriage, thereupon the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “As for Abu Jahm, he does not put down his staff from his shoulder (a figure of speech indicating his frequent beating for his wives), and as for Mu`awiyah, he is a poor man having no property; marry Usamah ibn Zayd. I objected to him, but he again said: Marry Usamah; so I married him. Allah blessed there in and I was envied (by others).”(4)
So, speaking about a fiancé and mentioning his bad qualities is not part of backbiting, but rather is part of good advice in order that girls avoid hardships. We should do as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did with Fatimah, the daughter of Qays, when she asked for his opinion. He explained the defects of each one of them and then advised her to marry Usamah who was a good person. Later on, she found that the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were true, therefore, she found him better than she thought and women envied her for having a good husband like him.(5)
Hence, religion, good manners, and financial ability are all good qualities that are required in men.
1) Reported by At-Tirmidhy, Book of Marriage, Chapter on the right of women on their husbands 1163-5/372 and said: This is an authentic and good Hadith. The Hadith was also reported by An-Nasa’y in his Sunan, Chapter on the rights of women on their husbands 9169-5/372. See Gharib Al Hadith wa Al Athar 3 / 314, and Mukhtar As-Sihah; 1 / 192.
2) Reported by At-Tirmidhy, Book of Marriage, Chapter on when it comes to you someone whom you agree to his religion and morals 1084.1085. The Hadith is also reported by Ibn Majah, book of Marriage, Chapter on People who are good for one another in marriage 1967. The Hadith was graded as authentic by Al Albany in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhy, 865.
3) See Tuhfat Al Ahwazy 4 / 172, and the commentary on Sunan Ibn Majah 1 / 141.
4) Reported by Muslim, Book of marriage 1479-2/1114.
5) See Mirqat Al Mafatih 5 / 445, Subul As-Salam 4 / 194.