When looking for a potential spouse, it is of the utmost importance that serious consideration be given to the risk of divorce (the likelihood of divorce versus its unlikelihood), as divorce mostly occurs from avoiding consideration and assessment of major incompatibilities with the potential spouse, before the marriage takes place.
Marriage in Islam is a transaction (whether you romantic/Hollywood-oriented people like it or not). And, like any transaction, one must consider the risk of failure versus success.
One must seriously consider and look into the very real issue of compatibility at as many levels as possible, and primarily at the religious level. However, this is by no means the only major level. One must also consider compatibility at the level of goals and objectives in matters related to worldly affairs.
A knowledgeable and sound-minded muslim does not base a marriage and a future family on the hope that someone will change for the better or adapt (although this could happen). If the risk is too high, after having assessed the risks versus opportunities, one must find someone who presents a lower risk of divorce. If one focuses on the possibility of the person changing, improving and adapting, it is highly likely that he/she is thinking more along the lines of “love” and romance, instead of risk of divorce.
The overwhelming majority of those who have experienced difficult/failed marriages will tell you that they based their selection on desire (romance, “love” and other rubbish), as opposed to serious consideration of the risk of divorce.

Allah provides the means by which we can make sound decisions.

إِنَّا مَكَّنَّا لَهُ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَآتَيْنَاهُ مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ سَبَبًا

Verily, We established him in the earth, and We gave him the means of everything. 18:84

فَأَتْبَعَ سَبَبًا

So he followed a way. 18:85

If one does not take the means that Allah provides to arrive at the best possible decision, one can only blame himself/herself for not doing so.


If one has gone through the process of consideration and risk assessment, then one can make a decision and rely on Allah. Allah says:

فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]. 3:159
A man said to the Prophet (ﷺ) “shall I tie it (the camel) and rely (upon Allah), or leave it loose and rely (upon Allah)?” He said: “Tie it and rely (upon Allah).”
The above is my opinion based on many years of marriage counseling experience combined with some level of knowledge of the fiqh of marriage. Take it or leave!

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