The decision to get married is of great consequence in a person’s life. Along with all the time, energy and resources that go into the establishment and sustenance of a marriage, it also carries the hopes, dreams and emotions of two partners and their respective families. Clearly, it is not something to be joked about.

Sadly, despite the effort, a lot of marriages do not work out. Even the ones that do seem to be going well from a distance may be nothing more than a partial wreck being somehow managed just enough to be performed as a formality. A ruined or unpleasant marriage is generally attributed to factors such as debts, interfering relatives, distribution of responsibilities, etc. However, marriages also succeed despite of them. Which means it ultimately comes down to the nature, intent and compatibility of the partners, after all it is only them who sign the nikahnama.

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Needless to say, finding an ideal life partner is indispensable in order to lead a happy and successful married life.

What should be the qualities of an ideal life partner?

1. Akhlaque (Character)
2. Sabr (Patience)
3. Shukr (Gratitude)
4. Imaan (Faith)
5. Ilm (Knowledge)

Akhlaque, Sabr, Shukr, Imaan, and Ilm. It’s not a lot- these five qualities are sufficient to ensure that you and your better half are able to form and thrive in a fulfilling union while also withstanding the turbulences that try to shake it. Read on to find out why these qualities are essential in both the partners:

1. Akhlaque

Akhlaque basically refers to disposition and character, though its significance is hard to express using mere translation. It is described as a system of “virtue ethics” which emphasizes on moral virtue. Thus, it encompasses all the traits of a good character including truthfulness, generosity, humbleness etc.

It is unimaginable to spend a lifetime with someone lacking traits which are fundamental to all human bonding. Remember that an act of goodness is much dear to Allah than one’s wealth or beauty.

2. Sabr

Any relationship is bound to fail unless the partners or members have patience in them to think through things, compromise when possible, and not give up unless the damage is irreparable.

We will be tested in our health and wealth, in our marriage by our spouse and children, and in our rizq and our iman. These are all from Allah, The Most High, The Most Merciful. And all through these tests, we the believers persevere for Allah has promised us glad tidings in this world and the hereafter.

“So, surely with hardship comes ease.” (94:6)

3. Shukr

For our Rabb has granted us both trials and tribulations as well as ease and comfort in this world, and it is all part of His greater plan. Gratitude humbles us and blunts away our arrogance. We tend to be ungrateful, and are led astray by our whims and desires. But continuous Shukr to The Rabb, The Benevolent serves as a reminder of our purpose in this Duniya.

“For, were you to count the favors of Allah, you will not be able to count them. Surely Allah is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (16:18)

Gratitude leads to contentment. When one is content, there is no scope for comparison or jealousy, but only appreciation for all that is good in life.

4. Imaan

Imaan which means faith or belief in the unseen. It can be a source of guidance as well as strength in times of conflicts arising out of misunderstandings, which is not uncommon especially in the initial years of a marriage.

The more we remember Allah, the more our faith grows. We remember Allah through prayers. Prayer helps us vent our resentments, reflect on our mistakes, forgive others’ mistakes and gather resilience to brave difficult times.

5. Ilm

The word Ilm refers to knowledge in its broadest sense. It not only includes acquisition of knowledge (both worldly and religious) but also the incorporation of that knowledge in one’s actions. According to Sayyid Qutb, knowledge is “something that is beyond mere understanding. It is in the real sense an absolute comprehension and understanding of a particular thing by the mind, linked and interlinked with the soul and conscience, and finally realized by way of actions.”

Knowledge dispels darkness, thereby preventing misunderstanding and miscommunication between the partners. Moreover, curiosity encourages the partners to know better about each other, which is a never-ending process, and also the essence of a relationship. After all maturity and open-mindedness are necessary to run a relationship non-toxic relationship. Finally, wisdom and righteousness help keep the couple stay on the right path.

Nobody is perfect. Factors such as upbringing, culture and background, etc., primarily affect how strong one’s Imaan is, or the extent of their Sabr and Shukr, and so on. What matters is that one must keep striving to better oneself and also help others do the same.

Now that you know what qualities to cultivate in yourself as well as to look for in your potential spouse, do not forget to read what to do before saying qubool hai, and how to make a marriage successful.