As this world is a stage that leads to the hereafter, in which man is tested to see what he will do, so that he will be requited for it on the Day of Resurrection, what the wise Muslim must do is seek in this world everything that will help him to attain happiness and bliss in the hereafter. The most important help and support is righteous company.
That begins with the Muslim society in which he lives, then with choosing pious friends, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) enjoined: “Do not keep company with anyone but a believer.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (4832); classed as hasan (good) by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘.
Then finally he should choose a righteous wife who he hopes will be the best companion to help him attain eternal happiness in paradise with Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.
The righteous wife is one who is good in many aspects including the following:
She is the one who it is thought will guard her chastity and her honour in the husband’s presence and absence, and be diligent with regard to both minor and major issues.
Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husbands) absence what Allah would have them guard”[an-Nisaa’ 4:34].
Good Character and Manners
She is the one who is of good character and has good manners. She is not known for foul speech, meanness or bad manners; rather she is good-natured, pure of soul and clean of heart, speaks in a gentle manner and treats people kindly. More important than all of that, she accepts advice and listens to it attentively and wholeheartedly; she is not one of those who are used to arguing stubbornly and arrogantly.
Al-Asma‘i said: An elder from the tribe of Banu’l-‘Anbar said: It was said that women are of three types: one who is easy-going, gentle, chaste and dignified, Muslim, a help to her family, and not a burden on them; one who is merely a vessel for childbearing; and one who is like a heavy yoke that Allah places on the neck of whomever He wills, and takes it away from whomever He wills.
One of the scholars said: The best of women is the one who, if she is given she is grateful, and if she is deprived she is patient; you feel happy when you look at her, and she obeys you if you instruct her to do something.
Connecting to Allah
She is the one who upholds her connection to her Lord and always strives to increase her level of faith and piety. She does not omit any obligatory duty, and she is keen to do some naafil (supererogatory) deeds. She gives precedence to pleasing Allah, may He be glorified, over everything else.
Concerning that, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4802) and Muslim (1466).
Caring for Children
The righteous wife is the one whom you see is serious about caring for and raising your children, teaching them Islam, good manners and the Qur’an, and instilling in them love for Allah, love for His Messenger, and love of good for people. Her main concern is not what they may attain in this world of prominence, wealth and degrees; rather she is concerned that they should attain a high level of piety, religious commitment, good character and knowledge.
In addition to all of that, the Muslim should choose a wife who gives him comfort when he sees her, and he feels joy in his heart when she is present, so she fills his house and his life with ease, joy and happiness.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: It was said: O Messenger of Allah, what type of wife is best? He said: “The one who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her, and she obeys him if he instructs her to do something, and she does not do anything with regard to herself or his wealth in a manner of which he does not approve.”
Narrated by Ahmad (2/251); classed as hasan (good) by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah (1838).
It was said to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her): Which type of woman is best? She said: The one who does not know about saying bad things, and she is not crafty like men; her focus is on adorning herself for her husband and taking care of her family.
See: Muhaadaraat al-Udaba’ by ar-Raaghib al-Asfahaani (1/410); ‘Uyoon al-Akhbaar by Ibn Qutaybah (1/375).