"And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, leave it. And fear Allah: truly Allah is severe in punishment. “[Qur'an 59:7]
Hadiths: The Marriage Process in Islam
Selecting a Spouse
The first thing we should look for when marrying is how committed the person is to Islam. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "A woman is normally sought as a wife for her wealth, beauty, nobility, or religiousness (adherence to Islam), but choose a religious woman and you will prosper. " (Muslim) And he said, "A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. You should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser. "(Bukhari) And he said, "The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman. " (Muslim)
The same holds true when looking for a husband, as the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied asks to marry your daughter, comply with his request. If you do not do so, there will be corruption and great evil on earth. " (Tirmidhi)
Of course, both parties have to agree to marry one another and they can not be forced to marry one another . The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "A woman whom has been previously married has more right concerning herself than her guardian, and a virgin’s consent must be asked about herself…" (Bukhari and Muslim)
Rules of Al-Khutbah (Request to marry a woman and the acceptance of the proposal)
The man has permission to see her face before agreeing to marry as the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "Go and look at her (the woman you are considering marrying) because this will help your time together to be strengthened. " ( Ahmad )
After a man and woman have agreed to marry, they have to remember that the man is still not her mahram (men prohibited to her, including her father, brothers, sons, maternal and paternal uncles, and nephews). This means they can not still deal with one another as partners in any way (such as shaking hands, gazing at one another, being alone together, going out together, etc.), or go out with one another as we see people in the west doing. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not have a private audience with a woman without her mahram. " (Ahmad)
The Wedding Ceremony (Nikaah)
1 – Consent: ‘Aishah(R) asked Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) if women must be asked for their permission of marriage. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) replied, "Yes. " She said, ‘The virgin is asked for her permission but she gets shy. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "Her silence is her permission. " (Bukhari and Muslim)
2 – The Wallee (Woman’s Guardian): Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "There is no nikaah except with a wallee. " (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)
3 – Two Witnesses: Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "There is no marriage except with a wallee and trustworthy witnesses. " (Sahih- Bayhaqee) Also, "There is no marriage except with a wallee and two witnesses.” (Sahih Al-Jaami’)
4 – The Mahr (Dowry): Allah says (what means): "And give to the women their dowry with a good heart, but if they out of their own good pleasure remit any part of it to you, take it and enjoy it without fear of any harm. " (Al-Nisa4:4) The mahr can be of any amount, Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "Look for one even if it was an iron ring. " (Bukhari and Muslim)
The woman is not obliged to give the man anything at the time of the wedding, as is done in some cultures.
Acts to be Avoided
We should be careful to not act as the disbelievers do regarding their mixing of men and women, wearing tuxedos and white wedding gowns, exchanging rings, kissing in public, etc. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "Whoever resembles a people is one of them. " (Abu Dawood)
After the Wedding
Supporting one’s Wife
The man is responsible for providing for his wife, as Allah says (what means), "Let the wealthy man spend according to his means; and let the man whose provisions are restricted spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah does not burden a soul beyond what He has given it, and Allah will grant ease after a hardship. " (Al-Talaq65:7)
Islam even gives women the right to take secretly money from their husbands if the husbands are not providing for them. Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, came to Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) and said, "O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a stingy man and does not give me and my children enough provisions except when I take something from him without his knowledge.” Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "Take what is reasonably sufficient for you and your children. " (Bukhari and Muslim)
Educating one’s Family
Since the man has put in the position of providing for his family, he must also provide them with the proper Islamic education to keep them from the hellfire. Allah says (what means), "O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones (that were worshipped), over it are appointed angels stern and severe, who disobey not the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded. “(Al-Tahrim66:6)
Both the husband and wife should make sure their home is a place where Allah is remembered and His Commandments are reflected and acted upon. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "The similitude of a home in which Allah is remembered and a home in which He is not is like the living and the dead. " (Muslim)
The Wife Obeying Her Husband
A woman must obey her husband as long as he does not tell her to perform any haraam(unlawful) acts.
Kind Treatment To One’s Wife
Just because Allah has given men a position of authority does not give them the right to abuse it. They have to treat their wives in the best manner. Allah says (what means), "Live with them honorably. " (Al-Nisa4:19) Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) said, "The believer with the most complete faith is the one with the best character, and the best of them are those whom treat their women the best. " (Tirmidhi)
We can see from the seerah (biography) of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi was sallam) that he would help his wives with housework and would engage in games with them as well.
*This article did not cover all the aspects of marriage, but it is hoped it was beneficial. Anything good in this article is from Allah and anything incorrect is from myself.