Yahya ibn Yayha an Naysaboori said:
I was with Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah when a man approached him and said:
“O Abu Muhammad, I came to complain to you about my wife, I am the most lowly and disliked of things to her.”
Sufyan remained silent for a while then said: “It may be that you were only interested in her to increase yourself in honor.”
The man said: “Yes, O Abu Muhammad.”
Sufyan said: “Whoever seeks honor [by marrying a woman] will be tested with lowliness, and whoever seeks wealth [by marrying a woman] will be tested with poverty, but whoever looks for righteousness [in a woman], then Allah would combine both honor and wealth with righteousness for him in her.”
He then told him a story, he said:
“We were four brothers; Muhammad, ‘Imran, Ibraheem and me. Muhammad was the oldest, ‘Imran was the youngest and I was in between.
When Muhammad wanted to get married, he was interested in lineage, so he married a woman of better lineage than him, so Allah tested him with lowliness.
‘Imran was interested in wealth, so he married a woman who was wealthier than him, so Allah tested him with poverty. They took his wealth and didn’t give him anything.
So I pondered over their affair. Ma’mar ibn Rashid traveled to us so I spoke to him about the affair and told him of their story. He reminded me of the Ahadeeth that ‘A-isha and Yahya ibn Ja’dah narrated.
As for Ja’dah’s Hadeeth; the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – said:
“A woman is married for four reasons: righteousness, lineage, wealth and beauty. Marry the one with righteousness and you will be successful.”
‘A-isha’s Hadeeth is as follows; the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – said:
“The woman with the greatest blessing is the one with the least Mahr”
So I chose righteousness and a small dowry, following the Sunnah of the Messenger – صلى الله عليه وسلم – so Allah combined honor, wealth and righteousness for me [in my wife].”