Question: What are the most important matters which should form the basis for a woman to choose a husband, and does refusing a righteous person for worldly reasons bring Allaah’s punishment upon her?
Answer: The most important attributes which a woman should seek in one proposing marriage are good character and Deen (Practice of the Religion). As regards wealth and lineage, then these are secondary matters. The most important thing is that the one proposing the marriage should be good in the Deen and in his character – since regarding one possessing Deen and good character, she will not lose out in any respect: if he keeps her, then he will do so in a good manner and if he releases her, he will do so in a good manner. Furthermore, the one possessing Deen and good character will be a blessing for her and her children and she will learn good manners and the Deen from him.
But if the person is one who does not have these attributes then she should avoid him – especially those who are negligent about the prayers, or one who is known to drink intoxicants – and Allaah’s refuge is sought… So what is important is that the woman should concentrate on good character and practice of the Deen. As regards lineage, then if it is attainable additionally, then that is more fitting, since Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: If there comes to you one whose Deen and character is pleasing then give [the woman] in marriage to him
However if one who is also similar in standing is found then that is better.
Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen in Fataawal-Mar’ah Vol. 1. p.50