By Shah Tajamul
Islam, unlike other religions highly urges or advocates the convention and tradition of marriage. It is one of the greatest blessings Allah (SWT) has given us as human beings. The Islamic term for marriage is ‘Nikah’ which is a legal contract between two people (groom and bride). In previous, times marriage was considered as an act of worship (Ibadah). It was well thought-out as a medium for formation of family through which one would find peace and security. This legal contract was considered as tool through which one could satisfy his/her sexual desires and protect himself/herself from a major sin of illegal sex, physical and psychosomatic disorders. It was meant for the creation of humankind. The reverence and respect Islam has given this beautiful relation can be recognized through this tradition of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him):
‘There is no better structure founded in Islam other than marriage’. (Wasail al-Shia)
Today, this stunning contract of Islam has been infected or contaminated by the so called modern Muslim Ummah who spend hours of work and millions of rupees on decoration, music, tents, food, gatherings, dress and so on and so forth to organize an attractive marriage, but there is hardly any consideration paid to this sacred union itself.
The Muslim Ummah has forgotten the real essence of this holy bond or union. Everyone, including the bride and groom, equally participates in this filth of extravagance and neglects the factors that actually build this blessed relation of marriage. Only in a single night of marriage party, a bride changes almost fifteen dresses and spends hours for her makeup and is loaded with heavy and expensive jewelry. Thesepractices are justified by asserting that ‘ZindhagimeiShadisirfekbaarhotihain’ (Marriage occurs only once in a life time).
But alas, most people are not willing to accept and digest this bitter truth that there is no such law in Islam which states being extravagant even if only once is allowed. This modern and rich Muslim Ummah turns a blind eye and deaf ear to these extravagant practices of marriage despite knowing the ill consequences on the lower and especially the middle class of the society. As a result of these lavish and spendthrift marriages, many people who cannot afford such marriages and want to get married are not able to marry and compete in society. The lives of such people become hard and complex to such an extent that the numbers of young men and women remain unmarried.
In contemporary Muslim marriages, we are also witnessing a large number of people from both the genders are getting together under one roof irrespective of their relations. Men and women in these marriages are busy in talking with one another and remain busy in changing their dresses one after other. The music is played; this has become a routine in every single Muslim marriage now. And it is heart breaking to see our women dancing in front of men in these fulsome marriages. The bride who sometimes is very
spiritual and religious, the day she is getting married, s shows her hair, her cleavage, her legs and arms and also sits in front of all the men. The groom chooses such clothes that do not depict any religiousness at all and sits right in front of women.
In such marriages it has happened many times that a man (groom) sees a woman prettier than his wife and as a result of this he divorces his wife to marry that woman! What blessing can we expect from such marriages?
The modern Muslims are competing with each other in terms of dowry, gifts, and inviting guests and making this holy tie very difficult for common people. No doubt in Islam there is no restriction in inviting guests but this invitation should be simple, segregated and separated. Muslim Ummah should understand that it is a religious function that is sacred and is held for the pleasure of Allah
We Muslims become rebels against the laws of Allah (Subhanahuwata’ala) instead of becoming rebels against the evils, ill practices, injustice, corruption and so on. And those people who disobey the laws of Allah (Subhanahuwata’ala), are called by the Quran as misguided people and for them there is the torment of hell.
Nations of yore likethe people of Noah, people of A’ad, the people of Thamud, the people of Prophet Luth who became rebellious and disobeyed Allah (Subhanahuwata’ala) and His messenger were destroyed by the Almighty Allah. According to the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him): ‘An-NikahuNisfulIman’ meaning ‘Marriage is the half of a Muslim’s faith’. But this half Imaan or faith is for those who keep this sacred or holy tie in a very simple way, the way Allah (Subhanahuwata’ala) and His Prophet (peace be upon him) have described. It is the only way to invoke the blessings of Allah (Subhanahuwata’ala).
Finally I conclude by saying that marriage is a sacred institution rather than a social evil and one need not to become dissolved in the cauldron of Westernization. It is a holy contract in which one should focus on the true and sincere relationship instead of focusing on dresses, customs, and luxuries.
—The author, a student of Islamic Studies and a Junior Research Fellow can be reached at: