It ensures modesty, chastity and peace between the couple and keeps them away from the pitfall and temptations of Satan
Human society at large is a single family gradually extended throughout history. So, the foremost and fundamental institution of human society is the unit of a family. Since family is the cornerstone of human society, it too is the prime and essential element in building a good society free from instability, indecency, violence and crime. Because a sane society is, in fact, an addendum of a sane family. From the Islamic perspective, this foundational institution (unit of the family) of human society is established by the coming together of a man and a woman through a legitimate marital contract called Nikah [Marriage]. This write-up is aimed at discussing the importance of the same institution within the framework of Islam. Islam considers marriage as one of the most virtuous and approved institutions. It is an act pleasing to Allah Almighty because it is in accordance with His edicts that a husband and a wife love each other and keep the human race going through the blessing of children. It occupies a considerable place in both the Quran and Ahadith (the corpus of the sayings of the last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Thoughtful consideration of the Quranic instructions and Ahadith of the Prophet(PBUH) speaks sounds about the importance of this institution in Islam because the two make the chief and preeminent sources of Islam.
Allah [SWT] says in the Holy Quran, “He has created wives for you from among yourselves that you may find peace of mind in them and has put love and tenderness between you.”[30:21]. According to this statement, the holy Quran accentuates people to marry as it is the most sufficient means through which one can live a life free from emotional hangups. It is also said in the Quran, “And Allah has made for you your mates of your own nature” [16:72]. In the context of this verse, Ibn Kathir (a highly influential expert on Quranic exegesis) states: “Allah mentions the blessing that he has bestowed upon His servants by giving them mates from their own kind. If he had given them mates of another kind, there would be no harmony, love and mercy between them.” Additionally, we have so many verses in the Quran[like 24:32,25:74,40:8, etc] encouraging marriage to discourage immorality.
Our beloved Prophet [PBUH] also married and encouraged his followers and ummah to marry, as can be seen from the following:
“When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his Deen so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half” [Tirmidi:3096]. The Prophet [PBUH] said, “Marriage is my Sunnah & whoever doesn’t follow my Sunnah has nothing to do with me” [Ibn Majah:1846]. He (PBUH) further stated, “O young people! whoever amongst you is able to get married should marry & whoever is not able to do the same is recommended to fast as fasting, diminishes sexual power” [Bukhari:5066].
All in all, these Quranic verses and the directions from the Prophet [PBUH] depict that marriage is a religious duty of every Muslim man and woman capable of fulfilling his or her responsibilities respectively and is considered to be a moral safeguard and social need. It ensures modesty, chastity and peace between the couple and keeps them away from the pitfall and temptations of Satan. Besides, there are various other reasons why Islam has so much emphasised upon marriage, important of them we list as. Firstly, it is a way to strengthen the bond of love not only just between husband and wife but between two families and protects one from falling into sins like illicit relationships. Secondly, the passion and desire to work hard and earn money are instilled in a person to provide for a wife and children Thirdly, a pious wife is a true companion in all situations, secrets can be shared with her and she can be a great support in difficult times, for this reason, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “The world and all the things of this world are precious but the most precious thing in the world is virtuous wife [Sahi Muslim]. Fourthly, it opens the gates of sustenance and there is no need to fear and worry about poverty. Sustenance becomes abundant when there is a wife and child in the family, as the Quran clearly reveals, “If they are poor, Allah will grant them out of his bounty and Allah is bountiful, all-knowing “[32:24]. Fifthly and most importantly, it is a sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) and thus has a great reward in this life and the hereafter.
With this whole discussion, it becomes crystal clear how important is marriage in Islam and what its colossal benefits are. It clearly implies that there is no room and place in Islam for what we call as extra-martial or pre-martial affairs, homosexuality, fornication, etc. Rather there is a strong prescription of severe punishments for the person who commits these grave sins.
However, this must be kept in mind that the religion of Islam not only appreciates and encourages marriage but also strongly disapproves of all those rites, ceremonies, restrictions, or unnecessary pre-requisites (like the boy’s side demands), bandwagons that tend to make this pious institution a burden by crushing under its weight the parents who have scanty means to manage these huge costs and developing the mindset of today’s youth into fear and despair. It has removed all othernesses of caste & community and authorised the matrimony of any Muslim with any other Muslim. In short, marriage in Islam is such a plain and simple ceremony that can be performed anywhere with a minimum of two male witnesses [with the consensus of both families], who can put to the fact that both bride and groom are willing, though it is essential that the proceedings shouldn’t be kept secret and should preferably be performed in public. It has proposed that amounts of mehr[dower] should be fixed at a low figure, the burden of which can be easily borne by the husband. Mehr is dowry (amount of money or any other thing) that a husband should pay to his wife. It is a halal dowry as the holy Quran described it as clean and clear. “And give the women their dowries willingly”[4:4], unlike the dowry(things which the bride’s side gives to get their daughters married) which is totally un-Islamic and haram and doesn’t have any evidence in Quran and Ahadith.
After all, marriage is a very beautiful institution, especially from the Islamic perspective. It is a crucial element to sparkling life and a barrier to evils like moral waywardness suicides and depression. So, let us make sound intentions to delink these evils by seeking this beautiful institution if we are able and ready. May Allah guide all of us to encourage our young brothers and sisters to marry at a suitable time and bless us to follow the teachings of Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (PBUH) who clearly said that “the sooner the marriage, the better it is.”
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