Marriage: An Islamic Perspective
Assalam Alaikum Wr Wb
Allah says in the Qur'an,
“And we have created everything in pairs, that perhaps you may remember.” [Al Quran 51:49]
"And one of His signs is that He has created for you, spouses from amongst yourselves so that you might take comfort in them and He has placed between you, love and mercy. In this there is surely evidence (of the truth) for the people who carefully think." [Al Quran 30:21]
In Islam, marriage is a legal contract between two people. Both the groom and the bride are to consent to the marriage of their own free wills. There must be two Muslim witnesses of the marriage contract.
Marriage is such an important step that our Blessed Prophet (s.a.s) spoke of marriage as being ‘half the religion’:
Al-Bayhaqi narrated in Shu’ab al-Eemaan from al-Raqaashi: “When a person gets married he has completed half of his religion, so let him fear Allah with regard to the other half.” [Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb 1916]
But marriage is also most demanding training ground of faith. By claiming it to be half the religion the blessed prophet was not making an idle statement. When a couple strive hard to get their marriage and family right in the eyes of Allah, they are indeed well on the road to paradise.
Mankind, fear your Lord, who created you of a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the pair of them scattered abroad many men and women; and fear Allah by whom you demand one of another, and the wombs; surely Allah ever watches over you. [Al Quran 4:1]
Imam al-Ghazali observes that,
“One of the benefits of marriage is the enjoyment of the company and the sight of one’s spouse, and by shared amusement, whereby the heart is refreshed and strengthened for worship; for the soul is prone to boredom and is inclined to shun duty as something unnatural to it. If forced to persevere in something it dislikes, it shy and backs away, whereas if it is revived from time to time by pleasures it acquires new strength and vigor.” [Ihya Ulum al-Din]
"They (your wives) are a clothing (covering) for you and you too are a clothing (covering) for them." [Al Quran 2:187]
The husband and wife are to play the same role in relation to one another. If the wife has spiritual defects or lacks something in her character, then the husband must cover these up and not expose her shortcomings to others. The wife too, must cover up and hide her husband's deficiencies and weaknesses and protect her mate.
“Our Lord, grant us the delight of our eyes from our wives and offspring’s….” [Al Quran 25:74]
Importance of Marriage in Islam
“And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing”. [Al Quran 20:34]
The above verse begins with the words Wa Ankehoo (And marry…). The imperative form of the word ‘nikah’ implies that either it is obligatory or highly recommended. According to scholars, though marriage is a highly recommended act, it becomes obligatory when there is a chance of falling into sin.
And it was narrated that Ibn Mas‘ood said: “Seek independence of means through marriage.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer 6/51]
It was narrated that 'Abdullah said: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to us: 'O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding chastity, and whoever cannot then he should fast, for it will be a restraint for him.'"
[Grade: Sahih (Darussalam), Sunan an-Nasa'i 3209, Vol. 4, Book 26, Hadith 3211]
The one who cannot afford it is instructed to fast so as to suppress his desire, but that does not mean that he is not allowed to seek to get married. Perhaps he will find someone who will help him to get married, or perhaps he will find someone who will accept him in his current situation because of his religious commitment and righteousness.
Etiquette's of marriage in Islam:
There is no limit to the number of guests one can invite to a wedding feast (waleema), so invite whoever you wish of your relatives, the bride’s relatives, your friends and anyone you have a good reason to invite.
Providing the wedding feast (waleema) is the husband’s responsibility. The sunnah is to slaughter one sheep or more for the guests, if he is able to, as the Prophet s.a.s said,
It was narrated that Anas said:"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw a trace of yellow perfume on me" -as if he meant 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Awf- "and said: 'What's this for?' He said: 'I have married a woman from among the Ansar.' He said: 'Give a Walimah (wedding feast) even if it is with one sheep.' "[Grade: Sahih(Darussalam), Sunan an-Nasa'i 3374, Vol. 4, Book 26, Hadith 3376]
It is not permitted in Islam to do anything that is haram such as having music, letting men and women mix, or letting women dance in front of men, or other things that earn the wrath of Allah. How can the blessing of Allah be exchanged for disobedience and immorality? At weddings, women can sing acceptable songs with good words and no vulgarity or entertaining themselves by playing the duff (a certain kind of drum, resembling a tambourine without the rattles) only, as long as no men are present.
These are just a few etiquettes; rest will be discussed in the next partinsha’Allah.
Please come back in a week for Part 3.
Jazakum Allah Khairan