In Islamic society marriage is of the utmost importance and an intrinsic part of Muslim life. So much so, that the Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “When the servant of Allah marries, he has fulfilled half the (responsibilities laid on him by the) faith; so let him be God conscious with respect to the other half.” [Mishkat]
Marriage is considered “half the faith” as it protects us from sin. By choosing the sanctity of marriage, we turn away from wrongdoing, such as fornication, adultery and homosexuality. This also protects society, providing the right conditions in which to bring up a faithful Muslim family.
Unlike other religions, Islam does not support celibacy as an expression of faith. Instead, marriage is seen as an act of worship in itself. Islam acknowledges that human desires are natural and sanctions marriage as an outlet for them.
Men and women have been created in such a way that they are attracted to each other, and marriage provides them with a legal framework in which to enjoy each other’s company, fulfil their sexual desires and to ensure the continuity of the human race. The Qur’an tells us: “One of His signs is that He created for you spouses of your own species, so that you might find comfort with them. And He put mutual love and affection in your hearts. Surely in this there are lessons for the thinking people.” [30:21]
So that we may get the best out marriage, it is essential that we fully understand this great institution, with which Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) has blessed his followers. Therefore, Singlemuslim.com has compiled a number of articles to help you develop knowledge and understanding of the subject of marriage. The articles are divided into five sections: preparation for marriage; finding a partner; the Muslim marriage; a happy marriage; and family issues.
Section One: Preparation for Marriage
Marriage is a serious and permanent commitment, which brings together a man and a woman in order that they may form an everlasting bond. This offers them the opportunity to enjoy a sexual relationship, gain support and companionship and to form a family.
It is recommended that young Muslim men marry as soon as they are able to support a wife. This ensures that their sexual desires are channelled into a lawful relationship and prevents the weaker among them from committing zinaa (fornication). The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Young men, those of you who can afford to get married should do so, for it helps you lower your gaze and preserves your chastity; but those who cannot should fast, for it is a means of cooling the sexual passion.” [Al-Bukhari]
Are you ready to experience the most wonderful feelings, a gift from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى), by preparing for marriage?
This section looks at what it means to be a spouse. What is expected of a husband and a wife? What do the Qur’an and Sunnah say about their roles in a marriage?
Section Two: Finding a Partner
Now that you are ready for marriage, it is time to take those important first steps. First of all, there are conditions that need to be met before a marriage can be considered. A man needs to be mature and have the means to support a wife and, ultimately, a family. A wife needs to have reached puberty and possess those skills necessary to run a household.
In this section, you fill find advice on how to set about looking for a marriage partner and what you should look for in a partner in order to ensure your compatibility. Careful searching for a like-minded spouse and consultation with parents and elders ensure that relationship failure and divorce remain a rarity in Islam.
We also explore Islam’s reasons for prohibiting boyfriend-girlfriend relationships and show how potential marriage partners should act in each other’s company before the “big day”.
Section Three: The Muslim Marriage
In this section you will learn more about the Islamic marriage contract (nikah), a legal commitment that is approved by Allah and witnessed by those close to you. This contract is both civil (recognised by law) and religious.
The wedding ceremony and beyond describes what you can expect from an Islamic wedding ceremony and the celebrations and traditions that accompany it. We then take a look at different types of relationships and how they are viewed by Islam.
Section Four: A Happy Marriage
The teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah describe how spouses should behave towards each other. They call for kindness, fairness, compassion, love, companionship, patience and mercy between husband and wife. By following the lessons of the Qur’an spouses will be a comfort to one another and their relationship will blossom.
The love between Muslim spouses also includes the love of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and a strong, mutual desire to serve him. This provides the couple with strength when times are hard and a source of comfort, leading to tranquillity in their relationship.
The following articles demonstrate how this advice can be carried out in a practical way in order to help your relationship with your spouse run as smoothly as possible by behaving in such a way as prescribed by Islam.
Section Five: Family Issues
The family is regarded as the centre of Islamic society and, as marriage is the only way to form a family, it is essential that we also take a look at the importance of family life. One of the main purposes of marriage is to raise pious children, who are faithful to Islam, in order to continue the Muslim Ummah. And, just as Islam sets standards of behaviour for husbands and wives, so it also grants children a number of rights and duties, which we will investigate in this section.
The first article in this section takes a look at issues which may affect a married couple, namely birth control, abortion and adoption. Whilst birth control is likely to affect a larger number of couples, the other topics deserve mention. We take a look at Islam’s views on all three.
Our final article covers divorce. Although it is loathed by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى), Islam realises that humans are not perfect and has provided divorce as a way out for couples who really cannot continue to live together. When all else fails, divorce is permissible to the husband and kuhl` is permissible to the wife, thus allowing the couple to end their bond fairly and peacefully.
Glossary of Arabic Terms
To Be A Husband