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Islam's Emphasis on Marriage

Adapted from: ""Marriage, A Gift for the Youth" by: "Sajid Ali"

The institution of marriage has been given tremendous importance in Islam. Generally, in the terms of jurisprudence it is highly recommended, but in many cases due to extraordinary circumstances, it becomes obligatory and a religious duty. For instance, marriage becoming obligatory when there is a chance of adultery or any other similar sin. Thus, the Holy Quran commands:

“And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and female slaves. If they are needy, Allah will make them needless out of His Grace ...” (Noor : 32)

For one's life to be pleasurable and successful, animal instincts play a very important and vital role. This instinct, due to its severity, is considered to be very strong and powerful. If not directed properly it can create a tremendous turmoil among both men and women. The institution of marriage is such that it leads to immediate attraction and both the spouses try to gain utmost pleasure from each other. With their close relationship they extinguish the flames of passion which keeps burning within them.

From the beginning of humanity till date, the issue of husband and wife and their physical relationship has been a matter of debate. In the congregations of the theologians as well as the knowledgeable, extreme and moderate views have been presented.

Some philosophies viewed sexual relationship with jaundiced eyes and considered it to be something abhorrable and detestable. They even initiated movements to crush the institution of marriage. Sigmund Freud and his followers were among those who were highly critical of restrictions in matters related to sex. In this brief treatise, we do not intend to condemn these extreme views rather our aim is to present a pure Islamic concept of sex and sexual relationship for the benefit of our readers.

It should be known that leading among those who held the moderate opinion in this regard were the Divine Prophets (peace be upon them). While on one hand, they advised their followers to get married and lead a normal sexual life, on the other hand they refrained them from indulging in immoral sexual indulgences which would be destructible for them as well as the society. They informed them of the evils of an immoral society.

The Holy Prophet (peace be upon them) paid considerable attention to the basic instinct of the human being. He admonished his followers to lead a good married life and warned them of the dire consequences of remaining a bachelor. Hence, on one occasion he proclaimed.

“Whoever loves my nature, will follow my traditions and among my traditions is marriage.” (Makaaremul Akhlaq by Sheikh Tabarsi).

On yet another occasion, he said, “The best people of my Ummat are those who get married and have chosen their wives and the worst people of my nations are those who have kept away from marriage and our passing their lives as bachelor.” (Mustadrakul Wasail by Muhaddith Noori, Vol. 2, Pg. 531).

To achieve a successful material life, Islam has prescribed for both men and women to lead a normal married life and to satisfy each others physical, sensual and spiritual desires. All these are to be achieved by staying within the framework of laws as provided by Islam. But, at the same time, they dissuaded them from any deviation from the natural path. Anyone, who treads this path after being aware of it is now called as a transgressor and a sinner before the Almighty. As the Holy Quran states:

“And whoever goes beyond this limit than (indeed) they are the transgressors.”

Interestingly, the Holy Quran and traditions have dealt with the institution of marriage from various aspects and for each aspect some verses and narrations have been put forward. To maintain the brevity of this treatise, we shall discuss only a few of these verses and tradition.

To continue the process of reproduction and protection and continuation of humanity; the institution of marriage is the natural instinctive demand of each individual.

The families which come into existence due to the union of these two individuals and their offsprings are considered to be pure and clean. These offsprings also fill the void which is caused by the passing away of the earlier generation.

Thus humanity is protected from extinction due to this great institution. The Holy Quran states:

“Your women are your fields. Then go unto your fields as you wish.”

In another verse, Allah the Almighty says: “And Allah has made spouses for you from among yourself and from your spouses he creates offsprings and beloveds for you.”

In both these verses, the institution of marriage is viewed from the angle of protection of humanity and its saviour from extinction. In the first verse, the semen of man is likened to a seed which has the ability to make things grow while the women is likened to a field which possesses the capability to let seeds be sown in it. In the next verse, reproduction is hinted as a consequence of the world of creation in which offsprings are produced due to the sexual relationship between man and his wife.


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