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Marriage as a Necessity

Marriage is a vital necessity. The survival of the species depends upon it and the survival of any organism is an intellectual necessity. Hence the world's intelligentsia try to prevent the extinction of a particular organism. So what of humanity? The Qur'an states: 'But when he turns his back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief in the land and to destroy crops and progeny, but Allah loves not mischief'. 30

In the matter of destroying progeny there is no difference between active destruction and passive destruction. Qur'anic verses and prophetic traditions stress marriage as being mandatory for the common good and recommended for the individual good.

This is from one angle. From another, were it not for marriage, humanity would suffer from some extremely harmful diseases, as medical science has proven, and the avoidance of any possible harm is mandatory both from a religious and an intellectual point of view. From another angle again, a person to deny himself, in moderation, of the good things in life is also intellectually and religiously wrong as the story of Ala shows in 'Nahj al-Balagha'. 31 In a well-known case, the Prophet himself stopped a man who had vowed to abstain (from all the good things in life including marriage) by the saying There is to be no monasticism in Islam'. 32

It may be argued that the Qur'anic verse: 'The monasticism which they innovated was not prescribed by Us for them, (We commanded them) only to seek the good pleasure of Allah' 33, contradicts this. However it should be pointed out that the rule was temporary in the face of an overflow of Jews in the world, and therefore Islam abrogated the rule. As for bringing together they innovated it' and we did not make it incumbent upon them', it is clear that they innovated it firstly, and then Allah ratified it.

30 The Holy Qur'an: The Cow (2): 205.

31 Ala had denied himself all the good things in life. Imam 'Ali told him: '; Do you think that Allah has made lawful for you the good things then disdains that you partake of them? You are less important to Allah than this. (Translator's note)

32 Supplement to the Shi'a guide to Islamic law; Volume 1; Page 540. There are other benefits to marriage which have been discussed by the author in 'The Encyclopaedia of Fiqh'; Volume 62;'The Book of Marriage.

33 The Holy Qur'an: Iron (57): 27.

Adapted from the book; "The Family" by: "Imam Muhammad Shirazi"

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