Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Marriage is one of the most sacred aspects of human life. Every religion, every culture, and every tradition celebrates this union of two individuals, and wishes it love, peace and eternal harmony. Some cultures even consider it to be divine as it ensures the survival of the human race.
Islam is the religion which is based on fitrah (innate nature of man) and there is no aspect or stage of life that has not been dealt with, either through the word of Allah (Qur’an), or the actions and words of Prophet ﷺ (hadeeth). It gives clear and precise commandments concerning marriage, its importance, and conducts of spouse for each other. When Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) created Adam (عليه السلام) He taught him the names of things and granted him wisdom. He was not made in perfection, and that was what made Adam unique as it allowed him to grow and learn. However, as the saying goes, man is indeed a social animal, and cannot live happily in solitude. There was a part of him that desired company, and Allah gave him that companionship in the form of another creation, taken from his own rib, and of the same fashion, but different on so many levels. He created our mother, Hawwa (عليه السلام). They gave comfort to each other and they were awed at each other’s presence. This is the basis of what marriage essentially means. It is not just a ceremony that brings two souls together, but an invisible connection that is sealed with commitment and compassion.
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has made pairs for us so that we find in each other comfort and support, and provide affection and compassion to each other. It is a blessing from Allah and a gift for His creation. Just as Allah has instilled instincts in us that urge us to seek a partner, He has also prescribed laws that ensure a cultured and ethical society by way of marriage. Marriage is what guarantees that the relationship that has developed between a male and a female is protected by the word of Allah, and that they can now attain the role of a spouse. It pertains to shouldering all those responsibilities that create a selfless and loving companionship between them. Islam has given such importance to this companionship so as to call it a source of completing half of one’s deen.
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says in the Qur’an:
“They (your wives) are a clothing (covering) for you and you too are a clothing (covering) for them.”
The above verse gives one of the most beautiful and comprehensive examples of what the relationship of a husband and wife is. They are likened to a garment, that which not only beautifies and protects one, but also hides their flaws, imperfections, and weaknesses. It is a matter of amazement that two individuals, from different lineages and different upbringings, sometimes even different places and languages, come together and become the best of friends for life through an unseeing knot of love. This is another miracle of Allah, through which we experience the warmth of togetherness. The reason why these two individuals come from contrasting backgrounds and become the foundation of a family is because of the love and mercy that Allah places between them. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought”
(Qur’an, 30: 21)
A married couple comes across many challenges and they may face situations that might test their patience. The above verse tells us exactly how such a situation is to be handled. When tests and difficulties make it difficult to feel love for each other, mercy is what can bring them back together. Mawaddah (affection) and Rahmah (mercy) are the two keywords that form the basis of a strong relationship between a husband and wife.
Islam places great importance on the institution of marriage, as a Muslim family with the right values is what makes the foundation of a socially and spiritually aware Ummah.
Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) reported:
The Prophet (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection) said: “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!”
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The above hadith clearly reveals the direction of our search while looking for a spouse. It is crucial to understand the wisdom behind this preference. It is upon the women of the household to provide the best tarbiyah (upbringing) to the children, and hence their role in the structure of a family is pivotal. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has placed separate responsibilities on both the men and the women. Women, in their role of the caretaker and nurturer, and men, in their role of the ‘qawwam’- maintainers or protectors, can together, through the fulfillment of these to the best of their capabilities, form a peaceful and healthy home. A society made up of such strong relationships ensures values that are intact. And such a society in turn gives responsible and loving individuals to the world.