The Marriage Advices
By: Yazid bin Abdul Qadir Jawas
Islam is a universal religion, one that encompasses all aspects of life. There is nothing in this life that is left unexplained in it. And there’s nothing that left untouched by Islamic values, no matter how small or trivial it is. That is Islam, religion that brings mercy to the whole universe.
Regarding the matter of marriage, Islam has discussed about it a lot, since the way to set criteria for the spouse, until the way to treat them when they are officially married. Islam has guided it all. Likewise, Islam has taught its followers how to host a lively wedding without neglecting the aspect of Allah’s blessing and the Prophet’s sunnah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-, as well as a simple yet fascinating one. Marriage is the most beneficial and foremost way in the attempt to realize and protect human’s dignity, because through it, he could protect himself from committing Allah’s prohibitions. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- encouraged people to hasten the process of marriage, facilitate it, and exterminate its obstacles.
Marriage is a natural way to dampen human’s biological desire, in order to achieve a lofty aim, from which a couple could raise their offsprings, by whose role, the prosperity on this earth could be maintained.
Through this simple article, you’ll be invited to learn profoundly the ritual of Islamic marriage which is very lofty and full of nuances. You’ll be persuaded to abandon the past time traditions which are full of lengthy and exhausting ceremonies and traditional customs.
Shall we keep wallowing in arrogance and mutiny just because of a marriage….?
Na’udzu billahi min dzalik.
The matter of marriage is an always actual and ever interesting topic to discuss, since it involves not only the natural tendency and basic needs of human being, but also a sublime and central institution, i.e., a household. It is sublime since it serves a fortress that protects human’s dignity and the lofty and essential moral values.
Since this institution holds a central role for the birth and growth of the descendants of Adam, which in turn will habe a key role in realizing peace and prosperity on earth. In Islam, only the children of Adam have the honor to carry out the divine mandate of being caliph on earth, as in Allah’s decree, -Exalted be He-,
“Just think when your Lord said to the angels: “Lo! I am about to place a vicegerent on earth,” they said: “Will You place on it one who will spread mischief and shed blood while we celebrate Your glory and extol Your holiness?” He said: “Surely I know what you do not know.”(Chapter Al Baqara/The Cow:30)
Marriage is not a small and insignificant matter; rather, it is an important and huge affair. The contract (aqad) of marriage serves as a very strong and sacred pact (MITSAAQON GHOLIIDHOO), as in Allah The Exalted’s decree,
“How can you take it away after each one has enjoyed the other, and they have taken a firm covenant from you?” (Chapter An Nisaa/The Women:21)
Therefore, it is expected for all involved parties, and husband and wife in particular, to maintain and protect it in earnest and dutiful manners. Islam has provided a complete and detail guidance to it, started from the encouragement to marry, the method to pick an ideal spouse, the steps of proposal, the method of children education, as well as provided solution for a problem of household, until the division of sustenance and inheritance.
Next, to understand the Islamic concept of marriage, there is no better and more valid reference for it than the Qur’an and the sound sunnah (according to the understanding of the righteous predecessors, -ed). In it, we’ll find the detailed explanation regarding some aspects of marriage, as well as digression and shifting in marriage values that occur among our society.
Certainly, not all of the marriage aspects could be discussed in this article, and only some matters that’ll be discussed, namely, human’s natural tendency, the aim of marriage in Islam, ritual of marriage, and digression (deviation) in marriage.
Marriage is Natural tendency of human being
Islam is a religion of natural tendency, and Allah the Exalted created human being to fit the natural tendency, in order to avoid deviation and corruption. Thus, Allah the Glorified and Exalted orders human being to turn their face to this religion, hence they will walk upon their natural tendency.
Marriage is a basic instinct of human being, therefore, Islam advises its followers to marry, since it is a basic instinct of human being. If its not satisfied in a legitimate way, i.e., marriage, it will be forced to choose satanic ways that’ll lead them to the valley of the doom.
Allah the Exalted decreed,
“(O Prophet and his followers), turn your face single-mindedly to the true Faith and adhere to the true nature on which Allah has created human beings. The mould fashioned by Allah cannot be altered. That is the True, Straight Faith, although most people do not know.” (Chapter Ar Ruum/The Romans:30)
A. Islam Advises Marriage
Islam has made the legal marriage tie according to the Qur’an and the sunnah as the only way to satisfy the basic instinct of human being, and to raise an Islamic family. Islam puts a very high position for marriage, to the extent that it is deemed equal to half of the religion (deen). Anas Ibn Malik –may Allah be pleased with him- said, “The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, ‘Whoever marries means that he has completed half of his religion, and he should fear Allah in order to preserve the other half.” (Narrated by Thabrani and Hakim).
B. Islam discourages celibacy
The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- ordered his followers to marry and strictly forbade them from celibacy. Anas Ibn Malik –may Allah be pleased with him- said, “The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- ordered us to marry and prohibited us from celibacy with a strict prohibition.” And he said:
“Marry a fertile and loving woman, since I will be proud with the massive amount of my followers before the other prophets later in the Hereafter.” (Narrated by Ahmad and classified as valid hadith by Ibn Hibban).
One day, there were three companions came to visit the Prophet’s wives –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- to inquire about his worship, and after it was explained to them, all wanted to increase their worship. One of them said, ‘As for me, I will fast forever without break.’ Another one said, ‘I will avoid woman, I’ll never marry forever..’ When the Prophet –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- heard about it, he went out and said, ‘Were it true that you said such-and-such? Verily, by Allah, I am the one who fear Him the most and most righteous among you, however, I fast and break alternately, I pray but I also sleep, and I also married. Thus, whosoever dislikes my sunnah, he is not among my follower.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).
People with sanity and pure view will not let himself fall into astray by living in celibate. Sheikh Hussain Muhammad Yusuf said, ‘Celibacy is a dry and desolate life, one thar lacks meaning and goal. It is empty of many humane virtues which is generally based on egoism and self-centered as well as the desire to be free from all kind of responsibilities.”
People who live in celibate most commonly live for himself only. They live alone with their ever burning passion, until the purity of their spirit and soul becomes tainted. They are always in struggle against their natural tendency, and even though they could rely on their piety, a long standing struggle will weaken their faith and soul’s defense, disturb their health, and drag them into the valley of immorality.
Thus, anyone who is reluctant to marry, from among men and women, in reality they are the most miserable person on earth. They are the most void of life’s pleasure, be it in sensual or spiritual sense. They may be rich, but they are lacking of Allah’s favor.
Islam rejects the priesthood system because it goes against the nature of humanity, as well as the sunnah and Allah’s will for His creation. Being reluctant to start a family for fear of poverty is the attitude of an ignorant, because Allah has decided every part of sustenance since before human’s birth, and he can’t theorize His sustenance, for example, by saying, “If I live alone, my salary is enough, but it wont be anymore when I have a wife.” This saying is an erroneous statement, since it contradicts Allah’s verses, as well as the hadith of Allah’s messenger –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-. Allah orders His slave to marry, and if they are poor, Allah will certainly help them by providing them sustenance. Allah promises to help people who marry, as stated in His verse,
“Marry those of you that are single, (whether men or women), and those of your male and female slaves that are righteous. If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. Allah is Immensely Resourceful, All-Knowing.” (Chapter An Noor/The Light:32)
The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- reinforced that promise in his saying, “There are the kinds of people who are rightful of Allah’s help, i.e., a fighter in Allah’s Cause, a slave who pay for the compensation to free himself, and a man who wants to marry in order to protect his honor.” (Narrated by Ahmad 2 : 251, Nasa’i, Tirmidzi, Ibn Majain hadits No. 2518, and Hakim 2 : 160 from Abu Hurairah – may Allah be pleased with him-).
The righteous predecessors strongly encouraged people to marry and they were anti-celibacy, and they disliked to live alone for a long time.
Ibn Mas’ud –may Allah be pleased with him- said, “Even if my life only last for ten days more, indeed, I prefer to marry to meeting Allah as a bachelor.” (See: Ihya Ulumuddin and Tuhfatul ‘Arus page. 20).
The Goal of Marriage in Islam
1. To satisfy the basic instinct of human nature
In the previous article (the second part), we’ve mentioned that marriage is human’s nature, thus, the legitimate way to satisfy this need is through the contract of marriage (i.e., through the marriage institution), and not through the dirty and disgusting ways, such as dating, cohabitation, prostitution, adultery, lesbianism, gay partnership, and other deviating, unlawful ways in Islam.
2. To preserve the virtuous manner
The main goal of the prescription of marriage in Islam is to preserve human’s dignity from the taint of immoral and despicable act, which has degraded and humiliated human’s dignity. Islam regards marriage and establishment of family as an effective means to preserve youth from damage, and protect society from chaos. The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,
“O youth, whosoever among you has the ability to marry, shall marry, for it is better to lower the sight, and shield the sexual desire. And whosoever hasn’t, he shall fast, for it could shield himself.” (A valid hadith, narrated by Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidzi, Nasa’i, Darimi, Ibn Jarud and Baihaqi).
3. To establish an Islamic family
It is stated inside the Qur’an that Islam justifies divorce, on the condition of both husband and wife is no longer able to uphold Allah’s law, as in the following verse of Allah:
“Divorce can be pronounced twice: then, either honourable retention or kindly release should follow. (While dissolving the marriage tie) it is unlawful for you to take back anything of what you have given to your wives unless both fear that they may not be able to keep within the bounds set by Allah. Then, if they fear that they might not be able to keep within the bounds set by Allah, there is no blame upon them for what the wife might give away of her property to become released from the marriage tie. These are the bounds set by Allah; do not transgress them. Those of you who transgress the bounds set by Allah are indeed the wrong-doers.” (Chapter Al Baqara/The Cow:229)
Which means that they are no longer able to perform Allah’s orders. And it is justifiable to reconcile if they are able to uhold Allah’s orders, as revealed in the continuation of the said verse,
“Then, if he divorces her (for the third time, after having pronounced the divorce twice), she shall not be lawful to him unless she first takes another man for a husband, and he divorces her. There is no blame upon them if both of them return to one another thereafter, provided they think that they will be able to keep within the bounds set by Allah. These are the bounds of Allah which He makes clear to a people who have knowledge (of the consequences of violating those bounds).” (Chapter Al Baqara/The Cow:230)
Hence, the lofty aim of marriage is for the husband and the wife to uphold Islamic shari’a within their household. The ruling of establishing a family (household) based on Islamic shari’a is compulsory. Therefore, every muslim and muslimat who wants to start an Islamic family should pay attention to some criteria of ideal husband/wife according to Islam, namely:
If the persons are equal, then there’s no obstacle for them to marry each other. It is compulsory for any parents, lads, and maidens who still hold onto the concept of materialism and preserve their tradition, to abandon it, and return to the Qur’an and sunnah of the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,
“Woman are married due to four reasons; for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty, or for her religion. Thus, choose (marry) for her religion (righteousness), because if you don’t, for sure, you’ll be doomed.” (Valid hadith, narrated by Bukhari 6:123, Muslim 4:175).
a. Equality (kafa’ah) in Islam
Today, the effect of materialism has afflicted many parents, thus a lot of them perceive that in choosing the match for their son/daughter, they should only consider the equality in social state, position, and lineage, while putting very small concern on the aspect of religion. The matter of equality is not merely measured by wealth.
In Islam, equality in marriage holds an important role, because the existence of equality between husband and wife will lead to the attempt to establish and nurture an Islamic family, by Allah’s permission.
However, equality in Islam lies only on the quality of faith, righteousness, and manner of a person, instead of social state, lineage, and wealth. Allah sees everyone, an Arab or not, poor or wealthy, as equal, and no difference exist among them except for the degree of their righteousness. Allah decreed,
“Human beings, We created you all from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Verily the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God-fearing of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Chapter Al Hujurat/The Chambers:13)
A man who wants to marry should choose a righteous woman, and vice versa, a woman should choose a righteous man. According to the Qur’an, a righteous woman is:
“Thus righteous women are obedient and guard the rights of men in their absence under Allah’s protection.” (Chapter An Nisaa/The Women:34)
According to the Qur’an and the valid hadith, among the characteristics of a righteous woman:
“One who obeys Allah, obeys His messenger, wears hijab thar covers all of her awrah and doesn’t expose her beauty as the case of the ignorant women (Chapter Al Ahzab/The Clans:32), doesn’t let herself to be alone with a strange (non-mahram) man, obeys her parent in goodness, obeys her husband, is decent to her neighbor, and so on.”
If she fulfills these criteria, by Allah’s permission, an Islamic family will be realized. Further, the Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- suggested his followers to choose a fertile and loving woman, in order to raise the next generation of the ummah.
According to Islam, life should be devoted to worship Allah alone and be good to others. From this point of view, marriage could be perceived as one of the most fertile land for worshipping Allah as well as righteous deeds, to the extent that even having a sexual intercourse between husband and wife is considered as charity.
The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,
“doing sexual intercourse with your wife is a donation. They asked, O The Messenger of Allah, is anyone of us who fulfill his desire will be rewarded? The Messenger of Allah said, What do you think if the person fulfills his desire with unlawful things, will he commit sin? Therefore, if he fulfills his desire to lawful things, he will be rewarded. (Muslim, Ahmad 5:1167-168 and Nasa’i , the status is valid).
4. To Obtain a Righteous Descendant
One of the goal of marriage is to preserve and expand the lineage of the sons of Adam. Allah decreed,
“And Allah has given you spouses from your kind, and has granted you through your spouses, sons and grandsons, and has provided you wholesome things as sustenance. (After knowing all this), do they still believe in falsehood and deny Allah’s bounty,” (Chapter An Nahl/The Bee:72)
Furthermore, what’s most important in marriage is not only to obtain a child, but to have and shape a high quality generation, i.e., a child who is pious and God-fearing.
There is no doubt that a pious child couldn’t be realized except through the help of a proper Islamic education. We need to underline this means, as many of the “Islamic Educational Institution”, in reality, do not have Islamic characteristics. Thus, many of the children of the muslims do not have a decent manner, due to the erroneous teaching that they’ve received. Therefore, husband and wife are responsible to educate, teach, and guide their children to the right path. Regarding the aim of marriage in Islam, Islam also,perceives the forming of a family as a means to realize the greater goals which comprise various social aspects in Islam, which in turn will give great fundamental and great influence over the muslims and its existence.
The Marriage Ritual in Islam
Islam has set a very,clear concept about the marriage ritual based on the Qur’an and the sunnah (based on the understanding of the pious predecessors, -ed). Below is the summary of its important points:
1. Khitbah (Proposal)
It is suggested for a muslim who intends to marry a muslimah to propose beforehand, since it is possible that the lady is already engaged to another man. it is forbidden in Islam for him to marry a woman who is already engaged to another muslim (Muttafaq ‘alaih). During proposal, it is suggested for the man to see the face of the woman he is about to propose to. (A valid hadith, narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidzi No. 1093 and Darimi).
2. Aqad (Contract of agreement)
In marriage contract agreement, there are several requirements to fulfill, namely:
a. The willingness from both parties
b. The statement of ijab qabul
c. The dowry
d. The guardian
e. Th witnesses
According to sunnah, before the contract is agreed, it should be preceded by a sermon, which is named as the marriage sermon or khutbatul hajat.
3. Walimah (Marriage reception)
It is compulsory to hold marriage reception and it should be done as simple as possible, and it is suggested to invite the poor people in it. The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him said that inviting only the rich means that the feast is the worst among feasts.
The Prophet –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,
“The worst food is the food in walimah which invites only the poor to savor it, leaving the poor uninvited. Whosoever refuses to attend a walimah invitation, meaning that he has defy Allah and His messenger. “ (valid hadith, Narrated by Muslim 4:154 and Baihaqi 7:262 from Abu Hurairah).
It is important to note that the invitees are supposed to be righteous people, rich or poor, because the Prophet –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,
“Do not befriend people but the believers, and do not let anyone eat your food except the righteous ones. “ (A valid hadith, narrated by Abu Dawud, Tirmidzi, Hakim 4:128 and Ahmad 3:38 from Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri).
Some Mistakes in Marriage Procession that Should be Avoided/Omitted
Many people who want to marry usually date each other prior it, as they assume it is an introductory phase for the couple, or an assessment phase, or as a realization of love between them.
This assumption then leads to the mutual consent from various parties to see the phase of dating as something normal, which is of course, a wrong and fallacious assumption. In dating, it is a certainty that intimacy between two different individual will happen, such as looking at and touching each other, all of which are unlawful in Islam.
The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,
“A man should never be alone with a woman, except when the woman is with her mahram.” (A valid hadith, narrated by Ahmad, Bukhari and Muslim).
Thus, Islam gives no room for dating, and dating is forbidden in Islam.
2. Exchanging Ring
During proposal, usually a couple exchanges ring as a sign of bond between them, which is not from Islamic teaching. (Refer to: Adabuz-Zafaf by Nashiruddin Al-Bani)
3. Demanding an expensive dowry
In Islam, the best of dowry is the cheap and simple one, which doesn’t cause trouble, or is expensive. Indeed, a dowry is the right of woman, however, Islam still advises to make ease and prohibit people to demand expensive dowry.
As for the story of a woman who reprimanded Umar Ibn Khattab because he limited the ampunt of dowry for woman, it is an erroneous story because the narration is very weak. (See: Irwa’ul Ghalil 6,page. 347-348).
4. Following Traditional Ceremony
Islamic teaching and law should be prioritized over anything. Every event, ceremony, and traditional ritual which opposes Islamic teaching should be omitted. In general, some muslims, in regard to marriage ritual, tend to exalt and put the local traditional ritual ahead, thus they have quelled the valid and sound hadith of the Prophet –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-.
How ironic! To they who are still glorify the tradition of the ignorant and belittle Islamic concept, which means they are still not truly believe in Islam, Allah the Glorified and Exalted decreed,
“(If they turn away from the Law of Allah) do they desire judgement according to the Law of Ignorance? But whose judgement can be better than Allah’s for those who have certainty of belief?” (Chapter Al Maida/The Table Spread:50)
People who seek any concept, rules, and rituals other than Islam should know that their quest is futile, because Allah will never accept any of it, and later in the Hereafter they’ll be the one to suffer greatest loss. Allah the Exalted decreed,
“And whoever seeks a way other than this way of submission – Islam – will find that it will not be accepted from him and he will be among the losers in the Life to Come.” (Chapter Ali Imran/The family of Imran:85)
5. Giving congratulation which resembles the Ignorant’s
The ignorants always used the saying, “Birafa’ wal banin”, upon congratulating the bride and the groom. This saying, which means “may you get plenty of sustenances and many children” is not allowed In Islam.
It is narrated from Al Hasan, that ‘Aqil Ibn Abi Ibn Thalib married a woman from Jasyam. The guests congratulated him with the Ignorant’s saying, “Birafa’ wal banin”. ‘Aqil bin Abi Thalib prohibited them, he said, “Don’t say so, because the Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- forbade such saying.” The guests asked him, “Then what should we say, o father of Zayd?”.
‘Aqil replied, “Say, ‘Barakallahu lakum wa Baraka ‘Alaiykum” (May Allah bless you and bestow His blessing upon you). That is what the Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- ordered us to say.” ( Valid hadith, narrated by Ibn Abi Syaibah, Darimi 2:134, Nasa’i, Ibn Maja,, Ahmad 3:451, and others).
The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- used the following recite du’a for newlyweds,
“Baarakallahu laka wa baarakaa ‘alaiyka wa jama’a baiynakumaa fii khoir”
It is based on a valid hadith, which came from Abu Huraira,
“When The Prophet –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- congratulated a newlywed, he would recite du’a, “Baarakallahu laka wa baarakaa ‘alaiyka wa jama’a baiynakumaa fii khoir”
(May Allah bless you, may He bestow His bless upon you, and may He unite you two in goodness.” (Valid Hadith, narrated by Ahmad 2:38, Tirmidzi, Darimi 2:134, Hakim 2:183, Ibn Maja and Baihaqi 7:148).
1. Ikhtilath (Free mixing)
Ikhtilath means free mixing between men and women hence they could look at each other, touch each other, handshake, etc. according to islamic rule, the bride and the groom should be positioned in separate room, in order to prevent this free mixing.
2. Other violation
Other violation that is common to find is the loud music blared during the party.
An ideal household in Islam is a household that the one that is filled with tranquility, love, and affection. Allah decreed,
“And of His Signs is that He has created mates for you from your own kind that you may find peace in them and He has set between you love and mercy. Surely there are Signs in this for those who reflect.” (Chapter Ar Ruum/The Romans:21)
In a muslim family, both husband and wife should understand their spouse’s strength, and weakness, as well as their right and obligation, also their distinctive task and function and carry it out dutifully, in order to realize the effort to create a family which Allah pleases of. However, due to the condition of human being that could never be free of weakness and flaws, while trials and tribulations come and go, it is not unusual for a previously happy and peaceful family life to undergo disputes and feuds all at sudden.
If the attempt to reconcile has been tried to no avail, as in chapter An Nisaa:34-35, then Islam offers the final solution for the couple, i.e., a divorce.
But for us, lets try to hold a wedding ceremony according to Islamic rules, start an Islamic family, and abandon any rules, rituals, ceremonies, and tradition which oppose Islamic teaching.
The islamic teaching is the only correct and true teaching which Allah the Glorified and Exalted pleases of. (Chapter Ali Imran:19)
“who are prone to pray: “Our Lord! Grant us that our spouses and our offspring be a joy to our eyes, and do make us the leaders of the God-fearing.” (Chapter Al Furqan/The Criterion:74)
And Allah knows best.
‘Taken frok the book “Konsep Perkawinan dalam Islam” (Marriage concept in Islam) by Ustadz al-Fadhil Yazid Jawwas