Published time: 11 ,March ,2017      19:51:32
Islam, unlike other religions is a strong advocate of marriage and it has attached great importance to the issues of marriage in its social system. There is no place for celibacy in Islam. In the Qur'an and the sayings of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) and the pure Imams (AS), we find that marriage has been greatly encouraged.
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In Islam, marriage is a legal contract between two people. Both the groom and the bride are to consent to the marriage of their own free wills. A formal, binding contract is considered integral to a religiously valid Islamic marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom and bride.

Marriage is a social necessity through which families are established and the family is the fundamental unit of our society. Furthermore, marriage is the only legitimate way according to Islam, to indulge in intimacy between a man and a woman. For this reason, Allah has placed certain instincts and faculties in the intrinsic nature of man, for his own survival and perfection. One of such is the sexual instinct, and the inclination of the opposite sex towards each other, which if utilized in the right and moderate manner, would help man towards attaining perfection. However, if taken to extremes, it would lead to dangerous consequences, because the sexual instinct is the wildest instinct within man.

Islam seeks to channel the human faculties in the right manner, instead of leaving them useless or paralyzed, or having them move against man’s innate nature. Thus, in order to keep the sexual instincts under control, and channel the natural attraction between the two genders, Islam gives extraordinary importance to marriage and encourages both of them towards this act.

Marriage in the Qur’an and Hadith

In the Qur’an, Allah says:

"Marry off those who are single among you, and the upright among your male and female slaves. If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His grace, and Allah is all-bounteous, all-knowing.[1]

Similarly, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a)

"'There is no institution in Islam more beloved and dearer to Allah than marriage.”[2]

Also, he (s.a.w.a) said:

"Marriage is part of my Sunna, and whoever does not follow my Sunna, has nothing to do with me.”[3]


"Whoever gets married has protected half of his faith. Then let him fear Allah regarding the second half.”[4]

In addition, Imam Ali (AS) while describing the important of marriage said:

"The greatest intercession is to try and bring a man and woman together in marriage so that Allah may provide for the means for the establishment of their relationship.”[5]

Imam Sadiq (AS) said:

"Two rak’at of prayers offered by a married individual is better than seventy rak’ats offered by an unmarried individual.”[6]

Thus, it is worthy for all every Muslim to carry out this divine act as has been ordained by Allah, and to not occupy oneself with the wrong customs and traditions, rather, allow the Islamic culture and lifestyle to prevail in the society.

The Purposes Of Marriage

In Islam, marriage entails numerous benefits, some of which pertain to the spouse, while others pertain to the entire society. The most important benefits of marriage include the following:

1. Fulfilling sexual desires

The best and right way of benefitting from and satisfying ones sexual desires, from the Islamic viewpoint, is through marriage. The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said, "Oh youths! Those of you that have attained puberty must get married, for marriage guards the eyes against haraam, and ensures his purity; while those of you who cannot get married, must observe fasts in order to control their sexual desires, for fasts help keep one’s sexual desires under control.”[7]

2. Attaining peace and composure

The man and woman are the foundation and cornerstone of family and Allah has placed such a bond between the two that they begin treading towards a common life; although one of the causes of this attraction is the sexual instincts, the act of marriage steadily brings about a unity of the souls, love and affection, such that each of them begins striving for the prosperity and satisfaction of the other.

Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

And of His signs is that He created for you mates from your own selves that you may take comfort in them, and He ordained affection and mercy between you. There are indeed signs in that for a people who reflect.”[8]

Two factors ensure the long-lastingness of this peace and composure: love, and kindness. If either of these lacks in a family, such that love is replaced by hatred, or kindness turns into grudge, then a family life turns into hellfire which burns not only the family members, but other people as well.

The peace, composure, and tranquility that results from marriage, entails numerous spiritual and physical, individual and social benefits, and plays an important role in the development of talents and capabilities, and the preservation of the society’s security. Thus, those who turn away from this divine institution, in fact, are incomplete in their existence.

Just like a piece of cloth covers a being, protects him from hot and cold, and is can be an object of adornment, a man and woman are a covering for each other, and help and adorn each other on the path of perfection. The Holy Qur’an says:

"They are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them…”[9]

3. Preserving the Human Race

Marriage is a means of preserving the human race; Allah states in the Holy Qur’an that one of the aims of creating in pairs (spouses) is in fact the increase in numbers [i.e. growth of the human race].[10]

One of the very basic reasons for the prohibition of homosexuality in Islam is that it would bring an end to the human race, because the law of creation has established the attraction between two opposite genders as the means of preservation of the human race.

The Holy Prophet (s) said:

"Get married and increase your offspring, for I will boast of your great numbers before the other nations.”[11]

The discouragement from marrying infertile individuals, in numerous traditions is also in line with this very principle[12]. The fruit of one’s marriage could be a righteous offspring that would be a source of their pride. The Holy Qur’an says:

"Your women are a tillage for you, so come to your tillage whenever you like, and send ahead for your souls.”[13]

The sentence ‘send ahead for your souls’ is indicative of the fact that a woman is not a means of satisfying and fulfilling one’s sexual needs and desires, and the ultimate aim of intercourse is not limited to seeking pleasure; rather, it is a means for preserving the human race, and bringing forth a righteous offspring that would be a spiritual resource for the future generations.

4. Developing a sense of responsibility

As long as a man is unmarried, he does not have within himself a sense of responsibility, nor does he use his strengths and capabilities to their maximum potential; for instance, he does not struggle much to earn or preserve a lawful livelihood, and it is because of this that unmarried individuals often do not have s stable earning, nor do they easily settle down in one place for a long time.

However, as soon as he gets married, he steps into the stage of having a common life, developing a new, social personality, finds himself responsible for protecting the honour of his family, and providing for the necessities of his spouse and family, and hence, directs all his efforts and capabilities into providing a comfortable life to his family.

No longer does he find himself absolutely free and unrestricted that he could go anywhere, anytime he liked, or meet anyone time, without being accountable before anyone.

Perhaps, it is for this very reason that the aforementioned verse, as well as narrations of the infallibles, considers marriage as the means of reducing and driving away poverty.

1. The Holy Prophet (s): "Select a spouse for yourselves, for this is the cause of the increase in one’s sustenance.”[14]

2. The Holy Prophet (s): "One who does not get married due to poverty and fear of resulting in a large family, has in fact, formed a bad opinion regarding Allah; for Allah says, "If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His grace[15].”[16]

Every believer must have firm faith in this divine promise, and know that the divine help of the unseen will come to his aid, when he sets out to fulfil his responsibility, and guard his chastity.

[1] Surah an-Noor (24): Verse 32

[2] Al-Hur al-Aamili, Wasā’il al-Shīʿa, vol 20, chap 1, p14, hadith 4

[3] Noori, Mustadrak al-Wasāʾil, vol 14, chap 1, p153, hadith 18; Sunan Ibn Mājah, vol 1, p592, hadith 1846

[4] Al-Hur al-Aamili, Wasā’il al-Shīʿa, vol 20, chap 1, p16, hadith 11, 12

[5] Ibid., chap 12, p45, hadith 2

[6] Ibid., chap 2, p18, hadith 1

[7] Noori, Mustadrak al-Wasāʾil, vol 14, chap 1, p153, hadith 21; Sunan Ibn Mājah, vol 1, p592, hadith 1845

[8] Surah ar-Room (30): Verse 31

[9] Surah al-Baqarah (2): Verse 187

[10] Refer to Surah ash-Shura (42): Verse 11

[11] Noori, Mustadrak al-Wasāʾil, vol 14, chap 1, p153, hadith 17

[12] Refer to: Al-Hur al-Aamili, Wasā’il al-Shīʿa, vol 20, chap 15, p54, hadith 3

[13] Surah al-Baqarah (2): Verse 223

[14] Al-Hur al-Aamili, Wasā’il al-Shīʿa, vol 20, chap 10, p43, hadith 3

[15] Surah an-Noor (24): Verse 32

[16] Al-Hur al-Aamili, Wasā’il al-Shīʿa, vol 20, chap 10, p42, hadith 2

* Opinion: