Islam's Views on Matrimony

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Islam's Views on Matrimony
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Today’s talk is on the importance of matrimony in light of the findings of the biological scientists and in Islam's view.
When the hormones associated with the sexual instinct are released in the body, they bring about a peculiar revolution in the body and soul of a person, whether a girl or a boy. The resulting changes are so obvious that it manifests itself in the appearance of the person.

Islam terms this changed condition as the age of buloogh (puberty). According to Islam, buloogh is that stage when the hormones associated with the sexual instinct are released and become strong in a person. In other words, the person experiences a strange transition. When these hormones are released, the person automatically experiences an attraction that is called sexual attraction.
Prior to this, the sexual instinct was dormant, but now it begins to manifest itself. As soon as this happens, the young person must be handled very carefully. I have previously said that if these manifestations are not handled thoughtfully, the results could be serious. We should also bear in mind that the sexual urge is not like the urge for eating and drinking. Sexual urge is also not like the desire to amass wealth, acquire property and other similar human desires. If Freud’s theory has to be accepted, then all the desires have their root in the sexual desire. His theory seems incorrect. But romance, poetry and other related instincts can be connected to the sexual instinct in a person. You very seldom hear that someone has written a poem on bread or water, for instance. But poetry is mostly about love and romance.

When these hormones are released, the person automatically experiences an attraction that is called sexual attraction. Prior to this, the sexual instinct was dormant, but now it begins to manifest itself. As soon as this happens, the young person must be handled very carefully. I have previously said that if these manifestations are not handled thoughtfully, the results could be serious. 

The love of one person for another arises from the sex instinct that manifests itself in the persons.

Here I would like to make a point to the young sons and daughters! If two young boys, or two young girls, have unusual love and affection for each other, then they must watch out, otherwise they might be exposed to a grave risk. This love must certainly be controled. They may argue that they are just friends and the friendship is not because of sex instinct, but they are lying. If one person has extreme feelings towards another, it definitely is love. And love is a product of the sex instinct. The purest form of love, unadulterated with any other instinct, can only be one’s love for Allah. One may develop love for Imam Hussein (AS) and Karbala, or for Imam Mahdi. If one has an unusual love for Allah or these personalities, it is certainly a blessing. But if this is not the case, then the affected individual must realise that he is in a very dangerous situation. Reciting poetry for the beloved or becoming a lover of someone is because of the sexual urge.

The Quranic View of Matrimony

The Holy Verse reads:

لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ وَ مَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّا ءَاتَئهُ اللَّهُ لَا يُكلَِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا ءَاتَئهَا

"Let him who has abundance, spend of his abundance, and he whose provision is measured, let him spend of that which Allah hath given him. Allah asketh naught of any soul save that which He hath given it." (Sura Al Talaaq 65:07)


This verse pertains to the lives of human beings and this verse is also about wives. Men and women are absolutely natural and essential for each other, in the same way that bread and water are essential. If a person cannot acquire these essentials on his own, others must assist him. Since the sexual instinct is different from other human instincts, the Holy Quran has a specific and distinct commandment about it:

وَ أَنكِحُواْ الْأَيَمَى‏ مِنكمُ‏ْ وَ الصَّلِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكمُ‏ْ وَ إِمَائكُمْ إِن يَكُونُواْ فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَ اللَّهُ وَسِعٌ عَلِيم


"And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maidservants. If they be poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty. Allah is of ample means, Aware." (Sura An-Nur 24: 32)

If your trust in Allah is firm, if you work hard enough, if you follow the commandments of Islam, then fear of poverty should not worry you.

The importance of matrimony in the society is stressed in this verse. Here the word ‘ankihu’, meaning "marry", is used in a collective sense pointing to the importance of matrimony in the society. It is the responsibility of the parents to get their young ones married. If the parents don’t have the means, then the Islamic government must discharge this duty. If it is unable to do so, the society has to bear this responsibility. Quran says that the society has to take the responsibility of helping the poor boys and girls marry. It also says that people should have faith in Allah that after matrimony they will flourish. If you trust in Allah, and believe Him to be the Sustainer, then marry and do not worry unduly about the future!
If your trust in Allah is firm, if you work hard enough, if you follow the commandments of Islam, then fear of poverty should not worry you. Another verse of the Quran exhorts the society to help remove the poverty and penury of individuals. It urges people to help each other in the society. Particularly in the matter of matrimony, the Quran exhorts the society to help those young boys and girls marry, who don’t have the means to meet the expenses of marriage.

Matrimony in the Light of Tradition

The author of Wasail is one person who has a right over the Mumineen in general and the Maraji’ in particular. In his invaluable book he has recorded almost six thousand traditions. He has recorded traditions that say that there is great felicity for the person who helps a young man get a bride or helps a young girl get married. When one reads these traditions, one feels as if there can be no felicity greater than this.
It is narrated from Imam Musa ibn Jafar (AS) that on the Day of Reckoning three types of persons will be under the shade of the Firmament. One of the groups will consist of the persons who helped someone to marry. In this tradition the Imam (AS) says that

on the Day of Judgment Allah will grant such persons with His Blessings. (Wasail al-Shia, Vol 14, Page 27)

Similar traditions are recorded in other chapters of the book too. The author has recorded more than twenty such traditions. One such tradition is:
“Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS) said that a person came to his revered father. The Imam (AS) asked him, “Do you have a spouse?” The person replied in the negative. (I mention this especially for the benefit of those young girls and boys who can marry, but won’t) Then the Imam (AS) said,

“If Allah gives me whatever is there on the earth and asks me to remain without a wife, I would turn down the offer!”

Here ‘whatever is on earth’ does not mean millions of dollars, it means the earth and all that it contains. The Imam is addressing girls as well as boys that if Allah gives him the earth and all that it contains, but if he is without a spouse even for one night, this wealth has no value. Then the Imam said to that person,

“Let me tell you the difference between those who have spouses and those who don’t. If a married man or woman offers two rakaat of prayer, it is more felicitous than the worship of an unmarried person, who prays at night and fasts during the day.”

It is narrated from the Prophet (SAW) and the Imams (AS) that

no house is liked more by Allah than that which is built on the foundation of matrimony.

This tradition points to a very special fact. The fact is that when you get a young girl and a young boy married, you are helping to make a home! What is more felicitous - making a home or making a mosque or a school?
There are several other traditions stressing the importance of matrimony in Islam. The least reward is stated in the tradition that says that when a married man or woman offers the morning prayers, a reward of forty rakaats is entered in their record of deeds. It means that the rewards for all the prayers offered by married persons are enhanced 70 times! This is the importance of matrimony in Islam.
To the contrary, about those young men and women who can marry but won’t marry, the Prophet (SAW) and the Imams (AS) have made the following observation:

"The lowest of the men are those who die single."

There are several other such traditions that severely condemn men and women remaining unmarried. I am not recounting them here because they can cause a feeling of depression in the minds of the audience! If the readers wish to know more about these, they may refer to Volume 16 of Wasail al Shia.

Importance of Sexual Instinct in Islam

The instinct of sex is different from other instincts in the human beings. When other instincts reach a peak and become strong, they make the person helpless. Sexual instinct is different in this aspect. Prophet Yusuf (AS) could resist all the temptations of Zuleikha and was able to shake her off. Zuleikha had already made up her mind. According to the Quran, if it were not for Prophet Yusuf’s infallibility and his firm determination, he too would have succumbed.
When Hadhrat Yusuf was again confronted with a bevy of beautiful women at Zuleikha’s chambers, they cut their hands, instead of cutting the oranges. All those beautiful women became attracted to and desired Yusuf (AS). From this very difficult situation too Prophet Yusuf came out unscathed. Here I would like to quote a verse from the Holy Quran that I request the young ones and their parents to bear in mind:

قَالَ رَبّ‏ِ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلىَ‏َّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنىِ إِلَيْهِ وَ إِلَّا تَصْرِفْ عَنىّ‏ِ كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيهِْنَّ وَ أَكُن مِّنَ الجَْهِلِين

"He said my Lord I prefer the prison to them, and if Thou will not fend off their wiles from me I shall incline unto them and become of the foolish." (Sura Yusuf, 12 :33).

These verses pertaining to Prophet Yusuf prove that the sexual instinct is different from other instincts. If we ponder over the fact, we find that Islam has a very unique view regarding the sexual instinct. The unique thing is that it doesn’t ask its followers to suppress this instinct. People should not do anything that might extinguish this instinct forever. Viewing someone with lustful looks is considered sinful. Looking at someone with desire causes the person to become wretched, because one glance can be enough to cause infatuation, which is a disease worse than cancer.

The instinct of sex is different from other instincts in the human beings. When other instincts reach a peak and become strong, they make the person helpless. Sexual instinct is different in this aspect. Prophet Yusuf (AS) could resist all the temptations of Zuleikha and was able to shake her off. Zuleikha had already made up her mind. According to the Quran, if it were not for Prophet Yusuf’s infallibility and his firm determination, he too would have succumbed.

Therefore the Holy Quran addresses every lady and says:

“O lady! When you move with, or talk to a male stranger you must exercise care in selection of your dress and your behavior. O lady! If you are put in a situation when you must speak with a male stranger, then talk only to the extent that it is absolutely essential”.

Even while conversing with someone over the telephone, the talk should be restricted to the bare necessities. When a woman walks in the lane, she should ensure that the chador is worn properly. Also, the chador should not be of a material that might attract attention of the wayfarers. The footwear and the posture of walking too should not be such that men become aware of you. If your chador is transparent, this is oppression because it can arouse passions. If a youth gets motivated due to the carelessness of women, it might often be difficult for him to control his sexual instinct.

We conclude from the foregone discussion that the sex instinct requires the attention of the parents and the young boys and girls. The instinct will be at its zenith from the age of fifteen or sixteen years to about 28 years.

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Daily Hadith
مَن شَرُفَت هِمَّتُهُ عَظُمَت قِيمَتُهُ.
He whose ambition is lofty his value is heightened.