In contrast to other religions, which consider celibacy as a great virtue
and a means of salvation, Islam considers marriage as one of the most
virtuous and approved institutions. The importance of marriage receives
its greatest emphasis from the Qur’an and Sunna.
The objectives of marriage in Islam
Allah has described marriage in the Qur’an as being love, tenderness
and tranquillity and has inculcated in a man's and woman's heart a longing
for the opposite sex. It is only through marriage that spiritual and
mental tranquillity can be achieved.
|Marriage is a partnership which has a constitution with a predetermined
set of provisions. Its basis is one of love and affection, and its
encompass all aspects of family life.
|Marriage conserves the man’s existence
and raising children to become true servants of Allah.
|Marriage protects societies from immorality and
sexually transmitted diseases and preserves one’s chastity
in satisfying the sexual desires in a permissible way.
|Marriage is the sole means of establishing a family,
and expanding social relations. No respectable human society could
ever exist, if not based on the family.
|Marriage matures a man’s character, as a
husband and a father and matures a woman's character, as a wife and
a mother through the responsibilities they have to shoulder.
Choosing a spouse
Choosing a marriage partner is perhaps the most serious decision you
will ever make in your life. This decision needs to be made with utmost
care and caution,
repeatedly seeking guidance from Allah.
The most important characteristics that one should look for in a spouse should
be based on similarity.
1-Similarity in Religion & Good Character
(s.a.w) said: "A woman is married for four things: her wealth, her
family status, her beauty, and her religion. So you should marry the
religious woman; (otherwise) you will be a loser."
And he said as well "If someone with whose piety and character you
are satisfied with comes to you, then marry him. If you do not do so,
there will be disorder in the earth and a great deal of evil."
Character is of extreme importance in Islam and goes hand in hand with
faith and piety.
2- Educational background:
It is recommended to marry someone who has a similar level of education.
In this way couples are more likely to have agreements and less likely
to have disputes.
3- Cultural and family background:
This includes closeness in parent's background and life-style.
There is no specific rule for this matter; however, it is recommended
that man’s age exceeds the woman’s age.
5- Materialistic level:
It is preferable that closeness in materialistic
conditions should exist between the two families, as a difference in
this condition might cause a tension between them.
In addition to what was mentioned above beauty is a characteristic that
has a certain role to play since one of the purposes of marriage is to
keep both spouses attracted to each other.
Both the bride and groom should be pleased with one another, and not
forced into marriage, because the Prophet (s.a.w) said: No previously-married
or divorcee) may be married until she has been asked about her wishes
(i.e., she should state clearly her wishes), and no virgin should be
married until her permission has been asked (until she has agreed either
in words or by remaining silent). They asked, O Messenger of Allah, how
is her permission given (because she will feel very shy). He said: By
(Reported by al-Bukhaari)
In certain custom there is a distinction between a fiancé and
a married man. Similarly, in Islamic law (Shari`ah) there is
a big difference between the two terms. Betrothal is no more than a declaration
to marry a certain woman, but marriage is a complete relationship based
on a sound contract and a solemn covenant that
entails specific requirements, rights and consequences. Betrothal, therefore,
not entitle a fiancé to any right other than keeping the fiancée
for his sake; in such a way that no one else can propose to her unless
the engagement is broken.
A woman is considered to be foreign to
her fiancé until they are married. She can
be regarded as a wife only through a
sound, legal marriage contract; the main pillar in the marriage contract
is offer and acceptance, which has a well-known formula in custom and
As long as the marriage contract has not been concluded, marriage, according
to custom and Shari`ah, is not fulfilled, the fiancée is still
regarded as foreign to her fiancé; so he is not allowed to be
alone with her nor to accompany her in any travel without the presence
of any of her unmarriageable kin like her father or brother.
The engagement period is an opportunity for the betrothed couple to know
and study the character of each other by discussing some crucial issues
and deciding about it at the early stages of the marriage process. The
family shoulders a great responsibility in introducing a perfect and
pure climate for the betrothed couple to engage in a fruitful dialogue,
and exchange points of view.
This is provided that it is done within the framework set by Islam, in
a way that will strengthen the love between them.
Here is mentioned briefly some more points that should be taken into
|Making a schedule and establishing rituals allows
the couple to establish
their own lifestyle.
|Friends and Islamic activities should be given
their due but within a
balance of your spouse's rights.
|Giving each other space provides a necessary balance
in a relationship
which is so close physically and emotionally.
|Having a sense of humour can go a long way in preventing
brightening the atmosphere of the home.
Finally always ask Allah for help, guidance
Compiled by Boushra Marriage Programme
For further reading you can refer to
Islamic Family Guidlines
Published by and available from Message of Islam