Marriage is one of the most beautiful experiences of human life. As Muslims, we believe that if we are destined to get married, we will meet the person when the time is right, Insya’Allah. Allah s.w.t. creates us in pairs and grants us love in our hearts to love another human being.
The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said:
لَمْ نَرَ لِلْمُتَحَابَّيْنِ مِثْلَ النِّكَاحِ
"There is nothing like marriage, for the two who love one another.”
(Sunan Ibn Majah)
However, it does not mean that someone lacks iman just because he or she is not married. There were some notable companions, scholars and figures in our classical Islamic tradition who did not get married. Maryam a.s, one of the best women in paradise, was not married.
Here are some quotes, Quranic verses and hadiths about marriage:
In a hadith, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said,
النِّكَاحُ مِنْ سُنَّتِي فَمَنْ لَمْ يَعْمَلْ بِسُنَّتِي فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي وَتَزَوَّجُوا فَإِنِّي مُكَاثِرٌ بِكُمُ الأُمَمَ
“Marriage is part of my sunnah, and whoever does not follow my sunnah has nothing to do with me. Get married, for I am heartened by your great numbers before the nations (of other Prophets).”
(Sunan Ibn Majah)
Rasulullah s.a.w. encouraged his followers to get married if we have the means to do so. Celibacy is not a practice endorsed by Rasulullah s.a.w. In a hadith, three companions approached the Prophet s.a.w. to tell him of their vigorous commitments to achieve a high status in the eyes of Allah s.w.t. One of them told the Prophet s.a.w. that he will remain celibate as a sign of his zealous religious devotion.
The Prophet s.a.w. answered by saying that even he himself marries. That is not a way to prove one’s devotion. Whoever rejects the path of the Prophet’s way of life is not amongst him.
This is not the case, however, for those who do not reject marriage but are also not married due to certain circumstances. Some notable scholars of the past do not prohibit themselves from marriage but were too caught up in their pursuit of knowledge that their time to leave this world later preceded any opportunity for marriage.
أَرْبَعٌ مِنْ سُنَنِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ: الْحَيَاءُ وَالتَّعَطُّرُ وَالسِّوَاكُ وَالنِّكَاحُ
“Four are from the practices of the Messengers:
modesty, the use of perfume, the use of the tooth-stick, and marriage.”
As seen in this hadith, it is not just Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. but other Messengers before him who got married too.
Rasullah s.a.w. said,
تَزَوَّجُوا فَإِنِّي مُكَاثِرٌ بِكُمُ الأُمَمَ
“Get married, for I am heartened by your great numbers before the nations (of other Prophets).”
Marriage does not only bring joy to the couple, but also to our beloved Prophet s.a.w. This hadith also implies to us that the Prophet s.a.w. would be happy to see his followers grow in our community size.
He encouraged us to procreate and build strong families that are inculcated with the values of Islam. Pro-creation is part of life and Rasulullah s.a.w. encouraged us to build our family and nurture them with the enduring religious values that spark goodness to everyone.
With marriage and its commitments, comes tranquility, affection and mercy. Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them, and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”
(Surah Ar-Rum, 30:21)
هُنَّ لِباسٌ لَكُم وَأَنتُم لِباسٌ لَهُنَّ
“Your spouses are a garment for you as you are for them”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:187)
In marriage, spouses protect, as well as beautify one another. The word garment as seen in this verse means providing comfort, chastity, and protection. Truly that is a lifetime commitment for both spouses which will lead to the joy and comfort in marriage itself.
أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ إِذَا رَفَّأَ الإِنْسَانَ إِذَا تَزَوَّجَ قَالَ: بَارَكَ اللَّهُ لَكَ وَبَارَكَ عَلَيْكَ وَجَمَعَ بَيْنَكُمَا فِي خَيْرٍ
When the Prophet s.a.w. congratulated a person who just got married, he said: "May Allah bless you and send blessings upon you, and bring goodness between you two."
It is part of his beautiful Sunnah to not just congratulate the newlywed but to also pray for them to receive blessings from Allah s.w.t.
May Allah s.w.t. bless and protect the marriage institution that serves to strengthen the moral values that sustain relationships within our community.