All praise be to Allah.
Love is valued greatly in Islam. Allah s.w.t. describes himself as Al-Wadud, The Affectionate, an active love that gives with compassion and kindness. Despite all the intellectual miracles of the Quran, it speaks to the heart and develops a deep and personal connection to the reader that is founded on love.
Love plays such an important role in our lives and society. It is one of the key foundations of marital and familial harmony. An ideal marital relationship is the one that is built on the foundations of sakinah (tranquility), mawaddah (love) and rahmah (mercy).
Love, marriage and family are among the most popular searched themes online. While some may think the newlyweds are the ones searching for answers, in reality, it is a learning journey between two hearts that continue to commit their responsibilities and love one another.
Here, we assembled our millennial Asatizah to provide you with bespoke answers on some of the most searched questions on the topic of love, marriage and family:
The short answer is no, and please don’t! Even if the couple thinks they may already fulfil the conditions to commence a nikah (a religious solemnisation of the marriage), you still need to do it right.
In Singapore, you need to apply for your marriage at the Registration of Muslim Marriages (ROMM).
It is important to safeguard your rights as a wife and a husband and to follow the due process as required by law. Unrecognised marriage can lead to various unintended consequences and need to be avoided.
In fact, the process to conduct the solemnisation in Singapore has been made easy to follow. You may want to look out for more information on the ROMM website.
A nikah is a solemnisation that takes place between the bride and the groom; to be facilitated by a Naib Kadi and with the presence of at least two witnesses.
In Singapore, we are required to register through and the Registry of Muslim Marriage and prepare, in advance, the necessary documents such as the NRIC of the groom, the bride, the wali (guardian) and the two witnesses as well.
A Walimah (Walimatul 'Urus), on the other hand, is an invitation to the wedding reception where guests would feast to celebrate the matrimonial unity after the nikah is concluded.
It is greatly encouraged by the Prophet s.a.w.:
أَوْلِمْ وَلَوْ بِشَاةٍ
Give a Walimah (wedding banquet) even with one sheep
In short, yes we may do both the Nikah and the Walimah on the same day. On the other hand, it is not compulsory to organise the walimah on the same day as the nikah. In today’s COVID-19 safe reopening period, do check the latest advisories on marriage and solemnisation process.
A Hantaran is a customary gift or the dowry which is usually given in cash. Although it is not compulsory for the hantaran to be given, it is an accepted social and cultural norm that we practise to give our spouse at the start of a beautiful marriage.
The hantaran should not lead to injustice and become a burden to the couples who want to get married. The sum is not fixed and it is subject to agreement from both parties.
The Hantaran Dulang is another customary gift that is not compulsory but often is presented together as part of the solemnisation ceremony (nikah). It is a gift from the bride and groom to each other.
What is compulsory for the nikah to take place is the Mahar (Maskahwin), which is to be given from the groom to the bride. Mahar is the sole ownership of the bride.
The conditions of marriage in Islam are such that it revolves around the ‘Rukun’ of Nikah, being: The bride, groom, the wali (guardian to the bride) and the contract (aqad nikah) while in the company of at least two witnesses.
Marriage is, first and foremost, an act of worship. It is a religious bind that connects two people mentally, physically and spiritually together, which is why Allah s.w.t. describes it in the Quran as “Mithaqan Ghalizo” or a solemn covenant.
It entails worldly and everlasting benefits, such as the love of Allah s.w.t. and His beloved Prophet s.a.w. It is a Sunnah of the Prophet s.a.w. that is dearly encouraged. The Prophet s.a.w. said:
يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ
“Oh young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him get married”
(Sunan Ibn Majah)
It builds love and connection that leads to comfort, compassion 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 one of His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may find comfort in them. And He has placed between you compassion and mercy. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect.”
(Surah Ar-Rum, 30:21)
The Prophet s.a.w. showed us so much love and how love prevails in every corner of his marital life. Here are some key points from the Prophet's marriage life. When asked about his late wife, Khadijah r.a, even long after she departed from this world, the Prophet s.a.w. said:
إِنِّي قَدْ رُزِقْتُ حُبَّهَا
“Her love had been nurtured in my heart (by Allah)”
This is a question to be answered personally, to each their own. Everyone needs to assess their own capacities and define a certain achievable objective. For example, some people want to feel mature enough before starting their own family while some people want to achieve a certain milestone before getting married.
Different people have different answers to this and it's your own timeline. Once the basic necessities and priorities are in place, take the first step, work towards that and tawakkal to Allah s.w.t.
This is another question that varies in answer depending on the individual. On another note, this is not a one-time event in life that can be overlooked with a carefree attitude. It's an important decision in our lives.
However, that doesn’t mean that we should worry too much about it. Marriage will be fine when we strive our best and leave the rest to Allah s.w.t.
In general, every individual partaking in the path of marriage life needs to equip themselves with relevant knowledge. This includes religious knowledge and knowledge of financial management In fact, it is equally enlightening even for experienced couples to continue to equip themselves with knowledge along the journey.
Both the groom and bride must also set the right intentions (niyyah) to begin their path together. Setting the right and good intentions can work wonders. Even if we’re unable to accomplish it, we will still get rewarded with the intention. Other times, things just eventually fall into place with our good intentions.
It’s also important to note that we should start to work to become better versions of ourselves even before marriage. What it means is to not depend on marriage to be the sole factor for our change. If we wish to be blessed with a virtuous spouse, then we should work to be as virtuous. It starts with ourselves. Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ
“Indeed, Allah does not change the condition of a people unless they change what is in themselves”
(Surah Ar-Ra’d, 13:11)
Eventually, we can only strive our best - to develop physically, mentally and spiritually while changing our bad habits.
Finally, we also have to bear in mind that marriage includes financial commitments. Thus, a person who intends to get married should have a financial plan. It is important for couples to be financially ready to enter marriage life.
Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:
هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ
Your spouses are a garment (metaphor for comfort, chastity and protection) for you as you are for them
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:187)
Marriage requires the commitment of the husband and wife. The husband and wife need to play their parts in making the marriage work. There is no one-size-fits-all plan. You should work out with your spouse on how best to manage your marital commitments and identify the role needed to make your marriage into marital bliss.
Among the roles and responsibilities that are expected includes being there for each other, mutual respect, managing household affairs and caring for the children as parents.
Marriage provides companionship for the husband and wife. Sticking together both in good and bad days, concealing each other’s weaknesses and complementing one another.
The Prophet s.a.w. considered it to be a virtue:
خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِهِ
The best of you is the one who is best to their family members
You can work towards becoming the right spouse to your dream partner. By preparing yourself. In sya Allah, if it is fated, you will find your soulmate. You may consider praying the following Dua too:
رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
“Our Lord, give us joy in our spouses and offspring and make us models for the righteous.”
(Surah Al-Furqan, 25:74)
Beyond prayer, there is also a need to take practical steps in finding the right spouse - some people find their spouse online, some get to know each other through working together and some through recommendations from parents, friends and acquaintances.
Insya’Allah you will meet your soulmate when the time is right, Insya’Allah and if that is the best for you as destined by Allah s.w.t.
According to the fatwa on family planning, it is permissible (mubah) for married couples to use contraception methods for family planning. This is as long as it does not bring harm to the couples and the decision is mutual.
Couples can proceed with family planning through reversible methods if both husband and wife agree. So, plan with your spouse on what kind of family you would like to have and pray that you are granted the best family you wish for, Amin.
The fatwa also emphasised that among the sacred objectives of marriage is to produce offspring. After all, children are gifts from Allah s.w.t. Nonetheless, it is permissible for couples to plan properly when they are ready to have children or how many children they wish to have. We plan the best and Allah s.w.t is The Best Planner.
There is a fatwa in Singapore pertaining to adoption, which explains the principles and guidelines in relation to the adopted child and her or her adoptive family including the issue of aurat.
The Fatwa Committee is of the opinion that there is a need for adoption, by families who can afford it and are ready. This is an amanah (trust and responsibility) entrusted upon our community.
For more details, you may read the fatwa on adoption here.
In marriage and family, having a sense of affection for one another is essential. On top of that, there are other important values we should strive to maintain throughout the journey such as trust, honesty and care.
Love is to genuinely care and to be unselfish. To give without asking for a return and to keep on choosing one another despite all the ups and downs in life. Love is also when another person’s happiness becomes your own.
May Allah s.w.t. grant us a blissful life here in this world and the hereafter with our loved ones, under His guidance and protection.
And Allah knows best.
Find out answers to the most googled questions on Ramadan.