Marriage is such a blessed act which is a solution to adultery and a means of producing an educated, civilized community. Because marriage has become a difficult and expensive matter, adultery and fornication has become a normal thing in today’s society, even becoming widespread within the Arab Muslim world. Students casually go on their holidays or book into hotels and fulfil their needs, because they can’t afford to pay the dowry. Before marriage became expensive and stressful it was simple and adultery was a very difficult task.
Marriage is encouraged and praised very much in Islam. There is no celibacy in Islam.
Allah Taa’la says in the Qur’an:
“And the monasticism which they invented (knew) for themselves, we did not prescribe that for them only seeking the pleasure of Allah, then they did not fulfil it as they should have.” (Surah 57, Ayat 27)
Once three people came to the blessed wives of the Prophet to ask regarding his worship. When they were informed they found it to be less than expected and said how can we compare to the Prophet , his past and future sins are forgiven. Then one of them said, “I will pray all night forever.” The other one said, “I will fast forever.” The third said, “I will stay away from women and never get married.” When the Prophet heard this, he said, “By Allah I am more fearful of Allah, yet I fast and don’t fast, I pray and sleep and marry women, Nikah is from my Sunnah, whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me.” (Bukhari)
In one narration, the Prophet said, “O group of youngsters, whoever amongst you has the means should get married, because it keeps the gaze down the best and it is the most protecting for the private parts. Whoever does not have the means should fast, because that breaks the temptation.”
Looking at all these narrations, the scholars differ in the ruling of marriage. Imam Ahmed and Dawood Zahiry etc say that it is compulsory in all circumstances except when one does not posses the potential for marriage. However the majority of the scholars agree that if one has the necessary financial means and he is in need of marriage due to having a strong sexual urge, then it is compulsory, and if he doesn’t have the urge then it is a Sunnah and a virtue. Imam Shafee says that it is better to be occupied with worship or learning the Deen for one who is not in need of marriage. Imam Abu Hanifah Rahmatullahi Alayh says that it is better to get married then staying single for worship. Imam Abu Hanifah Rahmatullahi Alayhi’s view is more accepted by the scholars especially in this day and age.
The mentality which people have today is that one has to be financially stable with a job and a house, is completely wrong. How can anybody be sure about their stability when life itself is not stable? Nobody knows what is just round the corner. There are many who were rich yesterday and today they are poor. There are many who were able yesterday and today they are unable and vice versa. The majority of the scholars consider other things in compatibility such as tribe, as that explains ones character and status in society, beauty and wealth. However Imam Abu Hanifah doesn’t consider wealth because it is not stable, as the word ‘Zahab’ in Arabic means gold which is deprived from the root word ‘Zahaba’ meaning to go.
At the time of the Sahaba , Marriage was very simple and casual. We see many Sahaba didn’t have the money for the dowry so the Prophet let them go and find even a copper ring. We see that some Sahaba didn’t have any money so they would get married in exchange for teaching their wife a chapter of the Qur’an. We see a female Sahabiyah offering herself to the Prophet in marriage void of dowry. We even see someone so noble and honoured like Umar go around asking Abu Bakr , Usman to marry his daughter Hafsah .
However unfortunately today it has become a disgrace for the bride’s side to propose first. We even see a rich leader like Abu Hind marrying his daughter to a slave. There are countless incidents about the simple weddings of the Sahaba. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Marry off those amongst you who are not married and those who are capable of marrying from your male and female slaves. If they are poor (then don’t worry) Allah will enrich them out of His grace, Allah is ample giving and All-knowing).” (Chapter 24, Verse 32)
We understand from this verse that it is the responsibility of the community to make sure that everyone gets married and how simple Islamic marriage actually is.