By Bilal Abu Aisha
All praise is due to Allah, the Creator of our world and the laws that govern it. And Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His slave and final Messenger Muhammad (saws), the one sent to all of mankind, the one sent to guide people out from the darkness of shirk (polytheism), into the light of Tawheed (montheism).
Know dear reader that Allah (swt) has created things in pairs. Those pairs must get together in certain ways in order for reproduction to occur. The way for reproduction to occur amongst humans – males and females, is through marriage, known in Arabic as nikaah. Islam urges Muslims to marry, and prohibits pre-marital relationships. Allah Most High says in the Qur’an: “Marry the unmarried among you…”1 Also, Allah’s Messenger (saws) in the hadith found in Bukhari and Muslim, commanded young people to marry, and advised those of them who could not afford it to fast as a means of controlling their sexual desire. From an Islamic perspective, marriage is not viewed merely as a means of satisfying natural desires and passions. Its goals are much deeper than just obtaining legal sex. Allah (swt) points out one of the main objectives behind marriage by saying: “And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you might live with tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts (hearts)…”2
Therefore, the phenomenon of bachelorship or celibacy are UN-Islamic practices that result in devastation, effecting the Muslim community, and posing a threat to the Islamic world. What devastation? What threat on the Islamic world? The answers to these questions are found in the non-Muslim communities. Every day we hear and observe with our very eyes the perverted and sinful ways of the Kuffaar (disbelievers). These ways which they find acceptable in their societies have ultimately led to many types of diseases such as A.I.D.S, syphilis and the like, as a result of their choice to follow the unnatural way of abstaining from marriage.
The marriage contract is the formal bond that turns two individuals from strangers to husband and wife. It is the most important contract that most people execute throughout their lives. Since the marriage contract has such great significance, the deen of Islam imposes a number of guidelines that it must fulfill. Many Muslims who are engaged in pre-marital relationships hold back from having the contract executed due to their ignorance about its elements. So they continue to live a sinful lifestyle due to cultural influences which lead them thinking the process is too demanding. Before delving into the basic elements of marriage, it worth mentioning here that marriage is a serious matter and should be dealt with seriously. It is not allowed for a man to marry and then claim he did not really mean it, or that he was joking. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “There are three matters in which it is not permissible to joke: marriage, divorce, and emancipation (of slaves).”3