Home Faith FAMILY UNITS & PROSPERITY — THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE IN ISLAM By:...

FAMILY UNITS & PROSPERITY — THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE IN ISLAM By: Kola A. Makinde

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Family is considered by Islam as the nucleus of society and marriage is the only way to bring about this institution. Islam condemns and prohibits in its entirety extra-marital relations and encourages marriage as the only lawful way through which family can be established; hence, the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be unto him) encouraged youth that have the ability to marry as soon as possible. Addressing the youth, the Prophet said: “O young people! Whoever among you is able to marry, should do so, and whoever is not able to marry, is to fast because fasting diminishes sexual desire” (Bukhari). The most important of the restrictive regulations of Islam are those relating to marriage, which institution is, the basic principle of human civilization. ARABIC WORD FOR FAMILY: The Arabic word for marriage is nikāhor zawājwhich means uniting or wedding respectively. Marriage in Islam is a sacred contract which every Muslim must enter into, unless there are special reasons why he should not. Thus in the Qur’ān it is said: “And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing. And let those who do not find a match keep chaste until Allah makes them free from want out of His grace” (Q24:32 – 33). In another verse, marriage relationship is given the same importance as blood-relationship: “And He it is Who has created man from water, then He has made for him blood-relationship and marriage-relationship” (Q.25:54). Tradition also lays stress upon living in a married state. The Prophet is reported to have said to certain people who talked of fasting in the day-time and keeping awake during the night, praying to Allah and keeping away from marriage: “I keep a fast and I break it, and I pray and I sleep, and I am married, so whoever inclines to any other way than my tradition, he is not of me” (Bukhari). nMuslim jurists have interpreted the Qur’ānic verses on marriage to mean that it is a religious duty and is consequently a moral safeguard as well as a social necessity. As a religious duty, it must be fulfilled; but like all other duties in Islam, it is enjoined only upon those who are capable of meeting the responsibilities…

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