Islam has various reasons to urge marriage such as its benefits in safeguarding one’s Faith and also because it is the only and an essential element in the proper and righteous upbringing of children and upspring. Marriage in Islam plays a major role in protecting a Muslim from the sins of adultery, masturbation and homosexuality. Marriage takes away the possibility of all evils and sins because after marriage a Muslim is supposed to engage himself with a life sharing partner he has married and vice versa.
Marriage is the Sunnah of our Noble Prophet (PBUH), as well as of the previous Noble Prophets (AS). As the statement of Allah, the Originator, the High is:
“And indeed We sent Messengers before you (O Muhammad SAW), and made for them wives and offspring” (Ar-Rad 13:38).
Marriage linguistically means to unite and to bring together. The real literal meaning of marriage is to have sexual intercourse; and the metaphorical meaning of marriage is the bond of marriage.
The Muslim scholars defined marriage through various definitions, and one of these is:
“Marriage is such a bond from which the act of sexual intercourse becomes lawful.”
One who has adequate means to maintain a family should marry. Marrying ensures modesty and chastity which is vital for a healthy social life.
Islam prescribes matters that contain good benefits both in this world and in the Hereafter and among the greatest benefits of marriage are the following:
- Obeying the Prophet (PBUH) and carrying out his Sunnah, because the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“O young people! Whoever among you is able to marry, should marry.” (Al-Bukhari 5065).
- Marriage guarantees physical and spiritual chastity and peace of a person and keeps the couple away from the pitfalls and temptations of the Satan. Chastity is one of the praise-worthy attributes of the believers as Allah (SWT) mentioned it in the following verse:
“And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts)” (Al-Muminun 23:5).
- Through marriage the couples achieve mutual affection, mercy and love. Allah (SWT) says:
“And He has put between you affection and mercy” (Ar-Rum 30:21).
- Through marriage the couple will have righteous offspring. It is the survival of generation and it results in obtaining great and good rewards by having righteous children. Having righteous children or upbringing them on the principle of the Islamic Shariah may, however, be considered among the best form of charity as the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“When a person dies his deeds discontinue, except for three things: Ongoing charity, knowledge which people benefit from, and a righteous son who prays for him.” (Muslim 1631).
- Marriage is the mean of receiving great rewards for both couples through spending on their children, guarding their chastity, helping them in their problems, protecting them from harms and difficulties and treating them with kindness as the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“No man earns anything better than that which he earns with his own hands, and what a man spends on himself, his wife, his child and his servant then it is charity.” (Ibn Majah 2138).
To avoid spending on one’s wife and children is miserliness and stinginess which is condemnable. But to keep fulfilling unreasonable legal and illegal needs of the family is also extravagance and squandering, which are both disliked.
- The couples also will gain good rewards through having children, upbringing them in accordance with the Islamic teachings, being patient while educating them and making them ones who will call others to the true religion of Islam.
- Through marriage Allah (SWT) will enrich the couples and will bless their livelihood. Allah (SWT) says:
“And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Salihun (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people).” (An-Nur 24:32).
- By marrying and fulfilling the rights of the husband, the believing woman will enter Paradise.
- By having righteous children, the couples will receive good and great rewards in this world and after their death, because righteous children are ongoing charity.
- A righteous wife is the better provision of this world. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“This world is but provision, and there is no provision in this world better than a righteous wife.” (Muslim 1469).
The righteous wife is a great favor, because she proves to be a good advisor in worldly matters; she is a good life partner and she assists her husband in matters of the Hereafter; thus both achieve high ranks. On the other hand, the righteous husband is a great favor for the wife too.
In short, the greatest benefit of marriage is protection against a sinful life and the fulfillment of sexual desire through lawful means. This great benefit is the main objective of marriage and should be focused upon at the time of marriage; other benefits will then be achieved thereafter.