“You were born together, and together you shall be forever more. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you” –Khahlil Gibran
The thing is, I’m unsure on what I should focus on regarding marriage. My aim is to capture its beauty, not with a hidden agenda to persuade my readers, but a blueprint that entails the development and purpose of it- it shouldn’t take long. I’m going to say this just once though, religion is essentially a mode of actual living therefore it is the only serious way of handling reality. Marriage (wiki) is a socially recognised legal union between spouses, it establishes rights and obligations between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws, as well as society in general. For Sir Roland Wilson; ‘marriage is a contract for the purpose of legalising sexual intercourse and the procreation of children’.
The development of marriage is a matter of historical interest, originating from irregular and marital unions which ultimately gave way to elopement with consent. Bare in mind though, the transition from the sacramental indissolubility of marriage to the treatment of marriage as a civil institution is a modern idea.
Forget ancient India, Greece, Rome, Germany and the other countless countries that can be mentioned here that outline their institutions of buying females to serve as slaves and concubines. It wasn’t pleasant back in those days; we’ve come a long way since then thanks to the Abrahamic religions. They deserve an applause, because their scriptures introduced and preached a union between a man and women before God, giving women status, equality and security. Religion altered the notion that a woman was like an acquisition of a thing, for example in Islam dowry was introduced by Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), the system was not a new idea exclusive to Muslims, but the advantages of incorporating such a custom within marriage only reinforced good will for both participants. The more we study the system of marriage we further realise how unique of a system to happiness it evidently becomes. Forget the hurdles we may come to face, they merely provide pressure for people to grow up.
In Islam marriage is considered to be the stronghold of chastity (Quran 4:24). By way of example, you need to familiarise yourself with the following Islamic injunction which states, ‘children should be married off as soon as they attain puberty’. However, the mad race for making money and obtaining a degree has relegated this injunction to the background, to the extent where to fulfil sexual desires unlawful means are perforce replacing lawful means. It’s fair to argue and practice your stance on the suitable age for marriage, we’re educated abundantly to decide for ourselves when the time is right for us to do so. What’s the problem? It’s clear as crystal, you simply cannot cool down sexual desires with B.As, M.As, PhDs or with any amount of money. The burden of unlawful acts lies both on the defaulters and the parents, for the parent is responsible for the marriage of their offspring.
Look at it this way; man and woman indulge in sexual lust without marriage, but this kind of love is not real love, but a liaison for sexual satisfaction which is designated as love. When the satisfaction has been obtained or conversely when the bid to obtain satisfaction fails, the liaison is broken. There is neither love nor affection. Both are consigned to limbo. The marriage-bond on the other hand is not transitory, its offer and acceptance are exchanged and the compact scaled for life-long partnership. You see marriage does not simply satisfy physical desires, it elevates the position of the man-he becomes head of a household- and the woman- she becomes the mistress of a home.
I’m sure we are all aware of the common debates that effortless arise when it comes to the topic of marriage, and Muslims are no exception. Today’s society may find this talk distasteful, because they think ‘settling down’ marks the end of a fun life, they rather go on endless dates with their boyfriends/girlfriends, move in together and even start a family because they say that there isn’t enough money in the bank . How could that possibly be better than what marriage offers?
They tell you not to get attached, they say now it’s the right time.They both forget that their ‘attachment only reduces marriage to a quest for safety, security, and compensation for childhood disappointments’ (Weintraub:2012)
After all it is an ancient axiom that “truth is bitter”, Gibran can explain the bitterness; ‘your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction’.
“Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts” -Khahlil Gibran
Gibran (1923) The Prophet
Muhammed-Ullah (2000) Woman in Islamic Sharia
Weintraub (2012) Psychology Today