Islamic Perspectives

Marriage: God’s Gift to Humanity

By Raya Shokatfard

A couple is able to fully give love and devotion to each other, raise healthy children who are fully secure in having both a loving father and mother.

Marriage is an exclusive right given to human beings. Yet, mating would include all species including even the plant kingdom. Why did God favour humans with such a high honour?

To begin with, we may narrow down the species with souls and without. Muslims believe that humans and those of animal kingdom have souls in whose nature God has imprinted desire to mate and multiply. The creations without soul also multiply, but not in the same manner.

What sets humans apart from animals is that they are given intellect, wisdom and ability to choose, discern right from wrong and change.

The Institution of Marriage
- A Happy Marriage Makes a Healthy Family
- Success in Marriage: Is It All About Compromise?
- Are You a Marital Scorekeeper?
- On Saving the Institution of Marriage
- Happy Muslim Family in the US: A Dream?

Mating among animals, in most cases, takes place when an animal goes into heat and thus calls for  mating with the opposite kind. For example, a female cat can mate with several male cats while in heat. Some animal pairs stay with each other for life, but this is not the case with the majority of animals.

In the modern age, one wonders if some humans have used the animals as their role models for mating. When the desire arises, one looks for someone to mate with. In a more advanced level, there is some love and affection. Children are born as a result of this kind of mating with or without love involved with the parents.

Traditional Family vs. Single Parents

In Islam, the highest honour is given to those who honour their Creator; who plan their lives and direct their desires toward the permissible channels in order to gain both worldly pleasure as well as fulfilling their roles as obedient servants of God.

With no guilt on the conscience, a couple is able to fully give love and devotion to each other in a responsible way, raise healthy children who are fully secure in having both loving father and mother on their sides while they are growing up. What a blessing!

One should take note about the huge percentage of children in the West born out of wedlock, living with only one parent, and in some cases never get to see the other parent for years or for life. Until recent years when DNA testing identified the real father, many men refused any responsibility as a father, blaming the mother for having slept with too many men.

The insecurity a woman feels when she is unmarried and keeps changing mates and wonders which one will stay with her and for how long, is a miserable life no one desires, but it seems to have become the norm in the West now.

Other Advantages

In Islam, one knows by getting married, he is not only getting a partner for life, he is getting his whole world put in the right balance. From now until the rest of his life, his/her spouse will be his/her best friend, companion and one with whom the sharing of rearing righteous and responsible children would be a joy and a great actualization of all the dreams one had prior to marriage.

God, with His limitless wisdom, unites species of the same kind as mates for each other.

Unlike modern male/female relationships, the commitment in marriage gives one a sense that they have now someone to share their joys, sorrows, successes and failures. One is not discarded like a used tissue paper in the trash once an undesirable situation or a serious sickness strikes one of the partners. Differences are dealt within an understanding and kindness.

Who would be a better person to keep your secrets, give you sincere advice, stand by you and be understanding when you are having a hard time, losing your job or having a bad day than a faithful spouse?

God gives the best description regarding the closeness of the spouses to each other in the Qur’anic verse: “…they are your garments and you are theirs” (2: 187).

Indeed, spouses are like garments to each other because they provide one another with protection, comfort, cover, support, and adornment that garments provide to humans.

God, with His vast wisdom, unites species of the same kind as mates for each other. His mercy does not only include humans, but all species in the worlds. As for the humans, he makes this favour clear: “And Allah has made for you Mates (and Companions) of your own nature” (16: 72).

God has given His human creatures so many signs and wonders that one would be unable to count them all, yet, most are neglectful of the vast evidences of the majesty of the Creator all around him/her. But the undeniable favour God has given to human beings is the love He has put in spouses’ hearts for one another: “And among His signs is this — that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect” (30:21).

With all the open doors and lawful ways of obtaining not only God’s pleasure, but one’s own as well, one wonders why one should choose the crooked ways?

Lastly, in Islam, marriage is considered the other half of faith. This means no matter how religious a person is, unless he is married, his/her faith is incomplete. Why?

It is not only God that has right upon His servants, but a person’s body and emotions also have rights that need to be rightfully and legitimately fulfilled. (