Importance of Family and Marriage
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"And of His signs is that He created for you spouses from yourselves to find peace and relief through them and placed love and compassion between you, truly in that there are signs for those who reflect". (The Romans verse: 21)

   Among the signs of the wisdom of the Almighty and All Wise God is the display of power to form the spirit of souls, His unique arrangement of the cosmos and His unrivalled strengthening of the foundations of the most fundamental human social system, which is the family. It is Allah who made the family the safest place for human beings, and its warm center the source of relief and confidence. Allah placed the family relationship on the foundation of love and compassion in the light of faith, and built human life on the foundations of a sacred vow emerging from sincere hearts enjoying the perfect laws of religion in response to the call of nature.

   The importance of the family and its pivotal role in forming human social life has always been so clear that none of the intellectual institutes, political, social or philosophical schools have shown hesitation in expounding on it. Humans have never been detached from thinking about its principles and rules, and from strengthening its bases in any age or era, instead devoting a main part of their thoughts and preoccupations to this matter.

Family in divine religions:

   As a result of the great divine revolutions led by the prophets, who were messengers of justice and founders of the schools of revelation, and whose basic call was mainly to establish social justice and eliminate oppression, interfamily relations assumed a legal and sacred form compatible with the system of creation and human nature. The family earned a noble identity and a pivotal role in human ascension towards perfection.

   This form of life was centered on truth and any form of egotism and selfishness was avoided. Flexibility, acceptance and observance of divine law replaced individual inclination. The shining stars of divine unity, faith and guidance illuminated all aspects of life, and colors became colorless with the sparkles of divine love. In this model of family life, hearts grow sincere, love becomes pure, and the cups of lives are full of love and compassion. Human beings become the full revelation and mirrors of God's attributes of beauty and majesty. Those who are brought up in such homes always find a special position in existence.

   In these homes the coordination and harmony of nature with religion attain their climax of nobleness. While observing this sincerity, harmony and virtue, the angels sing the song of glad tidings and spread their wings under their steps to show their humility.

   The Holy Quran depicts a clear picture of these attributes in the house of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) wherein the messengers of God are the guests and he and his wife Sarah are the host and hostess. Both of them are addressed by the angels and receive their guests wholeheartedly while they are in their presence. This feast is so gracefully held that God relates it in His words (the Holy Quran) for all the people of the world up to the day of resurrection. (Surah: Hud, verse: 69):

" وَ لَقَدْ جائَت رُسُلُنا ابراهيمَ بالبُشري قالوا سَلاماً قال سَلامٌ "

"Our messengers came to Ibrahim with good tidings and said, "peace".

'Peace', he said and he made no delay in bringing a roasted calf ".

   The commemoration of this feast for this worthy husband and wife comes in verse 112 of Sura "As-Saffat". That is, Ibrahim’s bygone wish is granted and his prayer is answered. Bewildered by all these favors of God his wife is watching this circle of joy and happiness. The angels address her with this verse,

"then We gave her the glad tidings of her son Isaac and after Issac of his son Jacob". (Surah: Hud, verse: 71):       "فَبَشَّرناهُ بِاِسحقِ نَبيّاً من الصَّالِحين "

They declare that the incessant blessing of God will be bestowed upon the inhabitants of this house, and they refer to their home as, "the landing place of divine grace and blessing", because of the presence of virtues and values in that home. According to the Holy Quran they convey to Sarah, "God 's mercy and blessing be upon you, O' the inhabitants of the house".

   The chain of prophet-hood succeeded until the advent of the last prophet (the Prophet of Islam) so that Ibrahim (P) is regarded as the father of the Islamic "Ummah". Owing to the guidance and salvation of this home, other houses too become the source of righteousness and prosperity and this continued until the time arrived for the holy Prophet's (P) household to play its role, on whose dignity verse 33 of Surah Ahzab was revealed:

" اِنَّما يُريدُ اللهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُم الرِجسَ اَهْلَ البَيْتِ و يُطَهِّرَكُم تَطْهيراً "

"Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! And to purify you a (thorough) purifying".

   Yes, certainly the messengers of the valleys of religion and the wayfarers in the path of truth have fundamentally devoted the main part of their call to the training and development of human beings in the home and family. They have regarded the source of their evolution of virtues and their brilliance as specific characteristics of this family center. Therefore they have attempted to maintain its strength and influence on the two main pillars of virtue and law. Since training, education, growth, construction and perfection are all acquired in this base, their constant effort has been directed towards the formation of human principles, high values and the virtues of the human being, the vice-regent of God on earth, in this family center. The foundation stone for the happiness, greatness, and the freedom of the children of Adam is laid by the teachers of this pillar of existence, based on love and compassion in order to present a valuable product to the human societies.

Position of the Home and Family in the Islamic Religion:

   In the perfect and all inclusive religion of Islam the laws concerning the home and family have been dealt with fully and in detail in two sections, which are, "rights and duties" and "conduct and virtues". Therefore, duties have been assigned along the line of interests with due regard to morale, circumstances, capacities and characteristics. The presence of some differences in the performance of duties and management of affairs is not a cause of discrimination and inequity, but it is meant to promote, strengthen and legalize human life for the careful assessment of the position of each member of the family with respect to his/her own duties. The result of this will be nothing else except equity.

   In Islam, the basis of the family is founded on the maintenance of the principle of "love and compassion" as well as mutual understanding and generating opportunity by each party for the other party's advancement, growth, strength and perfection.

The Aims of Clarifying the Rights of the Family:

   In this article we have attempted to clarify the legal positions and mutual duties of family members from the point of view of psychology and the comprehensiveness of Islamic culture. Since the family is not a purely legal organization, and is quite different from other social centers, it cannot be looked at from a purely legal point of view, and its members cannot be forced to perform their duties by means of the law.

   The home is a safe place wherein the family gathers together and enjoys the relief and security it provides, thus sowing the seeds of happiness in this garden as a consequence of loving each other. This is why as most of lawyers and theorists admit, pure law is inadequate to properly decide about such an environment. Exercising authority in order to apply legal standards in this center has often been harmful and useless. It is a place wherein exist the most delicate and emotional displays of life, hence the gate of this fortress which is the first human shelter, is more open to moral principles than to legal rules. Therefore, great religious and political authorities have always distinguished between "the home policy" and "city politics" and have respected the borders between these two entities.

   It is therefore necessary to add that although familiarity with and clarification of rights and awareness of duties is in it admirable and approved what the family needs is something more important. The condition for soundness of common living and co-existence both for the husband and wife is to remove themselves from self-centeredness and selfishness. This is because a sound marriage is based on loving others, self-sacrifice and observance of common interests.

   As we can see in the Prophet’s (p) calls, purification is prior to teaching, and training has priority over instruction. Likewise in family training, purifying and adorning humans with moral virtues has priority over teaching them the legal principles. On the whole, a correct, practical, and unbreakable marriage is built on two bases; moral virtues and law. The absence of any of these two elements creates a vacuum and deficiency in family relations.

   Over the last five decades, along with the modern political, social, and economic changes in the world, legislators have tried to create changes in family structure. However their actions have not been effective in improving and promoting the status of the family. The hand of colonialism is excessively visible in these changes as well as its unjust actions in destroying many time-honored and long lived customs such as courting, the marriage dowry, alimony, care of children, and the different types of divorce. They ridicule some of these valuable principles within the family unit. Unfortunately, in this lost battle they have either used religion as a means of gaining their passions and desires, or have adopted the western commonplace culture thereby bringing its consequences to the Eastern societies thus preparing the ground for the hesitation and instability of the family.

   It is necessary to devise strong policies in order to improve family structure, eliminate erroneous and blameworthy practices and to teach legal principles to individuals. Islamic culture pays due regard to both dimensions within the framework of the five pillars of the religion. Therefore, family principles and values must be maintained and strengthened by considering all aspects including moral virtues and law.

   Before discussing the mutual rights of spouses and their duties towards each other, certain definitions are given as follows:

   Imam Ali (P) in sermon 207 in Nahjul Balaghah says. "Then among His rights, God the glorified, has made obligatory on His servants the observance of mutual rights towards one another. There are rights, which He made obligatory for some humans to observe towards others, and some which will not be obligatory unless they are mutual in retrospect to the reciprocal ones. Other additional points should be mentioned to provide support in this respect. First of all, in all cases where mutual rights have been prescribed for human beings, observance of these mutual rights is indeed obedience to God's commands, and neither of the two parties are permitted to exercise a personal view on the other that falls beyond the limits of God's commands.

   Secondly, the laws of God imply perfect equity and equality, and in the sight of God no servant is preferred over the other(s) except by obedience, piety, righteous actions, and observance of divine rights.

   Thirdly, no right will be obligatory for a servant unless a duty is assigned as there is a relationship between rights and duties, therefore, as soon as the marriage occurs, both the husband and wife are obliged to perform their duties and observe the rights of the other party.

   According to article 1102 of the civil law, as soon as a marriage correctly occurs, matrimonial relations and mutual rights and duties are established between the husband and wife.

   The rights and duties established as a result of marriage are of three types: common duties and rights, special duties and rights of the husband, and special duties and rights of the wife. Violation of duties by either party means disobedience to God and failure of either party is against the principle of "human nobility".

   The rights and duties of the family in the civil law will be discussed in the next chapters.

Noshuz and its Meaning:

   Noshuz literally means a feeling of superiority or disobedience. The term common in jurisprudence also has a similar meaning. Allamah Helli defines Noshuz as follows in his book Mukhtassra Ulmanafe. "As for Noshuz, it is the feeling of superiority by one spouse and the refusal to perform his/her duties towards the other party. The great jurisprudent Sahibe Javaher says in his book, Javaherul Kalam (Gems of Words), "If either person in the marriage refuses to do his/her obligatory duties towards his/her spouse and disobeys him/her, this case is called Noshuz. One member of the couple has disobeyed God by his refusal to perform the right ordained by God for the other party". Therefore, any sort of denial of responsibilities, whether by the husband or wife, is regarded as disobedience to God and disregarding the rights of the other party.

   Since this domain is the main base for human life; we can see that a large number of moral instructions and many legal instructions in the form of traditions from "the infallible" concerning the maintenance of the pillars of this building have been emphatically issued. It is from this point that the principle of "social justice" begins.


Justice in Creation and the Religious System:

   The assignment of duties in the family has been prescribed by God, the One who has placed creation on the basis of justice and balance, and has frequently reminded humanity to establish equity and balance. Therefore, human beings have been chosen as God's representative on earth in this respect. Allah says in the holy Quran (Surah: Aa'raf, verse: 29):

" قُلْ اَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْط "

"Say my Lord has enjoined justice ", that is nothing other than justice is issued from the Absolute Perfection,

And He says in other verses (Surah: The Beneficent, verses: 7-8):

" والسَماءَ رَفَعها وَ وَضَعَ الْميزان اَلاّ تَطْغوا في الميزان"

"And the heaven, He raised it high and He made the balance, that you may not be inordinate in respect of the measure".

Undoubtedly, God’s actions both in His command and creation are on the basis of balance and equity. The servants of God, who obey Him, should strive to establish balance and justice and avoid any sort of extremes or deviation by striving towards equity.

   Taking into consideration the verses:

" اِنَّ اَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَاللهِ اَتْقيكُم "

"Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty)," (Surah: Hujurat, verse: 13)

" لايُكلِّفُ اللهُ نَفْسا اِلاَّ وسعها "

"Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability." (Surah: Baqarah, verse: 286)

It is obvious that the assignment of duties is according to the individual who has a responsibility that is compatible with his/her particular structure of creation. When man is not able to do something, his wife helps him and if the woman cannot do a particular job, her husband will assist her.

The Principles of the Strengthening of the Family in the Holy Quran

   In Islam, it is evident from the previous arguments, that family principles have been precisely developed on the basis of the establishment of "social justice". Since all commands in family affairs must pass through the channel of "love and compassion" according to verse 21 of Surah Rum:

"And He put between you love and compassion;"

The observance of the principle "Ma'aruf" which means "honorable" is recommended in legal standards concerning the family, both briefly as in (Surah the Cow, verse: 228):

" و لَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذي علَيْهِنَّ بالمَعروف "

"And they (women) have rights similar to those against them in a just manner,"

And in detail as in (Surah: Women, verse: 19):

" و عَاشِروهُنَّ بِالمَعروف "

"And treat them kindly,"

Or (Surah: Divorce, verse: 6):

" و أتَمِروا بَيْنَكُم بِالمَعروف "

"And enjoin one another among you to do good,"

Or about the alimony of wife and children (The Cow, verse: 233):

" و عَلَي المَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقهُنَّ وَ كِسْوَتَهُنَّ بِالمَعروف "

"And their maintenance and their clothing must be borne by the father according to usage"

Or (Surah: The Cow, verse: 231):

" فَاَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْروفٍ اَو سِرِّحُوهُنَّ بِمَعْروف "

"Then either retain them in good fellowship or set them free with liberality."

This Ayah implies that if it was not possible to continue married life, and the man decides to divorce his wife, then after the term is complete, the husband can re-marry her again honorably or they can go their separate ways honorably.

   This blending, or modification, of mixing legal issues with moral principles is a masterpiece of the Islamic educational philosophy at times it recommends generosity such as in Surah The Cow, verse: 237:

" و لاتَنْسُوا الفَضْلَ بَيْنَكم "

"And do not neglect the giving of free gifts between you,"

And sometimes recommends forgiveness through the same verse:

" و اَنْ تَعْفُوا اَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقوي "

"And it is nearer to righteousness that you should relinquish,"

Sometimes it recommends peace as in Surah Women, verse: 128:

" و الصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ "

"And reconciliation is better,"

" If you set things right and are God fearing, God is All Forgiving, All- Compassionate". In this verse God suggests that peace and reconciliation is better and more beneficial in times of disagreement and dispute.

   Observing these valuable principles leads the couple to the nobility of the soul and the perfection of human qualities and virtues. It reveals the importance of the family edifice and its effect on the conditions in human life. On the other hand, it constantly encourages the couple to incline towards moral virtues and warns them to avoid any sort of unilateral or selfish actions and wishes or oppression towards each other in the family. For example after stating that peace and reconciliation in the verse of disagreements is better 128 of Surah Women warns:

" و اُحْضِرَت الانْفُسُ الشُّح "

"And avarice has been made to be present in the (peoples) minds,"

Selfishness and thinking in a self-centered pattern alone is not compatible for mutual living. Having common interests and removing problems and harm from the home and family is essential for living in a union. The first obligation for the couple after marriage is to avoid selfishness in respect to the rights of the spouse. Through this avoidance, each of the spouses has taken a big step in self-refinement and perfection of the soul. The fulfillment of these commands leads the family and society towards achieving moral values and self-purification, since, these are the results of performing mutual duties in the family.

   Now we will discuss a few important and basic elements which form the basis of honoring and respecting family affairs in the culture of divine religions in general and in the religion of Islam in particular.

The Main Pillars of the Family System in Islam

"Human Nobility"

   The purposeful creation of the world and especially human life enjoys a special nobility, which pervades all dimensions of his/her existence, and distinguishes the human being from all other creatures. In other words, this characteristic distinguishes them, from the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms. Islam entrusts the human being with a great task. For example, the Holy Quran says, "Surely, we are from Allah", and, "to Him we shall surely return." (Surah: Baqarah, verse: 156), The fulfillment of this verse is not compatible with living a life free of responsibilities, duties, moral principles or virtues.

   Since humans are advancing towards an absolute perfection during the course of their life, his/her spouse is a complimentary human being, an elevating soul, and a source of peace and relief for them on a purposeful and carefully planned path. Human life is the beginning of the evolution of his/her personality. In this evolution, the human being should proceed in such a manner that his/her wisdom succeeds in dominating the soul and not vice-versa. A married person seeks peace and relief in the company of his/her spouse in order to elevate his/her soul from commanding soul (نفس امــاره) towards the self-blaming soul (نفس لوّامـه ) and from that towards the confident soul (نفس مطمئنــه) . It is not possible to advance alone in this difficult course of life with so many ups and downs; therefore, the Wise Creator has made marriage a means of peace and relief for the couple. Through marriage they can attain the ultimate goal of creation, which is perfection and prosperity.

Family, Home, the Presence of God:

   The home, like any other place, is under the observation of the Beneficent God having all deeds of the husband and wife carefully watched and accurately recorded hence, good deeds and intentions will be rewarded. God states in the Holy Quran through Surah Aaraf, verse 58 that,

" و البَلَدُ الطيّبُ يَخْرُجُ نباتُهُ بِاِذنَ رَبِّهِ والَّذي خَبُثَ لايَخْرُجُ اِلاّ نَكدا "

"And as for the good land, its vegetation springs forth (abundantly) by the permission of its Lord, and (as for) that which is inferior (its herbage) comes forth but scantily;"

Thus, the family home is built on the foundation of purity and on the integrity of the couple.  

   Both the deed of the doer and the merit of the competent are effective in building a fruitful foundation in the midst of this purity. God says, "good women for the good men and good men for the good women". (Surah: Light, Verse 26). Observing the principle of "ham kuf", or selecting a "good complement, co-equal or suitable match" ranks among the main principles of choosing a spouse. Therefore, in all instructions concerning family life, the husband and wife are warned against infidelity and mischief and are led towards righteous living, which is the aim of life. For instance the following Surah: The Women verse: 128 says, "and souls are very prone to avarice", which prohibits man from unapproved and improper qualities. In the same verse, God also says, "and if you set things right and are God fearing, Allah is All Aware of what you do". God is Omnipresent and sees everything we do, nothing is out of His sight and presence and every deed will be recorded ever though there are no ‘apparent’ witnesses. Since God and His angels are watching us, in His court of justice those who do righteous deeds are rewarded and there will not be even an atom's weight of inequity. Therefore, being conscious of God's presence motivates human beings to perform righteous deeds.

Priority of Family Interests:

   If a man or woman finds that after marriage for some reasons their spouse does not correspond to their expectations, but despite their wish to separate, do not reveal any reluctance or displeasure to their spouse in order to maintain their married life and the interests of the family, God will open the doors of His grace and blessing to them. This is because of their self-sacrifice and preferring the interests of their family over their personal desires. In Surah "The Women", after emphasizing honorable behavior towards women and commanding them as follows:

"and consort with them honorably",

God says through Surah Nisa, verse 19:

" فَاِنْ كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسي اَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئاً وَ يَجْعَلَ اللهُ فيه خَيراً كَثيراً "

"then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it".

   That is if you are by any reason not fully pleased with your spouses and feel reluctance or displeasure with them in your heart, avoid expressing it and thereby spoiling the warm family circle of your home and adopt moderate and good conduct. If you behave like this, your Lord will pay you back with His favor and blessing and grant you great reward, including righteous children as well as other benefits. You will also experience the results of God's pleasure in the warmth and sincerity of your home.

   The establishment of this Quranic based culture has direct influence in creating cooperation between the couple. It paves the way for a happy life and helps them to keep them from making hasty decisions in times of conflict or disagreements. It also encourages them to prefer the fulfillment of responsibilities over negligence, to continue their married life, and to strive to strengthen this connection which is a source of God's pleasure. In addition, it also encourages making efforts towards maintaining peace, as well as thinking about union and cooperation instead of separation and the dissolution of the family.

Today one of the many distractions that has affected wholesome family life is the disregarding of this Quranic rule, which leads towards many home and family disturbances. This disregard also causes hasty and unwise decisions, which lead towards separation and divorce. Today, fast talkers and so called defenders of family rights, instead of paying attention to these principles, have caused the decline of home and family life through their short sightedness, prejudice and judgmental views as well as by focusing on materialism and the demand for rights which are upheld by extreme feminist views. Through disregarding moral virtues and values, as well as over all common the interests of the family, and by ignoring the needs and the evil results of divorce and separation, they constantly add to the difficulties of such societies.

Sacred Vow

Marriage of Firm Covenant in the Holy Quran:

   The marriage vow in Islam is greatly different from other contracts and agreements between two parties. The Quran's interpretation of marriage is very thought provoking and deserves reflection verse 21 of Surah Women says,

" و اَخَذْنَ مِنْكُم ميثاقاً غليظاً "

"And they have made with you a firm covenant?"

The Quran calls marriage "the firm covenant" (Mithagh) "Vothough" is the infinitive and "Mithagh" is a noun and means sacred vow or firm covenant. According to Ragheb Isfahani, "Mithagh" is a promise emphasized through an oath and vow, a promise demanding fidelity, trust, mutually sincere vows, and pure love". This is why the payment of the marriage dowry by the husband is obligatory. Marriage is a covenant in which permanence of the most valuable thing in the world is formed and the best form of life is created. That which is the most trustworthy and sacred in the world second only to one’s covenants with God.

   According to article 1103 of the civil law after Islamic Republic of Iran, the husband and wife are commanded to have honorable behavior towards each other. The holy Prophet (P) of Islam says in this respect, "The most perfect among the believers are those who have the best temperament, and the worthiest of them are those who have honorable conduct towards their wives”. Concerning the honorable conduct of women, he says, "The woman's "jihad" (sacred war) is taking proper care of her husband and managing the house".

   According to some traditions, the reward for the wife is equal to the reward for the martyrs. In other words, the equivalence of a wife trying to maintain the interests and good of the family home, is parallel to that of a soldier in the sacred war who is in combat in the battlefield and is looking forward to martyrdom. According to a tradition from the holy Prophet (P), "The women who are decorated with the beautiful ornament of patience, economize and are accurate in keeping accounts, will be granted a reward equal to that of the martyred.”

   Another important thing to be mutually regarded by the couple is observing and maintaining each other’s esteem and dignity. In this respect the Holy Quran has regarded the couple in the safe sanctuary of the home, as supporters and protectors of one another, covering each other’s faults, and also the cause of each other's grace and beauty. It beautifully defines these concepts in Surah The Cow verse 187 as,

" هُنَّ لِباسٌ لكم و اَنتُمْ لباس لَهُنَّ "

"They are an apparel for you and you are an apparel for them"

   This is why the couple should solve their problems and settle their disputes confidentially in the warm center of their home. Special cases are the exception which according to the Holy Quran are, "the cases of "Sheghagh" (hostility)" when the ground will be prepared to set things right and solve the problem through determining an arbitrator with certain conditions. The Holy Quran invites the husband to observe equity and maintain the grace of his wife even in the time of divorce, therefore, during the time of separation he may not force her to return the marriage dowry by ascribing evil deeds to her or slandering her.

   The best instructions have been issued and the Legislator for the establishment and observance of justice has exercised ultimate precision. Even in the case of polygamy which has been permitted under certain special conditions and due to social needs, such as postwar problems or other events where the existence of men decreases and is endangered, special rules and particular conditions have been prescribed to be followed by men so that they do not practice it merely because of their passions and desire abusing the law and justifying this as religious law and Islam.

   Therefore, in this respect the holy Quran emphasizes the obligatory practical observance of justice by man to the extent it that says,

" و اِنْ خِفْتُمْ اَنْ لاتَعْدِلُوا فَواحِدَه "

"but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one in order to avoid inequity and oppression".


Islam has general as well as specific rules which apply to different places or times depending on what is needed then or there apart from these exceptions there are only two conditions which can not be included in a marriage contract. 1) a condition which is forbidden according to Islamic law (for example drinking liquor), 2) one which is opposed to the fundamental principles of marriage (such as stating that there will be no sexual relations). Issues, which are of importance in the Islamic Republic of Iran, are included as conditions in the official marriage contract, which was drafted by Islamic scholars and approved by Imam Khomeini (rh). One of the conditions in the official marriage contract taking into consideration women's sensitivity states that, if the husband wants to marry again (temporary or permanent) he must have his first wife's permission or she will have the power of attorney for divorce. When both sign, the contract the condition applies. The overwhelming majority of couples voluntarily sign the conditions stated in the official marriage that contract at the time they legally register their marriage. In Islam, the law states that what is agreed on in a contract apply. This covenant is what makes the condition valid. Other conditions can also be included at the time of writing the contract or added later as an addendum to the contract.


In addition to the marriage contract, in general, the civil law of the Islamic Republic of Iran which is ratified by the Council of Guardians, (six members selected by the judiciary branch and six by the leader Ayatollah Khamenei) states that, for permanent marriage the husband must have the legally certified consent of the wife before he is able to marry another wife.

   Gustave La Bon, comparing the laws of Islam with those of the west, writes, "in the west neither the climate nor the conditions of nature calls for this custom "polygamy", nevertheless "monogamy" is something we can only see in our books of law! Otherwise, I do not think we can deny the fact that in our real life this custom is not observed at all. In fact I wonder what is the advantage of the flamboyant polygamy of the West over the legal and limited polygamy of the East? I would rather say the latter is better than the former".

Marriage, the entrance to God's favor and blessing:

   Another principle in the institution of marriage is that God has placed the door to provision and to His blessings in it. Marriage is the best beauty and ornament of the world whose earning is permissible which is an elective act of obedience prescribed for God’s servants this is strongly emphasized, and these blessings can be acquired by man or woman through marriage. In this respect the Holy Quran states precisely,

" و انْكِحُوا الأيامي مِنكُم وَ الصالِحينَ مِنْ عِبادِكُم وَ اِمائِكُم اِنْ يَكُونُوا فُقَراءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ "

"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;"

"This verse, based on the principle of cooperation in the Muslim community, commands those who can, besides the parents, to prepare the grounds for the marriage of single youth, men and women and to help them marry. Secondly it implies that youth should be married before the appearance in them of any indication towards evil deeds, while they still enjoy moral virtues and values. Thirdly, it states that the lack of necessary and adequate facilities should not hinder a person from marriage, for due to marriage, the All-Sufficient God makes them prosperous through His bounty. He is All-Embracing and All Knowing and will help a youth who has married to maintain his virtue and be self-sufficient. According to a tradition from Imam Sadegh (P), the sixth Imam of the Shiah, "provision is inherent in the wife and children. Another tradition says that once a person came to him complaining of poverty and the Imam told him to marry. He married and God drew away his poverty.

Immunity from Sin through Marriage and Public Health and Morality:      

   Another narration from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) about the family emphasizes that marriage is the key to moving towards purity and cleanliness and prevents many social evils and corruption. According to a narration, marriage creates an immunity by which 50 percent of a religious person’s faith is preserved. Another tradition from the Holy Prophet (P) says, "O youth, marry if you can, so that you may avoid looking at women who are forbidden to look at and maintain your chastity". Through the means of marriage seeking any kind of enjoyment outside the family sphere is rejected and condemned as evil deeds. This will guarantee the health and nobility of both the family and society. It is at this point where love finds another concept, and creation of attachment and connection contrasts with desires and mere sexual instinct. Here family love is along the line of God's love and the display of the highest inclination to absolute perfection.

   Now, in respect to the sharp contrast between divine culture and human culture the following tradition from Imam Sadegh (P) is relevant who said, "my father asked a man who had come to see him if he was married and he answered "No". My father said, “I do not desire to possess the entire world and its contents, if that meant spending one night without my spouse”. Then he added, “Performing two units of prayer by a married man is better than the devotion of a single man who fasts every day and devotes his nights to devotion". Then my father gave the man seven dinars and said, "go and make preparation for your marriage with this money". This tradition implies several of the following points:

  1. Nothing in the world is more beneficial for human beings and their perfection than marriage, whose underlying spiritual benefits and blessings lead to the wholesomeness of both the individual and society.
  2. Even if a youth utilizes all his/her abilities and efforts in self purification and ascension towards perfection, he/she is still susceptible to danger without marriage.
  3. The best way to help youth is to prepare the grounds for them to marry.


Authors: Zahra Ayatollahi
Content Type: Article
Keywords: Family - Marriage
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