Many assumptions are with life. Some told life is a collection of some moments. Science tells us Life is the activities and expression of some characteristics controlled by protoplasm. Wikipedia defines life as a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate. Biology is the science concerned with the study of life. We can seek some expression on life in literature- Another word of life is suffering, struggle is its bottom line, and sum of these two is expectation.
Transformation of day and night, rotation of six seasons, gravity of highness of blue sky and fair of stars in the sky at night, beauty of charms through various games between happiness and sorrow, excellent smells of flowers, silence of gigantic mountains, flowing sound of current in the rivers, murmuring sound of leaves in the trees, . . . all these make the life dearest. A poet says Life is a very sweet brother who would wish to die.
Among so many events marriage is one of the most powerful events that make life colorful and matured.
Marriage is a governmentally, socially, or religiously recognized interpersonal relationship, usually intimate and sexual, that is often created as a form of contract. Marriage and family are key structures in most societies. Sociologists are interested in the relationship between the institution of marriage and the institution of family because, historically, marriages are what create a family, and families are the most basic social unit upon which society is built. Both marriage and family create status roles that are sanctioned by society. Marriage is a highly recommended deed. Allah says,
“Marry the spouseless among you…if they are poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty.” (Qur’an 24:32)
The first word of this verse begins with “ankihu” (Marry!) which is an imperative form of the word nikah. According to the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, any communication in imperative form from Allah can have two levels of meaning: either it is an obligatory command or a very high recommendation.
Marriage and sex are among the signs of Allah’s power and blessings. The Qur’an says,
“And among His signs is that He has created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may live in tranquility with them; and He has created love and mercy between you. Verily, in that are signs for those who reflect.” (30:21)
From these few verses of the Qur’an, one can easily understand that according to Islam: (a) marriage is a sign of Allah’s power and blessings; (b) marriage is a highly recommended act of virtue which should not be avoided because of poverty; (c) sexual urge is a creative command of Allah placed in human nature. After equating sex with Allah’s creative command, there can be no room for equating it with guilt, sin or evil.
The Prophet(S.) said, “No house has been built in Islam more beloved in the sight of Allah than through marriage.” The Prophet(S.) said, ‘Whosoever likes to follow my tradition, then he should know that marriage is from my tradition. Marriage even elevates the value of prayers. The Prophet(S) said, “Two rak ‘ats prayed by a married person is better than the night-vigil and the fast of a single person.
The Prophet(S) said, “If anyone likes to meet Allah in purity, then he should meet Him with a wife
“And Allah has made for you your mates of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best.” [Noble Quran 16:72]
These verses of the Noble Quran clearly show that in contrast to other religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism etc. which consider celibacy or monasticism as a great virtue and a means of salvation, Islam considers marriage as one of the most virtuous and approved institutions. The Messenger of Allah (S.) declared, “There is no monasticism in Islam.” He further ordained,
“O you young men! Whoever is able to marry should marry, for that will help him to lower his gaze and guard his modesty.” [Al-Bukhari]
The word Zawaj is used in the Quran to signify a pair or a mate. But in common parlance it stands for marriage. Since the family is the nucleus of Islamic society, and marriage is the only way to bring families into existence, the Prophet (S.) insisted upon his followers entering into marriage The Shari’ah prescribes rules to regulate the functioning of the family so that both spouses can live together in love, security, and tranquility. Marriage in Islam has aspects of both ‘Ibadah (worship) of Allah and mu’amalah (transactions between human beings).
In its ‘Ibadah aspect, marriage is an act pleasing to Allah because it is in accordance with his commandments that husband and wife love each other and help each other to make efforts to continue the human race and rear and nurse their children to become true servants of Allah.
In its mu’amalah aspect, marriage being a lawful response to the basic biological instinct to have sexual intercourse and to procreate children, the Shari’ah has prescribed detailed rules for translating this response into a living human institution reinforced by a whole framework of legally enforceable rights and duties, not only of the spouses, but also of their offspring.
These aspects are beautifully explained in a tradition of the Prophet. It is narrated by Anas that the Messenger of Allah (S.) said, “When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.”
The Prophet considered marriage for a Muslim as half of his religion because it shields him from promiscuity, adultery, fornication, homosexuality etc., which ultimately lead to many other evils like slander, quarreling, homicide, loss of property and disintegration of the family. According to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) the remaining half of the faith can be saved by Taqwa.
In order that problems should not arise after marriage the Prophet (S.) recommended that, in the selection of his bride, a man should see her before betrothal lest blindness of choice or an error of judgment should defeat the very purpose of marriage. Since believing men and women are referred to in the Quran, a woman also has the right to look at her potential husband.
The special permission for men and women to see each other with a view to matrimony does not contravene the code of conduct for believing men and women to lower their gaze and be modest which is laid down in the Noble Quran: The consent of both the man and the women is an essential element of marriage, and the Quran gives women a substantial role in choosing their own life partners. It lays down: “Do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree between themselves in a lawful manner.” [Quran 2:232]
The Quran [4:21] refers to marriage as a mithaq, i.e. a solemn covenant or agreement between husband and wife, and enjoins that it be put down in writing. Since no agreement can be reached between the parties unless they give their consent to it, marriage can be contracted only with the free consent of the two parties. The Prophet (S.) said, “The widow and the divorced woman shall not be married until their order is obtained, and the virgin shall not be married until her consent is obtained.” [Bukhari]
This aspect is greatly emphasized by Imam Bukhari. He, in fact, gave one of the chapters in his Sahih the significant title: “When a man gives his daughter in marriage and she dislikes it, the marriage shall be annulled.” Once a virgin girl came to the Prophet (S.) and said that her father had married her to a man against her wishes. The Prophet gave her the right to repudiate the marriage. [Abu Dawud]
The announcement of marriage and indicates that such boy and girl are going to be married soon is called Engagement. The boy’s mother puts a ring onto the girl’s finger in the presence of non-Mehram (with whom marriage is legitimate) persons. In some families, the would-be husband personally puts the ring onto the finger of his would-be wife. Huge amounts are spent on these ceremonies. Without photo sessions, the ceremony is considered as incomplete. In upper classes, these ceremonies are arranged in hotels. The girl, in full make-up like a bride, is made to sit on a platform so that everyone can eye her.
As the marriage day comes closer, arrangements for the wedding reach their peak. The bride’s family makes arrangements for the show of dowry. Even the families which are against dowry too do their level best to send their daughters with honor to her in laws along with a heavy dowry. They care for the trends in vogue. They even borrow huge amounts to buy dowry items. They have to take this poison? Middle class and poor families are very much disturbed by this evil but nobody takes initiative in this direction. Islam never encourages dowry for it may cause humiliation to poor parents of girls. It considers woman a respectable and loveable individual of society. And as heavy expenses on girl’s wedding make parents think their daughters as a burden, Shariah opposes such rituals that may downgrade women’s status in the eyes of others. Shariah teaches payment of share in one’s heritage instead of dowry. Quran says, And women have share in the heritage of their parents and close relatives. There is a certain share for them either less or much. (al-Nisa 7)
This Hindu social custom is so popular in our Muslim society that they have put their religion off. The girl’s parents are of the view that their daughter will use all these things in her in-laws home and she will not be dependent on her in-laws. This means, they are attempting to abolish love and affection in the beginning. There are only troubles, grief and sorrows in case of deviating from real Islamic teachings. Islam sees women as daughters and sisters but people think them as burden due to this evil of dowry.
We are unaware of Allah’s wish. We are ignorant of religious commands for various occasions. In Mayun, Mehndi and Baraat ceremonies, women wear newly-designed clothes and make-up. They dance and sing. It is sorry to see that parents feel proud when their children dance to western tunes. But they don’t realize that they are digging a hole for their children and for themselves. Islamic command of veil is violated to look beautiful and modern. The present era has declared nakedness as art and fashion. They think if youths are not groomed according to the latest trends, it will be a hazardous for their future life. An Islamic-minded woman will never unveil herself before strangers. If she has to do this because of any unavoidable problem, she will certainly feel hesitation and shame because of her faith. Modesty does not crush emotions. Rather it guides her to the right direction. People who are of the opinion that veil restricts their activities unnecessarily, are following western thinking. Today, everybody knows how much corrupt and immodest the westerns are. The result of the free (sex) society appears in the shape of AIDS and depression which is eroding their social norms like a slow poison. Why should we copy the West. Resultantly, our young generation causes destruction and slander to the family in copying the West. Then we blame society for it. But never think over our wrong practices of sending girls with make-up to bazaars and other places open to male members of society. And invite sin, don’t we. Bride is advertised on the wedding day by decorating her well. She, who has to be the statue of modesty, is made to sit on a stage for other people to see and enjoy. In other words, everyone is invited to watch the stack of sins. Satan and his allies do please with this work. Her every movement is captured by video cameras. Alas for her modesty. Can such functions be fortunate during which all the girls are half-naked in the name of fashion where mix-gathering is taking place?
Think! How can be these marriages fortunate and successful during which Shariah is violated openly? Allah can never bless these couples. How can we expect happiness and peace if we are inviting Allah’s wrath? How can we claim ourselves as Muslims while acting upon the ways having no room in Islam? Quran has clearly announced that, He who adopts such practices has no relation with Islam.
Simplicity has almost been abolished these days. Impact of colors, costly dressing, Jewellery and make-up comes with the name of wedding. Hours are wasted on these useless things. Every second will be computed on the Day of Judgment. Both the families of bride and groom waste huge amounts on their functions to boast of their riches. Islam always negates extravagances. All these expenditures fall in the category of extravagance and Quran declares such people brothers of Satan. To maintain this luxurious life one has to earn money through unlawful means. So one evil generates another odd. Islam teaches simplicity and Muslims should cut their coat according to their cloth. This not only controls expenses but also saves time. That is why Allah Almighty says, Allah wants to facilitate you and not to put you in trouble.
By the grace of Allah, there are still people who are ready to devote their everything for the pleasure of Allah. These are the people who get Allah’s rewards. Their devotions do not go waste. Our young generation has a great number of youths who are more religious than their parents. Who want to turn alive this dead society. They want to reform this society with Islamic ideology. If commands of Allah are continued to be disobeyed in this manner, then nobody can evaluate how many families will face this destruction.