FAMILY/ Marriage in Islam: A source of stability
God Almighty states in the Quran on the creation of Adam and Eve, “It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her in love” (Chapter 7, Al-Araf: Verse 189). He further refers to them in the Quran saying, “We created you from a single pair, male and female” (Chapter 49, Al-Hujurat: Verse 13).
From the beginning of time marriage has been established as a bond between a man and a woman. Islam views this bond as a sacred institution, one that allows for procreation and ensures that communities will flourish and the next generation will be full of God-fearing men and women.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, stated, “There is no institution more beloved to God than the institution of marriage” (Mustadrak, Vol. 2, Pg. 531). He also said, “Marriage is my Sunnah i.e. tradition” (Ibn Majah) and that “When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion” (Bayhaqi). Islam views this relationship as profoundly significant, even equating it with an act of worship. When one marries, one is pleasing God. God Almighty refers to the beautiful relationship between a man and a woman who are married, saying, “They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them” (Chapter 2, Al-Baqarah: Verse 187).
The analogy is made using the word libaas, literally a “garment,” to refer to the relationship between spouses. In the same way a garment provides warmth, your spouse provides emotional warmth and comfort throughout your life. And as a garment would provide a covering, your spouse covers you, protects you, in numerous ways.
A spouse provides protection from fahisha, literally wild acts, or desires, including fornication and adultery. Islam teaches that men and women have a natural attraction to one another. This attraction is natural, but it is haram or impermissible to satiate those desires except in the context of marriage. Marriage provides the context in which acting upon this attraction becomes halal or permissible. Your spouse serves as respite from sin and a means of chastity.
The institution of marriage in Islam also provides stability for the spouses and their children. When two people come together as husband and wife in front of God, they are committing themselves to a binding contract—this contract ensures that the two parties will provide for and sustain their family unit.
When Muhammad brought the message to pre-Islamic Arabia, he established new rights for those entering into a marriage. Men and women were given equal and established roles, as providers and nurturers respectively, and the rights of both were clearly outlined by the word of God and His messenger, peace be upon him.
Marriage in Islam further protected individuals from financial worry. As established by Islam, the man is the head of the household—one who provides financial support and sustenance for his family. The woman also protects her family—not only is she given the task of protecting the family’s assets in the absence of her husband, but she also secures the family’s bond by providing a proper upbringing and comforting environment for her husband and children.