Marriage: Purpose and Obligation

The Definition of Marriage

Nikah is an Arabic term used for marriage. It means “contract”. (“Aqd in Arabic). The Qur’an specifically refers to marriage as “mithaqun Ghalithun,”. Which means “a strong covenant”. “and they have taken a strong pledge (Mithaqun Ghalithun) from you?” (4:21)

The seriousness of this covenant becomes obvious when one finds the same term i.e., Mithaqun Ghalithun, being used for the covenant made between Allah and the Prophet before granting them the responsibility of the Prophethood. (33:7) The Qur’an also uses the Arabic word “Hisn”, suggesting “fortress” for marriage. Marriage is considered the fortress of chastity.

The Purpose of Marriage

As a meaningful institution, marriage has two main purposes: To ensure preservation of the human species and continuation of the human race,

“O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them has spread abroad a multitude of men and women” (4:1) Read More…

Al-Nikah: The Islamic Marriage

Mutual Agreement of Bride and Groom

Marriage (Nikah) is a solemn and sacred social contract between bride and groom. This contract is a strong covenant (Mithaqun Ghalithun) as expressed in Qur’an 4:21. The marriage contract in Islam is not a sacrament. It is revocable.

Both parties mutually agree and enter into this contract. Both bride and groom have the liberty to define various terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of this contract.


The marriage-gift (Mahr) is a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract.

‘And give the women (on marriage) their mahr as a (Nikah) free gift” (4:4) Read More…

Selecting a Marriage Partner

Marriage is recommended for partners who share a common way of life. The matrimonial partners should be able to fulfill their purpose of creation as defined by Allah. They should be able to effectively carry out their responsibility as care-takers (Khalifah) of earth. They should share the common goal of building a well integrated Muslim community and be able to work harmoniously towards it.

Criteria for Selecting a Marriage Partner

Normally the criteria for selecting matrimonial mates are many: wealth, beauty, rank, character, congeniality, compatibility, religion, etc. The Qur’an enjoins Muslims to select partners who are good and pure (Tayyib)

“Women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity “(24:26) Read More…

The Family From An Islamic Perspective

Parity is the law of Allah in all His creations as seen in, “And of all things We created two mates; perhaps you will remember.” (51:49). As Muslims we all realize that Allah has created all the creatures with His might, perfected them with His wisdom and deposited in most of them the secrets or survival and endurance. From here comes the wisdom of parity in all creatures to guarantee procreation and continuation of life till the time when Allah has set, with his wisdom, the end of all things. He says, “All that is on the earth is doomed to perish, while your Lord’s own Self will remain full of majesty and glory.” (55:26-27). Allah (SWT) endowed man with added honouring and grandeur so He subjugated for him all that is in the earth and heavens; just so that he might find all what he needs for his mission and the reason of his creation in this life. He says, “Have you not seen that Allah has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth, and has completed His favours to you, both seen and unseen? Yet there are some who dispute concerning Allah, without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book.” (31:20) Read More…

Tips For A Happy And Successful Marriage

The young and excited bride-and-groom-to-be; ecstatic about the upcoming wedding and marriage and the joy that it will bring. Three to six months later, reality has set in and both spouses realize that marriage is no easy task, but one that takes a great deal of effort and patience. The following are tips for both wives and husbands, to help make the task a little less daunting, and to increase the many rewards that are possible in such a marvelous and complex relationship.

Enter the Marriage with the Right Intention and Renew this Often

Both spouses should enter the marriage with the pure intention of pleasing Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta ‘Ala in order to receive His grace and blessings. The marriage itself then becomes an act of worship and one for which both spouses will be rewarded. Read More…

‘They Are Your Garments And You Are Theirs’

Marital Relation and the Metaphor of the Garment: Reflections on Surat –al-Baqara 2:187 – By Mawlana Shaykh Dr. M Mansur Ali

Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful. And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy you may find in them a harness and a chain. (Khalil Gibran, The Prophet)

Marriage is the oldest traditions known to mankind. It is a continuation of that holy communion that took place between our first parents Adam and Hawwa (May Allah’s peace be on both of them) in the garden of al-Firdaws. Adam (as) enjoyed the bounties of his Lord in paradise. He knew no needs. However, as time passed by he yearned for human company. Read More…

The Muslim Marriage Guide

Islam teaches that marriage is ‘half of religion’. Because it fulfills so many basic needs of individuals and of society, it is the cornerstone upon which the whole Muslim life is built.

Marriage in the modern world is in crisis. To protect the spirit of cooperation and happiness which is the sign of the real Islamic marriage, careful thought needs to be given to the practices which help husband and wife to live together and respect each other’s needs and rights.

This very readable book takes the reader through the relevant passages in the Qur’an and Hadith, and goes on to discuss the main social, emotional and sexual problems that can affect relationships, suggesting many practical ways in which these can be healed. Read More…

Questions to Ask a Prospective Marriage Partner

The following questions are offered in the interest of helping Muslims to think through issues important to marriage. You may wish to ask these questions when you’re considering someone for marriage, either of them or just of yourself. You may also wish to ask them of an intermediary, who may be able to provide you an unbiased perspective. Some of the questions may seem “unIslamic”, but they deal with the reality of today’s social situation, and NOT asking a question may ultimately prove to be a bigger mistake than asking it. Read More…