Importance of Marriage in Islam
Allah has created men and women as company for one another, and so that they can procreate and live in peace and tranquility according to the commandments of Allah and the directions of His Messenger. The Quran says:
"And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signs for those who reflect." [Noble Quran 30:21]
"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 (peace and blessings be upon him) 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]
Modesty was regarded as a great virtue by the Prophet. He said, "Modesty is part of faith." [Al-Bukhari]
The importance of the institution or marriage receives its greatest emphasis from the following Hadith of the Prophet,
"Marriage is my sunnah. Whosoever keeps away from it is not from me."
Marriage Is A Beautiful Institution In Islam
Marriage is a bond unifying a man and a woman for a lifetime for the purpose of loving one another, helping one another, and in reproducing and raising children to be good Muslims. Actually, through marriage a Muslim man and woman worship Allah. Allah's Prophet said, "When a person gets married, he has protected half of his Imaan (faith), so let him be conscious of Allah with regard to the other half." (Tabarani)
Goals of Marriage
1. Seeking offspring and continuing the human species by producing children in a natural way.
2. Enjoying Allah's gifts, finding companionship, fulfilling one's sexual desires, and getting pleasure in a halal (permissible) way.
3. Lowering the gaze, exercising self-control, preserving modesty, and keeping oneself away from what is forbidden.
Allah's Prophet encouraged Muslims to marry. He said, "Young men, whoever among you is able to marry, let him get married, for this is better for lowering the gaze and guarding the chastity. Whoever cannot afford to get married, let him fast, as fasting would act as a restraint for him." (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
If a person cannot exercise self-control and is worried about doing something forbidden, then getting married becomes obligatory.
Rights & Responsibilities of Husbands & Wives
Islam clearly lays down rights and responsibilities of a husband over his wife and that of a wife over her husband. The idea that spouses have rights over one another is quite unique to Islam. What also makes it more amazing is how clearly they are laid out, so conflict can be minimized. Marriage counselors call it "expectations," but do not have a clear idea of what those expectations should be. That is why they are left for a husband and wife to decide. Many times, they cannot decide or agree, thus ending the marriage.
What follows are some of the most important rights and responsibilities of husbands and wives. Few points must be kept in mind before reading them:
1. Allah is the source of these rights and responsibilities.
2. Just like a husband has rights over his wife, the wife has rights over her husband. They should both strive to fulfill each other's rights to the best of their ability and forgive each other as much as possible if they fall short.
3. Both husband and wife must be moderate with respect to these rights and responsibilities. They should not remind the other of their rights in times of anger and quarrel to add more fuel. In other words, do not use your rights as instruments of abuse.
4. Many new Muslims read websites that specialize in Islamic legal rulings and books on Islamic jurisprudence as guides to better living. These resources usually provide the letter of the law, not necessarily the "spirit" of the law. The "spirit" of the law is to live in peace and harmony without disobeying Allah. Always remember that love, gentleness, and mercy are essential components of a happy, Islamic marriage.
Why a Woman Should Not Take Her Husband’s Surname
The effects of imitating the west in naming ourselves are many. One of them is the way in which people have got used to omitting the word ‘ibn’ (son of) or ‘ibnatu’ (daughter of) between their own names and the name of their fathers. The reason for this is, firstly, because some families have adopted children and given them their surname, so that the adopted child is called Foolaan Foolan [where ‘Foolaan (=So and so)’ stands for a name] and their real children are called Foolaan ibn Foolaan (So and so the son of So and so). Now in the fourteenth century AH, people have dropped the word ‘ibn’ or ‘ibnatu’ – which is unacceptable according to linguistics, custom and sharee’ah. May Allaah help us.
Another effect is the habit of women taking their husband’s surnames.
Originally, the woman is So and so the Daughter of So and so, not So and so the wife of So and so! Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allaah…” [al-Ahzaab 33:5].
As it is in this world, so it will also be in the Hereafter, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, each betrayer will have a banner raised beside him, and it will be said, this is the betrayer of So and so the son of So and so.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5709, and Muslim, 3265).
A useful piece of advice in the opinion of this author is that a new Muslim should take Islam one piece at a time. It is a total way of life that needs time to adjust. It can take years to leave many non-Islamic behaviors, but sticking to Islam brings happiness in this life and in the one to come. Therefore, allow yourself time to grow as a Muslim and practice what you learn.
For a new Muslim, this author would advise to wait at least a year, preferably more, before thinking about getting married. Marriage is a big decision and one must allow oneself sufficient time to grow before making such a life-changing decision. Many of your views will change after entering into Islam. Marriage will set a direction for your life and determine how you identify yourself later in life. What you may find acceptable today, may not be acceptable after a few years of being a Muslim. Instead of looking to getting married right away, spend some time to not just learn, but live Islam. You would want to marry someone with the same dedication and level of application to Islam as you. That level will fluctuate in the normative years of becoming a Muslim.
Often times, a new Muslim finds himself/herself lonely after accepting Islam, therefore, getting married too early to seek companionship usually results in a quick divorce and bitterness. People often times forget that marriage requires financial and emotional stability.