Institution of Marriage in Islam
The word marriage or pairing with the opposite sex is the foundation of human life. It is the concept of “I” to “Us” and in a calm and safe marriage is a reality of “Us” to “Him” as the creator of all of us. Marriage means the productive unity of a couple in what He the Al-Mighty, prescribes to us. In Quran it is said, “Marry those among you who are single and unwedded ones. If they are in poverty, God will give them means out of his grace. The Holy Quran 24:32
وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ ۚ إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّـهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Working and thinking together makes life easy and pleasant. If your family life is sufficient with means of living, is calm and pleasant; and my family life is the same, then our community will be prosperous and pleasant. The expansion of this kind of community makes the world calm and pleasant. The Holy Quran 30:21
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And among His Signs is this, which He created for you mates from among yourselves, whom ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.
In the above verse, He mentions how we, as two human beings together, can have so much love and tranquility while extending this love to both sides of the families also.
The wedding customs in various countries differ from each other. One culture uses henna for painting various designs with flowers on the hands of the bride or groom so that her agreement for marriage will be designed with happy symbols. Others set up a very decorative table cloth on the floor with items representing ones survival from the earth. On top of this decorative table cloth they place The Holy Quran as guidelines for marriage or living in a manner according to the guidance of Allah. They will also place a candle representing the light of Almighty God for solution to the difficulties. A mirror is used to reflect upon oneself that if there are various problems in your life it is because of me rather than one’s partner. Special bread is baked and designed to say that every particle of the bread bears witness that it is from heaven above and if heaven did not exist, we would not have this bread made from the grains that rised up from that dust to set on this table cloth. We need to understand and know that we belong to Him in totality rather than to our own desire. Only if His name and guidance is with us, all of the good is with us as well.
In Islam it is the bride who chooses her husband and it is her right to have specified terms included in the marriage contract. Either the bride or her representative performs the wedding ceremony based upon the bride’s wish as called “Sadaq”. The words of “By the book of God and tradition of our messenger” the couple will be married. Marriage is treated as a contract between the two by God’s law and also a contract of worldly issues. However there may be some cloudy issues in marriage life or misunderstanding which occur most likely during the first year. Once a dispute rises among them and disagreement becomes an issue then in chapter 4:35 it says:
وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن يُرِيدَا إ ِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرًا
“If you fear a breech between them, twain appoint two arbiters one from his side and one from hers. If they wish for peace no doubt solution of the problems lies in the guidance of our Creator.” Usually the arbitrator will listen carefully and ask both parties to write their problems, he/she as arbitrator must judge based upon Quranic order. If both sides are the followers of His order, and since there is no dispute in His order of the heaven above, then why should there be a dispute amongst the families who are the product of that heaven above?
Imam, Manassas Mosque