Lesson 29: Family

Responsibilities Of Society In Marrying The Youth

{وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّـهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّـهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ}

Marry the spouseless among you, and your slaves and handmaidens that are righteous; if they are poor, God will enrich them of His bounty; God is All-embracing, All-knowing. (An Nur 24:32).

The spouseless in the Ayah refers to all who have no spouses, be it male or female, a widow or one who has never married before.

Marriage in Islam is a sacred issue and is a matter of emphasis, and the family and society are responsible for marrying those who are without a spouse, and there is no need for prescribing who should ask who in marriage, with both sides of the potential relationship able to make the first approach. Of course, Allahﷻ has secured the blessings of the bride and grooms lives in a Divine Decree and marriage is a means to increased blessings and scope in life.

Islam recognizes marriage as sacred, in contrast to Christians who see that celibacy as the more valued path and so the Pope and Priests must not marry.

In narrations, we read that marriage is protection of half of one’s religion, and a two rakaat prayer1 of one who is married is worth seventy times more than one who is single. The sleep of one who is married is better than the fasting of one who is single while awake.

In contrast to the beliefs that marriage brings upon poverty, the Prophet (pbuh) stated that marriage increases ones’ sustenance. Imam Sadiq (pbuh) also says that embitterment of one’s life is under the shadow of marriage. They also state that one who leaves marriage due to being fearful of the financial distress of marriage is not of us and has ill-doubts about Allahﷻ.

Marriage is a means to comfort2. In marriage, families become closer and hearts become merciful, and the grounds for the upbringing of a new, pure generation and spirit of collaboration is founded.

The parents who stand in the way of their children’s marriage are partners in the sins of their children should these sins be a result of not getting married.

In narrations, we read that we should hasten the marriage of our children, and our daughters that reach the age of marriage is like a fruit that has ripened that if not picked from the tree at the appropriate time will become decayed.3

The best intermediary is intercession, and intermediation is a component of marriage, as our narrations state: One who secures a marriage for the bride or groom is in the shadow of The Throne of Allahﷻ.

We also read in the narrations that one who acts in the way of marrying his brother in religion will be subject to the Divine Favour for Allahﷻ on the Day of Resurrection.

Of course, the Ayah after says:

{وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّىٰ يُغْنِيَهُمُ اللَّـهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ}

And let those who find not the means to marry be abstinent till God enriches them of His bounty. (An Nur 24:33).

Both family and government (“Marry the spouseless”) and the wealthy of the society are to assist (“God will enrich them of His bounty”).

Of course, in the process of choosing a spouse, one must be careful not to allow emotion take over. Do not rush, and only after thorough deliberation, advice and discussion should one proceed. Many of the issues that arise with in marriages are a result of a lack of due diligence in the choice one makes of their spouse. The spouse is your partner in life and their influence will be for the rest of one’s life and until the Day of Resurrection. Most of the shallow marriages that result from chance and one off encounters, or acquainted on the bus or in a park, don’t end up well.

Kinds of Families in the Holy Qur’an

The Holy Qur’an has presented us with four types of families:

1. A husband and wife that are on the same par with regards to their beliefs and synchronous with their pious deeds. (Like Imam Ali × and Syeda Fatima× are role models of a partnership where faith and deed were in sync, and the Ayahs in Surah Dahr point to how night after night they gave their food for breaking their fast to the poor, orphan and slave).4

2. A husband and wife that are on the same par with regards to their evil thoughts and deeds. (Such as that with Abu Lahab and his wife, despite being the uncle of the Prophet on the fathers’ side, were abusive towards the Prophet and did their best to break the Dawn of Islam. The wife of Abu Lahab would throw firewood upon the Prophet to hurt and bother him).5

3. A family in which the male is pious but the wife is evil (such as in the example of Prophet Lot and Prophet Noah).6

4. A family in which the wife is pious but he husband is evil (Such as in the example of Pharaoh and his wife).7

Responsibilities Within The Family

In various Ayahs of the Holy Qur’an, duties towards ones family are indicated:

• Protect yourself and your family from the fire of Hell.8

• Bid your family towards prayers and make be patient with it.9

• Advice your closest of relatives (towards piety).10

• Advice your children to perform prayers and enjoin good.11

• Spiritual people have an inclination towards their families and are not indifferent.12

• The Prophet would advise his own family to perform prayers.13

In narrations, we also notice considerable attention to this subject:

• The Prophet (pbuh) would state that everyone of us is responsible for those under your care, the husband over the family and the wife over the husband and children.14

• Imam Ali (pbuh) states: Teach yourselves and family goodness and give them manners.15

  • 1. A short form of prayer which has two prostrations.
  • 2. Holy Quran 30:21
  • 3. (Mizan Al-Hikmah مِيزان الْحِكمة)
  • 4. Holy Quran 76:8
  • 5. Holy Quran 111: 1-5
  • 6. Holy Quran 66:10
  • 7. Holy Quran 66:11
  • 8. Holy Quran 66:6
  • 9. Holy Quran 22:132
  • 10. Holy Quran 26:214
  • 11. Holy Quran 31:17
  • 12. Holy Quran 52:26
  • 13. Holy Quran 19:55
  • 14. (Majmaat Warram مجموعة ورّام ) V1 P6
  • 15. (Muniyat Al Mareed منية المريد ) P380