Importance of Early Marriage in Islam
The institution of marriage has been given tremendous importance in Islam. Generally, in the terms of jurisprudence it is highly recommended, but in many cases due to extraordinary circumstances, it becomes obligatory and a religious duty. For instance, marriage becoming obligatory when there is a chance of adultery or any other similar sin.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) said, "The best people of my Umma are those who get married and have chosen their wives and the worst people of my nation are those who have kept away from marriage and are passing their lives as bachelors." (Mustadrakul Wasail by Muhaddith Noori, Vol 2, Pg 531).
As one matures physically, sexual desires develop in the individual and gradually both girls and boys start getting attracted to each other, which slowly develops into some sort of psychological pressure. This natural and undirected emotion gradually seeks solace in whatever form possible. Unfortunately, more often than not, it results in the youngsters deviating from the right path and indulging in some unwanted and undesired habits. Before becoming victims of ill-directed lust, it is better for them to get married and settle down. Therefore, the leaders of Islam have advised their followers to follow this most important Sunnah. As the Holy Prophet (SAW) states:
"O youths, whosoever among you can marry, he should do so because marriage protects your eyes (from indulging in sin by looking lustfully at others in privacy." (Makaarimul Akhlaq).
Imam Sadiq (AS) narrates that one day the Holy Prophet (SAW) went on the pulpit and said, "O people, Jibraeel has brought unto me a divine command stating that girls are like fruits from a tree. If they are not plucked in time then they get rotten by the rays of the sun and a slight blow of the wind will result in their falling down from the tree. Similarly, when girls attain maturity, then like other women they develop emotions related to sex and there is no cure for it except her husband. If they are not married, prevention of character corruption becomes a remote possibility because after all they are human beings and no human is free from vice." (Furoo-e-Kafi, Vol 5, Pg 337).
In yet another tradition from Mustadrakul Wasail it is narrated that "When a youngster marries early in his youth, Shaitaan cries out of desperation and says, Alas! This person has protected one third of his religion, now he will protect the remaining two thirds also."
Imam Sadiq (as) narrates from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) that he said, "Those believers who marry, protect half of their religion from danger." In yet another tradition, Imam Sadiq (as) says, "Two Rak’as of a married person is better than seventy Rak’as of an unmarried one." (Wasailush Shia, Vol 5, Pg 1)
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) once said, "Whoever marries, protects half of his religion, then for the remaining half he must only fear God." (La'alil Akhbar).
The sixth Imam, Imam Sadiq (as) says, "A sleeping married man is better than a fasting unmarried man." (La'alil Akhbar).
The Messenger of Islam (S.A.W.) said, "Do not marry a woman for the following four reasons: Wealth, beauty, ancestry and lust. It is obligatory upon you to marry a woman on account of her religion." (Jaame ul Akhbar).
In yet another tradition, the Messenger of Islam (S.A.W.) has prohibited his followers from marrying a beautiful woman from a disgraceful background. (Bihar ul Anwar, Vol 23, Pg 54).
To get a good, modest and chaste spouse is among the good fortunes of a person according to the leaders of Islam and is also considered as one of the sources by which the religion of a person can be protected. They have conveyed this message quite often that the worship of a married person is much more significant and important before Allah than that of a bachelor or a spinster.
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) says: "Among the good fortunes of a man is to have a good wife." (Furoo-e-Kafi, Vol. 5, Pg. 327).