The View of Matrimony in the Holy Quran and Hadith
The Holy Verse reads:
Let him who has abundance, spend of his abundance, and he whose provision is measured, let him spend of that which Allah hath given him. Allah asketh naught of any soul save that which He hath given it. Sura Al Talaaq 65:07
This verse pertains to the lives of human beings and this verse is also about wives. Men and women are absolutely natural and essential for each other, in the same way that bread and water are essential. If a person cannot acquire these essentials on his own, others must assist him. Since the sexual instinct is different from other human instincts, the Holy Quran has a specific and distinct commandment about it:
And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maidservants. If they be poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty. Allah is of ample means, Aware. Sura Noor 32
The importance of matrimony in the society is stressed in this verse. Here the word ‘ankihu’, meaning marry, is used in a collective sense hinting at the importance of matrimony in the society. It is the responsibility of the parents to get their young ones married. If the parents don’t have the means, then the Islamic government must discharge this duty. If it is unable to do so, the society has to bear this responsibility. Quran says that the society has to take the responsibility of helping the poor boys and girls marry. It also says that people should have faith in Allah that after matrimony they will flourish. If you trust in Allah, and believe Him to be the Sustainer, then marry and do not worry unduly about the future!
If your trust in Allah is firm, if you work hard enough, if you follow the commandments of Islam, then fear of poverty should not worry you. Another verse of the Quran exhorts the society to help remove the poverty and penury of individuals. It urges people to help each other in the society. Particularly in the matter of matrimony, the Quran exhorts the society to help those young boys and girls marry, who don’t have the means to meet the expenses of marriage.
Matrimony in the Light of Tradition
The author of Wasail is one person who has a right over the Mumineen in general and the Maraji’ in particular. In his invaluable book he has recorded almost six thousand traditions. He has recorded traditions that say that there is great felicity for the person who helps a young man get a bride or helps a young girl get married. When one reads these traditions, one feels as if there can be no felicity greater than this.
It is narrated from Imam Musa ibn Jafar (a.s.) that on the Day of Reckoning three types of persons will be under the shade of the Firmament. One of the groups will consist of the persons who helped someone to marry. In this tradition the Imam (a.s.) says that on the Day of Judgment Allah will grant such persons with His Blessings. Wasail al-Shia, Vol 14, Page 27
Similar traditions are recorded in other chapters of the book too. The author has recorded more than twenty such traditions. One such tradition is:
“Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) said that a person came to his revered father. The Imam (a.s.) asked him, “Do you have a spouse?” The person replied in the negative. (I mention this especially for the benefit of those young girls and boys who can marry, but won’t) Then the Imam (a.s.) said, “If Allah gives me whatever is there on the earth and asks me to remain without a wife, I would turn down the offer!” Here ‘whatever is on earth’ does not mean millions of dollars, it means the earth and all that it contains. The Imam is addressing girls as well as boys that if Allah gives him the earth and all that it contains, but if he is without a spouse even for one night, this wealth has no value. Then the Imam said to that person, “Let me tell you the difference between those who have spouses and those who don’t. If a married man or woman offers two rakaat of prayer, it is more felicitous than the worship of an unmarried person, who prays at night and fasts during the day.”
It is narrated from the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s) that no house is liked more by Allah than that which is built on the foundation of matrimony. This tradition points to a very special fact. The fact is that when you get a young girl and a young boy married, you are helping to make a home! What is more felicitous - making a home or making a mosque or a school? The Holy Prophet (s) says that when young couples marry and make their homes, it is definitely more felicitous!
There are several other traditions stressing the importance of matrimony in Islam. The least reward is stated in the tradition which says that when a married man or woman offers the morning prayers, a reward of forty rakaats is entered in their record of deeds. It means that the rewards for all the prayers offered by married persons are enhanced 70 times! This is the importance of matrimony in Islam.
To the contrary, about those young men and women who can marry but won’t marry, the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s.) have made the following observation: The lowest of the men are those who die single.
There are several other such traditions that severely condemn men and women remaining unmarried. I am not recounting them here because they can cause a feeling of depression in the minds of the audience! If the readers wish to know more about these, they may refer to Volume 16 of Wasail al Shia.
The sayings of the Holy Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s.) are no exaggerations. The Shias of the Ahl al Bayt have a special belief. Their belief is that all the Divine Commandments are based on attaining certain advantages (Masaleh) and avoiding certain evils (Mafasid). If Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) has given certain orders, it follows that there must be some reason for it. If Imam Baqir (a.s.) has asked men to refrain from certain things, there must be something negative in them. This is a confirmed belief of the Shias.