27 May 2008

If one chooses not to marry or is unable to get married In Islam

Islam is a flexible religion but has its boundaries; its flexibility allows one to adopt it as a way of life and implement its teachings into every situation; whereas its boundaries restrict man from becoming too engrossed into certain acts and therefore becoming extreme in following their desires. Flexibility and boundaries set by Islam have created a perfect balance for man to achieve good both in this world and the hereafter, it is a balance that allows man to be successful in both the worlds.

Marriage also has boundaries and flexibilities; it is a matter which has been regarded as half of one's Imaan (religion). Marriage is taken seriously in Islam as it allows people to live in a clean and moral society where desires are fulfilled in a human and shameful manner. It is an act that increases the number of believers and will cause our beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم to be proud by having the largest number of believers.

The Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم has clearly forbidden people from celibacy:

"There is no celibacy in Islam"
(Sahih al-Bukhari)

However, in life it is not always possible to adopt the Sunnah act of marriage. There come in life situations that restrict that do not allow one to get married.

Therefore, it is necessary to mention the ruling of marriage; is it Mustahab (desired /recommended), Sunnah (way of the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم, therefore encouraged), Wajib/Fardh (obligatory).

Similarly, there will be times when marriage will be ruled as Makrooh (disliked) or Haraam (forbidden).

At this time we will deal with those rulings that concern that person who chooses not to marry or does not have the means to.

According to Imams Abu Hanifah marriage is Sunnah and recommendatory. It is an act of worship and one should strive in fulfilling this act. However, if one is in a position where he cannot control his desires then it is Wajib (necessary) for such a person to get married as he will not be able to save himself from sinning.

However, a person is excused from marrying, so much so that he should refrain from it, if he does not possess the means of supporting his wife or the capability of fulfilling her rights.

The question remains for that person who wishes to marry but does not possess the means, what should he do? Hadhrat 'Abdullah رضي الله عنه narrates that:
"We were with the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم while we were young and had no wealth whatsoever. So Allah's Apostle صلي الله عليه و سلم said, "O young people! Whoever amongst you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty, and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting is a shield for him (from desires)." (Sahih al-Bukhari)

In this Hadeeth it is clearly mentioned that one who cannot marry should fast as the fasting will act as a shield for him from his desires. However, whilst doing this one should make an effort to resolve the matters that are stopping him from marrying.

As a final note, it should be remembered that not being financially able and being in a position to provide for one’s wife means the basic essentials that are necessary. Having an elegant and extravagant wedding and inviting people is not part of ‘essentials’ and is in actual fact totally discouraged and forbidden in Islam. However, in today’s society we see people going to the extent of taking out loans to organise a ‘wedding to remember.

Insha Allah this topic will be mentioned in later posts and how choosing the correct partner will save one from committing such a grave sin from the first day of such a blessed and auspicious act of worship.

May Allah give us all the courage and strength to save ourselves from the sins of desires and may He also give those people who are in need of marriage the means and a pious partner. Aameen.