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Last Updated: 2010/09/05
Summary of question
Why does a person let someone-other than Allah- occupy his heart by marriage, while it is only Allah who is worthy of being loved?
Why does one let someone-other than Allah- occupy his heart by marriage, while it is only Allah who is worthy of being loved?
Concise answer

In man's course towards Allah, not only isn't marriage considered an obstacle, but in fact can be a means of help too, meaning that marriage is not in contradiction with the love of Allah. Marriage does not mean to get attached to a love as great as the love of Allah, in fact it is a step that should be taken in the path of reaching the love of Allah.

Detailed Answer

People who are acquainted with Allah are not willing to let anyone else occupy their hearts. Because the Almighty says: "Allah has not made for any man two hearts in his chest" [1] . But we must understand that marriage is the decree of the very Lord whose love rests in the heart of man.  We must know that marriage is a step in the progression towards Allah and is not in contradiction with His love. Marriage does not mean to get attached to a love as great as the love of Allah, in fact it is a step that should be taken in the path of reaching the love of Allah.

Islam's opinion regarding Marriage:

Marriage is one of beauties of creation and is one of the definite customs and practices of all nations and people. In Islam, marriage is given much attention to and has been viewed from different perspectives, to the extent that nothing can substitute it. The actions and conduct of the Imams and luminaries of Islam that have the greatest appreciation of Islam strongly support this claim. We will explain Islam's opinion on marriage from two perspectives:

1- The importance of marriage:

Although marriage is not obligatory in Islam but it has been greatly emphasized and there are many Ahadith narrated from the prophet and the Imams regarding its importance.

Imam Baqir narrates a hadith in which the prophet said: "In Islam there is no relationship that Allah likes more than marriage." [2]

In another hadith Imam Sadiq narrates that Imam Ali said: "Get married, because the prophet of Islam said: "The one who likes to follow my Sunnah and lifestyle [should practice marriage], [because] marriage and choosing a spouse is part of my Sunnah and lifestyle." [3]

The issue of marriage is of such essence in Islam that getting married is considered to be equal to securing half of one's faith in some Ahadith. Through marriage one obtains half of his faith, [4] meaning that through marriage the character of a believer reaches a status in which he maintains half of his faith. It is mentioned in the ahadith that 2 rak'ats performed by a married individual is greater than 70 rak'ats performed by a single. [5]

All of this emphasis reflects the great importance and essence of marriage and forming a family in Islam, the very structure in which the foundations of a healthy and spiritual society must lay on. The same way Islam has emphasized on the concept of marriage, it has mentioned the guidelines regarding its formation, continuation and consolidation that must be taken into consideration. At the same time Islam has criticized remaining unmarried and single. During the advent of Islam, some of the Sahabah had made their wives unlawful to themselves and spent day and night worshipping Allah. Umm Salamah was informed through their wives and let the Prophet know.  The prophet promptly went to the Sahabah and said: "Do you stay away from women?!  I myself am married and don’t abstain from them…" [6]

All of this emphasis shows the greatness of such a relationship in Islam, causing the ulema (fuqaha) to issue the verdict of it being a Mustahab act.

2- The benefits of marriage in Islam:

Marriage has many  benefits that have been mentioned in the holy teachings of Islam; we will mention some of them:

A: The continuation of generations:

If marriage would cease to exist or notably declined, then the human race would gradually become extinct and the great human civilization would come to an end, naturally threatening the generation of pious individuals as well.

The Holy Prophet of Islam says: "Why doesn't the Mu’min get married in order to give birth to children that will fill the world with the word of لا اله الا الله”?" [7]

B: Peace of mind and mental balance:

One of the indisputable principles of psychology that Islam has paid attention to is the effect marriage can have on one's spiritual peace and calmness. In this regard the Quran says: "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that 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." [8] Also Imam Sadiq says: "No one has ever reached a greater benefit than the benefit of having a pious spouse that when laying eyes on her, he feels happy and glad and when he leaves her, the wife protects herself and his wealth/belongings." [9]

C: The Increase of blessing and sustenance

Contrary to the common superficial belief about how marriage equals the increase in dependants of an individual, entailing the division of one’s income, Islam views marriage as a means of blessing and increase of sustenance. The Almighty says: "Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace." [10]

Many ahadith have mentioned marriage as a means of the increase of sustenance.

The prophet of Islam said: "Get married because your sustenance will increase." [11]  The majority of people who have gotten married admit that despite some difficulties, their financial situations and welfare has improved in comparison to when they were single. Of course, there are always exceptions in social matters like these.

D: Satisfaction of the natural and instinctive needs of man:

Sexual desire towards the opposite sex is an innate feature of human beings that if dealt with too strictly or too freely, will cause many mental and physical damages. In order to satisfy this innate desire Islam has legislated and designated marriage. It is through marriage that both society will remain healthy and the instinctive desires of humans will be satisfied in an environment full of modesty and chastity.

As you have realized avoiding moral and sexual corruption is only one of the benefits of marriage while marriage has many positive effects and benefits that one should not deny oneself. Marriage also entails the development of one's character; development that can only be achieved through marriage. [12]

Knowing the important status of marriage in Islam one can conclude that in man's path towards Allah (swt), not only isn't marriage an obstacle, but it can even be a boost and means of help. Of course this is if marriage is viewed as a means of reaching the true loved one. Also after marriage one should be alert so that his love towards Allah does not fade away due to the busyness and difficulties and the ups and downs of life.  Instead he should plan for his spiritual growth and development. Marriage is virtually entering a new world with its own attractions; however we hope that by persevering in the path of Allah, you will be successful and victorious in this exam.

For more information you can refer to Questions: 5578 (website: 5856) (The Ways to Gain Allah’s Satisfaction),   106 (website: 1025) (The Ways to Be Loved by Allah) , 9342 (website: 9325) (Metaphorical Love and Reaching the Truth).

[1] Ahzab:4.

[2] Ameli, Sheikh Hurr, Wasa’el Al-Shia, vol. 20, pg. 13.

[3] Ibid, pg. 15.

[4] Ibid, p 17, The holy prophet said: "Whoever gets married has gained half of his religion (faith)".

[5] " وَ فِی الْخِصَالِ قَالَ قَالَ ع رَکْعَتَانِ یُصَلِّیهِمَا الْمُتَزَوِّجُ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ سَبْعِینَ رَکْعَةً یُصَلِّیهَا غَیْرُ مُتَزَوِّجٍ " Wasa’el Al-Shia, vol. 20, pg. 20.

[6] Ibid, pg. 21.

[7] Ibid, pg. 14.

[8] Rum:21.

[9] Wasael Al-Shia , vol. 20, pg. 20.

[10] Nur:32.

[11] Wasael Al-Shia, vol. 20, pg. 19.

[12] With help from Question 2478 (website: 2619).

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