Islamic Marriage Philosophy

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Quran gives its philosophy on Islamic Marriage as:

“And among His Signs is this that He created for you spouses of your own kind, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy for one another: verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (Quran 30:21)

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Marriage is an established foundation of society.

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How did it start?

There is no written record. However, the institution of marriage is found in the oldest recorded history of human beings. It involves the sexual relationship between a man and a woman which is socially and legally accepted.

But all marriages are not alike…

Name a society and you can identify a different mode of marriage. The degree of variation is so high that it is almost impossible to reach a single line definition of marriage. But most of the recognized marriages cause a family, destined to regenerate and create rights and obligations.

An Islamic Marriage is a marriage that is recognized by Quran and Sharia law as valid. Like other issues, Muslims are not agreed on one mode of Islamic marriage. Different cultures have been allowing different kinds of marriage contracts without bothering too much about the real philosophy of Islamic marriage. There is no ambiguity in Quran but in the practice and Muslim Marriage jurisprudence.

Islamic Marriage by Quran

Quran claims to be a complete system of life. Most of its content focuses on major principles relating to different issues of society. It is helpful for individuals but important for a family and a must for a society to be called a real Muslim society. It is natural for such a code to illustrate its philosophy about Islamic marriage, as being the first step towards building a Muslim society. Why not repeat the Quranic philosophy here?

“And among His Signs is this that He created for you spouses from amongst yourselves, that you 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.” (Quran 30:21)

Purpose of an Islamic Marriage

The main purpose of a Muslim marriage is to generate a family where you can abode with your spouse in tranquility. Tranquility is a wider term and includes physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual issues.

Why?

An Islamic marriage is not just a legal way to reproduce human beings and meet sexual desires. God intends the Muslims to develop a society where every member dwells in peace and tranquility to develop their hidden potential.

In the same verse, Quran mentions two tools to achieve this goal of overall tranquility; ‘Muaddah’ (love) and ‘Rahmah’ (mercy). Both resources are mutual…

Mutual Love

Quran uses the word ‘Muaddah’ which generally stands for attraction and love. However, ‘Wad’ means a nail that joins two things to mutually strengthen each other.

The same thing in real life, men and women in wedlock are considered two wheels of a vehicle. The word ‘Muaddah’ may be equated to a vehicle tool that joins both vehicles to strengthen each other.

However, most of the English translations of Quran define it as love. What is love? Bertrand Russell defines love as:

“Love at its fullest is an indissoluble combination of the two elements, delight and well-wishing…Delight without well-wishing may be cruel; well-wishing without delight easily tends to become cold and a little superior.” (Why I am not a Christian)

Hence any Islamic marriage involves mutual love!

Mutual Mercy

Quran uses the word ‘Rahmah’ which is mentioned as ‘mercy’ in most of the English translations of Quran. However, ‘mercy’ badly fails to communicate what Quranic word ‘Rahmah’ delivers.

The word ‘Rahmah’ is derived from the toot ‘Rhm’ and stands for an act that is done to fulfill the external or internal deficiency of the spouse whenever it is required to be done.

It is not surprising that the womb of a mother is called ‘Rhm’. A child in the womb gets everything which is necessary for the full development of a child. It is free from the mother and failure may result in a miscarriage.

Furthermore, God declares himself as ‘Raheem’ and ‘Rehman’. The words ‘Merciful’ and ‘Beneficent’ in English translations of Quran fail to deliver the real sense of the words. However, God declares himself ‘Rab’ (developer) of all worlds with these two qualities.

The universe started with a big bang, transitioned into plasma, converted into energy, yielded protons, electrons and neutrons, and a complex set of natural laws started ruling cause and action. Then creation of mass, stars, earth, and heavens led to life and human society on earth. This could not happen without God’s ‘Rhm’. He provided whatever was required, free of cost to the universal system.

The use of the word ‘Rahmah’ at other places in Quran further illustrates the real meaning. In one glance God says that it is His duty to provide everything that is required:

“Your Lord hath inscribed for Himself ‘Rahmah’.” (Quran 6:54)

In another place Quran terms Quran ‘Rahmah’:

“We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur’an that which is a healing and a ‘Rahmah’ to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss.” (Quran 17:82)

Yet at another glance, Quran terms the last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as ‘Rahmah’:

“We sent thee not, but as a ‘Rahmah’ for all creatures.” (Quran 21:107)

These verses prove that the word ‘Rahmah’ should not be taken in the meaning of mercy. The word can only be explained in the light of Quranic philosophy.

Therefore, Quran explains that Allah has created love that both spouses feel and that love is in a form of mercy and sympathy to one another.