Islam stands for peace. Ahmadiyya Muslim community presents the real picture of Islam.

The true victory of Islam, as is evident from the word 'Islam' (submission) itself, lies in our complete surrendering our selves to God and freeing ourselves of our egos and our passions. No idol, whether it is the idol of our desires, our our intentions, or the idol of creature worship, should stand in our way, and we should submit ourselves entirely to the will of God. After reaching this state of Fana (self-annihilation), we will attain baqa (the life of eternity) which will give our eyes a new light, our minds a new passion; and we will become a wholly new being and the same Eternal God will become for us a new God. This is the true victory, and one aspect of it is Divine ammunion.(the green announcement p. 28)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Marriage in Islam

Ata Ullah Kaleem
The Review of Religions, November
In the beginning I am presenting
below the English translation of the
Arabic sermon which is delivered on
the occasion of the solemnization of a
Muslim marriage:
All praise is due to God! We laud Him,
we beseech help from Him and ask His
forgiveness. We confide in Him; we
trust in Him alone; and we seek
protection with Allah against the evils
and mischief of ourselves and from the
vices of our deeds.
Whomsoever God guideth to the right
path none can misguide him; and
whomsoever He declares misled none
can guide him unto the right path; and
we bear witness that none is worthy
of worship but God. He is alone and
has no partner and we bear witness
that Muhammad is His Servant and
This is followed by the recitation of the
following verses from the Holy Quran:
O ye people ! fear your Lord who
created you from a single soul and of
its kind created its mate, and from
them twain spread many men and
women; and fear ALLAH, in Whose
name you appeal to one another, and
fear him particularly respecting ties of
kinship. Verily ALLAH watches over
you ( 4:2)
O ye who believe ! Fear ALLAH and say
the straightforward word.
HE will set right you actions for you
and forgive you your sins. And whoso
obeys ALLAH and HIS Messenger shall,
surely, attain a supreme triumph
O ye who believe ! be mindful of your
duty to ALLAH and let every soul look
to what it sends forth for the morrow.
And fear ALLAH, verily, ALLAH is Well-
Aware of what you do. ( 59:19)
I would like to give an outline of
marriage in Islam. First, however it is
essential to know in what esteem
woman is held in Islamic society and
what rank she has been favoured with
by Islam and by its Holy Founder
Muhammad (peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him).
To deal with this important subject I
shall keep myself confined to the Holy
Quran and the sayings of the Holy
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah
be upon him), as interpreted by the
Reformer of the age, Hazrat Mirza
Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of the
Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. It is
indeed a matter of primary importance
that eveyone who believes in any
sacred scriptures as the revealed Word
of God should not, in expounding the
doctrines of that religion, go out of the
Holy Book or depend upon arguments
other than those which that book
furnishes. Such a limitation would go
far to simplify any dissertation upon a
religion. It is the religion of Islam
which confers such rights on women
and not the society which has
afterwards been evolved by it as is the
case with other religions. Islam is
unique in this respect by endowing a
woman with equal rights and placing
her on the same level as man. The Holy
Quran says in this regard:
And ALLAH has made for you mates
from among yourselves.... ( 16:73)
This verse shows that the Holy Quran
has given the same status to men and
women as it says that they are both
from the same origin and due to this
fact women should not be looked
down upon men as lower creatures.
Consequently they should not be dealt
with harshly and roughly, rather men
should deal with them in a very mild
and soft manner. The Holy Prophet
Muhammad (peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him) has been reported
to have said that women should be
taken care of as some one takes care
of glass products. Glass is liable to
break very easily if it is not treated
carefully. Men must follow therefore,
be careful not to injure the delicacy of
women because therein lies their
beauty. The Holy Quran declares in
another verse:
....And they (the women) have rights
similar to those (of men) over them in
equity; but men have a degree of
advantage above them.... ( 2:229)
From this verse it can be easily
deduced that as far as rights are
concerned, women are equal with
men but as the whole responsibility,
according to Islam, of affording the
household amenities rests with man
therefore he has a rank above them in
this respect.
The teachings of Islam make women
eligible to inheritance and accordingly
they receive their due share as
prescribed by the Islamic law. A
woman is entitled to individual
ownership of property as a mother, as
a wife, as a daughter, and as a sister.
In the words of an American Justice
Pierrs Craibites:
Muhammad 1300 years ago assured
to the mothers, wives and daughters
of Islam, the rank and dignity not yet
generally assured to the women by
the West
The Holy Prophet exalted the
intellectual and spiritual status of
women and said that the acquisition of
knowledge is an incumbent duty to
every Muslim male and female. The
Holy Prophet of Islam knew the
essential part women had to play in
the development of society, so he laid
great stress on the upbringing of girls
by saying:
A man who has three daughters and
brings them up and educates them to
the best of his capacity shall be entitled
to paradise
Regarding their spiritual status the
Holy Quran says:
Whoso acts righteously, whether male
or female and is a believer, WE will
surely grant him a pure life; and WE
will surely bestow on such their
reward according to the best of their
works ( 16:98)
In view of such ideal teachings
concerning the fair sex how absurd is
the assertion that according to Islam a
woman has no soul.
Turning to marriage in Islam, it is first
of all very important to know what is
the real aim of marriage in Islam. If we
understand it thoroughly, we would
then certainly try to acheive it. The
Holy Quran says:
And of HIS Signs is that HE has created
wives for you from among yourselves
that you may find peace of mind in
them, and HE has put love and
tenderness between you. In that,
surely, are Signs for a people who
reflect (30:22)
HE it is Who created you from a single
soul and made therefrom its mate, that
he might find comfort in her. ( 7:190)
These verses signify that marriage is
meant for the attainment of peace of
mind and mutual love and affection.
Allah has also said that marriage is the
means of attaining piety and of
guarding one's chastity. He says:
....They are a sort of garment for you
and you are a sort of garment for
them.... ( 2:188)
The Arabic word `libas' (garment)
means a thing which covers another
thing. And according to the Holy
Quran, a garment serves a threefold
purpose: Allah says:
O children of Adam, WE have indeed
send down to you raiment to cover
you nakedness and to be a means of
adornment... ( 7:27)
And then He says:
....HE has made for you garments
which protect you from heat, and
coats of mail which protect you in your
wars.... ( 16:82)
Another use of our dress is that it
provides protection against heat and
cold. Since the Holy Quran has used
the word 'garment' in respect of both
the husband and wife, it proves
beyond any shadow of doubt that
they hold an equal status; their rights
and duties are identical in respect of
each other; and both are bound to
fulfil their obligations to each other.
When God declares each of them to be
a garment for the other, He wishes it
be known how they should discharge
their duties towards each other which
are as follows:
1. To cover up one another's
weaknesses and shortcomings from
2. To act as an adornment and
embellishment for one another.
3. Just as clothes protect us from the
severity and inclemency of the
weather, so in the same way the wife
and the husband should stick fast to
each other through thick and at no
time should they fall apart in adverse
circumstances. Each should serve as a
rock of support to the other.
According to the Islamic point of view,
marriage is not an ordinary
combination of two opposite sexes,
nor is it only to quench one's sexual
desires. It is rather holy reunion of two
inevitable life companions on whose
virtues or vices lies the prosperity or
the disaster of human society.
Marriage in Islam means laying the
foundation of a fabric from which
emerges a benevolent and beneficial
society and therefore it enjoins upon
every Muslim to marry. The first thing
in this respect is that what the Holy
Prophet Muhammad (peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him) has
O company of the youth! he who can
afford to marry should marry, for it
keeps the eyes cast down and keeps
the man chaste; and he who cannot
afford to marry should take to fasting
for it will have a sobering effect upon
According to this tradition it is quite
clear that the purpose of marriage in
Islam, as far as society is concerned, is
to keep society chaste, healthy and
pure from grossness and immorality. A
man who can afford to marry and yet
he refrains to marry must definitely be
led to immorality and will be a
nuisance to society which we today
observe clearly as due to the so-called
modern civilization. On the other hand
when one is already married one
would remain content and would not
loiter about but would lead a pleasant
family life.
The second thing that Islam says in
this regard is that marriage has its
lasting effects. Primarily it affects the
lives of two persons and then comes
the question of family and children. As
long as the man is responsible for the
maintenance of the family and children
he will be forced to be away from the
house for considerable periods of time
and so the children would not be
properly looked after and trained. The
responsibility of their well-being and
training has therefore been laid upon
the woman by Islam. If the woman is
chaste, pious, and religious, she would
bring up the children in a well trained
manner and thus the society emerging
from these children would be highly
moral and respectable. For this
purpose the Holy Prophet of Islam
A woman is married for four things:
(1) for her wealth; (2) for nobility of
her family; (3) for her beauty and (4)
for her (good) character, so attain
success with one possessing good
It is evident from this tradition that
Islamic marriage is based upon the
betterment of the society and
therefore the Holy Prophet of Islam left
no stone unturned and let no
opportunity go in this respect.
Consequently he said: bring up the
society pure, religious and
straightforward the Holy Quran
enjoins upon its followers that they
should not marry idolaters because by
doing so the purity of the worship of
God would be adversely affected and
the coming generations would
become irreligious and estranged
from God hence influencing their
strength of character and poluting
their religious feelings and leading
them astrays. The Holy Quran says:
And marry not idolatrous women until
they believe; even a believing bond
women is better than an idolatress,
although she may please you. And
give not believing women in marriage
to idolaters until they believe; even a
believing slave is better than an
idolater, although he may please
you.... ( 2:222)
It is clear from this verse that Islam
demands a purely religious and moral
society in which there would be no
godlessness and immorality. The main
object of Islam is that purity and piety
should be imbibed in the practice of
Muslim to such an extent that their
characters would become impeccable
and faultless.
One of the greatest causes of
immorality is secret relationship
between men and women and then
the grave consequences which cause
confliction, collision, and ultimately
separation. To nip the evil in its very
bud, the Holy Prophet of Islam said:
No marriage is legal without the
permission of the guardian.
This saying of the Holy Prophet shows
that unless the would-be couple is
known to the guardian (who is father
and in his absence uncles and
brothers respectively, or when all the
legal guardians are absent, then the
qazi (the judge) and unless the
marriage tie is agreed upon by them
the marriage is not valid.
In Islam when the agreement is
reached and when all conditions of
marriage are settled, then an
announcement is to be made in the
mosque or in court before a group of
Muslims so that they may stand as
witness that this marriage is legal and
all its natural consequences are
The other reasons in the background
of this announcement are that should
there arise any dispute for which there
is no solution except separation, or a
child is born and the husband denies
its legitimacy, or any other danger
arises, then, if the announcement has
not been made and both of them had
relations secretly, there is the fullest
possibility that the woman would be
deprived of her legal rights. She can be
denied the maintenance for her child;
she can be deprived of her personal
living or she can have her property
given to her by her husband as there
stands no witness to support her
cause. To safeguard the rights of
women, Islam makes its necessary to
have the marriage tie announced
before a group of people so that in
case of such misunderstanding or
crisis there would be witnesses and
the woman could not be deprived of
her rights.
It should be borne in mind that Islam
does not allow a guardian to force his
ward to accept his choice. The Holy
Prophet of Islam is reported to have
The widow shall not be married until
she is consulted and the virgin shall
not be married until her consent is
Since man has been made responsible
for providing sustenance for his wife
and is her guardian and protector, it
has been made compulsory for him to
pay a dowry to his wife as a token of
acknowledgement of her role which
she has taken upon herself to play as
wife. God says in the Holy Quran: And
for the benefit you receive from them
(women) give them their dowries.
(4:25) There are cases, however,
where husbands grudge this
payment. Allah commands that the
dowry must be paid cheerfully and
with good grace. God says:
And give the women their dowries
willingly. But if they, of their own
pleasure, remit to you a part thereof,
then enjoy it as something pleasant
and wholesome.... ( 4:5)
There is a tendency of fixing large
dowries which in many cases leads to
misunderstandings and friction
between the two familites and
ultimately to the dissolution of the
marriage. Islam looks with disfavour
upon fixing large dowries except in
exceptional circumstances where it
cannot be helped, i.e. the necessity to
safeguard the bride's right of
inheritance. The Holy Prophet of Islam
has said:
Blessed is the marriage which comes
about with ease and entails no
hardship, it must not entail too heavy a
burden of expenses nor should the
dowry be too much for the
bridgegroom to pay.
As a matter of fact the amount of
dowry should be fixed according to
the financial standing of the
bridegroom and with the consent of
both parties. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin
Mahmood Ahmad, the second
sucessor to the Promised Messiah, was
of the opinion that the sum proposed
for dowry should range between the
bridegroom's income for six to twelve
months. He once said:
Those who fix large dowries, only for
show and fail to pay, are guilty of
committing a sin. The companions of
the Holy Prophet used to pay the
dowry money in advance. Hence, the
best thing is to pay it up in advance, if
possible. Dowry is, in fact, a debt owed
by the husband to his wife. (Alfazl
I will now proceed to explain the
rightful duties of the wife:
1. She has to look after the comfort of
her husband, give him due respect
and always have regard for his
2. She has to safeguard the honour of
her husband.
3. She has to be the guardian of the
property of her husband.
4. She has to rear and bring up their
children properly.
5. She should treat the relatives of her
husband as if they were her own
6. She should beautify herself for her
7. She should bear in mind the tastes of
her husband in the matter of food and
8. She should be ever mindful of her
husband's health.
9. She should give her most sincere
advice when her husband consults
her in any of his problems.
10. She should not make unfair and
unreasonable demands on the purse
of her husband.
11. She has to remain loyal to her
husband under all conditions and be a
source of strength to him in adverse
circumstances and stick fast to him
through thick and thin.
12. She should be careful that the dignity
and reputation of her husband are not
harmed by any of her actions.
13. Under all conditions her behaviour
should be conducive to peace and
tranquility in the house.
The rightful duties of the husband are:
1. He should respect and be very mindful
of the susceptibilities of his wife.
2. He should try to be a source of comfort
to his wife and behave in a manner
that convinces her that she alone is the
centre of his love and affection.
3. He should provide for all her
reasonable needs and keeping within
his means and should be disposed to
spending in that respect with an open
4. The husband should participate in the
management of the house by giving
hand in the household chores of his
5. He should look after her health and be
always anxious about it.
6. He should refrain from keeping a close
watch over every movement of his
wife as if he had no confidence in her
and thus making her life miserable.
7. He should always be disposed to
overlooking the minor shortcomings
of his wife and be generous in
forgiving and forgeting.
8. He should see that trifles do not lead to
a situation in which tempers are lost
and threats of divorce and separation
are pronounced.
9. He should shun every act or act which
is likely to displease or agonise his
10. The husband should display a sense
of utmost sympathy towards his wife
when she is in distress or has met with
some misfortune.
11. He should not object to his wife
meeting her relatives provided no
mischief is feared from their side. He
should also be respectful to them.
12. He should consult his wife in all family
matters of importance and handle the
situation as decided by mutual
13. If there are more wives than one, the
husband must treat them all as equal
in every respect, in dress, in food, in
living accomodation and in the
duration of his stay with each of them.
I am confident that the new couple in
particular and other Muslim brethren
in general will try their utmost to
maintain the rights of their spouses as
directed by the Holy Quran and the
Holy Prophet of Islam, thus making
their lives happy and successful.
Finally, I would like to advise new
wedded couple to repeat often the
following prayer in the Holy Quran:
And those who say, `Our Lord, grant
us of our wives and children the
delight of our eyes, and make us a
model for the righteous.' ( 25:75)

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