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« on: May 19, 2010 03:20 AM »

Is Marriage Sinful?
Understanding Mutual Responsibilities
Faraz Rabbani

(Originally published in Islamica Magazine)

At a recent dinner invitation, I noticed that most of those present had business relationships with each other. I feared that if there wasn’t some radical intervention, the conversation would center on things like guerilla marketing and such—not my cup of tea. So I decided to say something radical, hoping to shift the flow of conversation to human relationships instead. I said, “You know, I think that it is haram for many people to marry.”
Heads turned very fast. Some asked me whether I’d lost my mind. Others simply asked me what I meant.

I wasn’t joking, I said. No, I was very serious.

Many people fall into sin by marrying. Why? Because they enter marriage without understanding the serious responsibility that marriage entails. Then they fail to fulfill their duty as husband or wife, and end up wronging their spouse. Such failure is sinful, even if one’s spouse is similarly remiss.

This returns to an important principle in the Shari‘a that hurting another is worse than hurting oneself. In fact, you have the full right to hurt yourself—in effect, you have the right to go to Hell, if you so wish. However, you have absolutely no right to hurt another—whether materially, emotionally, or in any other way. In marriages, spouses do amazing things to hurt each other, both directly and indirectly—through remissness in fulfilling their rights; and through simple inability to maintain a healthy marital relationship.

So, what can be done about it? The answer to this returns to individuals, parents, and society at large. As individuals, we have to develop an understanding of the keys to healthy human relationships in general and healthy marriages in parti-cular—before and after marriage. Parents have to inculcate an understanding in their children, especially in the later teen years and after, of good character, of taking the rights of others seriously, and of how to maintain strong relationships. With that, as parents we ourselves have a duty to be examples of successful marital life for our children. In society, we have a communal responsibility to raise awareness of what is needed to make marriages work—practical manner, not just through yet more lecturing on “The Importance of Early Marriage,” because early marriage without sufficient preparedness is as likely to fail as late marriage, if not more.

We need to train our community leaders, imams, and activists in marriage counseling. Seminars and programs must be held within the community for those seeking to get married and for those married. Trained counseling and suitable literature needs should be made available in accessible ways for those married, especially for those having trouble in their marriages.

People have to be made aware of the (often many) resources available in the wider society on marriage. Often, Muslims are wary of going outside the community for counseling (and yet fail to find capable counseling within the community). We need develop lists of reliable counseling services—services that uphold the core marital values Muslims hold dear (and which they fear for when seeking outside counseling). Likewise, there is a lot of good literature on marriage that those marrying and married should seriously consider reading.
As Dr. Ibrahim Kreps and other leading Muslim counselors concur, one of the very best books on marriage is John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. This or similar books give practical guidance on improving marriage relationships in our times.

With this, as Muslims we have to look at the radiant example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself. He reminded us that, “The best of you are those best to their spouses, and I am the best of you to their spouse” (Tirmidhi, on the authority of ‘A’isha, God be pleased with her)). We should look regularly and with reflection at the life and example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), as these give us beautiful examples and clear principles on how to have a successful marriage built on the Qur’anic paradigm of love and mercy, and of striving to live together with a mutual commitment to excellence in dealings.



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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2010 10:09 AM »


This article went around awhile ago I think someone posted it here. As to what ppl think about it don't know. Generic advice about being prepared before marriage, needing more marriage counselors in the community all good, but to make something "haram" for ppl seems kind of out there. He is a shaykh tho so I'm sure he knows that.

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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010 12:23 AM »

I actually came across something like this in Ghazzali's Book on the etiquettes of marriage. http://www.ghazali.org/works/marriage.htm

I was absolutely shocked when I read it. I'd always seen marriage as a strong sunnah of the Prophet (SAW), to the extent that he even rebuked his companions for refusing to marry, (to not sleep and to continuously fast).

<begin quote>
Abu Sulayman al-Darani48 was asked about marriage, and he said, “To abstain is better than to endure them [women], and to endure them is better than to suffer hellfire.” He also said, “The single man will find in the pleasures of work and in the emptiness (faragh) of the heart that which the family man cannot find.” He once said, “I have not seen any of our companions who married and was able to retain firmly his first rank (martabah).”49 He also said, “He who seeks the following three is inclined toward the world: he who seeks a living, or who marries a woman, or who transcribes a hadith.”
<end quote>

However,  I still see marriage as one of the best things that a Muslim man can do. Every action of yours is magnified in the resulting hasanat (if done properly), and you receive blessing for feeding/taking care of/entertaining your wife and kids... and this is an opportunity to please Rasul'Allah on the day of judgment when he will look with pride at the numbers of the people in his Ummah.

It transforms fitnah into sadaqah (yes, even sex!).

Most of us cannot go wrong in getting married (to the right person insha'Allah).. however, those who cannot get married should take solace in the fact that in the next world, everyone will have companions. There are no single people in the Gardens...

May Almighty Allah give those of us who are married sakina in their homes, and wonderful children who follow the path of Islam with taqwa, and He make those of who are not married among those who find their soul-mates (amen).

- Shahzad
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010 03:15 AM »


I have a question...what if you were doing things the right way by getting Nikkah done with ur lover but ur parents do not agree not one bit and tried to push u into force marriage...so i went and got nikkah done without my parents but the guy i married his mum was present and 2 witnesses and the imaam who performed the Nikah...my parents basically took us to this place in pakistan..(a religious man who reads things on u to manipulate ur mind) an act of magic maybe? i dont know...i need help coz is my Nikah still valid? because ma parents wanted me to marry my cousin so he could come overseas and benifit his family with wealth? andd another Question if ur parents are very unreasonable with you if u are a little disobediant do i get sin?
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010 12:42 PM »


Ziajan, being disobedient to your parents is sinful. However they should not be forcing you to marry someone you do not wish to marry.

OK this is something you have not asked, however you're going to get advice on it. And remember I am older and seen a bit more of life. If you are in the west, I strongly advise you get married in a registry ASAP, you may be islamically married but in the west that is not recognised until you sign a legal document and register your marriage.

I've seen lots of girls get burned this way, they do nikah because their parents disapprove, then they end up out on the streets with several kids in tow whilst their 'husbands' go and properly marry other girls. Register you marriage immediately.

BTW I always thought nikah's of young girls were only valid if they had a wali present. If you did not have any family present who was your wali?


And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2010 02:21 AM »

Assalamalaikum Ziajin,
Fozia has given you excellent advice. You should get the marriage registered properly ASAP. This is assuming that you are both committed to this marriage. It would definitely protect you, and would be the honorable thing to do. Otherwise you have no legal protection, which puts you in a VERY vulnerable position.

Also, AFAIK, in Islam there is also no such thing as a secret marriage. One of the conditions of marriage is that it needs to be announced (as far as I know). Also, for previously unmarried women, there is the requirement for a wali. This can be waived in certain madhabs in certain circumstances, but the conditions for this waiver requires that the wali is supporting something against Islam (such as forcing you to marry someone against your will, etc).

However, your circumstances are quite complicated. It really all depends on the intentions that you and the gentleman you married have (I notice that you do not refer to him as your husband). If you want to make this work, you need commitment, and you need do things legally, and have to talk to your parents (gently ideally, with respect).

I wish there was more I could say, but it would be dangerous for me to speculate with incomplete information, and without knowing your parent's point of view, and that of the other gentleman.

Also, you may want to consider how long your 'marriage with the cousin overseas' would last if he came to know about the first marriage.

I've always found in life that doing things in secret lead to problems. Hence I suppose the prohibition about a man and woman being alone in a room.

May Almighty Allah make it easy for you and all involved. Remember, your parents always want what is best for you. They would never put someone else's interest higher than yours. You need to trust them, and get them on your side. I pray that they decide to support and bless your marriage and make dua for you.

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