Marriage in the Qur’an
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“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect”
“O Humans revere your Guardian Lord, Who created you from a single person created of like nature its mate, and from this scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence Allah through whom you claim your mutual rights”
The above verses of the Qur’an lay out the framework as to what are the foundations and the objectives regarding the goal of marriage in Islam.
In the ultimate wisdom of Allah SWT we are first told that both men and women are created from the same soul and come from the same source. This equality of creation is then presented as an important sign of Allah on which believers should reflect.
The fact that we come from the same soul signifies our equality as humans. Therefore, when the essence of our creation is the same, the argument of which gender is better or greater is redundant. The fact that Allah SWT stresses on this fact, and then mentions the institution of marriage in the same verse is of great significance for those of us who are in the field of marriage counseling.
An attitude of inequality of genders causes an imbalance in marital relationships and leads to dysfunctional marriages. Whenever one partner considers himself superior to the other or above the law, there is a shift in the balance of power that may lead to misuse or abuse of power. Since the less valuable partner is seen as an easy prey. Many marital difficulties are based on or caused by a control and rule stratagem.
By stressing on the equality of all humans- men and women, and making this the basis of marriage, Allah SWT in infinite wisdom has laid the ground rules for establishing peace. Additionally, the assignment of different but complimentary roles to husband and wife are established more for a functional strategy, rather than a question of the competence of each gender.
Prophet Mohammad SAAW has stated that: “men and women are twin halves of each other”. This hadith also emphasizes the fact that men and women are created from a single source. Furthermore, by using the analogy of “twin halves” the prophet has underlined the reciprocal and interdependent nature of the relationship between men and women in general.
The objective and goal of marriage in Islam according to the above Qur’anic verses is to enable us to dwell in peace and tranquility. It is important for us to reflect on these words and their significance in the Islamic frame of reference. In order to have peace, certain conditions must be met. The prerequisites to peace are justice, fairness, equity, equality, and fulfillment of mutual rights. Therefore any injustice whether it is oppression or persecution, cannot be tolerated if there is to be peace in Muslim homes.
In the domestic realm, oppression is manifested when the process of shura (consultation) is compromised, neglected, or ignored. For example, when one partner (in most cases the husband) makes unilateral decisions and applies a dictatorial style of leadership, the family’s peace is compromised.
Persecution is also present when there is any form of domestic abuse being perpetrated by either partner – be it verbal, mental, spiritual, or physical. A Muslim home should be an abuse and violence free zone.
In contrast, tranquility is a state of being which is achieved when peace has been established. Tranquility is compromised when there is tension, stress, and anger present. It is important to note that tranquility does not mean perpetual state of bliss. Being Muslim does not make us immune to tragedies and catastrophes in fact Allah SWT tells us in the Qur’an that we will be tried. The blessing of tranquility is that it empowers us to handle life’s difficult moments with our spouses as obedient and grateful servants of Allah.
Allah SWT in His infinite mercy in the same verse also provides us with the tools by which we can achieve this state of peace and tranquility. The second principle besides shura on which a Muslim family life is based is mercy (rahma). Allah SWT is telling us that He has placed mercy between spouses. We are therefore inclined by our very nature to have mercy for our spouses.
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