The spirit of marriage

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society Topics: Marriage Values: Love, Spirituality Views: 24972

The Prophet was once asked, "What is more important than prayer?" He replied, "The spirit of prayer" - the spirit that animates the prayer. He was asked what is more important than fasting - he replied, the spirit of fasting. For each question concerning an Islamic practice the answer was the same - because the spirit brings the action to life and unfolds its potentials. Without this animating spirit, the prayer is only movement, and the fasting only hunger. But when spirit enters, when a pure and concentrated intention enters, the action is transformed - the prayer gains the potential to become a miraj (an elevating spiritual journey), and the one fasting approaches towards the potential to witness laylatul qadr (the night of destiny - a night when blessings from the spiritual world descend to this world).

So what is more important than marriage? It is the spirit of marriage, the intention which underlies it, the treasures which it contains hidden within it but which must be brought out and realized by the married couple themselves.

The qur'an provides the signposts and way-marks for learning about this potential. It says: 

"It is He who created you from a single soul, And made its mate of like nature in order that you might dwell with her in love...." (Qur'an 7:189) So the male and female complete each other - together they make a single self and this is how they must strive to make their lives together - as if they are one being, one person, one spirit.

The Qur'an says: "Your wives are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them." (Qur'an 2:187) So a husband and wife complete each other - each one takes on a new aspect of their humanity, a new facet and depth to their personality by entering into marriage and this is symbolized in this verse. Garments also conceal the body and protect the wearer so that a husband and wife are each other's protectors and helpers and each of them safeguards their partner's honor shaping the state of marriage into a haven and a sanctuary where each should feel safe and secure, sheltered in one another's care and guardianship. 

The qur'an also says "And of everything we created a pair, that happily you may remember." (Qur'an 51:49) The word for spouse, "zawj", (this is the word that is used in the marriage ceremony, the Nikkah ceremony) - the word zawj literally means one part of a pair - and when the pair come together and act in concert with one another, then concealed potentials within them, potentials that were impossible to realize while they were apart make themselves evident. This is true throughout creation. And human marriage in the Qur'an is considered a reflection of a nature and tendency that exists at all levels of creation. When something is created as one part of a pair it is clearly incomplete without the other - as the Qur'an states, "He himself created the pair, male and female." (Qur'an 53:45)

The term nikkah which is used for marriage is also used figuratively to describe the coming together of various aspects of creation. For example it says, in the Qur'an, that "the rain married the soil" and then it describes how, from this intimate mingling, something new springs forth - that the earth brings forth flowers and herbage, it opens to new creations, new life, new potentials. So the act of marriage, the mingling through nikah, according to Islam, courses through all things, through all of creation. Each pair of the marriage brings something necessary and something unique to the marriage. The pairs are not identical but complimentary to one another and their unique qualities when they are mingled together produce that which neither one alone could produce.

So each individual of the pair undergoes change and transformation when they come together in marriage because marriage is an intimate mingling of the selves, the souls, the personalities and the beings of two individuals.

In human marriage the change takes place at many levels - from a change in lifestyle, to changes in behavior, to changes in the very soul of the person. And there must be that willingness, on the part of both individuals, to allow this unifying transformation to take place. To accept the self the way it is, is to lock oneself into stagnation and narrowness and to remain an individual - not part of an intimately joined pair. It is to limit and lock up the potential, the beauty and strength that is capable of emerging from the intimate unity made possible through marriage.

Since "God created everything in pairs", as it states in the Qur'an, and since He "created the male and the female from a single nature, from a single self", it is God that is the point of reference for the married pair. "He has set up the balance..." of all things, so He is to be looked for to set all things in the right equilibrium. If the two partners of a marriage set themselves in correct relation to God then certainly a perfect balance will be realized within their lives together. 

by IslamiCity

Love is a movement towards unity, towards oneness, and since God is One, "the closer the heart is to Oneness, the stronger the power of love is within it."

Love is a movement towards unity, towards oneness. "God made their hearts familiar" (Qur'an 8:63) through the light of Oneness that yields spiritual love and familiarity in the heart. For love is the shadow of Oneness, familiarity the shadow of love, and balance the shadow of familiarity."

Let married couples be helpers and protectors of one another, let them be a refuge and a comfort to one another, let them be beautiful garments for one another, and let them together experience the many treasures and beauties of marriage.

Irshaad Hussain is a contemporary Islamic thinker and author of Islam from Inside.

  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society
  Topics: Marriage  Values: Love, Spirituality
Views: 24972

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Older Comments:
As salaamu alaikum

This puts marriage into the right perspective of harmony, gentleness and compromise for the common good. It's something that everyone should strive for because it is an attainable goal so long as egos are eliminated.

Wa salaam

I like the idea of being united and having 1 spirit. Just as God is 1. We two must become one.

Problem: I don't know why we get inappropriate ads in this article such as "Get instant Psychic reading..........." thisis and Islamic website ant it shouldn't allow for unislamic ads to go through.

The article teaches what most men and women do not know even before they go into marriage. it is is practically very essential for people to to know what it takes and how to go about it before venting into it

Assalamu Alaikum the writer of this article has indebt knowledge both in Quran and the sunnah of The Rasulullahi sallahu Alaihi wasallam. may Allah in His infinite mercy bless him and encrease him in knowledge and eemaan ameen. May Allah accept it as an act of ibadah and reward him abondntly. and finally, may Allah make it beneficial to us ameen. frm your brother in Islaam, Abubakar Abdulkadir.

May Allah greet you and bestow you his blessings, Amin!
i realy appciate the content of this inspiring topic about the real,simple and respected life time contact, marrage in islam. I am realy inspired from the begening of the topic.
jazakumulluah kheira! keep such graet work up. yours brother in islam! weassalamu aleikum!

MashaAllah this article was written beautifully! JazakaAllah khayr, not only did you remind me about the purpose of marriage but you also worded so eloquently the ideas and beliefs I have about marriage that I have trouble describing to others. I especially loved

"To accept the self the way it is, is to lock oneself into stagnation and narrowness and to remain an individual - not part of an intimately joined pair. It is to limit and lock up the potential, the beauty and strength that is capable of emerging from the intimate unity made possible through marriage."

JazakAllah once again and as'salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

very informative and thoughtful article.

SubhanAllah! Today I have understood an indicator of the Noble Quraan. By pointing towards intermingling and becoming something new, is it that Allah SWT actually is implying in a most Subtle and Sublime way to adjust and stay in a marriage rather than seek the most easy way out, i.e. divorce? Divorce, which He has allowed, but clear indication is to stay put and transfdorm yourself, even if means you give in and feel belittled, BUT by doing so you are actually elevated in the Sight of Allah SWT. Oh how much patience will that really need...truly Quraan is full of Pearls of Wisdom, if only we understood!

Mashallah, your article is excellent and I believe whoever reads will benefit greatly from it. Inshallaah.


mashAllah very nice article im very agree with u , Allah made marrige easier for muslims but muslim made them difficult and made zina easy , forexample a poor muslim who has little home and little earning and their relatives are rich they dont give their doughter to that poor , and that poor person wants to marry , i quote a hadith here , once there was woman who came to prophet mohammad saw and asked him to marry me prophet got silent , and one of the companions of prophet asked , ya rasullallah if u have no need for this woman , let my marrige with her , prophet mohammad saw said do u have some thing to give to her? that is maher. he replied no , im poor . prophet mohammad said do u know any surah of quran ? that surah is ur maher.. then he reicte a surah and he got married easily with that woman. mashALlah u see marrige was soo much easy in those days of prophet mohammad.. i request to muslim momeeneen plz dont make marrige difficult and dont think of richness and dont demand for maher soo much .. make it easy for every one .. thats all
jakaAllah khair