FAMILY SYSTEM IN ISLAMIC CULTURE
The family is that strong fortress which protects its owner. A person is not considered resilient and strong if he is not backed up by a family, which is always ready for his help. According to Islamic point of view, family means such a group of family members who follows the orders of Allah and indeed family is the first step of that society which follows the Shariah and its methods.
MARRIAGE HAS THE BASIC ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC FAMILY
Marriage is the only correct and religious way by which an Islamic family is founded. Islam has emphasized a lot on marriage. Allah Almighty says:
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ (21) وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِلْعَالِمِينَ (الروم:22)
Translation of Meaning: “And among His Signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.”(Sura Al-Rum, Verse 21)
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasllam) said:
«يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ البَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ» (البخاري ومسلم)
Translation: “O the group of youngsters, whoever of you has the means for it, he should do Nikah, because it protects your gaze and it saves your privates, and whoever is not able to do so, he should keep fasts because fasting is a shield for him.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
There are numerous benefits of marriage:
- 1. Marriage is the right way for the continuity of the progeny and its protection with which Allah settles the earth and blesses it with His Mercy and blessings.
- 2. It saves from the mixing of the lineage because on the basis of the lineage, other rights are illustrated like inheritance and the knowledge of Mehram (unmarriageable) and non-Mehram (marriageable).
- 3. Marriage protects the society from prostitution, adultery, homosexuality and other evils, as these evils destroy a society.
- 4. Marriage is the innate need of a person and to refrain from it is unnatural.
The required objectives of the marriage are fulfilled only if it is conducted with true intention and the husband is able to provide the food, provisions and other basic necessities. The objectives of marriage for a Muslim are to keep him safe, observe modesty and increase the population of Muslims. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasllam) said:
وَفِي بُضْعِ أَحَدِكُمْ صَدَقَةٌ، قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، أَيَأتِي أَحَدُنَا شَهْوَتَهُ وَيَكُونُ لَهُ فِيهَا أَجْرٌ؟ قَالَ: «أَرَأَيْتُمْ لَوْ وَضَعَهَا فِي حَرَامٍ أَكَانَ عَلَيْهِ فِيهَا وِزْرٌ؟ فَكَذَلِكَ إِذَا وَضَعَهَا فِي الْحَلَالِ كَانَ لَهُ أَجْرٌ» (مسلم)
Translation: “and in man’s sexual intercourse (with his wife) there is a Sadaqah.” They (the Companions) said: “O Messenger of Allah, is there reward for him who satisfies his sexual need among us?” He said, “You see, if he were to satisfy it with something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he were to satisfy it legally, he should be rewarded”. (Muslim)
TO PROPOSE FOR MARRIAGE (ENGAGEMENT)
The proposal of Nikah is just a promise of marriage. Islam has allowed a person to have one glance on his prospective wife so that the matter becomes clear.
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasllam) said:
«انْظُرْ إِلَيْهَا، فَإِنَّهُ أَحْرَى أَنْ يُؤْدَمَ بَيْنَكُمَا» (الترمذي، النسائي ، ابن ماجه)
Translation: “Look at her, for that is more likely to create love between you.” (Tirmizi, Nasa’ie, Ibne-Majah)
However, it is important to remember that the Haraam will not become Halaal just because of the engagement, therefore, both would remain strangers, it is not allowed for a person to meet his intended in private or travel with her without a
Mehram, and it is also not allowed for a person to send a proposal on his brother’s proposal. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasllam) said:
وَلاَ يَخْطُبَ الرَّجُلُ عَلَى خِطْبَةِ أَخِيهِ، حَتَّى يَتْرُكَ الخَاطِبُ قَبْلَهُ أَوْ يَأْذَنَ لَهُ الخَاطِبُ» (البخاري، مسلم)
Translation: “A person should not send a marriage proposal over his brother’s proposal, unless the first one leaves his message or does not allow the other for this.”(Bukhari, Muslim)
If a person sends a marriage proposal and the woman’s family does not reply, then another other person, who is unaware about this, sends his proposal which the woman’s family accepts, in such case there is no harm in it. It is Mustahab (desirable) to hide the proposal so that the people who are evil-minded, or love to spread conflict would not take advantage of the situation. Sometimes, a proposal is not meant for a person and is not wished by Allah, and at the end, one is left by the other, which could hurt the intended but the matter of ‘Aqad’ (Signing of marriage contract)’is entirely different because it is important to announce this and have witnesses which is a Wajib (obligatory) act.
TO CHOOSE A WIFE
Islam has instructed the young people to consider the following conditions while choosing a wife:
RELIGIOUS-MINDED: The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) persuaded to choose a girl for marriage who is religious-minded and follows the Islamic teachings and manners. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
” تُنْكَحُ الْمَرْأَةُ لِأَرْبَعٍ: لِمَالِهَا، وَلِحَسَبِهَا، وَلِجَمَالِهَا، وَلِدِينِهَا، فَاظْفَرْ بِذَاتِ الدِّينِ تَرِبَتْ يَدَاكَ ” (البخاري ، مسلم)
Translation: “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a losers. (Bukhari, Muslim)
GOOD BEHAVIOUR: This is not hidden from anyone that some good traits come by genes and some are acquired by training. Therefore, the family that follows Shariah would train its children to have good morals, character and obedience.
TO MARRY A VIRGIN GIRL: Hazrat Jabir Bin Abdullah (RadhiaAllahu Anhu) reported to have said that”; The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked me: “With whom did you marry?” I replied: ‘With a widow.’ The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked: “Why did you not marry a virgin so that you would play with her?” I said: ‘My father was martyred in the battle of Uhud, he had nine daughters, that’s why I did not marry a girl of my sister’s age, but I marry a girl who would help them in household work and who could correct them and improve them.’ The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “May Allah bless you.”(Bukhari, Muslim).
Although, Islam has persuaded to marry a virgin girl but has not made it obligatory, and in some situations a widow has been preferred over a virgin as it is mentioned above in the Hadith related with Hazrat Jabir (RadhiAllahu Anhu).
TO MARRY A WOMAN WHO IS FERTILE AND CAN HAVE MANY KIDS: The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
« تَزَوَّجُوا الْوَدُودَ الْوَلُودَ فَإِنِّي مُكَاثِرٌ بِكُمُ الأُمَمَ » (أبو داوود)
Translation: “Marry women who are loving and very prolific, for I shall outnumber the peoples by you..”(Abu Dawood)
It is found in the greatness and mercy of Islam that although Islam has ordered to marry a very loving and fertile woman but on the other side, it has also ordered to do well with the other women too as what is written in their fate it is not their mistake, and it is possible that they possess those qualities and skills which are far better than those which they lack.
TO CHOOSE A HUSBAND:
The way in which Islam had formulated the rules and regulations for a man to choose his wife, in the same manner there are some rules and regulations on the basis of which a woman chooses her husband. All those traits must be present in males which are important for females. Some of them are under:
* He should be religious.
* He should be of good behaviour and trustworthy.
* He should be able to fulfill the responsibilities.
All of these qualities are known from the Ahadith of Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam). The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
«إِذَا جَاءَكُمْ مَنْ تَرْضَوْنَ دِينَهُ وَخُلُقَهُ فَأَنْكِحُوهُ، إِلَّا تَفْعَلُوا تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ»(الترمذي)
Translation: “When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with comes to you then marry (her to) him. If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil (Fitnah) in the land and discord (Fasad). (Tirmizi)
It is Mustahab (desirable) if the husband is also of the same age group as that of wife. It is mentioned in a Hadith:
خَطَبَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرُ فَاطِمَةَ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِنَّهَا صَغِيرَةٌ»، فَخَطَبَهَا عَلِيٌّ فَزَوَّجَهَا مِنْهُ (النسائي)
Translation: “Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, proposed marriage to Fatimah but the Messenger of Allah said: ‘She is young.’ Then ‘Ali proposed marriage to her and he married her to him.” (Nasa’ie)