By Zaki Imtiaz
Today at lunch time, I had a small discussion with two of my friends. We were looking for an answer to the question, “What is the right age to get married?”
We concluded that it actually depends on some factors. The right time is when a combination of some qualities and some resources are achieved in life. Some people achieve them in their early 20’s and some don’t seem to achieve them even in their late 30’s.
For me, the most important factors are two: Maturity and livelihood. Both of these terms are ambiguous and require some explanation.
I personally think maturity is not just being physically mature, or being able to grow a beard, having all the necessary hormones to get things done. Maturity is a state of mind- a state in which you know the realities and difficulties of life, a state when you are able to differentiate between right and wrong, when you can reason things according to the actual realities and not your self-created paradigms and myths.
The other matter is related to your and your family’s livelihood. One needs to have an appropriate amount of income to be able to provide the five basic necessities of one’s partner. In Islam, it is the men who are solely responsible to provide for their families. These necessities are:
If you have a room in your house, you can feed yourself and your wife with a decent meal three times a day, you can provide her enough clothes to be able to cover herself decently and some special clothes for occasions (like Eid, Ramadan, Friday, Weddings), when you can take her to the doctor when she is ill, you have all the required resources. You don’t need anything else, technically.
Isn’t it simple enough? Why make it complex when it is not? Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has made the relationship of Nikah (marriage) a means to tranquility, mercy and affection. Allah says in the Quran:
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” [Surah Ar-Rum: ayah 21]
Allah also says:
اللَّهُ لَطِيفٌ بِعِبَادِهِ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۖ وَهُوَ الْقَوِيُّ الْعَزِيزُ
“Allah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves. He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.” [Surah Ash-Shuraa: ayah 19]
Prophetic guidelines with respect to marriage
There are two narrations worth mentioning here. They would suffice to explain a lot of matters. 🙂
1- What to do when you want to marry?
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدَانُ، عَنْ أَبِي حَمْزَةَ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ، قَالَ بَيْنَا أَنَا أَمْشِي، مَعَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ فَقَالَ كُنَّا مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ “ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ، فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ، فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ ”.
While I was walking with `Abdullah he said, “We were in the company of the Prophet and he said, ‘He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
2- How will you know who is the right person for you?
حَدَّثَنَا زُهَيْرُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، وَعُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، قَالُوا حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، بْنُ سَعِيدٍ عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ، أَخْبَرَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ تُنْكَحُ الْمَرْأَةُ لأَرْبَعٍ لِمَالِهَا وَلِحَسَبِهَا وَلِجَمَالِهَا وَلِدِينِهَا فَاظْفَرْ بِذَاتِ الدِّينِ تَرِبَتْ يَدَاكَ ” .
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying:
“A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status. her beauty and her religion, so try to get one who is religious, may your hand be besmeared with dust.” [Sahih Muslim]
May Allah make ease for all the unmarried brothers and sisters in their marriage.
The writer majors in Software Engineering and can be contacted at email@example.com.