WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE?
Nucleus of the Ummah
Every action that we take in life should be guided by the four pillars that Allah SWT has ordained for us.
Purpose– the fundamental reason for carrying out any action, the purpose on which our intention or niyyah is based.
Jurisprudence – the set of rules and regulations to govern us in the way we do things.
Adab – this is the manner in which we are to achieve our purpose. It is the Islamic protocol in getting things done. This manner is evident in our behaviour, character and conduct.
Reward – the hope of the reward as promised by Allah, if we start off with the right purpose and implement it with the right adab.
All Muslims are bound by a social contract. Our obligations are not just to ourselves, but extend to society and the ummah at large.
Marriage has many purposes. Some, we are aware of – companionship, intimacy, starting a family – all these are valid purposes which drive us, on an individual level, to satisfy our personal emotional and physical needs.
However, among all the various purposes of marriage, from an Islamic viewpoint, the main purpose is to generate the nucleus of any nation, which is the family unit: to generate a people who worship their Lord, spread goodness and carry the covenant of the message. A marriage is the start of the unit from which the family is propagated. The family is the nucleus of the community, the society and eventually the nation.
If you want to know the future of a civilization – any civilization, look at its youth. The youth is the fuel of any nation – and it is the role of the parents to provide the right environment to train and groom their children to be the next generation to carry the banner of Islam.
The impact is obvious. If there is unity and tranquility within the family, the family unit will be strong. The community will benefit from the foundation of solid family structures, and from there, the ummah will thrive. If the family unit is weak, the husband, wife and children will be in chaos, turmoil and disunity. Eventually, the nation will be weak, as the foundation is weak.
A strong family unit is a building block of the ummah. Marriage does not merely serve an individual need, but it holds the more critical role of protecting and saving society from corruption.
From Household to Household
If we examine the early history of Islam, Islam spread within family units, from household to household. From within the marital home and the family structure, the husband and wife spread Islam and educated mankind, by setting the role model for their offspring and for society.
When Islam started in Mecca, in the beginning and the early bloom of the revelations, it was centred in one house, and from this one house the message spread to different houses. This highly individualized approach developed the men and women of early Islam, where each person, rich in faith, knowledge and piety, was a nation in himself. Each one of them was the generator, spark and spreader of the message to the Arabic Peninsular and then to the rest of mankind. According to different reports, there were between 200 to 400 men and women who carried the message at this time. When we study each one of their achievements, it should make us shy and feel almost diminished in comparison. They were taught by the Prophet SAW, and all their actions were driven by the message of Islam. They lived and sacrificed for the message. Similarly, when they married, it was for the message, which came above all other personal desires and emotions.
Hence, Islam started in the home, not in the masjid. In the early days of Islam, when the Companions went to the masjid, they brought the faith, value and light cultivated from their homes with them. They were men and women who had a lot of deen, faith and quality, and the masjid became a platform from which the light of Islam was spread. Contrast that with today, where the masjid has become corrupted because of the diseases of the heart and cultural sickness that we bring from our homes.