Allah describes the marriage as a knot, and a covenant, and a fortress. How can marriage be all these things, and still be nice? These are heavy terms and they require some exploration.
Each of these terms for marriage demonstrates some kind of stability and protection. When we marry, we are protecting ourselves and our spouses in many different ways.
Let’s take a look at how we can interpret these heavy terms in a beneficial and welcoming way.
Preservation of Humanity
Basically, marriage serves to produce a generation of Muslims into the world, and continue the human race. While that is a mechanical way of looking at it, marriage does that best.
When children are born to unmarried parents, what happens? The forecast is quite grim, and the children of such an arrangement, while possibly successful as adults, have had less stability and more roadblocks.
When married people come together to raise their children, they are helped by grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc from both sides of the family. The community of other married couples will come together to teach, play, and learn together.
This protects humanity as a race. But how does marriage help protect individuals?
Protection of the Body
Only the most naive Muslims believe that intimacy is only performed by married couples. The rate of your average teenager is 40% by the time they finish high school, and that’s the young people who actually tell.
While intimacy is natural, an instinct that is not an evil desire in an of itself, when those intimate with each other are in a marriage, they are expected to deal with the consequences of what comes from that: pregnancy.
Which brings us back to the first point: since intimacy tends to bring about children, children being born and raised in a married parent environment is the very best situation.
Half of your Religion
While we have heard the tradition which states that marriage is half your deen, and the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) told us that marriage is his Sunnah, what does that mean on a day-to-day basis?
First, it is a natural inclination that normal human beings have to be in a romantic relationship, and denying yourself that companionship leads to a general sadness.
Is it possible to be happy and single as a Muslim? Certainly! But when that single life gets stale (and it will), you are left alone, and lonely. There is no one to help you remember Allah if you forget, to help you complete literally half of your religion.
Wake you up for Fajr, take turns cooking iftar. Someone to save up with together for Umrah or Hajj. There is a weird trend online extolling the virtues of not being married, but for Muslims there is so much more for us in rewards in this life and the next..
In terms of Islam, when we are married, our spouses are like a mirror for us. When we slip, they can help remind us. If we live alone, we cannot grow in our deen, not without consistent outside help. When we pray together as a couple, we are rewarded more.
Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “You will be rewarded for whatever you spend for Allah’s sake even if it were a morsel which you put in your wife’s mouth.”
May Allah motivate us to seek marriage when the time is right, and bless us with blissful companionship!