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 Marriage..................................

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sacha
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PostSubject: Marriage..................................   Wed 15 Apr - 10:16

Marriage




“And
among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you
may dwell with them in serenity and tranquility. And He has put love and
compassion between your hearts. Truly in that are signs for those who reflect.”
(Quran 30:21)



Marriage is the most ancient of human social
institutions. Marriage came into existence with the creation of the first man
and woman: Adam and Eve. All the Prophets since then were sent as examples for
their communities, and every Prophet, from the first to the last, upheld the
institution of marriage as the divinely-sanctioned expression of heterosexual
companionship.[1] Even today,
it is still considered more right and proper that couples introduce each other
as: “my wife” or “my husband” rather than: “my lover” or “my partner”. For it
is through marriage that men and woman legally fulfill their carnal desires,
their instincts for love, neediness, companionship, intimacy, and so on.



“…They (your wives, O men)
are a garment for you and you (men) are a garment for them...” (Quran 2:187)



Over the course of time, some groups have come to hold
extreme beliefs about the opposite sex and sexuality. Women, in particular,
were considered evil by many religious men, and so contact with them had to be
kept to a minimum. Thus, monasticism, with its lifetime of abstention and
celibacy, was invented by those who wanted what they reckoned to be a pious
alternative to marriage and a life more godly.



“Then, We sent after them,
Our Messengers, and We sent Jesus son of Mary, and gave him the Gospel. And We
ordained in the hearts of those who followed him, compassion and mercy. But
the Monasticism which they invented for themselves; We did not prescribe for
them, but (they sought it) only to please Allah therewith, but that they did
not observe it with the right observance. So We gave those among them who
believed, their (due) reward, but many of them are rebellious sinners.” (Quran
57:27)



The only family that monks would know (Christian,
Buddhist, or otherwise) would be their fellow monks at the monastery or temple.
In the case of Christianity, not only men, but also women, could attain the
pious ranks by becoming nuns, or “brides of Christ”. This unnatural situation
has often led to a great number of social vices, such as child abuse,
homosexuality and illegitimate sexual relations actually occurring among the
cloistered – all of which are considered actual criminal sins. Those Muslim
heretics who have followed the non-Islamic practice of abstention and
hermitage, or who have at least claimed to have taken an even more pious path
to God than the Prophets themselves, have similarly succumbed to these same
vices and to an equally scandalous degree.



The Prophet Muhammad in his own lifetime made clear his
feelings at the suggestion that marriage could be an obstacle to drawing closer
to God. Once, a man vowed to the Prophet that he would have nothing to do with
women, that is, to never marry. The Prophet responded by sternly declaring:



“By Allah! I am the most God-fearing amongst you! Yet…
I marry! Whoever turns away from my sunnah (inspired way) is not from me (i.e.
not a true believer).”



“Say (to the people O Muhammad):
‘If you love Allah then follow me, Allah will (then) love you and forgive you
of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’” (Quran 3:31)



In reality, far from viewing marriage as bad for one’s
faith, Muslims hold marriage to be an integral part of their religious devotion.
As mentioned before, the Prophet Muhammad explicitly stated that marriage is
half of the Religion (of Islam). In other words, perhaps half of all
Islamic virtues, such as fidelity, chastity, charity, generosity, tolerance,
gentleness, striving, patience, love, empathy, compassion, caring, learning,
teaching, reliability, courage, mercy, forbearance, forgiveness, etc., find
their natural expression through married life. Hence, in Islam,
God-consciousness and good character are supposed to be the principle criteria
that a spouse looks for in his or her prospective marriage partner. The
Prophet Muhammad said:



“A woman is married for (one of) four reasons: her
wealth, her status, her beauty and her religious devotion. So marry the
religious woman, else you be a loser.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)



Undoubtedly, the social malaise and decay that is
prevalent in many parts of the non-Islamic world also finds expression in some
parts of the Muslim world as well. Nevertheless, promiscuity, fornication and
adultery are still roundly condemned throughout Islamic societies and have yet
to be decriminalized to the level of merely “fooling around”, “playing the
field” or other such trivial pursuits. Indeed, Muslims still recognize and acknowledge
the great destructiveness that pre-marital and extra-marital relationships have
on communities. In fact the Quran makes clear that the mere accusation of
impropriety carries very severe consequences in this life and the next.



“And those who accuse chaste women, and do not produce four
witnesses (to unequivocally prove their accusation), flog them with eighty
stripes, and reject their testimony forever; for they are truly wicked sinners.”
(Quran 24:4)



“Verily, those who slander chaste women, innocent,
unsuspecting, believing women: they are cursed in this world and the next. And
for them will be a great torment.” (Quran 24:23)



Ironically, while it is unmarried women who perhaps
suffer most from the consequences of promiscuous relationships, some of the
more radical voices of the feminist movement have called for the abolition of
the institution of marriage. Sheila Cronin of the movement, NOW, speaking from
the blinkered perspective of a fringe feminist whose society is reeling from
the failure of the traditional western marriage to grant women security,
protection from sexually transmitted diseases, and many other problems and
abuses, opined: “Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that
the women’s movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom
for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.”



Marriage in Islam, however, or rather, marriage
according to Islam, is in and of itself a vehicle for securing freedom for
women. No greater example of the perfect Islamic marriage exists than that of
the Prophet Muhammad, who told his followers: “The best of you are those who
best treat their women. And I am the best of people to my women.”[2]
The Prophet’s beloved wife, A’isha, attested to the freedom her husband’s
treatment afforded her when she said:



“He always joined in the housework and would at
times mend his clothes, repair his shoes and sweep the floor. He would milk,
tether and feed his animals and do household chores.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)



“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent
example to follow for whoever hopes in Allah and the Last Day and remembers
Allah much.” (Quran 33:21)



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PostSubject: Re: Marriage..................................   Thu 16 Apr - 15:41

Marriage decision and the right choice of the woman / man is very delicate
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