Monday, August 07, 2006

Marriage in Islam -
02. When to get married.

The first post on marriage covered the topic "if one chooses not to marry or is unable to get married". The topic that will now be discussed is, "When to get married".

Hadhrat Abdullah ibn ‘Umar mentions that he heard the Prophet of Allah SAW said:

‏عن النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏أنه قال ‏ ‏ألا كلكم راع وكلكم مسئول عن رعيته فالأمير الذي على الناس راع وهو مسئول عن رعيته والرجل راع على أهل بيته وهو مسئول عنهم والمرأة راعية على بيت بعلها وولده وهي مسئولة عنهم والعبد راع على مال سيده وهو مسئول عنه ألا فكلكم راع وكلكم مسئول عن رعيته

"All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. An Imaam is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is a shepherd in respect of his family and is responsible for his flock. The woman is a shepherd in respect of her husband’s house and is responsible for her flock. The servant is a shepherd in respect of his master’s property and is responsible for his flock. All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock."

[Saheeh Muslim]

The meaning of this Hadith is that each person is responsible for one thing or another and that each person will be questioned regarding his responsibilities.

The parents hold great responsibility for their children; they are required to name them, feed them, clothe them, educate them and fulfil their necessities. Additionally, one of the responsibilities of parents is to marry their children when they are of age.

It is narrated by Hadhrat Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه that the Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم said:

حق الولد علي والده أن يحسن إسمه و يزوجه اذا أدرك و يعلمه الكتاب

[Kanzul Ummaal]

It is clear in this Hadith that the responsibility of getting one’s child married is of the parents. If they are neglectful in any manner then they will be responsible and sinful, especially if the child commits any sin.

It is obvious that the age of marriage will vary with each individual and that varying factors will determine a suitable age of marriage for a person. For example, a child who is less aware of these matters will desire to marry later than someone who has matured earlier and quicker. Similarly, a child who is studying or does not have the means to maintain a family may decide to delay marriage until one is more settled and ready.

Nevertheless, it should be remembered that if the child has such desires then marriage should not be delayed due to excuses such as studying; for if the child falls into sinning due to not marrying then he will receive the sin as well as the parents.

Although the ages of marriage will vary, as mentioned above, there have been guidelines and indications regarding the age. In the Ahadeeth it is mentioned that a child should be married when the child matures and reaches an understanding. Furthermore, the child should be able to bear the responsibilities of marriage and fulfil the rights of the partner.

General guidelines have indicated the average age for a male to be twenty and for a female to be seventeen. However, this will vary in different societies, countries and from individual to individual. We may also see that as time goes by the age for marriage may decrease as children develop a quicker understanding of such matters and usually mature quicker.

Therefore, it is vital for every parent to analyse their child individually and deduce whether it is the correct time for their children to get married.

It should be understood that delay in marriage due to pre-requirements, such as not being able to find a suitable partner, does not fall under the description of ‘negligence’. The messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم has himself mentioned qualities for which a person is regarded suitable for marriage. However, it should also be kept in mind that all preparations and 'requirements' should be in accordance to the Islamic guidelines and Shari’ah.

In conclusion, the general age mentioned for marriage is twenty for boys and seventeen for girls. However, this will vary from individual to individual and will also depend on the customs within different backgrounds, social classes and families. However, these should all be disregarded if the child is ready for marriage and especially if he will commit a sin if marriage does not take place soon.

The above was written in view of the Shari’ah where the responsibility of getting a person married lies in the hands of the parents. However, it would be foolish to ignore current situations and customs where individual children are responsible for their own marriage, sometimes for valid reasons and at other times by going against the Shari'ah.

At times individuals are faced with the difficulty of organising their own marriages. This, at times, is due to the parent’s negligence or stubbornness where they are not willing to take the necessary action to meet the needs of their children or because they are unwilling to accept the choice of partner selected by their children. Insha Allah, these topics will be discussed in a later post.


Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum,

Alhamdulillah, something that's gna help me insha'Allah and others.
Jazakallah for this post, I pray that Allah grants u ajr - e hasanah for it. Insha'Allah ur health will improve soon.... we all hope so. All we can do is continue to remember u in duas.

please remember me in ur duas also.



Maddrasah Al Zahra said...

Assalamu Alaikum,

Something we learnt in dars just a few days ago. Alhamulillah, someone spreading the knowledge he's learnt. Allah reward you for that always. Ameen.
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Adam said...

As Salaamu Alaykum,

Indeed a post that will be beneficial to the Muslim community as a whole. May Allah accept your Duas and accept the efforts that have been made behind this post and all other posts.

May Allah grant each and every Muslim good health and through this good health give them the strength and inclination to worship Him alone. Aameen.

A request to all readers, Please remember all Muslims in general in your Duas and pray for their safety, health and that Allah save us all from oppression. Aameen.


~song~ said...

The grear effort u put into this blog means a lot to me, as a revert to islam.
You are sent prayers for good health,and rewards for the effort you put here. Allah bless all muslims, ameen
ty for the visit
Sister sandra

Adam said...

As Salaamu Alaykum,

Jazakallah for the comments. It gives me great pleasure to know that the information is helping the different people of the Muslim community. I pray that this knowledge and information helps the Muslim community as well as the wider community.

Jazakallah and Aameen to the Duas.

Alhumdulillah, it was good to see the many good articles on your site and Insha Allah I will be stopping by to read some more.


*Posted by Adam, as instructed by Brother Zain*

song_in_wind said...

Making prayers for u.. That you are protected, and your health returned,Ameen ~song~

Zain said...

As Salaamu Alaykum,

Jazakallah for the Duas. May Allah also protect you and keep you in the best of Health and Imaan. May He elevate your rank, forgive your sins and make you from those who is showered with His blessings. May He always be pleased with you and with those whom you are pleased with. Aameen.