Malala, marriage & Islam
MALALA Yousafzai’s recent remarks about the sacred institution of Nikah (marriage) stirred up a hot debate not only on social media but also on mainstream media outlets. Her remarks “I still don’t understand why people have to get married.
If you want to have person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?” irked many who are the staunch advocates of the institution of marriage and deem it as a part and parcel for leading a life free from sins, immorality and debauchery.
Malala, for sure, by passing such reprehensible comments about marriage has tried to propagate negative ideas about the sacred rules of matrimony.
Those who don’t second her opinion believe that it doesn’t behoove a Muslim girl to subject the holy institution of Nikah to such an unjustified censure and travesty.
Surely, Malala’s remark is a sheer depiction of her mind polluted by western culture and customs that take it quite normal to have sex without entering into contract of marriage.
It also reflects her lack of knowledge about Islamic Sharia which considers it as grave sin to keep physical relation with anybody but one who is legally entitled by way of Nikah. Nikah occupies prominence among the rituals observed by Muslims.
Islam emphatically recommends its adherents to tie nuptial knot if they are resourceful for performing this highly recommended act.
This is stated in Surah 24 verse 32, “And (you ought to) marry the single from among you as well as such of your male and female slaves as are fit (for marriage).
If they (whom you intend to marry) are poor, (let this not deter you 😉 God will grant them sufficiency out of His bounty — for God is infinite (in His mercy), all-knowing.”
At another place, the holy Quran says.”
And of his signs is that created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them, and he placed between you affection and mercy.
Indeed in that are signs for people who reflect”. (30:21). Yet at another place, Holy Quran describes the relationship between husband and wife in following beautiful expression. “Your spouses are a garment for you as you are for them”.
Additionally, In Islam, marriage is not restricted to a platonic bondage between husband and wife, nor is it solely meant for procreation.
It is, in fact, an unparalleled modus oprandi to regulate one’s sexual behaviour and bring it in the domains of law. The Islamic term for marriage, “nikah” literally means sexual intercourse.
Islam has fully understood that sexual instincts of a man cannot and must not be repressed.
They can only be regulated for the well being of human beings in this life and for their success in the hereafter.
Having sex in marital life has been openly recommended in the following verse of Holy Qur’an,“…when they [i.e., the wives] have cleansed themselves [after menstruation], you go into them as Allah has commanded…” (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:222) Inter alia, prophetic traditions are also replete with admonishments to his followers regarding contracting marriage.
It is reported by Abdullah b. Mas’ud that prophet (SAAW) said” O young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes (from casting evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but he who cannot afford, he should observe fast for it is a mean of controlling the sexual desire.”
Further, in another Hadis, the Holy messenger said: “Marriage is part of my Sunnah, and whoever does not follow my Sunnah, has nothing to do with me.
Get married, for I am heartened by your great numbers before the nations (of other prophets).” Islam repudiates ill-founded and antiquated customs of monasticism and celibacy.
‘Uthman bin Maz’un was a close companion of the Prophet (SAAW) One day his wife came to the Prophet (SAAW) and complained, “O Messenger of God! ‘Uthman fasts during the day and stands for prayers during the night.”
In other words, she meant to say that her husband was avoiding sexual relations during the night as well as the day.
The Prophet (SAAW) was angered. He did not even wait to put on his slippers. He went to ‘Uthman’s house and found him praying.
When ‘Uthman finished his prayers and turned towards the Prophet (SAAW), he said, “O ‘Uthman! Allah did not send me for monasticism, rather He sent me with a simple and straight [Shariah].
I fast, pray and also have intimate relations with my wife. So whosoever likes my tradition, then he should follow it; and marriage is one of my traditions.”
Islam also regards marriage as a way to acquire spiritual perfection. The Prophet (SAAW) said, “One who marries, has already guarded half of his religion, therefore he should fear Allah for the other half.”
How true! A person who fulfils his sexual urges lawfully would rarely be distracted in spiritual pursuits.
To cap it all, Malala should take her words back pertaining to the sacred institution of marriage for her very remarks may mislead our Muslim youth toward immorality.
She should also try to glean more knowledge about Islam and in future, don’t opine on such sensitive issues unless she has profound knowledge about the subject.
— The writer is contributing columnist, based in Quetta Balochistan.