Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Marriage is a Protection and a Joy

Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Marriage is a Protection and a Joy
– by Imam Al-Haramain, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz-as-Sudais
Makkah al-Mukarramah; Translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab

The Transcript:

Part – 1

Praise be to Allah; we praise Him and we seek His help and guidance; we repent to Him and seek His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our own selves and from our evil deeds. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has been guided and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has gone astray. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah alone, with no partner or associate. He created us from one soul, from which He created its mate, and He created from them many men and women. And I bear witness that our Prophet Muhammad is the Slave of Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet, leader and educator. May Allah send blessings and peace upon him and upon his Family and Companions and those who follow them in truth, both men and women.

To Proceed:

O Muslim brothers, fear Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, and obey Him; remember that He is always watching and do not disobey Him. O slaves of Allah, one of the social issues that Islam paid a great deal of attention to, and that is encouraged in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) is the issue of marriage, because of the spiritual and worldly interests that it serves, the wisdom behind it, and the many benefits and sublime feelings it brings. It is a social necessity that is required for the continuation of life, the formation of families, the establishment of morality, lowering the gaze, protection of chastity, increasing the number of offspring and perpetuating the human race. Moreover, it is endeared to human souls: it is dictated by sound human nature, encouraged by Islam, sought by those with sound reasoning and is in harmony with sound nature. Through it tribes bond with one another, peoples are formed and nations increase. It brings psychological well-being, peace of mind, enjoyment of life’s blessings and cooperation in sharing the burden of social life. It is sufficient to note that it is one of the signs of Allah that are indicative of His wisdom and that call one to ponder the greatness of His creation and the beauty of His handiwork.

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” [Surah Ar-Rum 30:21]

O brothers in Islam, the issue of marriage has changed from being a Shar’i issue, a human necessity and a great act of worship if it is done with sincere intention, and has become a serious social problem. This is not because of its inherent nature; rather it is because of what people have introduced to it that is not connected to it in any way and that has nothing to do with it from the point of view of the Sharee’ah (Islamic legislation) and sound reasoning. However, these matters have become – because of what people have introduced to the issue of marriage – things that are regarded as essential, without which marriage is not complete, as if this is what marriage is all about. This is the result of adhering to silly customs and Jaahili traditions, and of blindly following worthless aims, and seeking to show off and boasting at the expense of Islamic teaching, sound reasoning and common sense.

O Muslims, there has been a great deal of talk about obstacles to marriage; many articles have been written and people have heard a great deal about this matter that has preoccupied them and filled their time. This has brought about some good things for some individuals and families, but it has undermined and broken up other families. The voices of those who are concerned about their society have become hoarse from warning against what may accompany many marriages of problems and complications, and even haraam and evil actions, traditions and un-Islamic practices, such as alterations, focusing on superficial issues, boasting, showing off and other non-essential matters.

O Ummah of Islam, our religion has laid down clear guidelines concerning this important matter. Islam encourages making marriage easily accessible and urges us to be economical with regard to spending for that purpose. Imam Ahmad and al-Bayhaqi narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (radhiAllahu anha) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said:

“The most blessed of women is the one who is most affordable (in terms of the dowry and other expenses).” [al-Musnad, 6/15; Sunan al-Bayhaqi, 7/235]

Those who go against these guidelines by delaying, procrastinating and making things complicated are going against the laws of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) in both word and deed. The true Muslim would never want that for himself.

O brothers in faith, it is worth pointing out some of the problems and obstacles to marriage, whilst noting the bad consequences they have on both the individual and society. I shall explain the proper guidelines and beneficial remedy for each of these problems, in the hope that these words will find attentive ears and open hearts, and will be put into practice.

The first of these problems is: when the young people of both genders have lost interest in the idea of early marriage, and they have flimsy excuses for that, some of which are because of society as a whole and some of them because of the young people themselves. That is because they are too attached to unrealistic hopes and dreams and unfounded illusions, which in fact are inspiration from the Shaytaan.

Some of them cling to the excuse of finishing their studies, claiming that marriage will prevent them from continuing their education. This is a flimsy excuse and a flawed argument. Since when did marriage form a barrier to academic achievement? Rather it has been proven by experience that a successful marriage helps to one focus the mind, think clearly and feel at ease.

Moreover, I tell you honestly, what benefit is it to a woman in particular to have a degree if she remains single and misses the chance to get married, and she ends up an old spinster, never blessed with a husband and children to bring her joy and security in this life and benefit her after death?

My advice to the youth, both male and female, is to think seriously about the matter of marriage whenever it becomes easy for them, and not to cling to idealistic notions – as they claim – that could form an obstacle between them and what they hope for of happiness and what they are aiming for of well-being. They should not use as an excuse what they call “securing one’s future”, because the future is in the hand of Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) and He alone knows what will happen.

Similarly, they should not use as an excuse the issue of resources and income, or the lack thereof. Provision com from Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) although it is important to take the necessary measures to earn a living. Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) says:

“If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty.” [Surah An-Nur, 24:32]

Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (radhiAllahu anhu) said:

“Obey Allah with regard to what He has enjoined upon you of marriage, and He will grant you what He has promised you of independence of means.” [Narrated by Ibn Abi Haatim in his Tafseer, 8/2582]

And Ibn Mas’ood (radhiAllahu anhu) said:

“Seek independence of means through marriage.” [Narrated by lbn Jareer in his Tafseer, 9/311]

Lack of interest in marriage on the part of the youth, both male and female, is very harmful and leads to negative consequences and a destructive outcome that will affect the Ummah in its entirety, especially nowadays when there are many causes of Fitnah (trial) and an abundance of deviant means of fulfilling one’s desires. There is nothing to protect the individual from slipping into immoral ways and corruption except by turning to marriage as prescribed in sharee’ah.

Unfortunately, some young people reach the age of thirty or more without having yet thought of marriage. The gate to moral corruption is only open when obstacles are placed in the way of those who want to get married. Indeed, indecency, fornication, homosexuality, masturbation, sexual harassment, flirting, suspicious relationships and travelling to immoral environments never became widespread except when marriage became so complicated, especially when that which undermines virtue and destroys chastity and modesty is so widespread, in terms of things that are seen, read and listened to of all types of indecency. This has come about as a result of that which evil modernity has thrown at us and that which was produced by this false modernisation, namely that which is broadcast by many media outlets and satellite channels, and that which is found on the Internet and information networks, which has an impact on virtue and is thoroughly shameful. Allah is the One Whose help we seek.

O Ummah of Islam, there is another problem that poses a great obstacle. This is the issue of preventing women from marrying compatible suitors. The Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said:

“If there comes to you one whose religious commitment and attitude pleases you, then marry [your female relative who is under your care] to him, for if you do not do that, there will be tribulation on earth and much corruption.”

This Hadeeth was narrated by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah and al-Haakim, with a Saheeh Isnaad. [Jaami’ at-Tirmidhi, 1084, 1085; Sunan Ibn Maajah, 1967; al-Mustadrak, 2/165, 166. Narrated from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah and Abu Haatim al-Muzani (radhiAllahu anhu)]

There are some guardians – may Allah guide them – who have betrayed the trust that was placed on their shoulders with regard to their daughters and female relatives. They prevent them from getting married to men who are compatible in terms of religious commitment, character and trustworthiness. A suitor may propose to them who is compatible in terms of religious commitment, trustworthiness and character, and they will never find anyone else equal to him, but they put him off. They make weak excuses to him and focus on superficial matters, nonessentials and secondary considerations; they ask about his wealth, his job and his status, and they fail to ask about his religious commitment, character and trustworthiness.

Indeed, in some cases greed and avarice have led some guardians to present their daughters like merchandise be sold to the highest bidder – Allah’s refuge is sought! And these poor men do not realise that this is a form of dishonesty, that leads to blocking marriage and betrayal. [Blocking marriage means preventing women from getting married, unfairly and unjustly. Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) says: “do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands” [al-Baqarah 2:232]. See Tafseer lbn Katheer, 1/631-632]

Where is the compassion in these guardians? How can they not think of the consequences and terrible outcomes? Would it please them to hear terrifying news and disturbing stories about their daughters that would be a shock to any person of virtue and modesty? How about if they themselves were prevented from marrying when they
were longing for it? What their reaction be?

O guardians, fear Allah with regard to the girls under your care and hasten to arrange their marriages as soon as a proposal comes from a suitor who is compatible in terms of religious commitment and character, for if you do not do that there will be a great deal of turmoil and corruption in the land. Preventing women from marrying and turning away compatible suitors is a crime against oneself, against one’s daughter, against the suitor, against the entire society and the Ummah as a whole.

O Muslims, one of the chronic problems and serious obstacles that we face is the problem of high dowries and going to extremes in that regard. It has reached such an extent that for some people marriage is very difficult, if not impossible. In some regions, the dowry has reached such an unrealistic level that no one who can afford it except by incurring debt that weighs heavily upon the husband. It would distress every Muslim to learn that the greed of some guardians has led to them asking for a dowry of more than one or two hundred thousand riyals, from men of modest means, whose status is known to Allah alone. If they were to spend half their lives working to accumulate so much money they would not be able to. Subhaan Allah! Has greed and love of worldly gain reached such a level among some people? How can a free, dignified woman be regarded as goods for sale and profit?

The dowry in marriage is intended as a means and not as an end; it is symbolic and is not to be used for profiteering. Going to extremes in this matter has negative consequences for both individuals and society, as is obvious to anyone who possesses any understanding, such as preventing marriages from taking place, and seeking wives from other societies that are different from conservative societies.

Greed on the part of some guardians does not stop there; rather in some cases, it has gone further to the point of stipulating conditions that are not to be found in the Book of Allah or in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) – These conditions include stipulating that the suitor should give money to the father, and to the mother; that he should help the relatives; offer gifts to friends of the family, and so on. These conditions are contrary to the way of the righteous Salaf (may Allah have mercy on them).

‘Umar al-Farooq (radhiAllahu anhu) said: “Do not go to extremes with regard to women’s dowries, for if that was a sign of honour and dignity in this world and of piety before Allah, then Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) would have been more deserving of it than you.” [Narrated by at-Tayaalisi, 64; Ahmad, 1/41; Ibn Maajah, 1887]

The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said to a man:

“Look for something, even if it is a ring of iron.”

And when he could not find anything, the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said:

“I give her to you in marriage in return for what you know of the Quran.” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5029; Muslim, 1425, from the Hadeeth of Sahl ibn Sa’d (radhiAllahu anhu)]

‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf (radhiAllahu anhu) got married with a dowry of gold equal to the weight of a date stone. [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5155; Muslim, 1427, from the Hadeeth of Anas (radhiAllahu anha)]

The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) denounced going to extremes with regard to the dowry. A man came to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I have married a woman with a dowry of four Uqiyahs of silver (i.e., one hundred and sixty dirhams).” The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said:

“For a dowry of four Uqiyahs?! It is as if you are digging silver out from the side of this mountain; we have nothing to give you.” [Narrated by Muslim, 1424; lbn Hibbaan, 4094, from the Hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (radhiAllahu anhu)]

Allah is the One Whose help we seek. How about those men who go to extremes today? They should be stopped and efforts should be made to educate them and make them see reason. May Allah help those with limited incomes!

O Ummah of Islam, the greatest problem with regard to marriage are the huge expenses and social customs that people have imposed on themselves, copying others and boasting, spending extravagantly on things such as jewellery and fancy furniture, and renting the most luxurious hotels, the largest palaces or the most beautiful banquet halls. And there are many other costs that are hidden and not visible.

Why all this, O Ummah of Islam? How can the Muslim expose himself to the wrath of Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) and be among the brothers of the Shaytaan because of extravagance and wasting money in ways that are not prescribed in the Sharee’ah? Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) says:

“Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin (devils), and the Shaitan (Devil – Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.” [Surah Al-‘Isra’, 17:27]

It makes one break out in a sweat to think of all this huge amount of money, which is enough to meet the needs of several villages, being spent on a single occasion, and for what purpose? Are you getting carried away because you have plenty of money in your hands? Don’t you think of the situation of your brothers in faith who cannot even find the minimum of food they need or water to quench their thirst or something with which to cover their ‘Awrah (private parts)?

We seek refuge with Allah from ingratitude for His blessings and we ask Him not to hold us responsible for what the fools among us have done. By Allah, we fear the punishment of Allah in this world before the Hereafter. How often we have seen dozens of slaughtered animals and piles of food being treated with disrespect and thrown in the trash – Allah’s refuge is sought!

Fear Allah, O slaves of Allah; and advise one another and be reasonable concerning the issue of marriage. Do not leave the matter in the hands of others, such as fools and immature women. I urge those who are working in the field of Da’wah, as well as prominent people, scholars, wealthy people and people of authority in the Ummah to set an example for others in this regard, because the people will follow their example.

Allah is the One Whom we ask to help us all to do that which He loves and which pleases Him, for He is Most Generous, Most Kind.

“I only desire reform so far as I am able, to the best of my power. And my guidance cannot come except from Allah, in Him I trust and unto Him I repent.” [Surah Hud, 11:88]

I say these words of mine and I ask Allah to forgive us and you and all the Muslims, so ask Him for forgiveness, for He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Part – 2

Praise be to Allah Who decreed rulings suited to human nature and needs, and Who based His laws and decrees on kindness and mercy. Glory be to Him; He permitted marriage and forbade immorality. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah alone with no partner or associate; (He is the) Cleaver of the daybreak (6:96). And I bear witness that our Prophet and example, Muhammad, is His Slave and His Messenger. May Allah send blessings and peace upon him and upon his Family and Companions, and those who follow them in truth, so long as morning and evening alternate.

To Proceed:

Fear Allah, O Muslims, and give thanks to Him for His blessings both hidden and obvious. Follow the teachings of Islam in all your affairs and beware of going against them, lest that may lead to turmoil and incur painful punishment.

O beloved brothers in Islam, among the things that people have introduced into wedding parties are matters that are objectionable in terms of the Sharee’ah. In addition to extravagance, excess and showing off, there are other matters in which some people have gone to extremes as a result of weakness of faith, lack of knowledge and too much indulgence in material matters.

For example, some people make wedding parties an occasion for mixing between men and women in which the husband appears with his wife in front of those present with full adornment and Haraam pictures are taken of them. This leads to temptation and corruption the extent of which no one knows except Allah.

Some of them make these parties an occasion for staying up late, engaging in idle talk and Haraam entertainment until late into the night. Others lose all shame before Allah and His slaves. They take the wedding party as an opportunity for dubious relationships and Haraam liaisons. Some of them annoy their neighbours and Muslim brothers with loud Haraam music, honking their car horns and so on. Others take it as an opportunity to listen to Haraam songs with indecent and objectionable lyrics that inflame desires and prevent people from remembering Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) which may be a road to corruption, Allah forbid.

All of these and other matters are things that need to be re-examined. We should all start to put into practice the proper understanding of the concept of being easy-going with regard to marriage and follow the Islamic teachings and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) with regard to this and other important matters.

I should not forget here to praise some of our Muslim brothers who have set a good example for which they deserve to be thanked, with regard to being economical and wise in spending and following the moderate approach with regard to matters. of marriage. This initiative is not strange to our societies, praise be to Allah, and we hope that it will soon spread to all the Muslims, In Sha’ Allah. That will be achieved when awareness increases and when sincere advice and cooperation between the Muslims prevails.

Finally, send blessings and peace – may Allah have mercy on you – upon the chosen Prophet, as your Lord, the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving, has commanded you:

“Allah sends His Salat (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad SAW) and also His angels too (ask Allah to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salat on (ask Allah to bless) him (Muhammad SAW), and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islamic way of greeting (salutation i.e. AsSalamu ‘Alaikum).” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:56]

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