Marriage: The Quest for Love & Mercy


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As-salaamu'Alaykum wa'Rahmatullaahi wa'Barakatuh,

This thread will be comprehensive in relation to marriage. It is taken from 'The Quest of Love and Mercy" by Muhammad al-Jibaly. It is very simple and an excellent read, more importantly it is according to the Qur'aan and Sunnah. I will update consistently and should be completed soon, Insha'Allaah.

It will provide advice for the qualities to look for in a spouse, issue of courting, things to avoid, the marriage contract, the Wali, the Mahr (dowry) and the Walimah. I know it does not include matters relating to intimacy; such information is more suitable in the private brother/sister areas.

Importantly, please remember this website is not a matrimonial website rather this should provide us all with answers to questions in relation to marriage. If you are seeking marriage it is advisable to talk with your family, good (emphasis) friends and/or the Imam at the Masjid.

I will also include an advice from Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (in relation to marriage) at the end and a few beneficial question and answers.

The sections are broken down below for ease:

A Blessed Bond (The Advantages of Marriage) (Post #2 - #21,

Spouse Selection (Characteristics to look for)
(Post #22 - #35,

Courting (Covers important issues) (Post #36 - #55,

The Marriage Contract (Bride/groom eligibility, the woman's wali, the mahr, conditions, contract and a couple of points on the Walimah) (Post #56 - #92,

General Important Advices onwards (Post #94 - #102,


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The Quest for Love & Mercy

A Blessed Bond

Marriage is One of Allah’s Laws

Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) created our world and the laws that govern IT. Among Allah’s laws is that we need food to survive, air to breathe, rain for vegetation, and so on.

One of Allah’s important laws is that things are created in pairs, and from these pairs, reproduction occurs, Allah says:

“We have created all things in pairs, that perhaps you may remember.”

(Qur’aan 51: 49)

This applies to human beings who are made of male-female pairs as well.

Humankind started with our father, Adam, and our mother, Hawwa (Eve). From that pair, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) created all of the other people, as He says:

“O people! Revere your Lord who has created you from a single soul, created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women.”

(Qur’aan 4: 1)

And He says:

O people! We have created you from one male and one female, and have made you nations and tribes so as to know one another. The noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the most pious. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing and All-Aware.”

(Qur’aan. 49: 13)

This continues to be the way of reproduction for humans, as Allah says:

Allah has given you spouses from yourselves, and has given you, from your spouses, children and grandchildren, and has provided you with good things for your sustenance.”

(Qur’aan 16: 72)


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Islam Urges the Muslims to Marry


The word commonly used in Islamic texts for marriage is nikah. In the original Arabic language, it means “intercourse”. But it was then applied to the marriage agreement because it is a means to intercourse.


Thus the statement, “He performed nikah on the daughter of so and so,” normally means that he executed an agreement for marriage. On the hand, the statement, “He performed nikah on his wife,” means intercourse. In this book, we will most replace the word “nikah” with its English equivalents to avoid confusion.


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A Command from Allah and His Messenger

Allah commands the believers to marry and help those under their charge to marry as well. He says:

“Marry the unmarried among you and the righteous of your male and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His favours. Allah is Bountiful and Knowing.”

(Qur’aan 24: 32)

Also, Allah’s Messenger :saw: commanded the young people to marry, and advised those of them who could not afford it to fast as a means of controlling their sexual desire. Ibn Mas’ood (radhiy’Allaahu anh) reported, “We were with Prophet :saw: while we were young and had no wealth whatsoever. So Allah’s Messenger said:

“Young men, those among you who can afford marriage should do so, for it helps lower the gaze and guard the private parts (from zina). And those who cannot afford it should fast, for fasting is a repression (of desire) for him.”

(Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others)

Similarly, Anas (radhiy’Allaah anh) reported that the Prophet :saw: said:

“You should marry. And those who cannot afford it should fast, because it restrains their desire.”

(At-Tabarani (in al Al-Awsat) and ad-Diya ul-Maqdisi. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albani (Sahih-ul-Jami’ no. 4058)

And Uthman (radhiyAllaahu anh) reported that Allah’s Messenger :saw: said:

“Anyone among you who has the ability should marry, because it helps lower the (lustful) gaze and guard the private parts. And whoever cannot afford it should fast, because fasting is a restraint (of desire) for him.”

(An-Nasa’i. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Sahih-ul-Jami no. 6498)


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Allah’s Promised Help

Allah’s Messenger :saw: indicates that Allah promises to help any person who aspires to marry in order to avoid sinning. Abu Hurayrah (radhiyAllahu anh) reported that Allah’s Messenger said:

“There are three individuals that it is a right upon Allah to help them: a fighter for Allah’s cause, a mukatib (a slave who makes a contract with his master to purchase his freedom) who wants to pay himself off, and one who seeks marriage for the purpose of preserving his chastity.”

(Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i and others. Verified to be hasan by al-Albani (Sahih-ul-Jami’ no. 3050)

In another report, Abu Hurayrah (radhiyAllaahu anh) said that Allah’s Messenger :saw: said:

“It is a right upon Allah to help one who seeks to marry for the purpose of avoiding what Allah prohibited.”

(Recorded by Ibn ‘Adiyy. Verified to be hasan by al-Albani (Sahih-ul-Jami’ no. 3152)


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Danger of Bachelorship

A strange phenomenon has recently developed among Muslims, without being confined to one country or nationality – a phenomenon whose consequences can prove to be most devastating to the Muslim community. This phenomenon is the alarming number of unmarried Muslim men and women.

On an individual level, it may appear that bachelorship poses a very insignificant threat to the Islamic world. However, in Islam, unlike other religions, matters are weighed in light of their benefits or harms to the community as a whole. So, what is the effect of single unmarried men and women on the community?

To find the answer to this question, all one has to do is look at the non-Muslim communities. Every day we are confronted by the perversion and sinful practices that the non-Muslims find acceptable in their societies. This occurs because of the unnatural decision to abstain from marriage.

No Muslim would want the Muslim Ummah to fall into lifestyles like those of Pompeii or Sodom and Gomorrah – towns that Allah totally destroyed because of the perversion and disobedience. Protection against a fate similar to that can only be through lawful marriage.


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Marriage is a Practice of the Prophets

Previous Prophets

Previous prophets of Allah have married women, and none of them was known to practice celibacy. Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:

“And We have surely sent messengers before you (O Muhammad :saw:) and granted them wives and offspring.”

(Qur’aan 13: 38)


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Our Prophet

The Prophet Muhammad :saw: indicated that marriage is part of his SUnnah, and that whoever neglects it is not of his true followers. Even though he derived the greatest pleasure and highest satisfaction from the prayer, Allah’s Messenger :saw: expressed that he still had the desire for worldly pleasures such as women and perfume. This is only natural for a human messenger. Anas (radhiyAllaahu anh) reported that Allah’s Messenger :saw: said:

“Of you worldly life, I have been made to desire women and perfume. But the satisfaction of my eye has been made in the salah.”

(Ahmad, an-Nasa’i and others. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Sahaih-ul-Jami’ no. 3124)

‘A’ishah (radhiyAllaahu anha) reported that Allah’s Messenger :saw: said:

“Marriage is a sunnah (way) of mine; and whoever does not follow my Sunnah is not of my followers. Marry because I will display your outnumbering the other nations on Resurrection Day. Whoever has wealth should marry, and whoever does not should fast, because fasting is a restraint for him.”

(Ibn Majah. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (as-Sahihah no. 2383)

Ibn Abbas (radhiyAllaahu anh) said to Sa’id bin Jubayr (radhiyAllaahu anh):

“Marry: indeed, the best of this Ummah (the Prophet :saw:) had the most wives.”

(al-Bukhari and Ahmad)


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No Monasticism in Islam

Some of the followers of the earlier prophets tried monasticism as a self discipline that could possibly bring them closer to Allah. However, they were not able to fulfil it as well as they had hoped. The reason is imply that it contradicts human nature, and that is why it is not permitted in Islam.

‘A’ishah (radhiyAllaahu anha) reported that Khuwaylah, daughter of Hakim Bin Umayyah Bin Harithah Bin al-Awqas as-Sulami (from the tribe of Sulam) visited her. Khuwaylah was married to Uthman Bin Maz’un. Allah’s Messenger :saw: saw her and noticed her messy appearance; so he asked ‘A’ishah,

“O ‘A’ishah! What makes Khuwaylah appear so messy?

‘A’ishah replied,

“O Allah’s Messenger! This woman’s husband fasts during the day and prays during the night. So it is as if she does not have a husband, and thus she neglected her appearance.”

Allah’s Messenger :saw: then summoned Uthman bin Maz’un and said to him,

“O Uthman! Are you doing that because you dislike my Sunnah?

He replied,

“By Allah, no, O Allah’s Messenger! Rather, my whole interest is to follow your Sunnah.”

Allah’s Messenger :saw: then said:

“Verily, I sleep and pray, fast and break fast, and marry women. This fear and revere Allah O Uthman, because your family has a right upon you, your guests have a right upon you, and yourself (body) has a right upon you. So, fast and break fast, and pray and sleep.”

(Ahmad, Abu Dawood. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Irwa-ul-Ghalil no. 2015)

In another report by ‘A’ishah, Allah’s Messenger :saw: said to him:

“O Uthman! Monasticism has not been enjoined upon us, Do you not have an example in me? By Allah, verily I fear Allah and safeguard His boundaries more than any of you.”

(Ibn Hibban, Ahmad and at-Tabarani (in al-Kabir). Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Irwa ul-Ghalil no. 2015)


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Disliking the Sunnah?

As we have seen above, fulfilling a natural desire in a lawful way is not wrong, and it does not represent a lack of piety. Rather, that is the way of the Prophet :saw: who is the most pious of all people.

To the same meaning, Anas reported that a number of men went to the houses of the Prophet’s wives and inquired about the Prophet’s :saw:
manner of worship. When the Mothers of the Believers described that to them, they thought that he :saw: did too little. Then they argued,

“How could we reach Allah’s Messenger :saw: level, when all of his previous and later sins have been forgiven.”

So one of them pledged,

“I will always pray the whole night without sleeping.”

One said,

“I will fast every single day.”

One said,

“I will abstain from women and never marry.”

One said,

“I will never sleep on a mattress.”

And one said,

“I will never eat meat.”

When the Prophet :saw: heard of that, he addressed them and the other Muslims, saying,:

“Indeed, by Allah, I fear Allah and revere Him better than any of you; yet I fast (some days) and break my fast (on others), I pray (part of the night) and sleep (the other part), and I marry women. So, anyone who dislikes my Sunnah is not (a follower) of me.”

(al-Bukhari and Muslim)


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Advantages of Marriage for Individuals

Being ordained by Allah the Most Wise and All-Knowing, marriage is sure to have many virtues and advantages. In what follows we list a number of them.

Preservation of Faith and Religion

Righteous spouses assist one another in preserving their Deen by offering help, support and advice that enable them to obey Allah and abstain from sinning. Anas (radhiyAllaahu anh) reported that the Prophet :saw: said:

“When Allah grants one a righteous wife, He has helped him (by that) to preserve half of his religion. Let him then fear and revere Allah in regard to the other half.”

(at-Tabarani and al-Hakim. Verified to be hasan by al-Albani (as-Sahihah no. 625)

In another report from Anas, the Prophet :saw: said:

“When a servant (of Allah) marries, He has (by that) completed half of his religion. Let him then fear and revere Allah in regard to the other half.”

(at-Tabarani (in al-Awsat) and others. Verified to be hasan by al-Albani (as-Sahihah no. 625 & Sahih al-Jami’ no. 430)


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Preservation of Chastity

Men have a natural desire for women, and vice versa. Satan takes advantage of that to entice men and move their lusts when a woman approaches or moves away from them. He pictures her to them in an attractive and appealing form, which may lead them to various forms of sinning in compliance with their lusts.

Usamah Bin Zayd (radhiyAllaahu anh) reported that Allah’s Messenger :saw: said:

“I have not left after me a trial more harmful to men than women.”

(al-Bukhari and Muslim)

A married person has a quick means of protection against the Devil’s whispers and seductions. Jabir (radhiyAllaahu anh) reported that the Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

“A woman approaches in the (tempting) form of a devil, and moves away in the (tempting) form of a devil. When any of you finds in a woman something that attracts him, he should go to his wife, because she has the same as the other woman has, and that satisfies his desire (in a lawful way).”

(Combined report recorded by Muslim, Abu Dawood and others (as-Sahihah no. 235)


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Enjoying Love, Mercy and Security

Love and mercy are important sentiments that brighten one’s life and give him a feeling of reassurance, security and happiness. One of Allah’s (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) great favours is the love and mercy that He instills among the married couple. They dwell into each other, just as one dwells into a house that gives him protection, security and happiness. Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:

“And among His signs is that He created for you from yourselves, spouses that you may dwell (in joy and security) unto them, and He set between you love and mercy; surely in that are signs for those who reflect.”

(Qur’aan, 30: 21)

Furthermore, there is a wonderful feel of closeness between the married couple – similar to the closeness of a garment to a person’s body. They provide for each other protection, comfort, and cover. Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:

“They are a garment for you and you are a garment to them.”

(Qur’aan 2: 187)


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Lawful fulfilment of Desire

As is indicated above, Allah has instilled in human beings the desire for the opposite gender. This desire may be satisfied in unlawful ways that would have destructive effects on the individuals and societies.

Alternatively, one of Allah’s great favours on us is that he provided us with marriage as a lawful channel for venting our desires. Ibn Umar and Ibn Amr
(radhiyAllaahu anhuma) reported that the Prophet :saw: said:

“This life is a temporary accommodation, and the best of its accommodations is a righteous wife.”

(Muslim, Ahmad and an-Nasa’i)

Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyAllaahu anh) reported that a man came to the Prophet :saw: and said,

“We have an orphan girl under our custody. A poor man and a rich man have both courted her. She prefers the poor man, but we prefer the rich man. (What should we do?)”

The Prophet :saw: responded:

“For those who like each other, nothing has proven as good as marriage.”

(Ibn Majah, al-Hakim and others. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (as-Sahihah no. 624)


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Pleasurable Way of Increasing Good Deeds

Not only is marriage a lawful means of fulfilling a person’s desire, but is also a means of increasing one’s balance of good deeds.

Abu Dharr (radhiyAllaahu anh) reported that some of the companions of Allah’s Messenger :saw: complained to him,

“O Allah’s Messenger! The wealthy people have taken away all of the rewards. They pray as we do and fast as we do, and they give charities
from their extra monies.”

He :saw: replied:

“But has Allah not given you that which you may offer as charity? Verily:

Every tasbih is a charity;

Every takbir is a charity;

Every tahlil is a charity;

Every thmid is a charity;

Commanding good is a charity

Forbidding evil is a charity

And having relations (with your wife) is a charity.

The companions asked,

“O Allah’s Messenger, does a person even receive a reward for fulfilling his

He :saw: responded:

“Assume that he directed it towards a prohibition (zina), would that not result in a burden for him?

They replied,

“Yes, indeed.”

He :saw: deduced:

“Therefore, if he directs it toward that which is permissible (his wife), he
gets a reward for it.”

Allah’s Messenger :saw: then mentioned a number of other things that constitutes charities, and concluded by saying:

“And all of that may be covered by two rakat that one would pray in the mid-morning.”

(Muslim, Ahmad and others)

Commening on this, al-Albani (rahimahullaah) said:

“As-Suyuti said in Ithkar ul-Athkar that one’s relations (with his wife) is a charity, even if he did not have any intention in that regard. My opinion is that this may be true for each relations, but he should have a prior intention in that regard at least when he first married her. And Allah knows best.”

(Adab uz-Zifaf p. 138)

In a similar hadeeth, Abu Dharr (radhiyAllaahu anh) reported that Allah’s Messenger :saw: said:

“It is required for every person, every day upon which the sun rises, to
offer charity for himself.”

Abu Dharr asked,

“O Allah’s Messenger! How can I give charity when I have no money?”

He :saw: replied:

“That is because among the forms of charity are:

Saying Takbir

Say “Subhaan’Allaah

Saying “Al’Hamdu’Lillaah.

Saying “Laa ilaha illallaah

Saying “Astaghfir’Ullah

Commanding the good;

Forbidding the evil;

Removing thorns, bones, and rocks from the people’s way;

Guiding a blind man;

Helping a deaf and dumb man hear and understand;

Directing a person who lost something to loss – if you know where it is;

Running, with the power of your legs, to help one who is desperately seeking help;

Raising, with the power of your arms, an object for a weak person;

Having relations with your wife; you get a reward for this as well –

All of these are forms of charity that you earn for yourself.

Abu Dharr (radhiyAllaahu anh) asked,

“How could I get a reward for fulfilling my desire?”

The Prophet :saw: responded:

“If you had a child who reached puberty, and you expect good from him,
but he died, would you seek Allah’s reward for that?”

Abu Dharr replied,


The Prophet :saw: asked:

“Are you the one who created him?”

Abu Dharr replied,

“No, it is Allah who created him.”

The Prophet asked:

“Are you the one who guides him?

Abu Dharr replied,

“No, it is Allah who guides him!”

The Prophet asked:

“Are you the one who sustains him?”

Abu Dharr replied,

“No, it is Allah who sustains him!”

The Prophet :saw: then said:

“Thus, place it (your seed) in what is lawful (relations with your wife), and avoid for it what is prohibited (zina). Then, if Allah wills, He would give it life; and if He wills, He would make it die, and you would be rewarded (in both cases).”

(Ahmad, Ibn Hibban and an-Nasa’i. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (as-Sahihah no. 575)


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Living a Harmonious Life

Marriage allows a person to live in harmony with his human nature and eliminates from him feelings of conflict and dejection. As indicated earlier, abstaining from marriage is an unnatural act that has been prohibited by the Prophet :saw:. To the same meaning, Sa’d Bin Abi Waqqas and Samurah bin Jundub (radhiyAllaahu anhuma) reported:

“Allah’s Messenger :saw: prohibited abstinence from marriage.”

(al-Bukhari and Muslim)


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Following the way of the Prophets

We saw above that marriage was a practice of the prophets. Since they were all chosen by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) as examples for humanity, their practices are good, and it is our duty to follow them as much as we can.

Deserving Allah’s Help

We saw earlier that Allah will surely help anyone who marries intending by that to guard himself against sinning.


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A Lasting Relationship

When a married couple has a good relationship based on faith and taqwa, their relationship will extend into the next life and the woman will continue to be the wife of the last man to whom she was married in this life.

Abu ad-Darda (radhiyAllaahu anh) reported that Allah’s Messenger :saw: said:

“Any woman whose husband dies and she marries after, she will then be (in the hereafter) for the last one of her husbands.”

(at-Tabarani (in al-Kabir). Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Sahih-ul-Jami’ no. 2704 & as-Sahihah no. 1281)

‘A’ishah (radhiyAllaahu anha) reported that Allah’s Messenger :saw: said:

“A woman will be for the last one of her husbands.”

(Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban and others. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Sahih-ul-Jami’ no. 6691 & as-Sahihah no. 1281)


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Social Advantages of Marriage

Preserving Humankind

Marriage fulfils Allah’s law for the reproduction, as we have discussed earlier. Thus it constitutes a correct means of preserving humankind – until Allah inherits the Earth and all what is on it.

Preserving Kinship Ties

Contrary to zina, marriage preserves and reveres the kinship ties. It establishes the paternal relationships between the children their parents, giving them all a feeling dignity and self esteem. That strengthens the feelings of love and care within the society.


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Safeguarding the Society from Moral Degeneracy

Marriage is the proper way to establishing correct and permissible relationships between men and women. This helps maintain chastity, and protects the Muslim individuals from slipping into the filth of zina and other sins related to it. Thus, marriage closes the door in the face of many acts of moral degeneracy and decadence, which are among the major causes for the destruction of societies.

Safeguarding the society from Physical Diseases

Together with zina and its relates vices comes a host of destructive diseases. Among those are gonorrhea, syphilis, venereal ulcers, and most recently, AIDS. Marriage is an important means of protecting the society from these and many other diseases that can be easily transmitted, and that do not even spare children.

Establish the Family Environment

Marriage is a necessary step toward establishing a healthy environment for nurturing and rearing children. Our children are the fruits of our generation and the future men and women of our Ummah. Through good marriages, we furnish them with the love, mercy, compassion, and guidance, that they need for proper growth and development.