When Must We Marry? (1)

When Must We Marry? (1)

One of the important problems in connection with marriage and choosing a spouse, which must be taken into consideration, is the time and age of it. Much has been written and said on this topic. And, everybody has endeavored to answer this question according to his own taste and predisposition, understanding, knowledge, and mental ability. We must say that the answer to the question "when must we marry?" is hidden in the interior of man's nature and instinct and does not need and answer, logic of knowledge, or philosophy.

We should look inside ourselves and ask its answer from our nature, instincts and inclinations, which do reply in a truthful manner, without different hurdles, ceremonies, habits, customs and prejudices. It is much like hunger and thirst, which are not controlled or governed by any law, which tells when to eat and drink. Instead, a man knows by virtue of his nature when he is hungry or thirsty and when he is not and when is a suitable time to eat, and when is not. yes! Laws can be formulated for the pertinent matters such as not eating rotten, prohibited and illegal food, and never drinking contaminated water. Instead, man should eat licit, lawful and healthy food and must not eat during fasting etc. But a law cannot be set for the actual and basic needs of hunger, thirst, eating and drinking.

The need for a spouse and raising a family is a natural and instinctive need, which Allah has, through His wisdom, placed in the human being. It is awakened at its particular time and season, and makes its demand. If it is answered on time and properly and its requirement is fulfilled, it traverses its natural course and reaches the summit of maturity and completion and makes man reach that point. If it is delayed or answered in an incorrect and unnatural mode, it deviates from its natural course, revolts and rebels. And not only becomes corrupt itself, but also corrupts the man. Just as if the natural and instinctive needs of man such as hunger and thirst are not properly answered, they become deviated and drive man towards ailment, disease, the eating of stale and prohibited food, and occasionally, stealing and death.

Therefore, any law in this connection must pertain to the balancing of this urge and provisioning of aids and assistance with regard to this difficulty and the removal of hurdles on the way. But when must this need be fulfilled and when must the man and woman marry? This cannot be regulated inside a particular law. It does not have any specific law and regulation; its law is genetic and the Creator has gifted it inside human nature. Therefore, 'should' and 'should-nots' in this connection are not correct. But one can study and research to discover its approaching time so as to be informed in advance and provide a suitable ground for welcoming it.


After giving all sorts of explanations, young men still ask, "Nevertheless, when is the proper time and age of marry?" The answer is: The proper time and age of marrying is when the "sexual and mental maturity" has reached its desired completion in a person. (Reaching completion does not mean the climax and apex of the possible completion, because reaching that stage particularly in the case of mental puberty, is much distanced and difficult; but here it means reaching the ordinary and commonly known limit).

Some say Islam has fixed the marriage age for boys at 15 years and that of girls at the age of nine years. This is not correct. Islam has not given any such order. Islam is the religion of nature and gives an order against nature and human instinct. But Islam commands one to marry when one reaches puberty and maturity. According to the interpretation of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) it is like a fruit whose ripening is its maturity and adult age. Yes! Islam's divine legislation in this connection stressed the desirability of marriage (in the previous chapter we discussed some fact about the merits of marriage). But whenever this need and urge stirs itself and desires revolt and rebel and make man probe and practice prohibited acts, then it becomes obligatory, and postponing and delaying it becomes prohibited.

So this divine legislation also reverts back to the law of genetics. That is to say, when puberty is reached, marriage becomes a desirable act and whenever it comes to the revolt and rebellion of emotions and the preludes of sin become obvious, then marriage becomes obligatory. When a person attains maturity and puberty (we have explained puberty) his time for marriage has arrived and delaying it would not be advisable in any way, just as its early execution is also not commendable, for it's like being an unripe fruit.

When the interior call of a person, which rises from one's nature and instinct comes, it is the time for marriage. Everyone can clearly hear this call from his interior, provided of course, that this power has not been scarred or become ill by the effect of various factors. Because it is quite evident that if this power has been scarred or become diseased, then it cannot give a timely and proper call. Just like a patient who has lost his appetite and his health deteriorates from its normal course.

If this need and inner energy gives a call and says, "I have approached, I want a spouse," the factors hidden inside the human conscience may come to face it and argue - I have no house, no money, no dowry, I do not have my degree yet, I do not have the means to pay for the celebration, society does not approve of marriage at this age, the customs, ceremonies and family discipline do not yet approve it, a person possessing money, a house, and a car has not yet proposed to me, I have yet to find a rich girl, a wife has her expenses and then there are children to follow who too, have a lot of expenditure and headache. What about the parties and invitations? How can I face the ceremonies and formalities? How can I get the money for the dowry, gold, dress and for purchasing other items?..." It is evident that the poor call will retreat!

Or if that youth has gone astray through masturbation, corruption and debauchery, and deviated from the course of his nature, then that interior call of instinct too has been trampled down and there is no more chance of it raising a correct call. An exhausted youth said: "For many years I have masturbated and now that I have married a girl, I do not have any desire for her and cannot get any enjoyment from her. I still masturbate and prefer it to intercourse with my wife." This is known as an ill and diseased nature and instinct. It can no longer hear the voice of its natural call. As a matter of fact, no more of a call or voice has been left over and survived.

Continue in the next article: ( When Must We Marry? (2) )