When Must We Marry? (3)

When Must We Marry? (3)


Sometime ago, I went to see Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini (a pious, discernible scholar conversant with family problems for many years, who has close contacts with the problems of youth). I had a talk with him on his viewpoint of the marriage age, which he has discussed in his book "The Spouse Selection." Before narrating the detail of the discussion, I hereby exactly cite what he has written in his book:

"The nature and special creation of man has fixed the age of marriage and that is the puberty age. When a boy reaches puberty at the age of 16 and a girl at 10 years, they can marry. But it is better to delay the marriage up to 17 years and 14 or 15 years in boys and girls respectively. Because boys and girls do not have sufficient amount of mental and intellectual maturity at the beginning of puberty, and at this age might have difficulties accompanied with it. Furthermore, in the initial two or three years after puberty, sexual instinct is not completely awakened and does not pressurize the youth too much, and its endurance is not so much difficult.

Therefore, it can be said that the most suitable marriage age for boys is 17 to 18 years and for girls 14 to 17 years. But it is not advisable to delay their marriage beyond the above mentioned ages, since it may cause negative physical, spiritual or social diseases and discrepancies. The sexual instinct, having completely and absolutely awakened, is provoked and excited and exerts pressure upon the youth. And there is no alternative left except fulfilling the desire lawfully. The sexual urge is just like the urge and need for water and food. Can you tell a hungry of thirsty person to refrain from eating and drinking? Can another activity, even exercise and recreation or games, divert the attention of a hungry and thirsty one from food or water?

The sexual urge too is like hunger and thirst, rather it is many times stronger and more powerful. And, if it is not soothed and achieved through lawful means, it may deviate and drag a young one towards going astray and sin, and controlling it is very difficult. And we must not remain indifferent and unmindful about the bad consequences of sexual deviation pertaining to this world and the Hereafter. Supposedly, even if the youth could, by virtue of his faith, shame and modesty control the powerful sexual lust and does not indulge in sin, yet what would be done with its negative physical and spiritual consequences? Therefore, there is no choice but to get married at a fixed age, and one must marry as soon as possible." (1)

I asked him if he still held the same view and opinion about the time of marriage, even when many years had passed since the publication of his book, "Intekhabe Hamsar" (The Spouse Selection). He replied: "yes, this is the sole way of rectification and solution to the problem of the youth; that is, they marry at the natural time of marriage, and until such time as this difficulty is not removed, no other way of

solving the youth problems will bear any fruit." I said: "Do you say that, even after taking the social facts and present difficulties on the way to marriage into consideration?" He reflected. "Yes, if all these expenditures and expenses which are incurred upon subsidiary matters, all these efforts which are concentrated upon the difficulties of the youth, all the expenses relating to missionary and cultural activities and the budget which is allocated to confronting a cultural attack - if all these sources are spent upon the marriage of the youth, and this way is opened up for them, only then will the cultural attack and aggression no longer have any negative and adverse effect.

Let any amount of planning be made and materialized in regard of meeting and confronting the cultural attack; all that will remain ineffective whilst the problem of youth marriage at the natural age remains unsolved. The real and actual combat against cultural aggression is that the youth marry at the time of their sexual and mental puberty."

Continue in the next article: ( When Must We Marry? (4) )



1. Intekhab-e Hamsar, p31/32 (The spouse selection).