"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Dr.Maqsood
Full Name: Dr. Maqsood Jafri
User since: 19/Nov/2011
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On the Need of Marriage

By: Dr. Maqsood Jafri

Marriage is a custom in wont since times immemorial. It is a social and religious contract. All societies whether religious or secular believe in the sanctity of marriage. Family life is preferred and respected. The experiment of free sex has proved to be very devastating and injurious for a health society.  The Semitic religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam prescribe and ordain marriage and strictly proscribe adultery, fornication and same- sex. One wife is generally and universally accepted and rampant practice. Even non-Semitic cults like Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and Baha’ism have also strictly prohibited the practice of free sex and ordained for marriage. Free sex is an animal practice. It totally mars the fabric of a disciplined society and distorts and retorts human psyche, personality and conscience.  Free sex breeds venereal diseases and social crimes. Without a better half, we cannot have a better life. We should not ignore the advice of the elders and betters, who in the light of age old experiences concluded to have a pure and noble life in married life. Family life is a sacred social and religious bond.

One must have free choice in selecting the life partner. Forced marriages are unnatural and inhuman. We must condemn the mind set of some dogmatic families who do not permit their young sons and daughters to marry on their free choice. The marriage of compulsion is a social crime and religiously a sin.  In some societies the couple that marries out of mere love and mental understanding is killed. It is the height of cruelty and inhumanity. We must raise our voice and take action against such social hostilities.  Some Arabs monarchs and people belonging to the elite class still have numberless concubines.  The concubines were of two types.  One; purchased ladies from open market.  Second; the ladies captured during war between different Arab tribes. Now, according to UN charter we have to return the captured ladies to their families and we cannot make then sex slaves.  Besides, the human rights’ UN charter does not permit the sale of ladies.  It is obligatory upon all signatory member countries of UN to stop the vicious and vile practice of women slavery.  The Arab monarchs must be taken to task for violating the human rights’ pact of the UN.

There are three types of marriages. First; Love marriage.  This is considered the best form of marriage. Whether religious or secular society, no one can usurp the human and natural right of youth the marriage of choice.  This right gas been granted to them by all philosophers and prophets. We are no body to snatch their innate social right. The poets are the chief champions of love. They have always fought for the free choice of the couples in the matter of marriage.  Samuel Coleridge is on record to yearn for the communion of the lovers. Happy marriage is the marriage of free choice.  Second; Arranged marriage. This form of marriage is mostly rampant in traditional and dogmatic families and cultures. It is a marriage between two families. It has pros and cons. In Eastern culture, we have a combined family system. For economic and social constraints and restraints such marriages have become essential. They are successful as well. The marriages in relatives or in the family of friends have some positive points as well.  As the families know each other and have some regards for each other, hence they look after the interests of the newly married couple.  Third is the Marriage of Convenience.  This form of marriage is based on business mentality.  Some people marry for social status. They have an axe to grind.  Money or political interests are the core intention of such marriages. Mostly, such types of marriages fail.  When the worldly interest ends; the marriage ends.  William Shakespeare had rightly said that marriage is not only the union of two bodies but of two souls.

Most of the youth marries just to satiate the sexual urge. In youth period their sexual impels them to marry any girl available. It is done at random and in hurry. One is not much choosy. Emotional involvement or the intense love passion decides their fate and future. In primitive era, the free mixing of the young boys and girls was prohibited. There was no co-education and the boys and girls did not have an opportunity to meet and understand each other.  There was no mental or intellectual involvement. It was all sensuous passion that led to love. Mostly the people were illiterate and had no taste or choice for partner on mental level. It was all sexual impetus or romantic gust. Mostly, physical and aesthetic appeal and attraction played the part. Physical winsomeness was the core of desires. But in our modern age, the literacy rate has been increased and concurrently, the couples have become selective.  It is mentioned with heavy heart that even today, the educated families are adhered to racial and religious dogmas, rites, customs and taboos. The religious and racial differences have become hurdles and impediments in the marriages of free choice. It is very sorrowful aptitude and demeaning attitude.  Some races and tribes cherish the false delusions of superiority.  They do not marry out of their sects, tribes and class. Such people are prejudicial. Such people deride, disgrace, damage and despise human equality.  The marriage should not take place on racial, religious or tribal basis but on human basis. Mental harmony is the base of successful marriage.

It is better to marry the lady of taste than to live in permanent agony.  Sometimes there is miscalculation, misapplication, misjudgment or inappropriate decision in marriage. One should not react or retaliate. The love marriages also fail and end in divorce. Nowadays, the divorce rate is very high even in underdeveloped countries. What is the cause?  The girls have educated and they have jobs. They have become aware of their rights. Domestic violence is not accepted.  No sane person can abet or support the domestic violence. It is not only a crime but a sin as well. But some ladies under the influence of the Western culture have become irritant and violent. They seek divorce on very petty issues.  In America and Europe, divorce is no problem. It has become an integral part of their culture. But in this vicious act, the children suffer. Divorce is the only legal rite condemned by the holy Prophet of Islam.  It is discouraged and family life is preferred. In New York, a family known to me got enmeshed in a family feud. The man had three daughters and one son. The lady was very hostile in temper and declared to get divorce.  I was asked to intervene and mediate. It was quite difficult task as the chances of reconciliation were rare only for the philosophy of human rights and feminisms.  Ultimately, I prevailed upon their arguments by human and ethical arguments and asked them to be sacrifice for the future of their kids. I asked them that the mercenary marriages never succeed. You are life partners but in this capitalist culture you live like two business partners.  You do not look like life partners.  I told them that love, sacrifice, faithfulness, respect and trust are the five pillars of the edifice of marriage.  My mediation worked on and they were cooled down.

I am of the opinion that marriage must not be delayed.  Delay in marriage is delay in happiness. We daily see in our Eastern culture that the boys and girls do not marry for economic or educational reasons.  The girl reaches the state of puberty at the age of 16 in our society and at the age of 20, the boys are mostly able to marry.  Due to economic and social restrains we keep on delaying their marriage. In advanced families where there is no check on university going girls, we find some sexual corruption.  They young guys and girls get involved in sexual proximity. It is quite natural. The parents are blamed for this sin.  In some cases the girls get pregnant before marriage.  Some can afford abortion while some cannot afford this costly operation.  In some religious and dogmatic families such mishaps are shuddering incidents. Either, they kill the girl or the girl out of fear commits suicide.  If such acts happen, the educated families get the couple married instead of killing them.  There are many Muslim jurists who decree immediate marriage of such a couple.  In the Quran, there is one hundred lashed prescribed as punishment for adultery. When a married lady cohabits with any person than her husband, she is lashed for breaching the social contract.  The stoning to death for adultery is the punitive act prescribed in the Torah. The capital punishment is neither prescribed in the Bible nor in the Quran.

Excess of children, in early days was considered a blessing. In tribal societies, it was required. It was the quantity of the kids that mattered. There was no quality concept. The person who had more wives, camels and children was considered a big man.  But now in our educated and enlightened age, the excess of children is not appreciated. It is the sign if illiteracy, poverty and radicalism. Time is changed. Time has its’ own course of values. We should not ignore the voice and spirit of time.  Time is like a river. It flows forward, not backward. Time is in progression; not in retrogression.  Even today some of the Christian catholic priests and Muslim dogmatic clerics oppose family planning.  They are the bats of religions. They even do not see in the broad day light.  They have no rational approach. We must crusade against their short sightedness and promote progressive norms. In the dogmatic families, the bride wants to get pregnant over night as her family wants to see her with a child being lullabied after nine months. But the educated couples after marriage spend some good time of honey moon and avoid pregnancy for some period to enjoy life.  Population explosion has driven many counties in the abysses and chasms of poverty, illiteracy, disease and slavery.  Reasonable number of children is the blessing of God. In America and Europe, the social system has impelled and compelled them to avoid producing children. Most of the couples breed cats and dogs instead of rearing kids. It is a very sad and sorrowful human plight. It is the product of capitalism. It has to be discouraged.  A welfare state must provide social and economic facilities to the married couples to have a pleasurable and appeasing  family life.

Permanent marriage is the best form of marriage.  It should be the first priority of every balanced person.  Under some conditions Timely marriage is prescribed to avoid adultery. It is prescribed that in timely marriage one should avoid child birth. To evade social problems and social pressures, one must use family planning methods. Timely marriage ( Muta) is prescribed in the  Muslim Shia sect  in the light of the verse of the holy Quran.  In the Sunni Hanafite jurisprudence, this type of marriage is permissible and is called Nikah-e- Misyar.  It is undeclared timely marriage. The intention is not of permanent marriage.  One can divorce the bride even after passing one night with her.  The lady has to spend the days of “Iddat.” Iddat( waiting days to remarry)  is for three months before getting  in touch with the other man.  Islam strictly prohibits homosexuality and lesbianism.  The sexual corruption breeds AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhea.  Free sex causes such fatal sexual diseases. This is the reason all sensible and social philosophers and the prophets have strictly prohibited adultery and fornication.

Some very serious problems have emerged because of free sex. Either a lady is a divorcee, or a widow or a virgin. In the Western countries, the concept of virginity has no place now. Every girl of 16 years is free to have sex with any one. The government takes action against the cases of rape.  A lady can marry or have a  friend  she has no moral or legal obligation.  But in Muslim societies the experience of sex before marriage is not appreciated. Some girls get involved in sexual intercourse before marriage because of delay in marriage at the proper age. When they are married to some other fellow, they do not mention or declare their virginity. We do not have such practice in our traditional society. But after marriage, when the husband comes to now about her involvement in sexual intercourses with some boyfriend, he reacts.  Such incidents are becoming the causes of divorce. What are the remedies to avoid such deplorable situation? In my opinion the boys and girls must be allowed to marry of their choice, the time they reach the age of puberty.  In America and Europe, there is no binding on sex relations at the age of puberty.  It is unnatural to delay the marriage of a young couple on certain excuses or social problems. In Iran, the young couples are permitted to marry of their free will when they reach the age of puberty.  They are told to avoid pregnancy by the time they complete their education and get job. In this way, they have closed the doors of sexual frustration and corruption. It is quite an Islamic way of dealing with the situation. The Quran exhorts to marry and prohibits adultery. The holy prophet of Islam says:” Marriage is my way. The one who deviates from my practice is not from me.”  There is another saying of the holy Prophet that ordains to marry the young girl as soon as she reaches the age of puberty.  The holy prophet says that it is the duty of the parents of the young girl to fetch her partner as soon as possible. The prophet knew the hazards of the delayed marriage.  To avoid divorce after marriage, it should be mentioned in the marriage certificate whether the bride is a divorcee, a widow or a virgin. If she declares to be a virgin, then a medical certificate of virginity from a certified lady doctor should be attached with the marriage paper.  Besides, for the safety of the couple, the certificates of the Bridegroom and the bride about their health should be attached with the clearance from the fatal diseases like AIDS and hepatitis B or C. These have become a must in the so called modern immoral society. Some people have become the victim of AIDS because of the fault of the other gender.  The age difference between the bridegroom and bride must not be more than five years. According to the science of Physiognomy, the ladies reach the age of infertility and imbecility soon.  The parliament must pass the bill about the age difference between the bride groom and bride. Some poor young ladies are forced to marry the old rich people. After marriage, either they burn in the hell of dogmatic rites or develop secret sexual relations with persons available. In both cases this practice of marring the young girls with age beaten rogues are inhuman.  The sane societies live by the law of love and nature.  Marriage is a social and religious contract and must protected.


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