Delaying Marriage in Islam and its Road Map
The tendency of many young couples in this century is postponing their marriages for various reasons, among them, wanting to have a more settled life, prioritizing their career, completing their education, choosing to marry within the same nationality/race, or for preparing a dowry to woo the woman of his dreams. In terms of this issue, we should ask ourselves, what is the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) upon delaying marriage?
Abu Hurayrah (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “If there comes to you someone whose religion and morals you approve of, then marry him [to women under your guardianship]; if you do not, there will be temptation on earth and widespread corruption.” [At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah].
According to the above hadith, the couples who are ready to get married but delay it will only cause corruption because both of them will be trapped in an unlawful relationship.
Sometimes a traditional ceremony or a big wedding is composed of a few days of various rituals and in consequence it will be costly. In this instance the couples or their parents may not have enough savings. As a result they probably will suspend their intentions for getting married.
The marriage stages in Islam are simple. Some marriage laws based on hadiths associated with the stages of marriage are:
First, woo the prospective wife. In this case the man is allowed to see the woman who he intends to marry. In the history of Muslims, Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said to a man who would marry a woman: “Have you seen your prospective wife?.” The man replied: “Not.” He said, “Go and see her.”
Second, give a dowry to the bride. Requirements of the dowry for Muslim men to have a house, a car, furniture inside the house, etc. will only burden the man and may take many years to be fulfilled. Though dowry does not have to be expensive, even the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in the hadith of Bukhari-Muslim only requires a ring of iron as a parable for the cheapest dowry to woo the bride, or memorizing the Koran as a knowledge that will be taught to his wife if the man does not have anything.
Third, there should be a marriage ceremony and a guardian for the woman. No marriage with a woman is acceptable except with the permission of her guardian. As narrated from Aisha (RA), The Prophet (SAW) said:
“Rasulullah (SAW) said:” If a woman married without permission of her guardian then the marriage is illegitimate. If a man interferes, the woman is entitled to receive her dowry because she has given her honor. If they (both parties) dispute then the ruler is the guardian for those who do not have a guardian. “(Hadith narrated by four Imam except An-Nasai, and classed as saheeh by Ibn ‘Awanah, Ibn Hibban, and al-Hakim).
The Prophet (SAW) also suggested to announce the wedding, as narrated in the following hadith:
And narrated from ‘Aamir bin Abdillah bin Az-Zubair from his father (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Announce the wedding.” (Hadith narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Hakim).
May Allah give an ease in finding the best life partner to those who have not found a spouse, or if we are parents, it is fitting that we begin to pray that our children are given ease in obtaining the best mate and always have faith in Allah (SWT). Aamiin.