chapter 7


Obstacles to Marriage

God intends every facility for you ; He does not want to put you to
difficulties. [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:185]

Strictness in Marriage

Young men and women's need to marry is natural and intrinsic. It seems hard for them to resist sexual instincts for a very long time. Delaying marriage has at times led to corruption and sin. Preventing marriage has at times made young men and women ill. The need to marry and obstacles to marriage have at times led to a love affair which not only causes corruption, but may also leads to suicide attempts. When they reach the age of marriage and suggest they want to get married, some parents call them kids. They consider the need to get married as being rude. They attack their children and belittle them. Such a confrontation may lead children with a weak belief to deviation. Some parents propose such strict conditions for marriage which are either too hard or impossible for the parents of the other party to fulfill. Such insistence delays the marriage and the young human flowers will wither.
Sometimes when a young man goes to propose marriage, he encounters the sour faces of the girl’s family and gives up. The girl will then remain in her father's home with her feelings hurt, and she might get too old to marry. This may also happen with the boy's family.
At times, young men or women have limitations placed on their decision-making due to paternal or maternal domination. They do not marry and thus are hurt. There are also occasions when the young man or woman place such strict restrictions on marriage which prevent it. Such strictness is considered unjust, immoral, inhumane, ungodly and illegitimate in Islam. Those who are too strict are admonished about the consequences of their actions in this world and in the Hereafter. It is said that God the Benevolent is lenient with lenient people, and is strict with strict ones.
Being strict in marriage is similar to opposing the sexual urges and the natural human instincts of young men and women. God will be strict with those who are

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too strict and will deprive them of His Mercy and Favor. Himad, the son of Uthman said:
A man complained of someone to Imam Sadiq (Pbuh). A short time later another man arrived. When the first was asked the reason why he had complained he said, "This owes me money and I want to get my money back to the last penny." Imam Sadiq became angry, turned around and said to the creditor: "Have you not read God's statement in the Holy Quran":
Fear the terrible reckoning; [Holy Quran: Ra'd 13:21]
Do you think that this "terrible reckoning" refers to God's oppression of man. No, verily by God: "They fear not but the deep investigation." Know that: "One who is so strict in investigating is committing evil." O' parents, young men and women, beware of strictness - especially in marriage . Avoid this inhumane act. Take it easy and provide the means for the marriage of your daughters and sons. This will prevent the spread of corruption and sin.

Use Your Own Case to Judge for Others

The parents should remember that they themselves were once young and were very eager to get married. They wished their parents would provide the means for their marriage. They hoped their parents would let them marry in an environment full of love and kindness without imposing hard conditions. If they observed that their parents raised issues or set up obstacles that might delay this divine cause, they would get upset with their parents and would even hate them.
Now that they are in the past position of their parents and want to marry off their sons or daughters, they should put themselves in their child's shoes. They should consider their hopes and aspirations, the pressure of their carnal desires and their strong will to establish a new life. This could lead to leniency and can simplify the marriage of their offspring.
The Commander of the Faithful Ali (Pbuh) has pointed this out in an important tradition:
To better understand the facts of life and human issues, use your own case to judge for others. Prefer for others what you prefer for yourself. Dislike for others what you dislike for yourself. Just as you do not like anyone to oppress you, do not oppress others. Just as you like to be treated well, treat others well. Consider bad for others what you consider bad for yourself. Be happy with people in cases in which you expect them to be happy with you.
Imam Hassan Mujtaba (Pbuh) said:
Live with people the way you like them to live with you." [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.6, p.316]
This is what Islam duly expects of all. This is the beneficial decree of the religion. This is the way that makes it easy to live with others, and prevents sins

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from corrupting our lives. It fills life with love and loyalty, health and friendship, and simplicity and sweet affection.
Parents should remember what they preferred when they were young themselves. They wished to marry with someone from a family of an equal rank. They wished that both families would avoid undergoing excessive, unbearable expenses. So they should prefer the same things for their children. By putting aside undue expectations and avoiding heavy expenses, they should provide the means for the marriage of their children.
God grants a great reward to those who provide the means for marriage. Parents should be the first ones to provide the means for the marriage of their children, and follow it all the way through with love, nobility and kindness.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
Whoever strives to provide the means for the marriage of believing men and women to the point that God will join them in marriage, will receive a thousand companions with big, beautiful and lustrous eyes in Heaven as a reward. His reward is equal to one year of worship for each step taken or word uttered. [Marriage in Islam, p.18]
How can parents who are too strict about the marriage of their children deprive themselves of such a great reward from God, while they could easily provide the means for the marriage? How can they respond to their children in God's Just Court on the Day of Judgment if the children become corrupted, suffer from physical or mental shock or get psychologically distressed?
Imam Musa, the son of Jafa (Pbuh), requested his noble aunt by mail to send some property put aside for contributing to the nuptial gift of the spouse of Muhammad, the son of Jafar. She immediately did so as soon as she received the letter. The letter stated:
There exists in the Hereafter a divine shelter. Only the Prophet, the guardian appointed by his will, those who free a slave or provide for the payment of a believer's debt, or marry off a believing unmarried man can benefit from this shelter. [Marriage in Islam, p.18-19]
The Commander of the Faithful Ali (Pbuh) stated:
The greatest sin is stealing a Muslim's property, and the best form of intervention is intervening in marriage. [Ibid]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said:
Whoever marries off an unmarried man, will be amongst those who will receive God's Favor and Mercy in the Hereafter. [Ibid, pp.20-21]
He also said:
God will favorably look at four groups of people in the Hereafter: salesmen who accept returned goods; those who relieve one's sorrow; those who free a slave; and those who marry off an unmarried man. [Ibid, pp.20-21]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said:

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Whoever breaks up an arranged marriage or a couple will be damned by God in this world and in the Hereafter, and God has decreed that he be stoned with a thousand fiery rocks. Whoever tries to break up a couple but fails to do so, will be damned by God in this world and in the Hereafter and will be forbidden to see God's Mercy. [Ibid, pp.20-21]
I wish all parents were aware of these concepts and could benefit from great divine rewards by following these facts. I also wish that those who are aware of these concepts, but are too haughty to follow them would stop it and avoid God's eternal damnation, anger and torture.

Haughtiness is a Satanic Attribute

Today we suffer from early maturity. This is due to the cultural invasion of the minds and spirits of our youth by the voices and images of the atheist global media. Pornography is an international catastrophe causing sexual arousal. Therefore, it is both religiously ordained and morally expected of the Islamic government and people, the rich, the relatives and the parents to do all they can to ease the marriage of the youth. They should eliminate the wrong customs and traditions, discard western traditions, and forget imposing strict conditions so that the young men and women's beliefs, principles of belief and human behavior remain partially intact. Thus, they may be saved from falling into sin.
Do not be too haughty. Let the divine decrees, the orders of the Noble Prophet Muhammad and the Immaculate Imams be put into practice. It has unfortunately been observed that some parents make such gestures during marriage proposal meetings that one might think they are powerful beings.
They think that their child is a prince or princess and their marriage ceremonies should be conducted like those at the time of Pharaoh. They make such lavish proposals that the other family is astonished and is forced to forget about the marriage. Then the children are forced to find illegitimate friends and commit various sexual sins to satisfy their instincts. The Holy Quran has considered haughtiness as one of Satan's attributes:
.... and they bowed down not so Satan: he refused and was haughty: he was of those who reject faith. [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:34]
(God) said:
Get thee down from this: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures)." [Holy Quran: A'raf 7:13]
Ali (Pbuh) said:
You should not be haughty with people and God regarding daily matters, since verily haughtiness is one of the greatest sins and worst defects, and it is the facade, appearance and attribute of Satan. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.8, p.298]
He also said:

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Avoid haughtiness since this attribute is the start of rebellion and transgression against God. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.8, pp.300-302]
That noble man also said:
Haughtiness is the worst disposition. [Ibid]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
Avoid haughtiness since verily man continues to live in haughtiness, so much so that God the Almighty and Glorious says:
O' you who record the deeds, record the name of my servant as one of the worst oppressors. [Ibid]
He also said to Abuzar:
O' Abuzar, whoever dies with the slightest bit of haughtiness in his heart will not smell the sweet scent of Heaven, unless he repents before he dies and gives up haughtiness. [Ibid]
How come a creature formed from sperm and powerless in the face of disasters is haughty with people and God? How come he considers himself to be superior to others while nothing in this world works according to his will?
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) narrated his ancestors as having said a fight started between Salman. The man rudely asked: “who are you to confront me?” Salman answered: "I am the first, and you were at first an unclean sperm. I am the last, and at last you will be a stinking corpse in the grave. When the Hereafter comes and the balance is set up, then whoever has done more good will be nobler, and whoever has done little will be inferior." [Bihar al-Anwar, v.73, p.231]
Allameh Majlesi has proposed the following treatment and remedy for this dangerous disease:
There are two ways to treat haughtiness and attain modesty, one being scientific and the other practical. The scientific approach is to get to know oneself and one's Creator. This cognizance is enough to purify one's inner being from haughtiness. The reason for this is that with this real knowledge of one's self and one's existence, one will realize that he is inferior to anything else and he has no right but to be humble and down to earth. Once he gets to know God through the signs of the universe and the soul, and delving into the verses of the Holy Quran, then he would realize that no one but God deserves Sovereignty, Grandeur and Haughtiness. The practical approach to cure haughtiness is to be humble before God and people in all actions, deeds and behavior; to observe the morality of the humble people and use the pious ones as his model. He should note that the Prophet (Pbuh), who is the best of all people used to sit down on the ground to eat food and said a servant eats food like other servants.[Bihar al-Anwar, v.73, pp.201-205]
Therefore you should be humble before your son or daughter regarding marriage. This means that you should consider your child who is at the peak of his/her natural instincts, hopes and aspirations and not consider your own

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customs, traditions, and conditions. You should be lenient in your conditions, and minimize your expectations from the other family. Thus a happy, blessed and secure marriage will take place and the couple can conveniently live together.

An Amazing Story about Leniency in Marriage

The late Mulla Muhammad Taqi Majlesi, who was a wise jurisprudent and an outstanding scholar, had three learned sons and four noble daughters. His first daughter was named Amineh Beigom. Her marriage to the commentator of the twelve-volume book Usul-al-Kafi, Mulla Salih Mazandarani, was a divine, amazing and pleasant one.
Mulla Salih Mazandarani who is a renowned Shiite scholar had an adventurous life, which is briefly described here. His father, Mulla Ahmad, was so poor that he could not provide for his son's living expenses.
Muhammad, who was then a young adult, went to Isfahan to study in one of the schools there. The school had an endowed property. The income was used to pay some money to each student based on his rank. Muhammad who had just started studying received very little which was insufficient for his daily needs. He suffered so much that he had to study at night under the light of one of the school's lamps.
However, he was so studious that he overcame all deprivations and difficulties and attained a high scholarly status. He managed to attend Mulla Muhammad Taqi Allameh Majlesi's class. A short time later he surpassed all other students and received his wise professor's especial attention.
The author of Mirat al-Ahwal wrote: Mulla Salih who was then a young scholar was considering choosing a spouse to marry. Allameh Majlesi became informed of that and one day after his class asked Salih if he would permit him to find him a spouse. He lowered his head and after a moment said yes. Allameh Majlesi got up and went home. He called his learned daughter Amineh Beigom, who had mastered all the sciences perfectly. He said to her: My dear daughter. I have found you a spouse who is extremely poor, but absolutely wise, pious and mature. But it is up to you to decide. The holy noble learned daughter shyly said: "Dear father, being poor is not a defect for men." Thus she expressed her approval of this marriage. At a felicitous hour they held the marriage ceremony and prepared the bride for the groom.
On the wedding night, the groom unveiled her face and found her very beautiful. He went to a corner and started praising God and studying. He ran into a difficult academic issue which he was unable to resolve. Amineh Beigom realized the problem. When he left home the next day, she wrote the answer in full detail and put it in its place. When the man came home that night and saw that his unresolved issue was solved by that knowledgeable woman, he thanked God by placing his forehead on the ground, and prayed all night long. Thus three days passed. When Allameh Majlesi was informed, he told him: "If this wife is

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not suitable for you, let me know. I will get you another one." Mullah Salih replied: "No, that is not the issue. I keep away from her because no matter how much I praise God for this blessing that He has bestowed on me, I cannot be grateful enough." When Allameh Majlesi heard his answer, he said: "Confessing that one cannot be grateful enough to God is itself the utmost form of being grateful to Him." [Ayatollah Boroojerdy's Biography, Davani, p.79]
Note that first Majlesi kindly provided the means for his daughter's higher education so she could attain a high scientific status. He brought her up with purity, chastity, morality, humbleness and contentment. He chose the easiest way for her marriage, and married her off to one matching her in faith, morality and responsibility. He did not force her to accept Mulla Salih as a husband. He was not haughty, therefore he let her decide whether or not to marry him. When three days passed and the marriage had not been consummated, since Mulla Salih was praising God, he thought the man did not want his daughter. He was so humble that he proposed to get him a different wife if she was not good enough for him.
This is the morality of God's saints, lovers of truth, righteous men, chaste and faithful women, and pure families. These marriages are filled with divine blessing and God's Mercy and Favor. Mulla Salih and that knowledgeable lady had six sons who became scientists, jurisprudents, learned and eloquent, and two learned daughters. One of their daughters married the great Abu-al Ma'Ali and is the mother of Mir AbuTalib, both of whom are renowned scholars. Mir AbuTalib's son-in-law was Sayyid Muhammad Boroojerdy who is the fifth ancestor of the great Ayatullah Boroojerdy. The great Ayatullah Boroojerdy is also a maternal descendant of Majlesi. This is how they are related to the Majlesi family. Their second daughter married Sayyid Abdulkarim Tabatabaee, the sixth grandfather of Ayatullah Boroojerdy. She is the mother of Sayyid Muhammad Tabatabaee.
The Immaculate Imams (Pbuh) have been narrated as saying: God has taught his Prophets whatever man needs to know. One day the Prophet (Pbuh) climbed the mosque pulpit and after praising God he said to the people that the angel entrusted with revelations descended to me from the All-knowledgeable and said: "Young girls are like fruits which must be picked off the branch as soon as they ripen, or else they will be decayed by sun-shine and wind. When they reach adolescence, the outburst of their instincts cannot be cured except by marriage, or else they may be corrupted as they are humans, too." [Mustadrak al-Vasa'il, Introductory Chapters on Marriage, Ch.23.]
Parents should provide the means to marry off their daughters as soon as they develop enough to have a husband and carry out a joint life with a suitable man. This way they abide by God's decree and attain an infinitely great reward.

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Perils of Keeping up With the Joneses

Keeping up with the Joneses is a bad behavior observed in some people. By considering the much higher financial status of either their neighbors or friends, they try desperately to attain a similar status. The unmarried girl who looks at the financial status of other girls in the family or among friends, wishes that her future husband, and her wedding ceremony be exactly similar to theirs. Thus she insists on rejecting the marriage proposals of those who are not that well-off. She puts off the marriage so long that she feels obliged either to marry an old man or a widower. She might even prefer to adopt a celibate lifestyle. Even if she gets married when she is no longer an enthusiastic young woman, she is neither a patient wife nor a good mother to raise her children. Therefore keeping up with the Joneses is an obstacle to marriage, and an evil form of conduct.
In the verse 88 of Hijr and the verse 131 of Taha, the Holy Quran has prohibited gazing at the wealth of the rich and their life. Traditions from the holy Imams clearly state that those who are continually after the wealth of others, and hope to obtain it, are filled with envy and sorrow. One should have pure intentions for marriage, and should do it for God's sake. His/her goal should be to implement the Prophet's tradition, to have righteous children and to live under the shade of God's Mercy and Favor. Once marriage is based on these factors, it will be firmly established. God's blessings will then be manifested in such a marriage and spiritual gains will result.
Once the provisions for marriage are made, the relatives should help it take place and not improperly interfere in this divine affair. They should not ingratiate themselves, attempt to disunite, make unjust judgments or impede the marriage.

Expensive Nuptial Gift

The nuptial gift is an important, delicate and noteworthy issue in Islam. It is extremely undesirable to expect expensive nuptial gifts. Any property or action of some value can be considered as a nuptial gift. For example, a store, a garden, some land or building, cash or even teaching can be considered as nuptial gift.
Besides the verses of the Holy Quran, there are many credible traditions from the Prophet (Pbuh) or the Immaculate Imams which prohibit expensive nuptial gifts since they prevent young men from marrying and this will leave many young girls unmarried.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
The noblest woman in my nation is one with the most beauty and the least nuptial gift. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.347]
The Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh) said:
Do not set up expensive nuptial gifts since this will cause enmity. [Ibid]

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Verily when a young fellow goes to propose marriage and faces unbearably high nuptial gift requirements, he gets disappointed and fails to marry, then he will despise the girl and her family. Such disappointment may lead him to corruption, his life will be wasted and his youth and enthusiasm will be irreversibly harmed.
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said:
A woman's blessing is spending little and easy delivery, and her misfortune is heavy expenses and hard delivery. [Marriage in Islam p.95]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
Do not establish expensive nuptial gifts, since money and wealth do not bring affection. It is God who establishes love. [Mojazat Nabovieh, p.182]
The Prophet (Pbuh) told a woman named Haola:
O' Haola, I swear by the same God who appointed me to Prophethood, that no woman who forces an expensive nuptial gift on her husband shall be saved from fiery chains that God shall place round her neck. [Marraige in Islam, pp.96-97]
An expensive nuptial gift requirement will force the youth to escape marriage and become involved in sin and corruption. Those who require it are partly responsible for such deviations and deserve God's punishment."

The Quran as a Nuptial Gift

Imam Baqir (Pbuh) said: "A woman came to the Prophet (Pbuh) and asked him to find her a husband. The Prophet (Pbuh) asked who is ready to accept her as his wife? A man got up and said; "I am ready." The Prophet (Pbuh) asked what would you give her as her nuptial gift? The man said: "I don't have anything." The Prophet said it is not possible to marry her without a nuptial gift, and repeated his proposal. However no one but the same man answered. The third time around he asked if the man knew any verses from the Quran. He replied in the positive. The Prophet (Pbuh) said he would marry him and this woman and the man must teach her whatever amount of the Quran that he knew."
Imam Reza (Pbuh) said:
Whenever a believer proposes to marry a girl from the family of his believing brethren and suggests to pay five hundred Durhams as the nuptial gift, and his offer is turned down for the reason that the amount is too low, then this is an oppression. It is then appropriate for God to deprive him of seeing the companions of Heaven with lustrous eyes.
It has been said that Um Saleem who was one of the noble women in the early days of Islam required the man who had come to propose marriage to her to become Muslim as her nuptial gift. She was the same woman who consoled her husband when their child died and did not let him become impatient. In reward

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for her patience, God granted her another child who became one of the friends of Imam Ali, the Master of the Monotheists.
A noble girl should note that if a well-matched suitor proposes marriage to her, and the family is too strict especially in regards to the nuptial gift, then she should politely and humbly discuss the issue: By telling them the known just truth, they should not be so strict. Low expectations are among the principles of morality of the Prophets and the Imams, and it is an outstanding attribute.
The Prophet (Pbuh) established a model for all our nation when he designated a small nuptial gift for his noble daughter, who is the Lady of all Women. How awful is it for families not to follow their dear Prophet's example in regards to their own affairs, especially in marriage.