chapter 8


The Divine and Islamic Conditions for

Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among your
slaves, male or female. [Holy Quran: Nur 24:32]

Religion and Piety

The revered religion of Islam is in fact a system supplied with beliefs, morals and practical matters. Religious faith in Islam consists of joining up of the heart with God and belief in the Day of Judgment; the angels; the Prophets and the Glorious Quran. Morality in Islam consists of humbleness; humility; etiquette; patience; submissiveness; fortitude; tolerance; perseverance; kindness; compassion; good will; having mild disposition; chastity and sincerity; justice, helpfulness; and generosity. Action in Islam consists of prayer; fasting; the Hajj(the Holy pilgrimage to Meccac); paying alms and the one fifth levy; enjoining the good and forbidding the evil; Jihad;15 taking God as a friend and dissociation from evil; being good to one's parents; and observing the rights of those whom one encounters.
Of course, the three above-mentioned matters are not all the matters of Islam, but rather examples of the perfect, comprehensive, universal religion of Islam which is responsible - in all of life's affairs - for the welfare of people in this world and in the Hereafter. Actually, religion is the sun and guiding light in life; the guide towards God; and the improver of man in this world and in the Hereafter. There is no worthier jewel in the treasury of God's Creation than religion: the religion propagated by all the Prophets, the Imams, the Saints. It is the religion in which whoever becomes adorned with, puts on a semblance of God, having opened up all the doors of prosperity to himself. Whoever keeps his distance from Islam will have opened all the doors of misfortune for himself.
15 the holy war fought by Muslim against those who reject Islam

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Religion and piety hold the same worth before God. Beautifying one's self with God's religion results in the best person, the most outstanding creature and an incomparable or matchless living being in Creation.
Those who have faith and do righteous deeds, they are the best of the creatures. [Holy Quran: Baiyina 98:7]
If one adorns himself with the attributes of a believer mentioned in the Glorious Quran and religious traditions, this will result in an acceptable believer expressed in the following terms: "being humble in prayer; protesting against false and futile talk; paying the alms tax; protecting the private parts of the body from forbidden acts; protecting whatever has been entrusted to you; keeping one's promise or oath and guarding one's prayers."
Those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, - for (in their case) they are free from blame, but those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors; - those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants; and who (strictly) guard their prayers; [Holy Quran: Muminun 23:2-9]
We may add the following : being humble on earth; encountering the ignorant with a healthy mind; spending the night in prostration and standing; praying for being saved from the Wrath; not being extravagant when helping the needy; avoiding envy; being moderate; avoiding association of other gods to be partners with God; murder and fornication; avoiding false, oppressive witnessing; forgiving vain talk through nobility; taking a good look at God's signs; praying for the wife and the children; and praying to lead the righteous.
Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing; those who say, "Our Lord! avert from us the Wrath of Hell, for its Wrath is indeed an affliction grievous, - evil indeed is it as an abode, and as a place to rest in"; those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes); those who invoke not, with God, any other god, nor slay such life as God has made sacred, except for just cause, nor commit fornication; - and any that does this (not only) meets punishment (but) the Penalty on the Day of Judgment will be doubles to him, and he will dwell therein in ignominy.- unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for God will change the evil of such persons into good, and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful, and whoever repents and does good has truly turned to God with an (acceptable) conversion;- those who witness no falsehood, and, if they pass by futility, they pass by it with honorable (avoidance); those who, when they are admonished with the Signs of their Lord, droop not down at them as if they were deaf or blind; and those who pray, "Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous. [Holy Quran: Furqan 25:64-74]

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The Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali) stated: Among the characteristics of a believer we can state that he is not attached to financial affairs; his efforts are mainly geared to religiousness; his nobility is in contentment; and his efforts are for the Hereafter. His good deeds are increased; his ranks are elevated; and he is approaching deliverance and prosperity. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.1, p.333]
He also said: A believer is one who is continually remembering God; thinks a lot; is thankful for all the blessings; and perseveres in the face of hardships. [Ibid]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: A believer is one whose total income is legitimately earned; is good-tempered; is not deceitful; donates some of his extra income; and avoids excessive talk. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.67, p.293]
We can see the following points in the traditions regarding the worth of the believers. Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) has been narrated as having said:
A believer's honor and respect is greater than that of the Ka'ba. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.1, p.330]
The fifth Imam (Pbuh) said:
A believer is well-known in the Heavens in the same manner that a man knows his wife and children. And verily a believer is closer to God than the Archangel. [Ibid]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: God, Majestic is His Praise, says: I swear by My Honor and Majesty that I have not created any creature among My Creation that is dearer than a believer. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.71, p.158]

Being Matched

Now that we have introduced the necessity of religion and piety, it should be noted that one of the most important conditions for marriage is that the couple should be well-matched. What is meant by being well-matched is that the couple who wish to get married must have some outward and inward similarities. The most important similarity is in their piety. That is according to the holy divine culture, they must both be religious. As the Holy Quran states:
And women of purity are for men of purity. [Holy Quran: Nur 24:26]
God's book states:
Marry women of your choice. [Holy Quran: Nisaa 4:3]
The first stage of this purity of men and women is their inward purity, that is, belief in God, the Hereafter, the Prophethood, the Quran, the angels and having divine morality. Therefore a believing Muslim man does not have the right to marry non-Muslim, unbelieving women. If such a forbidden marriage takes place, then their children are considered to be born in sin. In the same manner a Muslim believing woman does not have the right to marry an unbelieving man, and their marriage is considered illegitimate, as are their children. Believing men or women are not matched with unbelieving men or women. Should such a forbidden marriage take place, both sides are exposed to Eternal Torture.

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The Glorious Quran has seriously advised against the marriage of a believing person with an unbeliever:
Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: a slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allure you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: a man slave who believes is better then an unbeliever, even though he allure you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the fire. But God beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of Bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His signs clear to mankind: that they may celebrate His praise. [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:221]
Therefore you must be careful not to let your believing daughters marry with a young fellow who is ignorant and does not have faith. Likewise, do not choose a girl who denies divine principles to marry your believing noble son. The first and foremost condition for the marriage of a couple is their faith. Thus two believing, chaste, and shining lights will join, the fruit of which will be good children. Do not think that being handsome, wealthy or of a high status for an unbelieving man, or likewise in a woman who is not adorned with the truth can bring prosperity, health, happiness and continuity of a mutual life. It is necessary for the families not to be too strict about finding the best match. When the two sides are nearly matched in terms of faith, morality and Islamic practices, and looks and posture, then they are considered to be a good match for each other by the Holy Shariat. Consider the following traditions regarding being matched:
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: A woman who is chaste and is financially easy to live with is your best match. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, p.372]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: If a courter proposes to marry your daughter and you are sure about his religiousness and trustworthiness, then provide the means for such a marriage. Prohibiting marriage of a well-matched couple may lead to sedition and great corruption on the Earth. [Ibid]
In another tradition the Prophet (Pbuh) said: Marry your daughter off to one whose morality and religiousness satisfies you. Should you prevent such a marriage, you have caused a great corruption and sedition on the Earth. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, p.373]
Yes, in fact the cause of self satisfaction, homosexuality, fornication, nervous problems, and psychic ailments of many young men and women is being too strict in regards to marriage; creating obstacles; insisting on wrong customs and traditions followed by imposing hard conditions; and expecting beauty, position and wealth by the families. And in fact the end results of all this will directly affect the parents, the relatives and those families who are too strict in regards to marriage, both here and in the Hereafter.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Provide the means for the wedding of well-matched couples. And marry with people who are a good match for you, and prepare them to marry you to bring forth good children. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, p.375]

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The essential ingredients of a well-matched couple are faith, morality, trustworthiness and righteousness. It is the moral duty of the parents and the family to prepare the grounds for the marriage of a well-matched couple. This can be speeded up by being more lenient, not imposing ungodly conditions and avoiding unethical traditions. In this way the parents and the family can earn the blessings, pleasure and kindness of God.
Imam Baqir (Pbuh) said:
The greatest tragedy is when a young believing man proposes marriage to your daughter and you respond in the negative because he does not have the same financial status as you do. [Marriage in Islam, p.32]
Prejudices related to the family, city or tribe should be considered detrimental in marriage as such prejudices are rejected in the divine religion. So do not consider being poor or rich; coming from this city or that one; belonging to this tribe or that one as the criteria for marriage. All men and women are the offspring of one couple (Adam and Eve) and no one has any especial privileges over others except that due to being more pious and virtuous.

Imam Sajjad's Views on Being Matched

Hazrat Baqir (Pbuh), the fifth Imam said: In one of the way-stations during Hajj, my noble father Imam Zayn al-Abideen (Pbuh) encountered a lady whose good temper attracted him. He inquired if she was married, and was told that she was not. Then my father proposed to marry her without investigating about her family, and this proposal led to marriage.
One of the Ansar who became informed of this issue could not stand this simple marriage. He thought that she may not belong to a noble family, and this may cause problems for the fourth Imam. He spent some time investigating about her and finally found out that she belonged to the Shayban tribe. He came to the fourth Imam and told him that thanks God she is from a well-known, noble family. The Imam told him that he thought the man was wiser than that. He told him "Do you not know that God the Almighty removed all inferiorities and compensated for all defects by Islam. He replaced inferiority with nobility. Now, no matter what the social status of a Muslim is, he/she is not inferior but is respectable. The inferiorities belong to the Age of Ignorance."[Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, p.374]
Therefore being of the same tribe, dwelling in the same town or having the same amount of wealth do not mean being well-matched. As decreed by Islam there exist no privileges for the Arabs over the Persians; the whites over the blacks; the Qurayshy over the non-Qurayshy. All that counts is piety. If a Muslim couple have faith, piety, morality, trustworthiness, chastity, purity and health, then they are well-matched. This is true even if one is an Arab and the other one is a Persian; one lives in a city and the other one is a villager; one is rich and the other is poor; one is white and the other is black; one belongs to a noble family and the other one does not.

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Ali, the son of Isbat wrote a letter to Imam Javad (Pbuh) and stated that he had not been able to find people that match him in faith and morality to marry off his daughters to. The Imam responded by writing: "I realized what you wrote regarding your daughters. May God bless you with His Mercy and Kindness. You need not be so careful in regards to your daughters. The Prophet (Pbuh) has recommended us to accept a courter's proposal to marry our daughters should his morality and religiousness be acceptable. Else sedition and great corruption would occur on Earth." [Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, p.373]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) told a man called Abraham: "No believer has ever gained any profit more dangerous than wealth. The danger of wealth is worse than that of two vicious wolves which attack a flock of sheep lacking a shepherd. What do these wolves do with the sheep?" He answered: "Nothing but a great loss." The Imam said: "That is right. The least danger of wealth is that a Muslim might come to propose to marry your daughter and you reject him for not being wealthy."

Those Whom You Should not Let Your Daughters

It is stated in divine books that man is entrusted with children who are God's blessing and kindness. To safeguard this "trust" we must attend to their moral and religious education and choose a pure and good spouse for them to marry. The woman who gets married and goes to her husband's home will be influenced by her husband, his family and his home. In that environment she will be asked to do things by her husband. The house she goes to must be a divine home with a believing family. Her husband must be reasonably well-mannered and good-tempered, too. It is for this reason that the divine religion has strictly forbidden marrying your daughters to those who do not fulfill Islamic conditions. The Prophet (Pbuh) has been narrated as saying: Marriage is a form of obedience, that is once you marry your daughters off to someone, you in fact make her obedient to him. Therefore you must all be very careful as to whom you entrust your daughters to. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.371]
It is not permitted to marry off your daughters to one who does not adhere to religion, divine decrees and just beliefs. Such a person is considered to be corrupt according to the divine book. It is not permitted to marry off your daughters to one who is ill-tempered, haughty, jealous, greedy, and vulgar. It is neither permitted nor humane to marry off your daughters to an ignorant, stupid, unwise man who cannot run his life and causes a lot of problems for the woman. It is strictly forbidden to marry off your daughters to an alcoholic who is so base that he does not abstain from what God has forbidden. Now consider the very important traditions in this regard.
One who marries off his dear noble daughter to an irreligious man, will be cursed a thousand times a day. [Marriage in Islam, p.55]

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Husayn, the son of Bishar wrote to Musa the son of Jaffar (Pbuh) "One of my relatives who is ill-tempered has requested to marry with my daughter". The Imam responded "Do not marry her to him if he is a wrong doer." [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.235]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) strictly forbade marrying off oneís daughters to fools and the ignorant ones - who cannot be trusted in social and personal affairs and those who cannot be entrusted with property- based on verse 5 of the Chapter Nisaa of the Holy Quran. [Marriage in Islam, pp.54-55]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Should anyone, who is now informed by me - as the Messenger of God - that drinking alcoholic beverages is forbidden, drink and go to propose marriage to the daughter of a family, he deserves no response. [Ibid]
Hazrat Reza, the eighth Imam (Pbuh) said: Be wary of marrying your girls off to those who drink, as this is like giving a virgin for fornication. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.79, p.142]
Verily those who do not adhere to God's obligatory acts, will not avoid sexual deviations. Those who do not have good morality, and are ill-tempered; and those who do not have a right mind and intellect; and those who are so weak that they cannot stop drinking alcoholic beverages are not suited to be entrusted with a believing pious young woman who is entrusted to us by God. If so, not only will the young woman will be spoiled, but her children too will be influenced by the manís ill effects. This fact has been stated by the sixth Imam (Pbuh) before man came to realize it through science. The effects of illegitimate acts show up in the offspring. [Vasa'il. v.17, Chapter 1, p.81, Tradition 22043]

Do not Marry Such Women

As you read, Islam does not allow us to marry off our daughters to several groups of people including the corrupt, the stupid, the ill-tempered, and the alcoholics. Thus by prohibiting such marriages, a woman's respect and honor are safeguarded. In the same manner, Islam prohibits the marriage of young noble, believing men with those women who do not meet divine and Islamic conditions. There exist many important traditions cited in authentic books regarding this issue which have been cited from the sources of revelations. A reference is made to some of them here.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Avoid marrying stupid women since living with them will ruin your life and their children will be oppressors. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, pp.232-237]
He also said: Avoid a trashy beauty. He was asked: What do you mean by a trash beauty? He replied: I mean a beautiful woman who is raised in a bad family. [Ibid]
The Prophet (Pbuh) used to say in his prayers to God: I seek refuge in Thee from a child who orders me around instead of being obedient; from property

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which goes to waste without giving any profit; and from a woman who makes me old too fast due to her stupidity and bad behavior; and from a friend who is deceitful. [Marriage in Islam, pp.75-77]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: The worst of your women are the ones who are sterile; filthy; stubborn; disobedient; disgusted by the family, and dear to themselves; disobedient to the husband and submissive to others. [Ibid]
He also said: Three things have a bad omen: a woman, a quadruped and a house. A woman's bad omen is in her nuptial gift and sterility. [Ibid]
He also said: A bad woman is the worst thing. [Mustadrak, Nekah book, Chapters 6 and 8]
The Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali) stated: The worst wife is a woman who is not complaisant. [Ibid]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Should I not introduce the worst women? Those who are not respectable in their own family; who are haughty to their husbands; who are sterile; who are malicious; who do not stop doing evil deeds; who adorn themselves in the absence of their husbands, and do not adorn themselves in his presence; who are disobedient to their husbands, and do not please them in their own privacy; who do not accept their husband's apology and do not forgive them. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, p.235]