Allah Ta‘ala is the Creator of man, and Allah Ta‘ala understands man the best. Allah Ta‘ala knows all the needs of man, from the biggest and most obvious need, to the smallest and most subtle of needs, and out of His infinite mercy and grace, Allah Ta‘ala has provided for all of man’s needs.
For example, man has the need for food and drink. If man does not eat and drink, he will suffer starvation and dehydration, ultimately leading to his death. Hence, Allah Ta‘ala has provided man with various types of food and drink through which he can fulfill his need. However, when Allah Ta‘ala is most pure, then He made Islam a Deen of purity, and He made Jannah the abode of those who are pure. Hence, when fulfilling his needs, man cannot consume anything and everything, according to his wishes and desires, but may only consume that which is pure and halaal.
In the very same way, one of the needs of man is the need to fulfill his carnal desires. In this case as well, Allah Ta‘ala has provided man with a pure avenue to fulfill this need – and this is the avenue of nikaah. If man fulfills this need in accordance with the commands of Allah Ta‘ala, it will safeguard his Deen and aid him in gaining admission into Jannah, but if he fulfills his desires by violating the commands of Allah Ta‘ala through engaging in zina and illicit relationships, then he will be paving the path to his destruction.
In one hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) emphasized that the fitnah (trial and sin) of falling into zina and illicit relationships is among the most severe and dangerous of fitnahs that this Ummah will face. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “I did not leave after me any fitnah (trial) that is more harmful to men than (the fitnah of) women.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #5096)
In this day and age, we find that immorality, shamelessness, obscene behaviour and lewdness has become the order of the day. From the billboards scattered along the highways to the packaging wrapped around soap bars – with every passing day, it becomes increasingly difficult for a believer to protect his or her chastity, purity and imaan as he is bombarded, from every direction, with temptations to haraam.
In this regard, there is no solution more effective in safeguarding a person’s Deen and chastity than nikaah. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “When a person gets married, he has completed half of (his) Deen, so he should fear Allah Ta‘ala in the remaining half.” (Shu‘abul Imaan #5100)
Imaam Ghazaali (rahimahullah) has explained that generally, a person’s Deen is damaged either on account of the temptations and fitnahs relating to his private part, or the temptations and fitnahs related to his belly (i.e. greed for wealth, etc.). Through performing nikaah and getting married, a person has been sufficed against one of the two dangers (i.e. lust and the sins of the private part). (Mirqaat vol. 6, pg. 275)
When a person is in his youth, his body is bubbling with energy, strength and passion, and hence this is the period of his life when he is most at risk of falling into zina and the sins of the private parts. Thus, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) once addressed a group of youth saying, “O group of youth! Whichever one of you has the ability to get married (i.e. support a wife, etc.), then he should get married, as marriage will assist him in lowering his gaze and protecting his private part. The one who is unable (to get married) should hold firmly onto fasting, as it will assist him in subduing his desires.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #5066)
Therefore, we understand that as soon as a person has the need and means to perform nikaah, he should not delay. If nikaah is unnecessarily delayed, then the inevitable outcome will be that boys and girls will commence illicit relationships which will eventually culminate in fornication. This will lead to the entire society being spoiled and corrupted, as the prevalence of fornication will cause hayaa and righteousness to become extinct. If hayaa is lost, imaan itself will be in grave danger, as mentioned in the hadeeth.
Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) urged the Ummah to refrain from delaying the nikaah saying, “If a boy whose Deen and character are pleasing to you proposes (for your daughter, sister, etc.) then you should get her married to him. If you do not do so, (and delay in getting her married,) then widespread corruption will occur in the land.” (Sunan Tirmizi #1084)
Thus, if any person faces the threat and danger of falling into sins of lust, then he must try to get married. When a person gets married out of the concern and worry to protect his imaan, then Allah Ta‘ala becomes so pleased with him that Allah Ta‘ala provides him with His special help and assistance. Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Three people are such that Allah Ta‘ala has taken it upon Himself to assist them; (they are) the mujaahid (fighting) in the path of Allah Ta‘ala, the mukaatab slave who intends to pay (i.e. the slave whose master tells him that if he earns a certain amount of money and pays it to the master, he will be free), and the one who gets married in order to safeguard his chastity.” (Sunan Tirmizi #1655)
If we are parents with children, then we should instill the qualities of responsibility into them and ensure that by the time they are of marriageable age, they are capable of managing a household. Thereafter, if we have the means then we should get them married. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned, “The person who has a child should ensure that he gives him a good name and teaches him good manners and etiquette. When he becomes baaligh (i.e. reaches puberty), then he should get him married. If he becomes baaligh and the father does not get him married, and he thereafter commits sin, then the sin will be upon the father (i.e. the father will also share in the sin).” (Shu‘abul Imaan #8299)
From the above, we understand that nikaah is not only the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), it is also necessary for one to remain pure and chaste and safeguard himself from sin and fitnah.
May Allah Ta‘ala assist us all to remain pure and chaste and protect us from temptation and sin, aameen.