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Marriage in the Quran

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Marriage in the Quran is a concept that requires our attention. God has said in the Quran that young people must get married in order to find peace of mind and so that they do not fall into the traps of Satan (الشيطان). Moreover, narrations have stated that getting married is securing one half of one’s faith. In this article, we will take a look at:

Marriage in the Quran: Who Should You Get Married to

The Quran has made it clear in a few verses who should get married to who. For example, God says in the Quran:

الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ ۖ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ ۖ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ ﴿26﴾

Vicious women are for vicious men, and vicious men for vicious women. Good women are for good men, and good men for good women. These are absolved of what they say [about them]. For them is forgiveness and a noble provision. 1

This verse means that righteous and Godwary men should only get married to righteous and Godwary women. Therefore, it is not recommended in the Quran that a good man gets married to a bad woman and vice versa. In other words, they must complement each other and be one another’s kufw (کفو) or equal. This is one of the things that a man and woman who intend to get married must keep in mind. Many marriages are either a success or failure due to this fact. That is, if one seeks a spouse that is almost equal in terms of Godwariness and righteousness, one’s marriage will most likely be a happy one.

Those who Fornicate Cannot Marry the Righteous

In surah Nūr (سورة النور), God states how it is forbidden for the fornicator and fornicatress to get married to believers:

الزَّانِي لَا يَنكِحُ إِلَّا زَانِيَةً أَوْ مُشْرِكَةً وَالزَّانِيَةُ لَا يَنكِحُهَا إِلَّا زَانٍ أَوْ مُشْرِكٌ ۚ وَحُرِّمَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿3﴾

The fornicator will not marry anyone but a fornicatress or an idolatress, and the fornicatress will be married by none except a fornicator or an idolater, and that is forbidden to the faithful. 2

Of course, what God means by this verse is a person who regularly commits the gross act of fornication. Such people are vicious just like the previously mentioned verse had stated. Therefore, believers must not get married to individuals who have a habit of committing fornication. However, if a fornicator or fornicatress repents and redeems himself or herself and becomes a true believer who is righteous, he or she can get married to a believer.

God Tells Believers to Marry off Their Youth

God says in the same surah:

وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ ۚ إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّـهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿32﴾

Marry off those who are single among you, and the upright among your male and female slaves. If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His grace, and Allah is all-bounteous, all-knowing. 3

God says that it is the duty of believing men and women to marry off their single youth. We understand from this verse that an individual must get help from his or her parents in order to get married. Furthermore, God says that they should not worry if they are poor and think they cannot meet the expenses of life. God Himself will provide for them out of His grace. The next verse reads:

وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّىٰ يُغْنِيَهُمُ اللَّـهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ

Those who cannot afford marriage should be continent until Allah enriches them out of His grace. 4

We learn by this verse that those who really cannot get married should exercise patience and refrain from any sin until God grants them the means to get married. Therefore, they should not resort to affairs outside of marriage and the like. Nowadays, the youth tend to overlook these two verses. They think they just cannot meet the expenses of marriage. However, it is God’s promise that whoever is poor and gets married, God will enrich that person out of His grace. Our dear youth should keep these verses in mind and do not delay their marriage into their thirties and forties.

Marriage in the Quran: Verse About Dowry

God says in the Quran in surah Nisā’ (سورة النساء):

وَآتُوا النِّسَاءَ صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً ۚ فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَيْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْسًا فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئًا مَّرِيئًا ﴿4﴾

Give women their dowries, handing it over to them; but if they remit anything of it of their own accord, then consume it as [something] lawful and wholesome. 5

It is the duty of a Muslim man to pay his wife her dowry if she demands it. The philosophy behind the dowry is to show how much the man loves and is willing to get married to the woman. However, in some cultures, the dowry that is determined before the marriage takes place is too high and beyond the capability of the husband. Therefore, many marriages do not take place simply because the woman’s family demands a high dowry from the man.

However, the Quran says it is possible for the woman to remit her dowry. Nevertheless, she is not forced to remit it. All in all, Islam advises the girl to determine a dowry that is reasonable and not too extravagant. Of course, this is a matter that Islam has entrusted to the girl, meaning she can determine the dowry herself and there is no limit. However, she herself would be at a loss if the dowry is too high, as few men would accept to pay her dowry or even get married to her.

If you want to know the powerful dua to get married, read this article (dua for marriage)

Spouses Are a Source of Tranquility for Each Other

There is a very beautiful verse in the Quran that states:

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿21﴾

And of His signs is that He created for you mates from your own selves that you may take comfort in them, and He ordained affection and mercy between you. There are indeed signs in that for a people who reflect. 6

Therefore, spouses are made so they love and take comfort in each other. Moreover, God placed affection and mercy between them. From this verse, one can understand that the goal of marriage is not just satisfying one’s lust, but rather something much more beyond that. That is, one seeks comfort in one’s spouse and finds affection and mercy in him or her. Indeed, this is one of the signs of God’s existence.

Marriage in the Quran: How Many Wives Can a Man Marry?

In Islam, the woman is allowed to only have one husband. Imagine if she had more than one. What would happen? How would they know who impregnated her? There would be a fight over who is the father of a child. However, God has allowed men to marry up to four wives, provided he is fair to all of them:

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا فِي الْيَتَامَىٰ فَانكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ ۖ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَعُولُوا ﴿3﴾

If you fear that you may not deal justly with the orphans, then marry [other] women that you like, two, three, or four. But if you fear that you may not treat them fairly, then [marry only] one, or [marry from among] your slave-women. That makes it likelier that you will not be unfair. 7

The problem with marrying four wives is dealing with them justly and fairly. That is why, most men only marry one wife. In some cultures, polygamy is common, while in other cultures it is deemed socially unacceptable. However, Islam is supportive of polygamy. That is because the fatality rate of men is more than women and there will always be more women than men. Therefore, women need someone to take care of them. This was especially true during the early days of Islam when women were widowed much more due to their husbands dying in battles, leaving them with no one to be their guardian.

The Prophet’s Marriage

Prophet Muhammad’s first wife was Khadijah al-Kubrā  (خَديجَة الکبری). At that time, God had forbidden the Prophet from marrying any other wife due to the high status and virtue of Lady Khadijah. However, after she passed away, the Prophet was allowed to marry even more than just four wives. This was a law that was only for the Prophet. Moreover, if a woman simply submitted herself to the Prophet and expressed her desire to become his wife and the Prophet accepted, she would become his wife even if the nikāḥ (نِکاح) or the sermon of marriage was not said. Of course, this was exclusive to the Prophet:

وَامْرَأَةً مُّؤْمِنَةً إِن وَهَبَتْ نَفْسَهَا لِلنَّبِيِّ إِنْ أَرَادَ النَّبِيُّ أَن يَسْتَنكِحَهَا خَالِصَةً لَّكَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

َAnd a faithful woman if she offers herself to the Prophet and the Prophet desires to take her in marriage (a privilege exclusively for you, not for [the rest of] the faithful). 8

Temporary Marriage (مُتعَة)

There are two types of marriage in Islam:

  1. Permanent marriage
  2. Temporary marriage

There is one verse in the Quran about temporary marriage:

وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ إِلَّا مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۖ كِتَابَ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ وَأُحِلَّ لَكُم مَّا وَرَاءَ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَن تَبْتَغُوا بِأَمْوَالِكُم مُّحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ ۚ فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُم بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً ۚ وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا تَرَاضَيْتُم بِهِ مِن بَعْدِ الْفَرِيضَةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا ﴿24﴾

And married women, excepting your slave-women. This is Allah’s ordinance for you. As to others than these, it is lawful for you to seek [temporary union with them] with your wealth, in wedlock, not in license. For the enjoyment you have had from them thereby, give them their dowries, by way of settlement, and there is no sin upon you in what you may agree upon after the settlement. Indeed Allah is all-knowing, all-wise. 9

Temporary marriage has been allowed in Islam so that those who cannot afford to get permanently married can satisfy their carnal desire without being led to committing sin. However, the conditions for temporary marriage has made it difficult for young virgins to get married. Specifically, virgin girls need the permission of their father to get married to a boy. Nevertheless, women who are not virgin such as widows and one’s who have divorced (provided their virginity is lost) can get temporarily married to men without needing their father’s permission.


We understand from the verses of the Quran that marriage is a necessity for the human being. How else would the human race continue its existence? God has placed a desire for human beings to be attracted to the opposite gender so that they would get married and have children so that the human race would not become extinct. However, imagine if righteous people got married and had children whom they raised well. The world would be filled with righteous people. This is what God wants from us.


  1. Quran 24:26 (Qara’i).
  2. Quran 24:3 (Qara’i).
  3. Quran 24:32 (Qara’i).
  4. Quran 24:33 (Qara’i).
  5. Quran 4:4 (Qara’i).
  6. Quran 30:21 (Qara’i).
  7. Quran 4:3 (Qara’i).
  8. Quran 33:50 (Qara’i).
  9. Quran 4:24 (Qara’i).
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