- What You Will Read in This Article
- Stay Single or Get Married?
- Unhappy? In Search of Happiness?
- Peace: The Lost Treasure
- Two Points About Spousal Life as a Sign of God
- Importance of Marriage as Reflected in Hadith
- How About Remaining Single and Devoting Your Life to God
- Health Benefits of Being Single
Stay single or get married? To be or not to be married? That is the question that maybe Shakespeare could not answer. But we will answer this question based on the instructions of the Quran and the sunnah (سُنَة) of Prophet Muhammad (s).
What You Will Read in This Article
In the first part of the article, we will mention whether getting married would make one happy and peaceful in life and how Allah has introduced the three entities of night, home, and spouse as sources of peace in the Quran. We will explain how a spouse is a sign of God and indicates His love and power.
In the second part of the article, we will see how not remaining single and getting married help one to elevate spiritually. The article ends by mentioning some of the health benefits of a person who has a good married life.
Stay Single or Get Married?
When asked why single, my friend said,
“When I’m single, I don’t have to shoulder any responsibility of married life. I only pay the bills for one person and don’t have to take care of anyone when they’re sick or depressed… I can eat, sleep, wake up, and watch TV whenever I desire… most importantly, in making decisions, I am the boss.”
This single friend of mine comes home at the end of the day to a quiet house—no sound of laughter or chitter-chatter. No dinner table is waiting for her with lit candles. There is no one to open up her heart to and share the sweet and sad moments of life with.
True! Single life has some positive points. But let’s see which side of the scale tips lower: single or married?
We have designed a practical course for you called “Spouse Selection,” where you can find a detailed discussion on the topics “stay single or get married,” “who to choose as your spouse,” and “how to proceed on this life-changing path.”
Unhappy? In Search of Happiness?
Would getting married make an unhappy person happy?
Let’s make one thing clear. If you are very unhappy with your life and waiting for this charming prince or beautiful princess to step into your life and ging, gi-gi-gi-gi-ging, change your life, think twice.
Marriage does not do miracles for you. As a matter of fact, you have to constantly contribute to your relationship and help your relationship grow. Now, if you yourself are unhappy and depressed, how can you make someone else happy?
Happiness Means Having a Purpose in Life
Happiness means having a purpose in life and knowing that you have a supporter like God by your side. It also means knowing that every single act you perform in a day can get you closer to your purpose if your mindset is right and you have the right intention.
If you get married to the right person who could be an aid to you on your path to reaching your aim, you are definitely a happier person. That is how Ali bin Abi Talib (a) described his bride to his father-in-law. He told the Prophet (s) that Fatimah was the best aid in the worship of God.1
Read this beautiful story in the course “Spouse Selection”.
Happiness Comes From Within
You cannot expect to BECOME happy with marriage. You should already have a degree of inner happiness before marriage. Marriage should help you grow this happiness.
As a believer, one has to constantly have self-development and reach inner peace. In a beautiful hadith from the Noble Prophet (s) we read, “A believer is jolly and happy and a disbeliever is grumpy and angry.”2
As a wise man once said, “If we seek paradise outside ourselves, we cannot have paradise in our hearts.”3
Peace: The Lost Treasure
Stay single or get married and find peace in life?
A lost treasure in people’s lives today is peace. There is so much stress and tension in our lives. We work hard to earn money to attain a more comfortable life, yet peace seems to be at a far-reaching end, out of our reach.
Where should we search for this peace?
Three Sources of Peace and Joy
According to the Quran, three things bring about peace and tranquility in a human’s life:
The Night (10:67)
هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ لِتَسْكُنُوا فِيهِ وَالنَّهَارَ مُبْصِرًا ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَسْمَعُونَ
“He it is who made for you the night that you might rest in it, and the day to make things visible. Most surely there are Signs in it for a people who listen.”
Nightfall is when you retrieve from a hard day’s work and rest to be refreshed for the next day’s work. He made the day bright and clear that you may be able to work hard. The creation of the two are signs of God.
One’s home is also where one finds peace. In chapter 9, verse 24, Allah says,
“The dwellings in which you delight”.
The Quran mentions a spouse as another source of peace. Chapter Rum (30), verse 21 says,
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.
Three Points to Consider:
- God has created spouses for us from ourselves as a sign to find tranquility in them.
- In this family of two, God places affection and mercy. This is another sign.
- These signs are not for everyone but only for those who think.
Have Three Sources of Peace All at Once When Married
Now when you come home by nightfall after a hard day’s work and rest alongside your spouse, all your tensions, stresses, and worries are relieved. The highest level of tranquility should be achieved in the combination of the three.
If you cannot find peace in a house or a family, it’s the fault of one or more members of that house, not God’s. At times, through the behavior or mistreatment of a member of that house, others lose their peace. So our duty is to help protect and safeguard this God-given peace in a marriage. We have to invest in our families.
Spousal Life as a Sign
In the Quran (30:21), the fact that we have not been created to live an individual life and have been created in pairs and with spouses is a sign of the wisdom of God. The highest and most pleasant blessing that God has granted humans among the creations is being in the company of one’s spouse. The highest joys and levels of affection are in a family built by the union of a man and a woman. A high level of peace and tranquility lies in harmonious spousal relationships. Is that not a sign?
A Human for a Human
God could have satisfied this need through means other than humans, just as He has fulfilled some of the human’s needs through animals and plants. But in the family system, a human, side by side with another human, forms a family, finds peace, and continues their generation. In other words, the highest levels of emotional and material pleasures are shaped through marriage.
There are no other species in between. It’s just a human and a human—one in the shape of a man and one in the shape of a woman. The person who decides to form a family has stepped along the path of divine wisdom.
Finding peace and tranquility is one of the human beings’ most significant concerns. Many people enjoy a high level of material luxury yet do not have peace. So here, there are two distinct matters: material comfort and peace of mind.
Two Points About Spousal Life as a Sign of God
- Men and women are both sources of comfort and tranquility for one another, yet the greater portion of peace-giving is entrusted to the wife as the Quran says لتسکنوا الیها meaning that you find tranquility in them (your wives). This could be because of women’s qualifications and unique emotional characteristics that make them have a greater share to contribute.
- Men and women are sources of peace for one another as they complete one another. There are certain qualities in men which are less evident in women and characteristics in women that are less seen in men. The unity of the two of them creates a sense of perfection that could be a source of peace.
The complementarity of couples is further discussed in the course “Basics of family in the Quran” in the lesson explaining 2:187 of the Quran.
Importance of Marriage as Reflected in Hadith
There are also numerous narrations about the importance of family in Islam.
There is an illuminant narration from the Noble Prophet (s) that reads:
ما بنی فی الاسلام بناء أحبّ إلی اللَّه عزّوجلّ و أعزّ من التّزویج
“There is no foundation in Islam more beloved in the eyes of God than family.”4
Now, all those young single boys and girls who decide to get married should realize what a great step they are taking. All those fathers who help their children and facilitate their marriage should realize what great reward they have with their Lord.
Marriage Contract: A Time When the Doors of God’s Mercy Is Open
The Messenger of Allah (s) says,
The doors of the mercy of Allah are opened on four occasions: the time of rainfall, when a child looks upon the countenance of their parents, when the door of Kaaba is opened, and at the time of a wedding ceremony when the marriage contract is being made.5
The Superiority of the Acts of Worship of the Married
In a narration from Imam Sadiq (a), we read of the superiority and virtue of the worship of those who are married. Once one gets married, the value and worth of his acts of worship also multiply:
رَكْعَتَيْنِ يُصَلِّيهِمَا مُتَزَوِّجٌ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ سَبْعِينَ رَكْعَةً يُصَلِّيهِمَا غَيْرُ مُتَزَوِّجٍ
Two units of prayer performed by a married person are superior to seventy units of prayer by a single person.6
Elsewhere Prophet Muhammad (s) says,
“Most of the dwellers of hell are unmarried people.”7
So you see, marriage might entail certain difficulties, yet the bonuses that you get are also multiple.
How About Remaining Single and Devoting Your Life to God
Some adherents of religions like Christianity and a number of Muslims believe that if they choose to remain single, there is more freedom and opportunity to practice religion. This way, they can devote their entire life to God and His religion.
No One Excels the Daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S) in Virtue
A woman came to Imam al-Sadiq (a) and told him she was an ascetic woman who had no interest in the world. The Imam asked him, “What do you mean by practicing asceticism?”
She replied that she had decided to remain single. The Imam asked for the reason. She said, “To gain virtue.” His holiness said, “If there was any virtue in remaining single, verily Fatimah [the daughter of the Noble Prophet (s)] was more deserving to it than you. No one excels her in virtue.”
Health Benefits of Being Single
Who is healthier? A single or married person?
When you’re still single and looking for a good partner, you work out more and try to be in good shape. Nevertheless, researchers say that married people in a happy relationship have a stronger heart and a significantly increased chance of surviving cancer.
In a study conducted in the US over 700,000 patients diagnosed with deadly cancers, married people had detected their cancer in an early stage and received their treatment sooner and had longer lives. The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Married patients were 20% less likely to die compared with single patients, and this could be because of the social support marriage offers to people.
Which state entails more benefit for a person, “To remain single or get married?” Both sides have positive and negative points; nevertheless, the final answer depends on which perspective you are looking at the question.
In the teachings of Islam, God has created his creation in pairs, and spouses have been mentioned in the Quran as sources of peace.
If you make the right choice in spouse selection, invest in your marriage, and help your relationship grow daily, then getting married is the right choice. If you want to obtain valuable information about getting married, enroll in Islam4u’s “Spouse selection” courseSpouse selection” and change your life through learning.
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 117.
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 84, p. 174.
- Thomas Merton.
- Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, vol. 14, p. 153.
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 100, p. 221.
- Thawab al-‘Amal, p. 40.
- Man la Yahduruh al-Faqih, vol, 3, p. 251