On the Occasion of the Royal Wedding

As-salámu ‘alaikum wa rahmatul láhi wa barakátuh!”
“A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem.  Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem.
Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today our hutbah will be about the importance of Marriage in Islam. I’m sure that you are all aware that today has been declared as an official national bank holiday to celebrate the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. This is a perfect opportunity to remember the role of Marriage in Islam and therefore our khutbah today will be discussing what our duties are surrounding marriage.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) encouraged people to marry. He said “When one marries, they have fulfilled half of their religion, so let them fear God regarding the remaining half.” This hadith is narrated by Anas ibn Malik.

Marriage is greatly encouraged in Islam because it protects one from unjust actions and strengthens and extends the family unit. It is recommended that a man gets married as soon as he has the means to support his wife and raise a family.

Marriage in Islam is the foundation of society and a stable family life. It is founded on respect, tranquillity, love and mercy. In the Qur’an it says: “And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” (Qur’an 30:21)

In Islam marriage involves compromise on both parts. Both men and women have certain duties that they would need to adhere to as a good Muslim partner. Some of the general duties include treating each other with kindness, honour and patience. Whilst these may seem straightforward, to some the latter mentioned duty can become a challenge at times.

Patience is a virtue and is one of the most prominent qualities found in a Muslim. Nevertheless, Allah (SWT) has created man weak and it is one of our most difficult challenges not to succumb to this weakness which can invoke unwanted actions such as anger and rage. There may be times that you and your spouse do not see eye to eye on a certain issue, it is natural to be upset that your opinion is not shared; however you must remember to remain calm and have ‘sabr’ patience in such situations.

“Allah surely loves those who are the Sabireen (patient).” (Qur’an 3:146)

Other rights and duties in marriage include enjoying intimate relations between husband and wife, having children, and faithfulness to the marriage bond. Married men and women also have the right to keep personal and lawful identity after marriage. Islam permits one to retain his/her family name, inheritance rights and property.

General duties for the husband are to provide all physical maintenance for the family including food, housing, clothing and medical care. Wives do not have to contribute financially. However, in today’s society some women manage to juggle work at home and paid work to help support their husband. Whilst this isn’t their primary duty there is no Islamic teaching which suggests that this is not permitted. At the time of the Prophet (SAW) women were active against paganism and Prophet Muhammad’s wives (may Allah be pleased with them) were consulted by many people. A’ishah was an expert on the sayings of the Prophet (SAW) and skilled in Islamic jurisprudence. Therefore women are permitted to fulfil many essential roles in society (e.g. education, social work, medicine) provided that they keep within the limits set by Islam. The same applies to men.

Marriage is about assisting and supporting each other and resolving disputes harmoniously. Allah (SWT) says: “Your wives are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them.” (2:187) By this we understand that husband and wife conceal each other from harm as does a garment i.e. clothing conceals and protects the skin from external things which may cause it harm or discomfort. This verse also symbolises that husband and wife complete one another in that without the other’s protection one would be unprotected and vulnerable.

There are many sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that ask men to treat women with respect, kindness and consideration. In the Qur’an it says: “the best of you are those who are best to their wives.”

It is essential that a marriage should be a harmonious and tranquil unification of two people, who will support, love and respect each other. Their shared faith should help cushion the challenging elements of life and through the guidance of the Qur’an and Sunnah they should live a peaceful and serene life together.

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