148. Why get married anyway?

For those who respect the teaching of the Bible, it is important to obey the first commandment of God to Adam and Eve, and to ‘be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth’. Obedience to the first commandment God gave to mankind in Genesis 1 verse 28 is an important reason why we should get married. God also saw the need of men and women to have a companion. Companionship is an excellent reason to get married. We are created in the image of God and a successful marriage relationship reflects the image of God in the triune relationship of a man, a woman and God. In the New Testament Church the Apostle Paul taught in 1 Timothy 3 verses 2, 4, 11, 12, that the selection of leadership in the Church should be based on wise leadership as fathers/husbands and mothers/ wives in the home.

The joy of being a parent and grandparent is one of the great milestones in our lives and it is exciting to rejoice with those who experience this joyful experience of parenthood. Psalm 127 verses 3-5 capture that joy, ‘Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.’

The reasons a Muslim should get married are: to restrain sexual passion, the ordering of domestic life, the care and responsibility towards children and orphans, and the expansion of the family.

Muslim marriages are social contracts between a woman and man on the following terms:

i) There shall be a proposal and its acceptance. The proposal of marriage is tied to agreement on a dowry (a gift by the family of the groom to the family of the bride) and a mahr (a marriage gift by the groom to the bride), etc

ii) Competence of parties. Any Muslim who is of sound mind and who has attained the age of puberty may enter into contract of marriage

iii) No legal disability. There can be no restriction on any valid Islâmic grounds that would prevent the couple from marrying each other iv) There shall be free consent of both parties to the marriage v) There shall be two male witnesses (or one male and two female witnesses). These witnesses shall be sane, adult and Muslim

According to the Qur’an a man may have up to four wives at any one time; the restriction on the number was not customary before the Qur’an. There are certain conditions and a warning to men in that the husband is required to treat all wives equally, if not, it is a sin. A bride-to-be may stipulate in the marriage contract her conditions such as monogamy. A woman may not have more than one husband, which is regarded as unacceptable because it could create difficulty in the determination of paternity and hence responsibility of upbringing of children and inheritance.