The search for a perfect life partner is high up in most people’s life goals. And once we discover our perfect match, the highs and lows of relationships consume much of our energy and emotions. The Review of Religions is pleased to launch this new series ‘Life Lessons for a Happy Marriage.’ What can you expect in this series? We present the English translations of the guidance imparted by His Holiness (aba) on such occasions of Nikah. We have included only those parts of the Nikah sermons in which His Holiness (aba) has imparted advice, and left out specific details such as names and dowry. This is the first time these have been translated into English. From time to time we will feature guidance from His Holiness (aba) on marriage and relationships on other occasions as well. We are keeping these segments short, bite-size, and digestible so you can take away short tips every time you read any part of this series.
Nikah is the Islamic marriage announcement, where two sides declare acceptance of their new matrimonial union. In doing so, they vow to abide by the commandments of God and treat their spouse in the best manner and make righteousness the basis of their relationship.
On certain occasions, while announcing a Nikah, The Fifth Caliph and Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) imparts invaluable words of advice. These should be heeded not only by the new couples but by all who wish to establish true peace and success, in their relationships and homes.
On 14 April 2012, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) announced three Nikah ceremonies in Fazl Mosque, London. After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and the Qur’anic verses of Nikah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) read out the names of the parties whose Nikah would be announced. Following this, His Holiness (aba) stated:
‘Nikah and marriage is a duty owed to society and has been ordained by Allah the Almighty and His Messenger (sa). The Holy Prophet (sa) would especially urge his companions [to marry]. Some of them were poor and, at times, would say that they are unable to marry due to their poverty. In response, the Holy Prophet (sa) would tell them to spend even a small amount [to fulfill this duty]. Sometimes, the Holy Prophet (sa) would recommend a matrimonial match for them and tell them that their proposal would be accepted if they pursue that match and mention his recommendation. As it turns out, those marriages would take place. Some affluent people would marry among the poor after being encouraged to do so by the Holy Prophet (sa).
Creating bonds is the work of Allah the Almighty. It is, in fact, Allah the Almighty Who forms relationships. By the grace of Allah, those marriages that are born out of prayers are blessed. The Holy Prophet (sa) would join people in matrimony as a directive of Allah the Almighty, and these relationships would be successful. Thus, one should not only consider whether the other is rich or poor, or from a family of high status or not. There are many aspects for compatibility that should be considered. At times, both the boy and the girl are pleased with the proposal and the marriage takes place, while other times, when they express their desire to marry, the parents come in between and cause a hindrance, resulting in inconveniences. That is why parents should also be mindful that, after praying and seeking guidance from Allah the Almighty, they should agree to most marriages taking place between Ahmadi households. Except in the case that Allah the Almighty prevents it Himself. Relationships born out of prayer are blessed. Thus, parents should be mindful not to hinder, without reason, such matrimonial matches that their children are pleased with. And the boy and girl joining in matrimony should also be mindful that their relationship is not just a means of fulfilling their temporary and worldly desires. Such things are secondary and naturally acquired. Rather, the pleasure of Allah the Almighty should be the objective. Whenever you marry, be mindful of the fact that you will duly uphold your relationship and care for each other while demonstrating taqwa. That is why taqwa is mentioned over and over in the Nikah sermon. If marriages take place while demonstrating taqwa, then by the grace of Allah, the boy and girl along with their families will care for their relationships and honour them; there will be a sense of mutual trust and these marriages will endure. The effects of these successful marriages will not only be witnessed by the parties involved, but by future generations as well. Pious progeny is born and, in turn, their marriages are also successful. The atmosphere in the home is what determines the success of a marriage. This should always be kept in view when forming new relationships. One should also keep in mind the fact that their marriage is not just for the fulfillment of their worldly desires, but also for seeking the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. May Allah enable those who are marrying to live up to the new oath they are taking today. With these brief words, I will now announce the Nikah ceremonies.’
Original Urdu published in Al-Fazl International Edition: 28 February 2014