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Marrying is not a farz in Islam. What if someone chooses not to get married and keep fasting to control desire?

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Many people think Marriage is just a Sunnah (in the sense it is not Wajib). Because of the narration in the Sahihayn which was recorded as:

O young people! Whoever amongst you can afford marriage, let him marry. Whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.(al-Bukhaari, 5066; Muslim, 1400)

Fasting reduces the effects that desires have on young people. But, in reality, with respect to fuqahaa' who analyzed it, the obligation of marriage depends on the person you are.

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

With regard to marriage, people are of three types:

1. Some fear that they may fall into haraam things if they do not get married. Such a person has to get married, according to the majority of fuqaha’, because he has to keep himself chaste and protect himself against doing haraam things, and the way to do that is getting married.

2. For some it is mustahabb. This is the one who feels desire but there is no danger of his falling into haraam. It is better for him to get married than to devote himself to naafil acts of worship. This is the view of ashaab al-ra’y and it is the view of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them and their deeds).

Ibn Mas’ood said:

If I only had ten days to live and I knew that I would die at the end of them, and I had any desire to get married, I would get married, for fear of fitnah (temptation).

It was narrated that Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said:

Ibn ‘Abbaas said to me: “Have you gotten married?”

I said: “No.”

He said: “Get married, for the best of this ummah are the ones with the most wives.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5069)

Ibraaheem ibn Maysarah said: Tawoos said to me:

“Either get married, or I will say to you what ‘Umar said to Abu’l-Zawaa’id: Nothing is keeping you from getting married except impotence or immorality.”

3. who have no desire, either because they were not created with any desire, such as one who is impotent, or they had desire but it has disappeared due to old age, sickness and so on. There are two opinions:

(i) It is mustahabb to get married because of the general meaning of what we have discussed.

(ii) Remaining single is better for him because he cannot achieve the purpose of marriage, and he would be preventing his wife from becoming chaste by marrying someone else. And he would be harming her by keeping her for himself, and he is exposing himself to obligations and duties that perhaps he cannot fulfil, and he is distracting himself from seeking knowledge and worship with something that is of no benefit to him.

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

The apparent meaning of the words of Ahmad is that there is no difference between the one who can afford it and the one who cannot. He said: a man should get married and if he can afford to spend he should spend, and if he cannot then he should be patient.

This applies to one who is able to get married. As for the one who cannot, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allaah enriches them of His Bounty” [al-Noor 24:33]

The best people in Taqwa were Prophets (Peace be upon all of them) and most of them we know have married. We cannot be better than them.

Narrated by Anas bin Maalik (radiyallaahu 'anhu),

He says: "A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) asking how the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) worshipped (Allaah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said: 'Where are we compared to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as his past and future sins have been forgiven.' Then one of them said: 'I will offer the prayer throughout the night for ever.' The other said: 'I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast' The third said: 'I will keep away from women and will never marry.' Allaah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: 'Are you the same people who said so-and so? By Allaah! Indeed I am the one who fears Allaah the most amongst you, and the most pious of you; yet I fast and break my fast, I pray and I sleep, and I marry women. So he who opposes my Sunnah is not from me." Reported by Imaam al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three whom Allaah is bound to help: the mujaahid who strives (in jihad) for the sake of Allaah, the mukaatib (a slave who has made a contract of manumission with his master) who wants to pay off his manumission, and a man who gets married, seeking to remain chaste.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1655), classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi

Source: Marriage

So, marriage becomes obligatory or recommended or even disliked depending on the type of person you are.

  • +1 for pointing out that the ruling can change depending on circumstances. – Ansari Jul 3 '12 at 8:16
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Allah said in Quran:

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُون

"And among His signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect. (21)"

[Quran, Chapter 30, verse 21]

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said :

النکاح من سنتی فمن رغب عن سنتی فلیس منی

Marriage is my sunnah and who ever turns away from my sunnah is not of me

Nikaah (Marriage) is Prophet (PBUH)'s permanent sunnah. It is a great sin for a person who can marry but don't marry.

Once three Sahaba visited Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), one of them (while sitting there) in absence of Prophet said, "Prophet is innocent, but we are sinner" and then one of them said, "I'll never get marry", When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came to know there discussion, He said: "You are no more noble or innocent than me, Yes, you are not, If anyone will try to go farther than me, will be mislead"

And there are some social benefit of marriage, It helps to flourish the muslim ummah, and the children while they grow up, take care of their parents who are now older and can't take care of themselves.

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