The Holy Quran says,
By: ‘Allamah Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah
“And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.” (Surah an-Nur, 24:32)
The above ayat begins with the words Wa Ankehoo (And marry…). The imperative form of the word ‘nikah’ implies that either it is obligatory or highly recommended. According to scholars, though marriage is a highly recommended act, it becomes obligatory when there is a chance of falling into sin.
The Prophet (S) says, “No house has been built in Islam more beloved in the sight of Allah than through marriage.”
On another occasion the Prophet (S) said,
“The best people of my nation (Ummat) are those who get married and have chosen their wives, and the worst people of my nation are those who have kept away from marriage and are passing their lives as bachelors.”
Imam ‘Ali (A.S.) exhorts, “Marry, because marriage is the tradition of the Prophet (S).” The Prophet (S) also said, “Whosoever likes to follow my tradition, then he should know that marriage is from my tradition.”
The relation between man and woman becomes lawful by contracting marriage. There are two kinds of marriages, in Shi'a school of thought:
(i) Permanent marriage
(ii) Fixed-time marriage
In a permanent marriage, the period of matrimony is not fixed, and it is forever. The woman with whom such a marriage is concluded is called da'ima (i.e. a permanent wife).
In a fixed time marriage (Mut'ah), the period of matrimony is fixed, for example, matrimonial relation is contracted with a woman for an hour, or a day, or a month, or a year, or more. However, the period fixed for the marriage should not exceed the span of normal lives of the spouses, because in that case, the marriage will be treated as a permanent one. This sort of fixed time marriage is called Mut'ah or Sigha.
Sunni and Shi'a Muslim marriages differ and so, depending on your mahdab, you would follow the instructions given by your scholars.
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