Malfuzat - 4

On whether and when to marry


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) was deep in his state of rapture [sama'] and ecstasy [wajd], when he was handed a slip of paper with a question concerning a point of Islamic jurisprudence [mas' ala fiqhiyya] written on it. He said: "[I must ask you to wait] until I get permission to speak on the subject, and while I see what occurs to me." Then he said:

Is marriage a necessary duty [wajib], or not? On this question there is a lack of consensus [among the leading Islamic jurists]. There are those who maintain that dedication to worship is preferable, in the case of a person whose lower self [nafs] does not experience a strong desire [for sexual intercourse]. Such is the view held by ash-Shafi'i and Ahmad [ibn Hanbal], while according to Abu Hanifa there is greater merit in devoting oneself to marriage.

Where you are concerned, as long as you are a seeker [murid], it is more appropriate for you to concentrate on your worshipful service ['ibada]. If you are one who is sought [murad], on the other hand, it is not for you to manage your personal affairs; if He so wills, He will find you a wife, and if He so wills, He will keep you occupied in other directions.

If there is an allotment [in your destiny], you will obtain it in due course. The allotted portion [qism] will try to grab you by the tail, then it will say to the Lord of Truth: "Relieve me of my responsibility toward this fellow! He keeps running away from me, despite the fact that You have allotted me to him. What am I to do, since he will not pay any attention to me?" Then He will make you take notice of it.

As for the seeker [murid], marriage is unlawful [haram] for him from the point of view of the inner [batin]. Does he have a spare shirt to offer, or four inches of land? This is a traveler, whose only property is perseverance [thabat], not clothes [thiyab] and not furniture [athath]. He is actually stripped bare of all his own clothes. Once he has reached his destination, however, and his traveling days are over, if his King wishes him to take a wife, He will make him the owner of property; He can provide for him, as He can keep him deprived.

Anyone who makes friends with a fool must be a fool himself. The fool is someone who does not really know [lam ya'rif] Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). He is content with the life of this world, rather than the hereafter.

O young man! Your allotted portion [qism] will not be used up by anyone else. Do not take your food from the hand of Satan and devour it to satisfy your natural urges [tab'] and your passions [hawa]. It is better for you to wait awhile, until you attain to your abode in the Garden [of Paradise], or to the nearness of your Lord.


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