What Does This Hadith on Marriage Mean?

Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question

I wanted to ask what this hadith means: the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “There is nothing like marriage for two people who love one another.”

I don’t understand. Does this mean that the bond between husband and wife is stronger than other bonds, such as between parent and child?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

The hadith is narrated in the Sunan of Ibn Majah and the Mustadrak of Al-Hakim as follows: the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “We have not seen anything (better than) marriage for two people who love one another.” [Ibn Majah]

This does not mean that the marriage is the strongest type of love there is or that it is being compared to the parent-child bond, for example.

The hadith has a few different potential meanings, mainly that when someone loves someone else (who is lawful for them to marry), then the best thing is to get married to them. This is because fornication and lust do not increase love; only marriage increases true love because an “outer bond strengthens and increases the inner bond.” [Sindi, Hashiyat Ibn Majah; Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih]

Also, that crazy infatuation and lust for someone can only be remedied by marriage – marriage is thus prescribed as the only “medication” or treatment for these feelings. [San’ani, Al-Tanwir]

One opinion even proposes that someone suffering from infatuation with someone they cannot marry *may* find relief in simply getting married to other than the person they are infatuated with as a solution to the need for companionship. [Ibid]

The hadith also means that people (especially women) should be allowed to marry the one they love rather than the one their parents prefer, all other things being equal. The hadith is directed at the guardians of women in its original context. [Suyuti, Al-Luma’ fi Asbab Wurud al-Hadith]

Finally, other scholars have read the wording to refer to groups of people who love one another. When a marriage occurs between two groups (families, tribes, etc.), it brings those people closer in love and even extinguishes some ill feelings that existed before. [Dihlawi, Lama’at al-Tanqih]

Wassalam,

[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.