18: Marriage & Good Character – Renewal by the Book: Quran Tafsir Based on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this lesson, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, gives an overview of select verses from the Quran that correspond with the chapter son marriage and good character from Imam Al-Ghazali’s Ihya. The two chapter have been enjoined in one lesson because marriage is highly dependent on good character. The lesson will overview the verse 20-21 from Chapter 30 of the Quran on the purposes of marriage.

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَكُم مِّن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ إِذَا أَنتُم بَشَرٌ تَنتَشِرُونَ
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

And of His signs is that He created you from dust; then, suddenly you were human beings dispersing [throughout the earth].
And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. [Quran, 3:20-21]
Marriage is not just a sign of Allah but it contains within it numerous signs of Allah. The purpose of marriage is thus is a means to Allah. However, one must be careful because through marriage one can either draw closer to Allah with their spouse or further away by busying themselves with worldly matters that pull them away from Allah. In addition, marriage is a sign of Allah because He places in it the serenity, caring love and mercy that is needed for the marriage to function and are all gifts from Allah.

Shaykh Faraz explains that there is also a general meaning to the verse above, that is not specific to spouses but rather applies to all human relations and that is the mercy and deep care that allows for human interactions to be sustained; this is one of the signs of Allah. The mercy and deep care spoken about in the verse were integral to the Prophetic Character that we are all encouraged to emulate. As such, at the heart of a good marriage and knowing how to interact with others is good character.

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

“And truly you are upon tremendous character” [Quran, 68:4]

One’s character is most manifest in their choices, particularly the difficult ones. Good character also requires a higher purpose and that is to respond for Allah.

In this series Shaykh Faraz, and the other scholars and teachers will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Quran. The series will follow the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Sciences). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya, so that we experience a renewal by The Book.

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