One of the essentials of this life is having good children! It is so important to the overall growth and development of a society, a race and a people to the extent that the success a society, a race and a people will attain is gauged and measured by how well the children of that society, race and people are, in terms of upbringing.
In the glorious Qur’an, we are made to know that a child can be ”a golden apparel” as well as a ”testing object” to his parent and the society at large. We read these two verses in the Qur’an as follows:
“Wealth and children are allurements of the life of this world…” _Qur’an 18:46
“And know that your wealth and children are a test …” _ Qur’an 8: 28
Then how can a child be an allurement in one instance and a test at other instance?
Exalted is He who grants children to whom He wishes and bars some from being called Mother or Father in this Adamic existence! He Himself begets no child nor He is begotten! He is one and only indivisible God.
Some children will be an allurement to their parents or their societies if the proper Islamic education is entrenched in their consciousness beginning from before their birth into this world! Simply put, he who wants to bear good children must marry good wives- since the third Law of motion is: ‘for every action, there is equal and opposite reaction!’
In fact, having good progeny is not a rocket science, it is what you invest in a property that you reap. The would be fathers, should therefore strive to marry godly, moral and marriageable ladies, not minding what is rife and common in their societies.For in every society, men marry the ladies in vogue without taking their future into cognizance. It is this,that prodded Rasullahi(saw) to have said:
“Men marry for four reasons: for her wealth, her family pedigree, her beauty and her religion; but choose religion over other factors, your hands will multiply”.
It is instructive therefore, that a man who is hell bent wanting to have good children must choose a godly lady over any other who are beautiful, wealthy and who come from influential family.
The ‘ Hands’ used in the Hadith above had been translated to many things by the scholars but the most appropriate is the one that holds it to mean ‘more power’ to a man that choose a lady for marriage because of her good religion.
I’m not of the opinion that looking for a beautiful, wealthy and influential lady to marry is a sin, but Iam saying the focus of a man who wants to have good children must be a godly mother!. Although I have seen many people who preferred beautiful ladies to godly wives when looking for ladies to marry, who when they were advised to look for godliness in ladies,they opined that they did not need godliness in ladies but beauty.
They thought that after the marriage they would teach their beautiful women to be godly, but, alas after the marriage, the vicissitudes of life did not allow them to teach their Juliets the moral they needed or in case of some of them who got the chance to teach them, their Juliets were now above the teaching ages! So when the ladies started having children, the very bad and immoral tutorials they received from their parents and societies were carried over to their children and the circle of bad children continue!
Some interrogators may ask, has there no godly mother that produced bad progeny? I will say there have been many a godly mother whom fate had thrown bad children into their ways but the percentage of godly mothers having bad children is 2 out of 100! God himself Had decreed from the beginning to make the product of goodness to be more goodness(all things being equal). He Has said:
“Is there any Reward for Good other than Good”! _ Qu’ran 55:60
In fact, the stories of the great men and woman in our immediate environment and men from other regions of the world cannot be completed without the godliness of their mothers. Mothers to say the obvious are like the land a farmer plants his corn, no matter how seedy the corn may be,if the land is barren or deaden, the corn will not grow! And since children are dead objects inside men, it is the good essence of the women that will infuse live into them.
In short he who wants to have good children must marry good women!
And as opined above, mere number does not count in Islam! Quality is always craved. Therefore having larger number of adherents is not the focus of Islam but having strong, faithful and knowledgeable Muslims is her ends! This singular focus of Islam cannot be realized except by having a virile foundation, which is having good mothers of children through the legality of marriage.
Marriage as observed by the Islamic scholars is as old as the humanity.The Father of man Adam was given Awwau as a wife and a union was solemnized between them in the presence of the Angels and the Satan when Satan was living among the angel, though a Jinn, as witness! In fact, Prophets despite their piousness were ordained to marry so as to be a template for their followers on how to go with their own marriages. Allah witnessed this in the glorious thus:
“And we have surely sent messengers before you (o Muhammad) and granted them wives and children’.
The verse above is therefore a pointer to the need for every able, capable, sound and healthy soul to marry or be married to.
Celibacy, despite its rife in Catholicism, was not commanded by God,it was an attempt of the saints to avoid the lure and allurement of life,and as observed by God in the Qur’an, those that swore to it cannot live up to it! Allah says:
” Then, in their wake, we followed them up with ( others of) our messengers: we sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and we ordained in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and Mercy .But the Monasticism which they invented for themselves, we did not prescribe for them: We commanded only the seeking for the Good pleasure of Allah as they should have done…”. _ Qur’an 57 vs 27.
As celibacy is unnatural with human tendencies, it is disallowed outrightly in Islam. A matured, able, capable and physically soul is required to marry in Islam. He, if it is a man, needs to choose a moral vessel for his sperm( offspring) if he wants better future for them and for himself.
And if it is a woman, she will need to look for a moral head or crown that will respect her being and guide her religiously! It is because of this that the prophet had advised us to marry worthy women and that was why he advised parents to marry their daughters equally to worthy men. He said:
“Make a (good) choice for your sperm( i.e,offspring): marry worthy women, and marry your daughters to them( worthy men)”
The Hadith above is also instructive to whoever wants to marry or the parents of the people who want to marry, to prefer morality, good family pedigree and moderate wealth to money bags who are bereft of morality and good family pedigrees.
Marriage in Islam requires the condition of a term known as Al- ijab wal-Qubul. The term refers to in English parlance as a proposal and an acceptance from a man to a woman that he wants to marry her. And if the woman is so willing to marry the man, and say yes , she will only need to advise the man to see her parents or the guardians as the case may be.
In Islam, despite the fact that the parents and guardians of a woman have the right of Ijbar I.e the right to advise her against marrying a bad husband or making a bad choose of a life partner, the parents should know that this right is just a safety measure to guard a woman against the effect of her immaturity and overzealousness, but not a right to force her against her wish! And this where the second condition comes in; seeking the consent of the parents and guardians i.e Al- Waliy,even if they say yes to the marriage.
The third condition of a legal marriage in Islam is known as as- Sadaqi I.e the bride gift.This is not the bride price or dowry as done in African marriage because, it is not a price offered by the groom to the bride’s parents nor it is Yam, fruits, clothes and all sundry materials things offered during marriage in Africa setting to the wive or her family but a gift which can be monetary, service, kindness and other material or immaterial things given to a woman by her would be husband to be enjoyed by her only unless she is wiling to give her family a part of it.
Given a bride family material things as a way of appreciation is not a bad thing in Islam too, but it must not be mistaken for the Sadaqiy of a lady in marriage. On the other hands,the Sadaqiy can be given during marriage ceremony or be postponed to a future but the husband must make sure he gives it to the wive when he is capable, as it is the licence that expressly allows him to have unrestrained access to her wife any time any day. In the case of a man that promised to give her wife the Sadaqiy but failed to make good of his promise before death, the amount promised must be deducted out of his estate before its distribution.
The last condition for a legal marriage in Islam is witness. For every marriage in Islam, there must be some witnesses, at least two. The wisdom behind this is that ,marriage should not be done in isolation or by the whim and caprice of the bride and groom alone.The prophet has said:
“Any woman that marries without the consent of her guardians,her marriage is invalid!”
The essence of this part is to show the readers that one of the essentials of life that makes the life of a child a blessing and not a curse is legal marriage entered into by his parents before he was even born. One other thing to be mentioned here is that supposed a couple was unable to legally marry before they have issues, can they formalize the marriage afterwards?
To this question, I will say yes, but they must seek the forgiveness of God for what they have done before they legally married, for Allah is oft- forgiving and loves those who repent.
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