Wednesday, December 11, 2013 08:06 Nur Achmad, MA
Marriage as Sunnatullah (Law of Nature)
Indeed, human was created by Allah swt in the most perfect form compared to the other living beings. Humans are endowed with honor (karamah) which is special for Adam’s descendants. It was said by Allah in the Holy Qur’an:
“And we have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what we have created, with [definite] preference.”(QS. Al-Isra ‘: 70).
One of the divine’s guidance for human is marriage which is based on faith and trustful. It is sunnatullah that can not be replaced as the way to the preservation of human generation which is legitimate, civilized, and upholds human dignity. Allah called it as one of His verses, the sign of God’s power and glory for the people who are thinking (QS. Al-Rum: 21). It means that the marriage can not be carried out properly and in accordance with its purpose, if the humans who undergo do not use the right thinking deeply. Therefore marriage is regarded as solemn covenant / mitsaqan ghaliza (QS. Al-Nisa ‘: 21), which is not to be broken or betrayed by those who are carrying out in life. So marriage should be managed in such a way in order that the noble purpose of marriage can be achieved in this world and hereafter, since in Islam the world and the hereafter are both in sustainability.
One of the rules and managements is related to the age of bride and groom. How old is the most appropriate and the most mature for the bride and the groom whether physically, mentally and financially as well to get married? When is the right time to start pregnancy, how many children will the couple plan and attempt to bring them up and when is the right time to stop pregnancy, and so on? Those things should be considered to achieve the main purpose of marriage. On the contrary, if those rules and anything related to marriage are neglected, broken, and not considered, undoubtedly the household will be far away from the main purpose of establishing family that is happiness (sa’adah) and the general purpose of human life that is the happiness in this world and in the hereafter (fid-dunya hasanah wa fil-akhirati hasanah, Qs. al-Baqarah: 201), contrarily suffering in this world and in the hereafter (saqiyyun fid-dunya wa fil-akhirah, Qs. Hud: 105-108). And there are many books written by the experts about the rules of marriage such as Islamic Jurisprudence by Shaykh Wahbah al-Zuhaili, Four schools of Muslim Jurisprudence by al-Jazairi, and the other books of Muslim Jurisprudence.
Marriage to Those Who are Capable and Ready for it
The prophet teaches us that the youth who already have the capability whether physical, psychological, social, or economic and so on are recommended to get married for the purposes enacted by the religion, one of them is to keep descendant and preserve human dignity. The prophet said based on the narration of Abdullah (ibn Mas’ud):
“O youth, whoever of you has been able (physically and psychologically) to get married, let marry. Marriage could subdue your gaze and guard your private part (honor). And to those who have not been capable (ready) yet, fasting is better for you (sunnah) because it can be your shield (HR. Muslims: 3464; Bukhari: 1905).
The word “al-Ba’ah” in the Expository Books of Hadith (Syarah Hadith) is interpreted as marriage. But the other scholars also interpret it as sexual intercourse (al-jima). While the word “wija” is defined as “himayah” that is a shield or a tool for self-protection. In the aforesaid hadith, the prophet conveyed an important message to the young man and woman who have been capable and ready physically, psychologically, socially and economically to get married as the protection of religion and in order to avoid the wrong sight and lose control of self-dignity as the God’s creature who have been given an honor.
The command of marriage as sunnatullah certainly necessitates several mature preparations and planning. In the principles of Muslim Jurisprudence (kaidah fiqh) said that Amrun bisy-syai ‘Amrun bi wasa’ilihi (the command against something means the command for the fulfillment of the medium of these things). This means that the marriage must be prepared properly. It will not be wise if it is carried out hastily and without preparation of both parties those are the bride and the groom. Similarly, it will not be wise when the male only who have been ready for marriage, without asking or confirming the female whether she is ready or not.
Indeed, the marriage is not allowed due to any coercion from certain party or it is forced because of certain things like pregnancy before marriage. It can be predicted that anything conducted coercively usually will bear bad result afterward. Possibly there is no problem outwardly. But psychologically, the couples who are compelled to marry will experience psychological disturbance that terribly affects on their life and their children someday.
There is hadith dha’ief (weak) which actually can not be the basis of the law, which states that parents who have a young daughter and has reached 12 years old while she has not been married yet by her guardian, if she commits a sin since she has not been married yet, the sin will be imposed to his guardian. This hadith is “it was written in the Holy Book of Torah (Taurat), whoever has a daughter (has reached 12 years old) but she has not been married yet by her guardian, then the daughter commits a sin (adultery / zina), the sin becomes her guardian responsibility.” (HR. Al-Bayhaqi, from Umar and Anas bin Malik, but this hadith is dha’ief (weak) because the narrator is wrong). (See al-Manawi, Faidh al-Qadir, no. 8199, chapters 6, p. 4). Despite this hadith is dha’ief but it is still widely used in some communities due to afraid of sin, afraid of libel, then his daughter is forced to marry, although she is not ready and mature mentally.
Besides, the narrator is invalid, the content of aforesaid hadith (matan) is also contradictory to the Quran, among others, The Surah al-An’am: 164, Isra’: 15, Fathir: 18, al-Zumar: 7, and al-Najm: 38-39, which state that the sin is the bearer responsibility before God, it can not be imposed to another. Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“That no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives.” (QS. Al-Najm: 38-39).
The guardian or parent can be blamed in case not providing well education or an adequate knowledge to his / her children or they do not give an access of learning to their children so that their children do not know their rights and obligations to the God, to the prophet, to the parents, to the environment, and society.
Questioning Adolescent Pregnancy
Talking about adolescent, the question may arise is why do many adolescents get pregnant? Some factors that can be proposed are perhaps early marriage, sexual violence, rape, adolescent prostitution / being prostituted, consensual intercourse (HIS3) or intimate relationship without status” (HITS). These factors frequently emerge, but not considered as the problem. Early Marriage for instance, indeed it is a problem.
Why, when a female or male who is not mature enough—especially psychologically, socially and culturally—is compelled to marry by his / her guardian or social environment, it will be a problem for his / her future household. When this young couples (especially when the female) is getting pregnant, while they are not ready mentally, psychologically, and socially, it will have consequences on unhealthy and unfavorable for both, and their future child. Moreover, in case this young female’s pregnancy because of sexual violence / rape, prostituted, and any kind of it, the impact will be really negative for those who undergo or for their children and even for their surrounding environment.
We can imagine, young girl or boy who still likes to buy snack in the cafeteria, in the roadside or hangs out in the mall with upright and colorful hair or poses in social media and any other youth style, then he / she is compelled or conditioned in such a way to marry, to undergo a household life, it can be ascertained that he / she is still childish and dominated by the ego from the respective mate. Thus it will affect on both of them in undergoing their marriage. It becomes heavier if their baby is coming soon. The development of their child is also disrupted in the future. Therefore, it must be considered once again, if the teenage girl or boy wants to marry or the married couples want to get pregnant, for whatever reason. The impact also must be examined. If adolescents’ pregnancy becomes a tradition, whereas they are not ready mentally and socially, the social and cultural problems will emerge such as child malnutrition, stranded or neglected children and then contribute to the rampant crime.
If the readers look at the environment around us, especially in the big cities, it shows that a number of street children are rising. Punkers are overflowing, beggars and bummers are coloring the streets and sidewalks of the city. ABG (teenage male and female) are being prostituted or conditioned to be prostituted or sold in the cities and even to overseas countries. What phenomenon are those? Those phenomenon shows us that the associated parties (parents, policy makers) do not care to overcome the increase of descendant (family members and population) and do not have further preparation in the access of education, youth skills enrichment, and the state give less guidance and assistance to their citizens. Is this condition desired by Pancasila in the 2nd and 5th principle and the Constitution of 1945, especially the article 33 which states that impoverished persons and abandoned children shall be taken care of by the state. What is the meaning of “taken care of / maintained” by the state? Does it mean that their number and distribution are allowed to increase? Or are they protected in order to be impoverished and abandoned forever? Or should they be accompanied, facilitated, and helped through good welfare management, neat, and trustworthy so that the new poor, orphan and abandoned children will not increase anymore?
Looking this condition, we need to contemplate what the Alah says: “A ra’aital-lazi yukazzibu bid-din? Fa dzalikal-ladzi yadu’’ul yatim wa la yakhuzzu ‘ala tha’amil-miskin…” (QS. al-Ma’un: 1-7). Why do such things happen? One of the key answers is because the practices of budget circumcision of the people’s basic necessities by the unscrupulous officers, the big corruptors, and the project holders on the people’s money are still happening. In addition, there are many practices of bribe by the officers / state officers / uniformed goons who extort people for various reasons and intentions. While that related to the marriage is the cost to have marriage certificate is really expensive in some areas. Those are the problem of adolescent pregnancy when we analyze from the social analysis of causation. One problem, adolescent pregnancy, intertwines with other aspects. One problem is caused by some problems and lead to many other problems.
Pregnancy Management: Preparing Qualified Generation
In many verses Allah swt always reminds us about the importance of preparing everything before the couples have a child. It can be inferred from many verses, for example, Surah Al-Nisa’: 9 which emphasize the importance of preparing generation free from weaknesses (physical, psychological, intellectual, social and economic) called as dzurriyatan dhi’afan. In addition, God also reminds the believers to protect themselves and their families from the fire (in the world and in the hereafter) as stated in the Shurah al-Tahrim: 6. From this it can be concluded that the management of pregnancy is needed by the couples and started with the plan when do they want to get married, to have children, how many children do they want ideally (according to the wife agreement), to teach them in order to be righteous human and give benefit to the nation and to the other people? What is needed to take care of children in order to be qualified generation? How do they earn livelihood legally and properly (lawful, good, and right)? And so on. Herein the importance of management of pregnancy in terms of hifzun-nasli (protection of lineage) as one of the main five objectives of the presence of Islam should be understood (in Al-Ghazali, al-Mustashfa).
On the other Shurah Allah teaches His servants to pray so that they will be given the righteous children (salihin / salihat), the generation that fascinate the sight (qurratu a’yun). It was stated in the Holy Quran that Prophet Ibrahim AS prayed: “Robbi hab li minash-shalihin” (My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous, Qs. al-Shaffat: 100). Likewise the Prophet Zakariya AS prayed: “Robbi hab li mil-ladunka zurriyyatan thayyibah. Innaka sami’ud-du’a (My Lord, grant me from Your side a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication, QS. Ali Imran: 38).
Except to grasp the spirit of the prayers in the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad teaches about the importance of self-preparation (husband and wife) when they want to have a baby or offspring who will be their heart desire and the hope of the nation and the people. Even, how the importance of preparing qualified generation, the prophet teaches the couples when they want to have sexual intercourse to intend it as worship and pray in order to keep away from devil’s disturbance and the offspring granted by God is also be protected from the devil. Here is the prayer frequently to read before the sexual intercourse.
This is similar to the hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas, which means: From Ibn Abbas narrated that Rasullullah saw said: “in case the husband and wife are going to have sexual intercourse, pray “Bismillahi Allahumma jannibnasy-syaithana wa jannibisy-syaithana ma razaqtana” (in the Name of Allah, O Allah keep us away from the devil and keep the devil away from the offspring you grant to us), so if the couples are granted the child according to this hope, inevitably the devil will not harm him forever.” (HR. Muslims: 3606).
Indeed, those prayers and the other prayers are not merely understood as a ritual. It is not something to play, without purpose, but it has a deep message and meaning in order to bear strong generations, healthy body and spiritual, intelligent, and keep away from the crime disturbance in the future. For the believers, prayer is one package with effort. The effort without prayer is meaningless and the prayer without effort is useless. The prayer will guide the pleader to realize the best plan with the guidance and direction of Allah, the Almighty. If it is successful, do not forget to the Most Bestower (Allah) and if it does not succeed yet, do not despair expecting the grace of Allah (rahmat).
It is important to comprehend and practice the aforesaid prayers. Every faithful servant of God will preserve his rights and his health of reproduction and utilizes the potencies given to him for the purpose of kindness and human benefit in this world and the hereafter, fil-ma’asyi wal-ma’ad.
Furthermore the prophet also warned that the couple also could refrain to keep the distance or to put off the birth of their children. It shows that if the couples are not ready to have offspring, they are permitted to manage the distance of the birth of their children. At the time of the prophet it was known as ‘azl that is the husband holds not to release the sperm in the womb of his wife so she will not get pregnant. In the hadith narrated by Jabir stated that some companions practiced ‘azl and known by the prophet, but the prophet did not prohibit them (HR. Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad).
Nowadays, it is often called as the family planning program (KB) / tanzimun-nasli that has developed in such a way. It is justified as long as implemented with adequate knowledge and consulted with the experts in their field, obstetrician or midwifery for instance. It can be understood that the birth of a baby should be in a proper condition and moment. It must be based on strong mental and physic and the socio-cultural aspect of the both parents, especially the mother.
Therefore it is an obligation for policy makers and parents to guarantee or at least to facilitate in order that the children in this country can acquire their rights and their reproductive health safely, correctly, and responsibly. Certainly, it needs to socialize or disseminate information in schools, preachment, study groups of society, and so on so that the people understand their rights and are able to practice the teachings of the holy book (Quran), that is to preserve their honor and their sexual organs well, correctly, and responsibly. It refers to the verse “wal-lazina hum li furujihim hafizun” (and they who guard their private parts, QS. Al-Mukminun: 5). Besides, it is also required the set of legal protection to achieve those basic needs (daruriyat). For example, the age of marriage in the law needs to be adjusted in order that no longer we find teenagers who are still in primary and secondary school (elementary / junior high school / senior high school) have early pregnancy due to various cases.
The presence of Islam is to give guidance for mankind life, as an individual and a member of society to achieve and to strive for happiness in this world and in the hereafter, including preparing future generations. Therefore, pregnancy that is prepared and planned well, maintained properly and considered its healthy, and based on the responsibility to ourselves, family, environment, and to the god will bear kindness and benefit in life today and tomorrow. And those are the purpose of shariah or religion.
By practicing the teachings of religion well and consistently, especially related to the process of marriage and the other things associated with it, it will guide the Muslim to achieve happiness in the world and in the hereafter and to be free from hell punishment (Fid-dunya hasanah wa fil-akhirati hasanah wa qina ‘azaban-nar). The teachings are also able to bear a righteous couples. They will have the best offsprings (dzurriyah tayyibah) who are desired by the nation and then in the future they will the best community (khairu ummah), the community that adhere to the truth (ummatan muslimatan), and moderate society (ummatan wasathan, not extreme) and the realization of safe country (baladan aminan), just, prosperous, and peaceful. Wallahu’alam bish-sowab.
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