The word Zawaj is used in the Quran to signify a pair or a mate. Since the family is the nucleus of Islamic society, and marriage is the only way to bring families into existence, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) insisted upon his followers entering into marriage The Shari'ah prescribes rules to regulate the functioning of the family so that both spouses can live together in love, security, and tranquility.Marriage in Islam has aspects of both 'Ibadah (worship) of Allah and mu'amalah (transactions between human beings). Importance of Marriage in Islam Allah has created men and women as company for one another, and so that they can procreate and live in peace and tranquility according to the commandments of Allah and the directions of His Messenger. Doi Professor and Director, Center for Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaira, Nigeria.In order that problems should not arise after marriage the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended that, in the selection of his bride, a man should see her before betrothal lest blindness of choice or an error of judgment should defeat the very purpose of marriage.But this "seeing" is not to be taken as a substitute for the "courtship" of the West.which consider celibacy or monasticism as a great virtue and a means of salvation, Islam considers marriage as one of the most virtuous and approved institutions.The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) declared, "There is no monasticism in Islam." He further ordained, "O you young men!
But even for a person who has a strong will to control his sexual desire, who has no wish to have children, and who feels that marriage will keep him away from his devotion to Allah, it is commendable (Mandub).The man should not gaze passionately at his bride-to-be, but only have a critical look at her face and hands to acquaint himself with her personality and beauty.However, if a man so desires, he may appoint a woman to go and interview the proposed bride, so that she may fully describe the type of girl she is.Whoever is able to marry should marry, for that will help him to lower his gaze and guard his modesty." The importance of the institution or marriage receives its greatest emphasis from the following Hadith of the Prophet, "Marriage is my sunnah.Whosoever keeps away from it is not from me." With these Quranic injunctions and the guidance from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in mind, we shall examine the institution of marriage in the Shari'ah.