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November 26, 2020

Marriage – The Emanation of Love and Synthesis

“Glory to Allah, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge.”

(Quran 36:36)

Was it modesty or was it pride,

Was it nerve, were you afraid

That you never affirmed nor denied;

Open your heart with the blessed word

Embrace the light with arms opened wide

New doors’ill open once old one’s closed.


The highest form in the world of forms is said to be love. Al-Haqq, the ultimate Being is said to be love. And the coming into being of all that exists is said to be the manifestation of love. The first letter (Aliph or Alif in Arabic) also means love. This is expressed as allaf in Arabic. It also means one, or wahid as the Arabs say, can be expressed as one in terms of unity, function, purpose and direction. This is opposed to the Absolute One (Ahad in Arabic) which does not allow addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. As Parmenides puts it:

One, continuous. For what birth will you seek for it?

How and from where did it grow? I will not permit you to say

or to think from what is not; for it is not to be said or thought

that is not. What necessity would have stirred up

to grow later than earlier, beginning from nothing?

– Parmenides of Elea, born 515 BCE, fragment 8,

It is said in the Hadith al-Qudsi that Allah has said:

“I was a Hidden Treasure, and I longed that I should be known. So I Created creation, that I might be known.”

From the primordial Ahad

Proceeds the lights of allaf

From the eternal source

Flows endless love!

In Arabic the other form of Aliph, alpha stands for a thousand, how befitting!

“And among His Signs is this that He created for you spouses of your own kind, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy for one another: verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (Quran 30:21)

“One of His marvelous favors is creating human beings out of water [Qur’an 21:30],’ causing them to be related by lineage and marriage, and subjecting creatures to desire through which He drove them to tillage (hirathah)2 and thereby forcibly preserved their descendants. Then He glorified the matter of lin­eage, ascribed to it great importance, forbade on its account illegitimacy and strongly denounced it through restrictions and reprimands, making the commission thereof an outlandish crime and a serious matter, and encouraging marriage through desire and command.

Glory be to Him who decreed death to His creatures and humbled them thereby through destruction and annihilation, then placed seeds’ in the soil of the wombs and raised there from creatures, forcibly to defeat death, calling attention to the fact that the seas of Providence flood the worlds with benefit as well as harm, prosperity as well as evil, difficulty as well as facility, and concealment as well as revelation.”

– Book on the Etiquette of Marriage, The Revival of Religious Sciences

By ABU HAMID AL-GHAZALI, died 1111CE (translated by Madelain Farah)

And among His signs is this, that He has created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them; and He has put love and mercy between you. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect. (Qur’an 30:21)

It is said that when the father of humanity, Adam, peace be upon him was in paradise after Allah created him he felt there was something about him that was incomplete which he did not know what. He enjoyed the fruits of the garden all to himself, however, he was unhappy in his blissful ignorance! So one day, as Divine Providence would have it, he woke up to find sleeping by his side Mother Eve (Hawwa in Arabic), peace be upon her. ‘Hawwa’ means the ‘source of life’ and may well mean passion too. It is reported that she was created from the left rib cage of Adam, peace be upon him, somewhere from very close to his heart. She being a manifestation of all his needs and part of his physical essence too – emotional, physical and intellectual – fulfilling all his needs and preserving the species too.

They are your garments and ye are their garments

(Quran 2:187)

Allah, glory be to Him, has described the spouses as each others garments.

Descendants of Adam! We have sent down to you a garment to conceal your shame, and another garment for your elegance; and the garment of piety – that is the best; this is among the signs of Allah, so that they may remember. (Quran 7:26)

The family is the building block of civilisations and marriages are the pillars of families. So we have allusions to decency (i.e. shame), elegance (lineage) and piety (rights) in the above verse.

“When a man marries, he has completed one half of his religion.”

This may be because through progeny one can ensure religion survives after his death.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:

“The world and all things in the world are precious but the most precious thing in the world is a virtuous woman.”

He once told the future Caliph, ‘Umar:

“Shall I not inform you about the best treasure a man can hoard? It is a virtuous wife who pleases him whenever he looks towards her, and who guards herself when he is absent from her.”

On other occasions the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

“The best property a man can have is a remembering tongue (i.e. which remembers God), a grateful heart and a believing wife who helps him in his faith.”

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