‘Love and mercy between your hearts’

In Islam, marriage has three main objectives: firstly, to fulfill sexual needs in a legitimate and disciplined manner; secondly, to have legitimate children; and thirdly, to regulate social life.

Fornication and extramarital relations are major sins not only in Islam but also in Judeo-Christian scriptures.    

Islam allows marriage only between a man and a woman. The husband is responsible to take care of his wife. He is religiously and legally responsible to provide his wife with a home, groceries, pay all her bills and above all treat her with utmost care and love.

As the Quran says to husbands, “live with them on a footing of kindness and equity” (Quran 4:19).

Islamic marriage has to be on the basis of pure love, kindness and care. “He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts” (Quran 30:21).

Husband and wife are two different individuals who have been raised differently. Their educational levels, their IQs, their likes and dislikes — everything is different. So it is very natural that there will be some disagreements.

God reminds us that you shouldn’t mess up your relationship over a few disagreements, but focus on the 95 percent of issues on which you both agree.

“If you don’t like them, it may happen that you dislike one thing wherein God has placed much good (other than that one thing) in them” (Quran 4:19).

— Muhammad Haq, Anniston Islamic Center


Christian marriage is a testimony

This is a difficult question because, even among the various Christian denominations, there is a variance of opinion. I can only express the opinion generally held among the Southern Baptist denomination, of which my local church is a member. Even there, local churches may hold some difference of opinion.

Marriage is a sacred contract between a man and a woman. It was established in that order by God.

The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden points to this. After God created Adam, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” So God created Eve and gave her to Adam, and, in a sense, that became the first marriage.

God also said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Five times scripture issues this injunction. Until this day, that is accepted as the Biblical basis of marriage.

This union was God’s way to lead to human flourishing. A Christian marriage, recognizing Jesus as the head of the household, is secure in itself and also a testimony to its community of the love of God.

The beautiful and well-known 13th chapter of First Corinthians is known as the love chapter. It pictures love as patient, kind, not envious, or boastful or proud. It is not rude, nor selfish, nor quick tempered. It is protects and trusts. When these characteristics are incorporated in a marriage, there is permanency.

So, we may recap by saying that marriage is a loving, God-created relationship between a man and a woman. When properly maintained, it is not only a blessing to themselves, but to the society of which they are a part.

— Robert Ford, retired Baptist campus minister, JSU