You can listen to Imam Adam’s Khutbah above or read the summary below.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

وَمِنْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦٓ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَٰجًۭا لِّتَسْكُنُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةًۭ وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍۢ لِّقَوْمٍۢ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

Wamin ayatihi an khalaqa lakum min anfusikum azwajan litaskunu ilayha waja’ala baynakum mawaddatan warahmatan inna fi dhalika la ayatin liqawmin yatafakkarun

And one of His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may find comfort in them. And He has placed between you compassion and mercy. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect. (Surah Ar-Rum 30:21)

My dear brothers and sisters, all praises are due to Allah (swt). May Allah help us to be grateful to Him. For Allah has blessed us with so much, yet we continue to live a life of ingratitude, we forget. That is why the word for human being in Arabic is Insan.

The Meaning of Nisyan

Insan comes from Nisyan, which means to forget. We tend to forget our blessings. We tend to forget the things that we should appreciate. So it’s important for us to remind ourselves to be grateful. To remind ourselves of not always looking to what’s next or what’s the next thing but also to appreciate what we have today.

The Prophet ﷺ reminded us. He said, “look at those below you, not those above you.” What does that mean? It doesn’t mean look down on those below you. It means فَهُوَ أَجْدَرُ أَنْ لاَ تَزْدَرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِBecause you’ll be less likely to belittle the many blessings that Allah has bestowed upon you.

When we constantly look at who has more than us, and we constantly compare, then we do feel ingratitude. When we go on social media, and we see all the people posting the best aspect of their life. Not every aspect, just the best aspect. Then we tend to compare, and we tend to look at all the things that we don’t have. And we feel deficient. When in fact, this person is only posting the best aspect of their life. Not every aspect of their life.

So we must be aware, my brothers and sisters, of ingratitude. And it relates to the topic which I’m going to be talking about today. Which, if you heard the verse which I recited, is the verse about marriage. It’s an important topic and it’s something that’s difficult to talk about because it is also, for many people, a sensitive topic.

Some people, as soon as you say marriage, they roll their eyes. They say, “well, my mom always talks to me about this, or my dad always talks to me about this.” Some people get anxious because they’re like, “oh, this is something I need to talk to my kids about.” Some people feel guilt. Maybe they’re formerly married or they were married and they feel like they failed.

So there’s many things when it comes to this topic, and I will try to focus just on what the Qur’an and Islam tells us about marriage Insha Allah ta’ala today.

Meethaq Ghaleetha

So Allah (swt) tells us in the Qur’an, that marriage is مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا

A great covenant.

A heavy commitment.

A heavy agreement.

And what’s interesting about this word, meethaq ghaleetha, is the Quranic term for the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The agreement between Allah and the Prophet is meethaq ghaleetha, a great covenant, a great agreement. That is the same descriptor that’s used for marriage, for nikah.

The Most Blessed Marriages

So this tells you the greatness of this agreement of marriage. When in fact, marriage itself in Islam is very simple. Something great doesn’t need to be complex. Unfortunately, one of the biggest barriers to marriage is how complicated we’ve made it.

The pressure that we put on ourselves. The obstacles that we put on ourselves. You grow up watching Disney movies. You’re looking for the one. This romantic idea. You’re looking for the one out of 8 billion people on earth, but that idea didn’t exist in the time of the Prophet ﷺ. Nikah was a simple thing. The difference between what is haram, what is temptation, and what is halal was simple. To make something halal, you needed two witnesses, the wali, and the bride and the groom and the mahr, the dowry.

And it makes me happy when people come to the masjid and all they have is those conditions. Maybe a few family members and friends and that’s it. They don’t overcomplicate it.

Am I saying don’t enjoy your wedding? I’m not saying that. Am I saying, cheap out on your wedding or something like this? I’m not saying that. But what I’m saying is live within your means, my brothers and sisters, and keep it simple according to your means.

I’m the imam, so I do nikahs all the time. And you see people competing in things that are fleeting. Right? The TikTok trends. This is a trend right now, let me do it this way. So that we can have a nice TikTok’s video. Enjoy your wedding. I’m not saying don’t enjoy it. But competing in a way which puts unnecessary burden and pressure on your family, on yourself, on your spouse, then that is not something which comes from our deen.

So, one of the barriers and obstacles to marriage today is the complexity that we have put into it. The Prophet ﷺ said that the most blessed of marriages are those that are aisar. Those that are the easiest, the most simple, that are not so complicated.

So it’s important, my brothers and sisters, those of you that are unmarried especially, those of you that are parents as well, to understand this idea and this concept of simplifying the barriers to marriage.

Another barrier to marriage, which we have in today’s day and age, is how our youth meet. Maybe, in our parents’ generation, for many of us who are immigrants, our parents’ generation, or our grandparents’ generation, the way of meeting was entirely different.

And when we immigrated to this country, we left all that behind. All the social networks, all the friends, all the ‘person who knows somebody who knows somebody,’ left all of that behind. So to the parents, when your daughter or your son comes to you, seeking the halal. Seeking the halal that, “I met someone and I wanna get married to them and I wanna have my nikah. Not that I wanna marry them today, but I just want you to consider.” But for you to close that door, you’re doing a dangerous thing.

Because the Prophet ﷺ told us, that when a young person comes to you, and you are happy with their deen, not with everything else, but with their deen most importantly, فَزَوِّجُوهُ – then marry them. Right? So, all the complications around marriage, all the conditions and everything else has made that process very complex.

Signs of Allah

So let’s talk about what does the Qur’an tell us about marriage? What is the most important thing to consider in marriage? And this is something that is helpful, and that is the beautiful thing about the Qur’an, that it speaks to us regardless of where we are in life, whether you are unmarried, and you’re looking to get married. Whether you are newly married, whether you’ve been married for a long time, whether you are divorced, and looking to get remarried or whether you’ve given up. In all of those stages of life, the Qur’an can speak to you.

So what does Allah (swt) tell us about the most important things in marriage? The verse that we hear in every single nikah, in every single wedding:

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ – Among His signs

أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا – that He has created for you spouses.

لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا – So that you may find tranquility.

وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً – And He placed between you love and mercy (مَّوَدَّة and رَحْمَة).

So, what are these three things? They are وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ – They are the signs of Allah.

So along with Allah talking about- the heavens and the earth, and the sun and the moon, and the changing of night and day and the sea, and the land and the air, and all of the signs of Allah, the orbiting of the celestial bodies, the dunya and the akhirah, all of these are signs of Allah.

And in addition, the fact that He has created you in pairs and made for you spouses. This is among his signs. So it’s a big deal. And what does Allah says is the most important thing in this marital relationship? He doesn’t say whose job is what. He says that elsewhere in the Qur’an.

But at this point, when He’s describing the relationship, He talks about primarily these three things:

Pillars of Marriage

Sakina (Tranquility)

Are you someone that brings peace? Or are you someone that brings conflict?

If you’re questioning, “Am I ready for marriage?” Then you must start with tranquility.

Are you someone who’s able to bring peace to the other person?

If you’re already married, when you have a conflict with your spouse, a challenge with your spouse, a disagreement with your spouse, are you able to de escalate and bring tranquility?

When you see your spouse is anxious or stressed because of something that happened at work, are you concerned about yourself? Or are you concerned about, “Let me bring tranquility to my spouse today. They need it.”

Mawaddah (Love)

وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً – And He placed between you, love.

And مَّوَدَّة is different from عشق. In this day and age, people think they’re seeking love, but they’re actually seeking عشق (Ishq). Ishq is passion. Ishq is novelty. Ishq can be in a halal, permissible marriage, of course. But people assume that ishq is love, but ishq is novelty. It’s passion. It comes and it goes.

Mawaddah is different. Mawaddah is the expression of love. Mawaddah is what you do for love. Mawaddah is what you do for those who you love.

When I tell my mother, “Mom, I love you.” What does mom say? Mom says, “well if you love me so much, why don’t you go clean your room and take out the trash?” I want to see this love that you claim. I want to see it in action.

So if you’re someone who is just giving lip service to this idea, then you may not be ready for marriage. Or if you are in the marriage, then how can you be that person who expresses.

The Prophet ﷺ told us that – اليد العليا خير من اليد السفلى – the giving hand (the upper hand) is better than the receiving hand (lower hand) in all of our life.

As a believer, we think about how do I be the giving hand? How do I be the giver? If you in your life are a receiver- if there was a scale in terms of what you give and what you receive from others. I’m not talking about work. But if there’s a scale in your relationships- Are you a giver or are you a receiver?

If you are primarily a receiver, even if it’s just by a little bit, then you need to become a giver first. If in your marital relationship, you are the receiver, then you must become the giver. You must question and ask yourself, how can I become the giver? Because this is what the Prophet ﷺ taught us. That is what we mean when we say the expression of love, mawaddah.

Rahma (Mercy)

The third pillar of marriage which Allah describes in this verse is rahmah, mercy. Many of us kind of hand wave the idea of mercy, but let’s think deeply about what mercy is and when it happens. When is mercy used? When is mercy applicable?

Allah is our Creator. He is the Most Merciful. He can be merciful to us. Can we be merciful to Allah? No, because He is the Creator. We can think well of Allah. We can trust in Allah. We can’t have mercy to Allah.

Can we be merciful towards our boss? No. Can our boss be merciful to us? Yes. Because our boss holds the power. And in any relationship, there is something called a power dynamic. Some people describe relationships as a power struggle.

But as Muslims, what do we believe? That when it comes to the power struggle, depending on the phase and the situation, and it’s different for every marriage. It’s not one sided. It shifts as the phases of your life continue. But when you realize that you hold this power, for you to now engage in mercy, for you to let that power go, and not to wield it. Are you someone who when the knife is in, you twist the knife? You see something wrong and you jump on it right away? Then maybe you are not ready for marriage.

And if you’re in your marriage, how can you unlearn that? Where is that coming from? Where is that coming from that you feel the need to wield power over your spouse, or over your friend, or over your family member? So we must learn mercy. We must learn rahmah.

So these, my brothers and sisters, are the three pillars of marriage which Allah (swt) has taught us. We ask Allah (swt) that He helps us to not only know them, but to understand them and to apply them in our lives. Ameen. Ya Rabbul Alameen.

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin.

Obstacles to Marriage

Now let’s take a moment, since this is a young community, and it’s important for us to talk about – what are the obstacles to marriage?

Complexity

One major obstacle is, as I mentioned earlier, is the complexity of simply getting married. Not just the complexity of actually being married. But the complexity of just getting married.

The first point, before you even begin. Your marriage hasn’t even begun and there is so much complexity involved in that premarital phase. How can we reduce that complexity? The number of conditions, the number of the high dowries, the high mahrs. The person must be from this specific place, in this specific village, in this specific street. How can we reduce the complexity of that pre marital phase? I’m worried what will people think about how my children they met? If your children are seeking halal, then let them seek halal. Get out of the way so that they can seek halal. You must remove the stigma and the taboo associated.

Not only from that, from how young people meet, but also from people that have divorced. Or people that are widowers. In the time of the Prophet ﷺ, if someone was unmarried, people would take them on to say, “how can we help you?” The family unit was important. They did not engage in this in a shameful way. They did not engage in it in a judgmental way. That of course you’re not married, look what you spent all your time on. But in a supportive way- “how can I help you, so that you’re ready? Not, of course you can’t get married, you spend all your time playing games and watching Netflix.

There wasn’t this toxic kind of shaming. It was more about how can we be supportive so that you can get married. What is on your mind that’s stopping you? So thinking about that, my brothers and sisters, is important. What are the obstacles that we’ve placed artificially in front of marriage?

Keeping up with the Joneses or keeping up with the Abdullah’s and the Fatimah’s. “Fatimah did her wedding like this on TikTok, I have to do much like that on TikTok.” “Fatimah did it this way, destination wedding. Look how many people they invited. Look how much fun they had. Look how much money they spent. That must have been expensive. I wonder how much I’m going to spend. I think we need to go into debt for this wedding. It’s okay, we’ll pay it off over 30 years.” All of these things, they make it more complicated than it needs to be.

The Prophet ﷺ told us, the most beautiful nikah, as I mentioned, is the one that is the most simple.

Am I saying, “don’t enjoy your wedding?” No. Am I saying, “don’t make videos of your wedding?” No, I’m not saying that. But live within your means. Understand your intention. Understand your intention. Why you are doing what you are doing.

Anxiety

The other issue is an issue that is more broad and it has, it deals with everything in our life. And that is the anxiety that comes with modern life. That everything, we want full information about everything before we make any decision. Rarely do we take that leap of faith. That leap of, “I’m going to do what is my job, what is my duty. I’m going to understand what I want in a marriage, and I’m going to try to find someone who is compatible with what I want.”

Instead of taking that, we go into fear-based actions. Fear-based decisions. “What if my marriage doesn’t work out? What if the person who I marry isn’t who I think they are, or who they say they are?”

There’s actions you can take. There’s a concept in Islam of taking references. There’s a concept in Islam of appreciating a person’s deen and where they are in their religion. There’s a concept in Islam of speaking and talking to someone to understand better where they’re coming from. And not just signing yourself away. There’s things that you can do and actions that you can take. And as believers, that is how we approach any challenge or difficulty. We take the actions that we can take, and then what do we do?

We place our trust in Allah (swt). We tie our camel, and then we place our trust in Allah (swt). That is where we see a lot of people getting stuck. In this process, which is something that we can use in any aspect of our life, is: do the things that you can do, that are within your control, and then place your trust in Allah (swt).

So it becomes not a question of “can I get married?” It becomes more of a question of “do I have that trust in Allah (swt)?” Once I have taken the means that are available to me, am I able to now put my trust in Allah (swt)?

Completion of Faith

When the Prophet ﷺ told us that, “O, you young people, once you are ready for marriage then go and get married. This is my sunnah. This is my way. And whoever desires a way other than my way then they are not for me.”

Does that mean if someone is not married they are not Muslim? Doesn’t mean that. But that marriage is a completion of the faith. There are things that you access within marriage that you simply cannot access outside of marriage.

Someone who knows you at such a personal level, that doesn’t exist, especially in this day and age. We keep everyone at an arm’s length, don’t we? We keep everyone in our lives at an arm’s length. Our own parents, our siblings, our friends. We keep everyone at an arm’s length. But our spouse, they get to know us on such a personal level. And that is something which you unlock.

If someone is not ready for marriage, I will be the last person to say that they should get married. This is not to put pressure on people. But this is, if you are the kind of person who is ready for marriage, all the boxes are ticked and you’re just not taking action. You’d rather veg out in front of some entertainment or something else, some social thing. All other boxes are ticked. Now I’m asking you, “get a move on. What’s stopping you? Try to explore. What’s stopping you? What are your concerns?”

Challenges in Marriage

One brother, he said to me, “well, I don’t have any model of a successful relationship. My parents, They got divorced, or even though they’re married, they don’t have a very good marriage. They’re always in conflict. Or my aunt and my uncle, all the marriages that I know, they’re not successful marriages by any means. So why would I subject myself to that?”

And I appreciate where the brother was coming from. And I know a lot of people are in that situation, where they feel like they don’t have a model of what success is. And that is where we understand that, in Islam, having challenges in your marriage that you can work on, is not haram. It’s not haram to have challenges in your marriage. And every marriage has challenges. There’s no perfect marriage. Even the Prophet ﷺ, Allah could have made his marriages perfect. But, he got divorced, right? And why did that happen? So that can be a model for us- that there are challenges in every marriage. That no marriage is perfect.

And if you are seeking perfection, then it is not here, my brothers and sisters, it is in the next life.

So having challenges in your marriage is not haram, it comes with the territory, of course. But, premarital relationships, extramarital relationships, those are haram. Those are impermissible.

So just think about how Allah has structured it for us, He’s pushing us, gently pushing us in the right direction. Think of it that way. Don’t think of it as this immense pressure that you must get married and you force yourself. No, that’s not what we’re saying.

But, just move along in the right direction. Keep moving along in the right direction. Make a plan, make a goal, make an objective. Write out for yourself what are the things you’re looking for? May Allah (swt) make you successful in that. Ameen, Ya Rabbul Alameen.

So we ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that He helps us to fulfill the pillars of marriage. We ask Allah (swt) that He helps us to understand how a marriage should be in this day and age with, in accordance with the principles and values of our deen and our religion.

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلۡ مِنَّآۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ

 وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِي ٱلدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةٗ وَفِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ حَسَنَةٗ وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ

وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

عِبَادَ اللّهِ  إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ  يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

Servants of Allah. Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.

اُذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُرُوهُ يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوهُ يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا

 وَأَقِمِ الصّلَاة

Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favors – He will increase you therein.  And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters.

And, establish the prayer.

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