Preference to marry single then matron.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I would like to know further explanation on the following ayah of surah Noor :
And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Slihn (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allh will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allh is All-Sufficent for His creatures' needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people).
Does this ayah encourage ppl to first consider marrying single and then consider nonsingle if there are no options?
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Preference to marry single then matron
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 24 Surah Noor verses 30-33:
30 Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.
31 And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands their fathers their husbands' fathers their sons their husbands' sons their brothers or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons or their women or the slaves whom their right hands possess or male servants free of physical needs or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah that ye may attain Bliss.
32 Marry those among you who are single or the virtuous ones among your slaves male or female: if they are in poverty Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah encompasseth all and He knoweth all things.
33 Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste until Allah gives them means out of His grace. And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum) give them such a deed if ye know any good in them; yea give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them yet after such compulsion is Allah Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful (to them).
Your Question: Does this ayah encourage ppl to first consider marrying single and then consider nonsingle if there are no options?
A believing woman who is not currently united in the bond of marriage with anyone, regardless of whether she was previously married or not will be considered as single and eligible for marriage.
Because Allah Subhanah has given the believing men the option to marry and keep a maximum of four wives, one who in currently in the bond of marriage will not be considered single, but eligible to marry if he wishes to exercise his option of marrying more than one wife.
Although it is only natural that one would prefer to marry one who is single and does not have baggage from their previous marriage/s (woman having a child/children, or a man already having a wife/wives, etc.)that is not the guidance this specific Command of the Lord in verse 32 of Surah Noor is referring to.
If one reads the verse 32 of Surah Noor in context with the verses preceding and proceeding it, one would realize that the context in which this Verse and Guidance is revealed is not to determine whom to marry, or who should one prefer to marry.but rather its guidance is regarding the safeguarding of the moral standards of a righteous believing society that Islam so earnestly strives to develop and protect.
And marry those among you who are single is a Command and a Guidance by the Lord given to the believing society at large encouraging them to strive or take steps to marry those who are single amongst them. Thus, for example, if one has two children and one amongst them is already married, they are encouraged to hasten to get their second child married..for marriage helps one guard their modesty and thus helps in building a morally righteous society.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.4 Narrated by Abdullah
We were with the Prophet (saws) while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty, and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power."
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,