Prophet's Marriage Sermon
(with notes and supplications by Abdul Malik Mujahid)
Prophet Muhammad taught the following Khutba (sermon) for Nikah (the marriage ceremony). Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. (Ibn Masood narrated it as reported in Tirmithi, may Allah be pleased with him)
Innal Hamda lillahi, nastaeenuhu wa nastaghfirhu, wa naoozu billahi min shorrori anfusina. Man yahdihi Allahu fala mudhilla lahu wa mayn yudhlil fa la hadia lah. Wa ash hadu al la ilaha il lal lah wa ash hadu an na Muhammadan abduhu wa rasooluhu.
All praises are for Allah. We seek Guidance and forgiveness from Him. We also seek refuge in Him from the evils of our ownselves. Whoever Allah guides, noone can misguide him. Whoever He lets go astray noone can put him back on track. We testify that there is no god but Allah and we testify that Muhammad is Allah's servant and His messenger.
After this initial statement, the Prophet would recite the following verses from the Quran:
Believers! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and see that you do not die save in the state of submission to Allah. (Quran 3:102)
O men! Fear your Lord Who created you from a single being and out of it created its mate; and out of the two spread many men and women. Fear Allah in Whose name you plead for rights, and heed the ties of kinship. Surely, Allah is ever watchful over you. (Quran 4:1)
O believers, fear Allah and say the right thing. Allah will make your conduct (affairs) whole and sound and will overlook your errors. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, has indeed attained to a great success. (Quran 33:70-71)
Explanation: There are several principles, which these verses present:
- By asking for Taqwa four times in these verses, Allah is clearly setting the principles on which a sound and stable family life can be established. The Prophet felt it was important to exhort the marrying believers to fear God and to avoid courting His displeasure whenever he gave a marriage sermon. Allah's mercy and blessings be upon him.
- Taqwa is an important Arabic term with no clear equivalent in English. It is translated as piety, Allah consciousness, fear of Allah, Mindfulness of Allah, Living a life which follows Allah's guidance.
- Marrying individuals who are mindful of Allah (who have Taqwa), are more conscious of their Creator, stay away from what He has prohibited, and enjoin what He has recommended are more likely to be good to each other and successful in marriage.
- Taqwa (piety) is not just reflected in worship and Halal (permissible) types of marriage. It also requires clear communication between the spouses. This is the reason that immediately after asking believers for Taqwa, Allah is asking them to adopt proper speech by saying only the right thing.
- Proper communication is rewarding in this world in that Allah will make your affairs right.
- Proper communication will also be rewarded by Allah on the Day of Judgment, when He will also forgive our shortcomings in the hereafter because of it.
- By reminding us that He has created us, Allah is telling us that He knows what is in our best interests.
- It is also recognized that all human beings have sprung from the same root and that all of them are, therefore, of one another's flesh and blood.
- By mentioning the process of creation, Allah is bringing in focus the purpose of marriage, and indicating that by marrying each other, we are becoming part of the sacred process of creation that Allah has set up.
- Quran does not recognize any marriage that is not between a man and a woman.
- Verse [4:1] is not just for Muslims only because Allah is addressing all of humanity. While Muslims are one brotherhood, this is part of a larger brotherhood of humanity. However, it is the duty of Muslims to serve Allah as a model servants of humanity.
- At the time of marriage through these verses, the Prophet also asked marrying Muslims and the attending audience to attend to their relatives. This is the reason there are rights and duties of Muslims towards their relatives even if they are non-Muslims.
- However, the only criterion of preference, Taqwa, is not measurable by human beings. Indeed Allah is the One Who knows and is aware of everything so we should leave even this criterion to Allah to decide instead of human beings judging each other.
Let's think of our best moments with our Creator and our loving moments with His creation as we all pray for these newly married servants of Allah.
- May Allah bless your marriage with the beauty of the marriage of Ayesha and her husband, may Allah be pleased with her.
- May Allah guide you both on the steps of Taqwa and may He provide the two of you with good communication in your relationship.
- May Allah bless the earth with your progeny who we pray will be better than us toward their Creator and His Creation.
- May Allah help us all reaffirm our commitments to each other.
- May Allah give Barakah (blessings) to the families of the bride and groom. May Allah bring them closer. May Allah make you a model family that will invite humanity to follow the guidance of its Creator.
- Allahumma taqabbal minna innaka antas Sameeul Aleem. Wa tub alaina innaka antat tawwabur Raheem.
- Allahumma Salle Ala Syyedena Muhammad wa ala alihi wa sallam.