The nature and intimacy of the husband-wife relationship
"And among His signs is this, that 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. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect." (Qur'an 30:21)
In the Qur'an, the marriage relationship is described as one with "tranquility," "love" and "mercy." Elsewhere in the Qur'an, husband and wife are described as "garments" for each other (2:187). Garments offer protection, comfort, modesty, and warmth. Above all, the Qur'an describes that the best garment is the "garment of God-consciousness" (7:26).
Muslims view marriage as the foundation of society and family life. In a practical aspect, Islamic marriage is thus structured through legally-enforceable rights and duties of both parties. In an atmosphere of love and respect, these rights and duties provide a framework for the balance of family life and the fulfillment of both partners.
"And Allah has made for you your mates of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best."
These verses of the Noble Qur'an clearly show that in contrast to other religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism etc. which consider celibacy or monasticism as a great virtue and a means of salvation, Islam considers marriage as one of the most virtuous and approved institutions. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) declared, "There is no monasticism in Islam." He further ordained,
"O you young men! Whoever is able to marry should marry, for that will help him to lower his gaze and guard his modesty." (Al-Bukhari)
Modesty was regarded as a great virtue by the Prophet. He said, "Modesty is part of faith." (Al-Bukhari)
The importance of the...