Q: Today, the institution of the family is being increasingly challenged. What do you think should be done to protect the unity of the family?
A: There is a formula for this in the Quran (4:128)—As-sulh khair, which means ‘reconciliation is best’.
Reconciliation means adjustment. A family consists of different people, each with their own way of thinking, their own tastes, their likes and dislikes. The only way people, each with their unique personalities, can get along well is through sulh, through reconciliation, through adjustment. Members of the family need to realise that all of them are different and should learn to accept, and to adjust with, their differences. This is the way to keep the family intact.
This principle applies not just in the case of the family, but also in the wider society. In society, too, the only way to live harmoniously is to adjust to others, to people who do not think like oneself.
Q: What, in your view, is the importance of marriage?
A: Marriage is a law of nature. Without it, society will disintegrate. There will be anarchy. These days, some people advocate what is called ‘live-in relationships’, in place of marriage. But this is forbidden in Islam. The only permissible way in Islam for a man and woman to live together as partners is through marriage.
Marriage is in accordance with the law of nature, while ‘live-in relationships’ are against the law of nature.