Volume VIIIa - Sufi Teachings
MARRIAGE is the most sacred of all sacred things. It is certainly not in the first place a contract, a business; when we look at marriage from a higher point of view, it appears that marriage is the fulfillment of life.
From a physical point of view, this life which is full of struggle and strife can be met with greater strength and greater courage and greater capability when two harmonious forces are united together. There is a saying of a Persian poet, 'When two hearts unite, they become powerful enough to remove mountains.' Life is a continual struggle. And in order to become capable of meeting this struggle, it is necessary to be strong and powerful. When two hearts are united they are more capable, more powerful, and greatly blessed.
Looking at marriage from a mental point of view, no matter how wise, how strong, how courageous, how powerful a person is, he still lacks something. Every individual, after all, has defects. No matter how many merits he has, he needs something better: at the time of doubt, conviction; at the time of anxiety, support from another source; at the time of confusion, a little light; at the time of sorrow, a word of consolation, of happiness. No matter what a person has – wealth, power, rank, position – this will not balance his life. If there is anything that will balance his life, it is another soul to provide that which is missing at the moment when he needs it in his life. Therefore from a physical point of view marriage is a power, and from a mental point of view it brings balance.
Lastly there is the spiritual point of view. Among the ancient people the wise gave an answer to the ever-recurring question as to why the world was created; and this answer was that God felt lonely. And no matter how many rays of the light of wisdom we may throw upon life, we shall always receive this one answer as the reason for creation: that if anything exists it is only one Being, and that is God. Therefore the whole of manifestation which is created by Him, is in Himself. If God created it, it was only because He felt lonely. It is the same idea that can be seen symbolically in the belief of the ancient people, that Eve was created out of the rib of Adam. It only means that this world was created out of God Himself; that it is God's own manifestation. He wanted to see, in order to remove the monotony of being alone; and if it was the need of God to create something and put it before Himself to remove the monotony of being alone, it is natural that every human being has this inclination too. But this inclination leads to what? To greater perfection; because an individual man is limited, no matter how powerful, how great, how wise and learned he may be, and in order to become greater he must become another person.
Marriage is the first step towards becoming another person. The one who formerly thought that he would attain pleasure, comfort, happiness in life, and enjoy it for himself, from the moment he is married thinks first of his wife and of how he can give her comfort; for without her he can no longer enjoy life.
When this outlook comes to a person, his consciousness changes. It rises and expands and becomes the source of all revelation and bliss. Why is it so? Because by this expansion the spirit of God becomes awakened in man. It removes what stands between his limited and his unlimited self, and gradually raises him to a stage where he fully realizes the One who is his source and goal, who is the essence of his being. As Rumi says, 'Whether you have loved man or whether you have loved God, if you have loved enough you will be brought in the end into the presence of the supreme Love itself'.
From a spiritual point of view, therefore, marriage is a step forward on the path to perfection, that path by which the ultimate purpose of life is attained.