| 2 Bukhari hadiths

Narrated ‘Alqamahh: While I was with `Abdullah, `Uthmaan met him at Minaa and said, "O Aboo `Abd al-Rahmaan! I have something to say to you." So, both of them went aside, and `Uthmaan said, "O Aboo `Abd al-Rahmaan! Shall we marry you to a virgin who will make you remember your past days?" When `Abdullah felt that he was not in need of that, he beckoned me (to join him), saying, "O ‘Alqamah!" Then I heard him saying (in reply to `Uthmaan), "As you have said that I tell you that the Prophetﷺonce said to us, 'O young people! Whoever among you is able to marry should marry, and whoever is not able to marry is recommended to fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.

Commentary : Islam is the religion of tolerance and uprightness that considers the innate nature of humans and thus legislates the appropriate means to fulfil their needs. It neither demands us to suppress our sexual desires nor to unleash them without constraints like animals.

In this hadeeth, the Taab’iee ‘Alqamah ibn Qays al-Nakh’iee reports that he was walking with ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) in Minaa, as reported in Sunan Aboo Dawood. Minaa is a valley located near the Haram of Makkah wherein pilgrims spend the night of the Day of Tarwiyah,stay during the days of Tashreeq, and perform the rite of throwing stones. While they were walking, they encountered ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan,who asked Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with them) to talk with him in private. They went aside, and ‘Uthmaan suggested to marry Ibn Mas’ood to a virgin girl, as doing so would revive his strength and better his condition. It is said that ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) suggested it only after he noticed his austerity and rough clothing, as he believed he was in that condition because he had no wife to look after him and entertain him. However, Ibn Mas’ood showed no interest, and so he called ‘Alqamah to join them after their private conversation ended.

Ibn Mas’ood then quoted to ‘Uthmaan(may Allah be pleased with them) a hadeeth he had heard from the Prophet ﷺ that he found relevant to their conversation, which encourages youth to marry as soon as they are able to. The reason the Prophet ﷺ addressed the youth is that theirsex drive is often so high compared to older people. The ability to marry includes both financial and physical ability,i.e. whoever is physically capable and can afford the expenses and cost of marriage, should marry because there is no celibacy in Islam. It is reported in another authentic hadeeth that marriage “protects eyes from looking at that which is unlawful and safeguards one from adultery.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim]. The Prophet ﷺ explained that marriage helps a person to lower his gaze and abstain from sinful interactions with women.However, as he ﷺ understood that not every young person can afford it, he ﷺ directed those who lack the means to fast because it wouldweaken his sexual power and keep him from acting upon his sexual desires. The Arabic word used in the hadeeth to describe the power of fasting is Wijaa, which is an Arabic word that literally means a form of castration – that is to say,fastingis as effective as castration. With that said, whoever fasts often, his sexual desires will be tamed because the strength of lust depends on food (i.e. physical strength).

This hadeeth shows that a man suggests to his friend to marry and suggest it in private. It shows the mutual love and respect between the Companions.

It encourages marrying young women as it is [often] more satisfying,they are more attractive and fun to men, and they are more flexible to adapt and learn from their husbands.

It shows that it is permissible to tame our sex drive through means that keep it under control and does not eliminate it completely.

It highlights the virtue of fasting..