Marriage has been ordained by Allah as the correct and legal way to produce children and replenish the earth. The family is the basic unit of an Islamic nation or society. Allah has made the desire for mates and offspring instinctual for mankind and animals. Life on earth continues through children and children are the products of marriage. Nevertheless, marriage in Islam can not be viewed merely as means for uniting the male body with a female body and producing offspring, nor was marriage instituted just for purposes of satisfying natural desires and quenching passions. Its goals are much deeper in meaning than those obvious physical realities. Allah, the Most High, illuminates this fact in Chapter ar-Room of the Qur’an:
And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you might live in tranquility [li-taskunoo] with them and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.
This tranquility [Sakan] is not simply what one may feel after satisfying sexual impulses but it is the serenity which follows a psychological need which has been fulfilled. Every individual is aware of having felt a lack or sense of loss within himself/herself which needed completion, a weakness which needed strengthening or loneliness which could only be removed by someone truly committed to him/her. The calm or emotional rest which one feels as a result of having fulfilled these needs can be termed tranquility [Sakan]. Thus marriage in Islam is more than just a means of obtaining legal sex; it is an extremely important institution which safeguards the rights of men, women and children while satisfying the physical, emotional and intellectual needs of the family members. The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam) illustrated the importance of marriage by saying,
“When a servant of Allah marries, he has completed half his religious obligations and he must fear Allah in order to complete the second half.”
Al-Bayhaqi, graded as hasan by Shaykh al-Albani
Bilal Philips and Jameela Jones, ‘Polygamy in Islam’ P20-21