One of the main aim of encouraging early marriage is to preserve the chastity of our youths. Allah has created human beings with sexual desires. As such, when a boy or girl reaches puberty and develop sexual organs, the best, the very best the parent can do is to prepare them for a life of responsibility, marital life.
The urge for sex can be very strong, especially in adolescence and in most cases, it (the urge) must be satisfied, either in a halal way or in a haram way. The desire for such satisfaction has made young boys and girls engage in actions that are unthinkable. Vibrators and other sex toys are everywhere in our neighborhood.
That said, no one need to tell you how rampant pre-marital sex is in our secondary schools (even before universities). Teenage pregnancies are nothing new, and so is abortion and the health risks those innocent girls are subjected to.
Islam has a provision for everything. Islam is for all seasons and all reasons. There is nothing about our lives that Allah (SWT) has not addressed in the Quran, with good explanations from the actions and sayings of the Prophet (pbuh).
Allah (SWT) says: “And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maid servants. If they be poor; Allah will enrich them of His bounty. Allah is of ample means, Aware.” [An-Nur: 32]
The father of a girl must not delay marriage of his daughter if a proposal is received from a compatible man of equal status who is of sound religion and character.
From the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Three matters should not be delayed: prayer when its time comes, burial when the funeral has arrived, and the marriage of a single woman when a well-suited man has proposed.” [Tirmidhi]
Why should you delay marriages then?
The Prophet (pbuh) addressed the youths encouraging them to get married as soon as they are capable of shouldering the responsipility of marriage saying:
“O youth! Whoever amongst you is able to marry, let him marry, because it helps him keep his eyes away from lustful looks and preserve his chastity. And whoever is not able to marry, let him observe fasting, as it is a shield for him (i.e. protection from lapsing in fornication).” [Agreed Upon]
Early marriage doesn’t mean that the spouses could be not mature and responsible, the Qur’an hints saying:
“If you find them of sound judgement.” (An-Nisa’: 6) That means puberty or marriageable age is not enough to be qualified for marriage. If a son is capable to run a household life and he is able to maitain mentally, psychologically and financially and everything of his wife, then early marriage is the only way to keep our children away from haram.
In this context, Dr. Muhammad Sa`eed Hawwa, professor of Shari`ah at the University of Mu’tah, Jordan, states:
“Early marriage is recommended as long as the requirements of marriage are met including the ability of each of the spouses to fulfill his marital duties and protect his/her partner against temptation. The husband should also be able to shoulder the financial responsibilities at the sufficiency level. There is no specific age for marriage according to Shari`ah but the criterion is the capability of both spouses.”
Among the benefits of early marriages is that “Married couples perform better at school or university and are more emotionally stable than singles. Also, living together with one’s wife will cost one much less than if each one of them lived separately. The benefits of early marriage are extreme and it is highly encouraged in Islam if both of spouses are mature and responsible, and if the husband can support the family on the financial side.”
Most people confuse early marriage with the marriage of a girl who is not capable (what some refer to underage marriage). I believe there is a difference between the two. The reference in Quran 4:6 has stated RUSHD (intellect) as a vital condition for a girl to be married.
Allah knows best.