What is the meaning of nikah?
Written by: Mohd Nidzam Abdul Kadir
Translated By: Yasmin Norhazleena Bahari
Nikah and kahwin have the same meaning that is to undergo a solemnization of marriage ceremony (aqad). After the marriage is solemnized, the married couple can have sexual intercourse. Therefore the solemnization of marriage enables the wedded couple to consummate their marriage.
Allah Subhanahu wata’ala said in his Holy Book:
وأنكحوا الأيامى منكم والصالحين من عبادم وإمائكم إن يكونوا فقراء يغنهم الله من فضله والله واسع عليم . وليستعفف الذين لا يجدون نكاحا حتى يغنيهم الله من فضله
“Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah encompasses all, and he knows all things Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah gives them means out of His grace.”
Based on these verses, in the eyes of Allah Subhanahu wata’ala there is only one legitimate way to satisfy one’s sexual desire that is marriage (nikah). The verses urge Muslims to marry even if they are poor in order to protect themselves from committing immoral acts.
According to Amin Ahsan Islahi, “As long as a person does not have a wife, his life is more like a nomad and many of his abilities remain untapped and dormant. Similarly, as long as a woman is unmarried, she is just like a creeper which is unable to grow and flourish owing to want of support. But once a woman has a husband, and a man has a wife, their abilities develop and increase, and when both of them start to strive in live together, Allah Subhanahu wata’ala blesses them in their struggle and their circumstances also change for the better.
 Translation of verses 32-33 Surah An-Nur.
Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali available