Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi’s Views On It:
Although, we know that not all of those who escape the critical issue of marriage have the excuse of being engaged in education, but there are many who remain single even for several years after their graduation.
However, it is undeniable that the extended duration of education is a “big and important barrier” to marriage of many of the youth.
The educational period for most majors is more or less 18 years. So, when a youth graduates, he or she is about 25 years and is still “a youth seeking a job” (if we can apply the term “youth” in its real sense, because he/she has passed the major part of his/her youth, and just a margin remains!).
It seems that in the future world, which is the world of expertise, this age may prolong and may even increase to 35 years!
Now, the question is whether “marriage” should certainly depend on “graduation” even if it is prolonged and extended more? Or this dependency, which is believed by some to be indispensable, shall be eliminated, and the youth shall be relieved from this very troublesome requisite?
On the other hand, how could a young student (who is a “consumption system” spending money and not a “productive system” having income) think of marriage with such heavy and excessive expenses? How can we deny the relationship of marriage to graduation?
We believe that if we think openly and avoid wrong imitations, solving this problem is not too difficult, and there is a clear plan for it, that is:
What is the problem if youths select their partners through consultation with parents and considerate friends during their education period (when they are at ages appropriate for marriage)? Then, a sort of legal engagement (conclusion of marriage contract as well as religious and legal formalities, exclusive of wedding ceremonies), not requiring luxuries and expensive costs could be arranged between them, so that the boy and girl know that they belong to each other and will be partners to each other in the future life.
Later, after preparation of facilities, they may accomplish the remaining marriage and wedding ceremonies in a simple and reputable form. The first advantage of this plan is that the youth may find a spiritual tranquillity and hope, and are saved from the dreadful monster of a vague future bothering many single youths.
On the other hand, it insures them against many moral aberrations and relieves them from wasting too much time in finding a suitable spouse when facilities for starting a joint life are provided.
It is possible for most youths to act according to this plan. If the parents are observant, the youth think properly and this plan is followed, a considerable part of their problems in this respect will be solved.
In summary, the legal engagement (conclusion of marriage contract) and nomination of a boy and girl to each other, enables the youth to satisfy a considerable part of their sexual needs in this way. The engagement period involves many advantages of marriage, and compensates a major part of sexual deprivation of the youth.
Thereby, the youth are secured from indecency and sexual perversions, without imposition of extra expenses on the girl’s or boy’s family, and free from the issue of pregnancy or any other problem for continuation of their education.
The other alternative is official marriage up to the last stage, that is, wedding ceremonies, but preventing conception through numerous available ways (most of which are lawful). The major problem of marriage for young spouses is conception, which is very troublesome for the youth when they are educating. However, all these plans are only practicable if marriage ceremony is celebrated in a simple form, without extra formalities, but not the present rituals and expensive marriage ceremonies for which there is not any logical justification.
This is the solution if parents and youth are really seeking prosperity. Waiting for graduation, then finding a suitable, honourable and profitable job, and provision of house, car and other equipment, and affording the high costs of luxurious marriage ceremonies results in the youth being tainted with thousands of perversions, as well as marriage at the age of 35 to 40, when one is nearer to the retirement period! This sort of marriage is exactly abnormal, lacking spirit and nobility, and it is not in harmony with the systems of man’s existence and the times determined by natural instincts for marriage.