Is marriage Fard -obligatory- in Islam or is it Sunnah, depending on the person's will?
The Religion of Islam has encouraged marriage and has ordered Muslims to help to have unmarried believers marry. Our Prophet, Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) is a good model in this way.
Scholars conclude that marriage is a duty/fard for all the muslims that have the proper circumstances to create a family and that are afraid of fornication.
There are following hadiths about this issue:
Narrated ‘Alqama and ‘Abdullah:
“O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.”(Bukhari, Nikah,1)
Narrated Anas bin Malik (r.a.):
A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet asking how the Prophet worshipped (Allah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, “Where are we from the Prophet as his past and future sins have been forgiven.” Then one of them said, “I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever.”
The other said, “I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast.” The third said, “I will keep away from the women and will not marry forever.” Allah’s Apostle came to them and said, “Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers).”
(Bukhari, Nikah, 1; Muslim, Nikah, 5, 1401)
Narrated Abu Ayyub:
The Messenger (p.b.u.h.) ordered that:
“Four things are from messenger’s tradition (Sunnah) Feeling ashamed, using perfume, using miswak and marriage.”