وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَى مِنْكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ إِنْ يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمْ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفْ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمْ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ
Marry those among you who are single, and those who have the capability for marriage among your slaves, male or female. If they are poor, Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah is ample-giving, and He knows all things. Let those who find not an opportunity for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah gives them means out of His grace. (24:32-33)
It is asserted with great stress and clarity that in the eyes of the Almighty there is only one legitimate way to satisfy one’s sexual desire: marriage (Nikah). If marriage is somehow not possible then this cannot become a license for gratifying one’s sexual desire without entering into the marital bond. Consequently, the society is urged to wed people who as yet have not been able to marry. Marriage is an open declaration of a contract by a man and woman to live permanently as husband and wife. It is declared in the presence of people through a responsible personality with great solemnity and gravity after he delivers a sermon to counsel and guide them. It is evident from divine scriptures that this way was adopted from the very birth of man on this earth. Consequently, the Qur’an was not required to give a new directive in this regard. As an age old Sunnah of the Prophets, Muhammad (sws) passed it on to his Ummah thus keeping it intact. In the above quoted verses, besides urging people to follow this practice, they are given glad tidings that even if they are poor they should marry in order to protect themselves from immoral acts: hopefully, the Almighty will bless them with resources if they resolve to follow this practice.
Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, while commenting on this verse writes:
As long as a person does not have a wife, his life is more like a nomad and many of his abilities remain shrunk and dormant. Similarly, as long as a woman is unmarried she resembles a creeper which is not able 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 life together the Almighty blesses them in their struggle and their circumstances also change [for the better].