By Prof. Hassan Hathout) Just as the smallest part of water is made of neither hydrogen nor oxygen alone but of both in chemical combination, the unit ofhumanity is not man alone or woman alone but of both together in unison...hence the unit of humanity is the family. As God decreed, the family institution should be a stable structure, for it is the fulfilment of the two halves of humanity seeking one another, as well as the vessel in which the future generation is conceived, carried, born and raised. The pairing off of a man and a woman is not a chancy or a haphazard relation of touch and run or of unscrupulous change of partners. In Islam, as it is in all God sent religions, this pairing off is a serious event that has to be documented and protected by what in Islamic law is called the tie of marriage or the marriage contract with all its legal consequences of mutual rights and responsibilities of husband and wife vis a vis one another and vis a vis their progeny. It is under the protective umbrella of the marriage contract that the children should be born, for in Islam the right of legitimacy is a basic right and every person has the right to be the legitimate child of their parents. Violation of this closely knit arrangement can run amock with human society and following upon the example we quoted of hydrogen and oxygen in chemical combination to form wter, one sometimes wonders what would happen if this chemical tie were broken and hydrogen and oxygen in all the water in the world broke loose, at he one being very imflamable and the other helping combustiom. We have already emphasized the sanctity of the marriage tie, the betrayal of which is tantamount in Islamic law and moral code to high treason. As previously pointed out, marriage has a dual function: the first is the unison between two halves to make one unit, with all the pleasures and blessings of this physical and spiritual unison. The second is procreation. In actual life the two functions are inseparable for the one is the product of the other. As a matter of fact God has confined both functions to within the institution of marriage. On the one hand God says in the Quran: "Nor come near to adultery" (17:32) And on the other the Quran says: "And out of your consorts He created children and grand children for you, and provided for you out of his bounty. Will they then believe in vain things and be ungrateful to God's favours?"(16:72) This implies that the children's source has to be the consorts, in the Arabic language unequivocally meaning husband and wife.