Marriage is the foundation upon which Islam was built. Without believing in marriage a person cannot be a true Muslim, whether he gets married or not. Marriage is the means whereby the Muslim Ummah grew strong. The preservation is chastity is of primary concern of Islam. A woman who marries maintains her chastity which is cardinal to the preservation of morals in Muslim society. In fact poverty spreads in regions where Zina is the norm. In western terminology there is no differentiation between sex between married and unmarried couples.
Islam distinguishes the two and the won is strictly forbidden while the other is not only allowed but encouraged and rewarded. In the west today more than half the children born are out of wedlock. This creates so many social problems in society, not the least of which being the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The prophet forewarned us of this in authentic Hadith: When Allah desires to destroy a nation he allows immorality to flourish therein.
The prophet has also said that: "at the approach of the final hour/last days there would be the spread of incurable diseases." To date there is no way to reverse the HIV virus. we can merely keep it in check. Also the way HIV is spread in homosexual and immoral communities points to tha fact that it is a curse from the Almighty for the major sin of adultery.
Today the Ummah is lax about concept of chastity, in this way we are now following the non-believers which was also predicted by rasullullah. It is time young people take the concept of Nikaah seriously and make sure their relationships with the opposite sex are conducted in a Halaal way. It is better for students who feel the need to be with a partner sexually to marry rather than conduct illicit affairs.
The other alternative is to fast. But too often we delay marriage unnecessarily with fatal results. Look at the statistics of Muslim teenage unmarried pregnancies and judge for yourself. Unfortunately parents have to shoulder the bulk of the blame for this because of failure to instil Islamic values during the early stages of development. Also children should be spoken too about marriage in the years of puberty. Parents should make it easy for children to come to them with a request to marry. Unless there is a valid Shari reason such marriage should go ahead. In the time of the prophet girls got married young.
Today thirteen year olds are engaged in sexual behaviour with "boyfriends" so why can they not rather get married and life a healthy Islamic life. They can still continue studying and parents should encourage this and help children out until they can be independent.