For Adults Only: Get out of your cultural rut and live your life, not the life of others!

Q.
I was raised to believe that a persons deen/iman was more important then any thing else and I have stuck by that belief my parents have instilled in me. Recently I was proposed to and alhamdulillah Allah has answered my prayers because I truly feel lucky to have this person. Sadly we won’t be getting married for sometime and the reason for that is he doesn’t come from money (i.e. wealthy parents) but I do and because of that my mother expects him to throw a lavish wedding. Every time I try to talk to her about it she asks “is he marrying you or are you marrying him” the way she talks it’s as if he showed up at our door step pretending to be someone else but he was honest with her and told her he didn’t have much but would work hard. I as his witness know that he’s worked his behind off but with his current job what he’s making comes out to nothing after all his bills are paid, he’s going to school fulltime and so he cant work as much.

I want to marry him and I want to help pay for the wedding because according to my mother “if there is no wedding there is no marriage” but at the same time she wont let me help him because of the pressure my mother is putting on him he wants to take out a loan, I told her this and she said it was fine, how could it possibly be fine for us to enter into a marriage with a debt that big? I have the money its not as though I’m steeling from her but she still won’t allow me. Can she do that? And what advise do you have when it comes to talking to my mother because it bothers me that she all of a sudden is changing her mind about what matters, Btw you’ll see that I haven’t mentioned my father I’m not sure if you’ve heard the line but it goes “the man is the head of the house hold but the woman is the neck and she chooses where that head turns” unfortunately in my case this applies. Forgive me for running on. Jazakallahu khair.

Answers:

Warning* (We have written this response for adults. The message is harsh. Little boys and girls can kindly skip it. Individuals that wish to live in the past, kindly skip. Those who love culture more then religion may also skip. Unless, of course, your culture and religion are one, then read on!)

The best nikah is a nikah that has simplicity and least amount of expense attributed towards it. (Paraphrased from miskaat shreef. Kitab un nikah.)

  • To take an interest bearing loan (without any necessity) is haram. To start your marital life with haram is declaring war against Allah (SWT) and yourself. Anything built upon a haram foundation has little chance of attaining the necessary success and tranquility. To die without ever having paid this loan off makes one worthy of severe punishment in the grave and hereafter. To seek an elaborate wedding and not do the fard (hajj, looking after ones parents, etc) jeopardizes ones iman! In an environment wherein people are just thankful for having a mere job, it would be the height of insensitivity to have a lavish wedding, or anything that resembles it! (Things to think about my sister!!!)
  • It is always best for a woman to marry a person that is more successful than her in all matters. Be it religion, wealth, education, etc.
  • To avoid nikah and communicate beyond that which is necessary simply due to him attaining a specified set of resources for a big hullabaloo (din, frivolous affair) is a non-religiously based request. If you are true, then your mother is being unreasonable. Your father not defending you (and the deen) is a religious crime. There is no need to listen to haram requests. (I am not saying be rude to your mother or walk out and do your own thing either!) Be better at negotiating your Islamic requests.
  • It seems like your husband is going to be made into a wife, and you are going to be viewed as the husband. Is this the image you want for yourself? Although this may be fine right now in the era of empowerment, as time progresses, such an attitude would function as a possible hindrance. More so, if Allah (SWT) blesses you both with children. Islam has a made a place for all. For children to see mom and her side of the family functioning with dominance and impunity, dad and his side caving in due to an inferiority complex would not be healthy.

You need not help him with wedding payments. He needs to help himself with learning, knowing and understanding his simple religious rights! You too need to know your religious rights as well.

  • Your rights are at this point in your life, to merely have a simple wedding. Save the money and use it towards necessities of married life. Invest the money towards a good home, car that is reliable, hajj together, better religious/secular education for both of you, healthier living, recreational activities for the body and mind, etc. Feeding people that already have food is not what both of you need to slave for. Had Allah (SWT) blessed you both with such resources, then the matter would be different. Life is too precious for feeding the already well fed.
  • What type of woman respects her man prior to financial strangulation of him?! What type of man would respect a woman that has allowed for such an occurrence? Love does not give way for loss of one’s dignity!
  • For a man to not stand firm and succumb to his future mother-in-law’s unnecessary demanding wishers shows lack of firmness on religious matters.
  • Men and woman that know what they want in life ought to get married; marriage is not for little boys and girls. Marital counseling would be of help to both families.

If you do not evaluate your present situation, you too may end with the saying you have shared: “the man is the head of the house hold but the woman is the neck and she chooses where that head turns.” Keep this saying of yours at your bedside, evaluate it each day and reflect upon it to make yourself a better person.

(Do not take my words with negativity. I mean well. I want the best for you. I have seen many go through marital difficulties. Make your decisions well and don’t become another adverse statistic of marital unhappiness.)

I sincerely wish you and all our brothers and sisters the very best. It a tough journey and i am glad to help remove one of the many thorns to help you in getting to the rose.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

https://islaminaction.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/no-potential-respect-can-be-gained

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4 responses to “For Adults Only: Get out of your cultural rut and live your life, not the life of others!

  1. acespiretribe

    Assalamualaikum. Thank you, may Allah bless you! This article expresses my own feelings regarding lavish weddings. It hurts to see an important tenet of being a muslim i.e. marriage being ambushed by secular and cultural standards. More and more youths choose to live in sin rather than face the heavy burden of an expensive wedding. May I share this article with others in my blog?

    • Wa’Alaykumus Salaam,
      Yes, of course you may share an excerpt of the article with a link back to this post :) Thank you for taking the time to ask.

      Wasalaam

  2. Pingback: marry who i tell you, or else « Islam In Action

  3. I have a question about this particular comment, “It is always best for a woman to marry a person that is more successful than her in all matters. Be it religion, wealth, education, etc.” I don’t doubt that this is true, but why is this best? What if a woman is more successful than her husband in these areas, but he is still able to maintain his position as head of the household and financially support his family is there anything wrong with that?