A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the importance of a couple agreeing on the type of financial lifestyle they wish to live before things get serious in a relationship. Questions such as “What is your credit score?” are increasingly asked on a first date. Unromantic? Very. Important? Exceptionally. As Muslims, we do not use dating as a means for marriage. But if a man and a woman are considering each other for marriage, a financial discussion is imperative. Research also conveys that one of the major reasons behind high divorce rates is poor money management, bad spending habits and debt distress. A couple must agree on the way their money will be spent. The romance comes later! By writing this, I seek to convey to my beloved Muslims to take heed of their financial decisions in a relationship and to instill an Islamic-financial perspective that will facilitate the marriage process in the Muslim community.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) told the youth to get married if they are able to, as marriage guards a person’s chastity. However, the Prophet ﷺ did not mention that youth need be rich to get married. Being rich has nothing to do with marriage. A family should be able to sustain itself financially for what they need at a minimum, at least in the beginning stages, and with the help of Allah, a couple can grow financially in the future.
The Prophet ﷺ also said: “A woman may be married for four reasons: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty, and for her religion, so marry the one who is best in the religion and character, and you will prosper.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Beauty will not last forever. Wealth will come and go. But the religion and the character of a person is what will last throughout his or her life. Islam teaches us that being rich in the heart is more important than being rich in the pocket.
Our hearts should be content with what Allah gives us, and to constantly thank Him for the innumerable blessings He has bestowed upon us. A Muslim couple should not be preoccupied with what others have in wealth. It is only a distraction from enhancing their relationship with Allah and with each other. Make du`a’ (supplication) that Allah blesses others with what they have, and be content with what you have as a couple. No doubt that Muslims should have nice clothes and work hard for a comfortable lifestyle, but we must also live within our means without yearning for what others have.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised.” (Qur’an 51:22)
Everything is written for us! Our rizq (provision, sustenance, wealth, etc.) is already predetermined by Allah. We must have full faith that what Allah (swt) gives us is in our best interest. No one will make a penny more or less than what Allah has prescribed for them. Our wealth does not belong to us, it belongs to Allah. Out of the immeasurable generosity of Allah, Allah has promised to reward those who righteously spend from He already owns. Everyone will be held accountable for the wealth they have, the way it was earned, and how it was spent. Every couple should be content with and grateful for the financial situation they have. As a team, a husband and wife should not only invest their time and wealth in this life, but to also invest in their Hereafter.
A number of financial discussions also come up when discussing the mahr (dowry) and weddings. Unfortunately, some disagreements between a prospective husband and wife, or even their two families, have a more cultural than Islamic basis. It is not uncommon for the family of the bride to ask the proposing man for a very high dowry, be it money or jewelry. However, the dowry is not a price that Islam puts on a woman when she gets married. Our Muslim sisters do not have a price tag attached to them when they get married. The dowry is a gift from the man to the woman he is proposing to, and there is no set amount that the man must give. The dowry is whatever the man can afford to give her. The only requirement is that both families agree to the dowry offered. The worth of a Muslim woman is set by her faith and character, not by the amount of dowry she is given.
It is understandable, and encouraged in Islam, to have a wedding that is memorable, decorative, and full of celebration, happiness and laughter. And it is also an Islamic principle to spend moderately, and not be stingy or excessive. However, as thousands of dollars are spent on weddings in the Muslim community, some more extravagant than others, Allah says in the Qur’an when describing the characteristics of the righteous worshipers of Al-Rahman, The Most Merciful:
“And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate.” (Qur’an, 25:67).
The Arabic word “israaf” in this verse is defined as excessive spending beyond one’s means. With that in mind, both stinginess and extravagance are denounced in Islam, and this verse should be kept in mind when planning weddings. Some couples actually go out of their way to get a loan for their wedding ceremony, at which point a couple begins their lives together paying off a loan, instead of building and investing that money for the couple’s future. Many couples are suffering because of the financial distress they are experiencing as a result of their unwise spending decisions and the massive debt they carry. Some have debt out of need, and we pray that Allah relieves them from the burdens of debt. However, some have debt out of their want for more, in which case they are adversely affecting their lives and those around them. Debt should be avoided, not only because of the Islamic prohibition of riba (monetary interest), but also so the couple can work for and focus on the family and its future rather than pay off a loan.
At times, our dear families worry too much about “What will others say about us?” when planning weddings. At times, people pressure themselves to put on a wedding that others will praise. It is notable to mention that our purpose in life is to please Allah before anyone else. Marriage is a means to please Allah and fulfill a sunnah (Prophetic tradition). Thus, weddings should avoid anything that may displease Allah, including excessive spending.
Without a doubt, a couple should enjoy their lives, cherish each other’s company and have memorable and quality time spent with each other. A couple should also strike a balance and keep in mind their future endeavors, such as the home they want to buy, the children they will have, the charity they will give, and the list goes on. With financial responsibility comes discipline. Financial professionals all agree that saving a portion of one’s money each month for the future is the best investment, and “if it doesn’t hurt, you’re not saving enough.”
Lastly, a successful relationship must have taqwa (God-Consciousness) at its center. For those who have taqwa, Allah says:
And [Allah] will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent. (Qur’an 65:3)
Allah will provide to those who uphold His commandments, strive to better themselves everyday, have good character, give in charity, treat their spouse with respect and honor, are patient in times of hardship and have trust in Him alone in all their matters. Rizq (provision) can come in many different forms, not only money. For example, sound health or one’s parents being pleased with him or her are considered rizq from Allah; and the Prophet ﷺ said: “The best provision in this world is a righteous spouse.” A righteous spouse is the best rizq from Allah, and therefore a couple should, together, please Allah with their actions and decisions.
Brothers should seek a wife whose ultimate goal is to enter Jannah (Paradise), not a Louis Vuitton store at the mall. Sisters should seek a husband who has a goal of pleasing Allah in all that he does, and not solely pleasing the boss at work for a promotion or bonus.
Allah is Al-Hay, The Ever-Living. Any relationship attached to Allah will never die, because Allah will never die. A relationship attached to Allah will thrive in this world, and continue in the Hereafter in Paradise.
We ask Allah to bless the marriages in the Muslim community and gather us with our families and spouses in Paradise, where the real wealth is.
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My name is Halima and I'm from Gauteng, South Africa and my husband (Arshad) is from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa; we are both South African Indians.
He liked my profile on muzmatch on the 8th of April 2018 and on the 9th we started chatting and Alhamdulillah, today we are husband and wife.
About a month before I joined muzmatch I remember speaking to my mother in the kitchen as we cooked supper and she had full confidence that I'd be getting married soon.
I told her that I felt that maybe I'm just not meant to get married and be happy, taking into consideration that I personally felt like one could never find a decent man whose intention is to make Nikah in this day and age.
My Moulana had recommended that I join Nikah/Muslim match-making groups and muzmatch populated amongst my searches, so I downloaded the app and registered. After a while I had lost hope so I deleted the app from my phone but did not deactivate my profile.
It was a Monday morning, I had woken up to get ready for work,
I checked my phone and I had an email notification from muzmatch which read "Arshad likes you".
I was quite surprised; I looked at his profile and his biography was quite captivating but it seemed so surreal - this was too good to be true.
I used the link in his bio to view his Facebook profile, we had a mutual friend which was my cousin that also resides in Kwa-Zulu Natal, so I felt a bit more assured that this is definitely real considering that I had started to think that this could potentially be a catfish.
We started chatting that very morning and there was an instant click. It felt like we were long lost friends because of how well we understood each other and could complete each others sentences. We had the same interests and the same intention; we could speak for hours on end without running out of things to say.
We had realized that we are most definitely soulmates.
Within 2 weeks he called my parents to ask for my hand in marriage. In July 2018 (21st), I booked a flight to visit him and his mum for the day and after spending time together we knew that this was the right decision and that Allah SWT had created us for each other.
We then saw each other once again in August 2018 (25th - A surprise for my 21st birthday planned by him and my mum); and again in November 2018 when he flew up to attend my younger sister's wedding with his mum, younger sister and brother-in-law.
Slowly the long distance had become difficult, our younger sisters were both already married and settled and we started wondering when would we actually get married. In February this year he decided to relocate to Gauteng and found a temporary job.
His dad visited my parents and they decided to set a Nikah date, Alhamdulillah once the date was set everything fell into place by the will of Allah. He found a job as a PC Engineering lecturer and we were able to find our own place with our parents help and support.
Today I am happily married, living my dream with my husband and I have wonderful in-laws that love me as much as they love Arshad.
The most important quality I wanted in a husband was someone that could take my family as his own and Alhamdulillah I found that in Arshad.
We are now a huge happy family Alhamdulillah.
Jazak'Allah muzmatch! Arshad has found me due to the creation of this wonderful app (He always says that he found me, not the other way around).
I would advise everyone to put their trust and faith in Allah SWT, never give up hope that Allah SWT will send the one who is meant for you when the time is right - for Allah is the greatest of planners. May all the other individuals find their spouses through this app as well Insha'Allah.
Halima & Arshad
My name is Yasmeen and I found my husband, Taymoor, on muzmatch on the last day of last ramadan. We were both divorced.
The first time we talked on muzmatch was in June and we got married one month later in August 2018. I always wanted to send our story to inspire others who are searching for a good husband and wife.
We are both Egyptians, from Cairo, we even work & live very near to each others in New Cairo city. I am a digital marketing manager and Taymoor is an IT manager. I am 37 years old and he is 40.
I have a daughter who is 12 years old, and I was searching for a real Muslim man who would be a good husband and father. Finally I found Taymoor, who is a good man and a good Muslim, he is very kind.
I am telling my friends that I found someone who really looks like me from the inside. He was divorced and also has a kid, who is 5 years old. When we first chatted on muzmatch we spoke for over 6 hours, he was surprised much we got on, he even thought that this was a prank!
I couldn't believe that I finally found the man I was looking for. The first time we met, was after Eid al futr, in the House of Cocoa, as Taymoor knew that I loved chocolate. We talked about ourselves for over six hours, I did not want to leave and neither did he.
After we met I told my family and friends, and he did too. He and his family visited us and we got married in only two months, I never imagined that I would find my soulmate and marry him that fast.
I always wanted to find a man to trust and love, after being a single mom for years, I found out that my dream man was hard to find, but alhamdullah I found him on your app.
Alhamdullah, we are very happy together, my daughter lives with us and his son visits us on the weekends. You cannot imagine how much I am now recommending muzmatch to all my friends.
It didn't even take me long to find my husband. I used the app for almost one month or less.
I am so happy alhamdullah now that I married a real muslim I always wanted.
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My name is Sara and I just wanted to thank muzmatch and let you know that I finally got engaged on 24th December 2018 and found my Fiance - Ghazunfar on the App.
We are really happy Alhamdulilah and just wanted to thank you for creating a platform for Muslims to find a suitable match for marriage!
I believe it's a real blessing because initially we matched but we didn't talk as he hadn't read my messages and was not appearing online. After around 4 weeks, I unmatched however after some weeks I logged in and I came across his profile again. After some giving it some thought I decided to rematch and give it a try again.
The next day he replied to me and the is history. Its been a almost a year since we matched on Muzmatch and we have set the Nikkah date which will be 1st March 2019 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Our families are very happy and we are looking forward to entering into the blessed union of marriage Insha'Allah. We just wanted to say keep up the good work, may Allah bless you and request that you keep us in prayers.
One last thing to everyone using the muzmatch App - please do not give up, there is someone out there for us all!
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