In Islam, a man is obligated to provide for his wife and children. He isn’t allowed to ask a woman for money, but a woman can share her wealth with him if she wishes to.
This is considered fair in the religion – as men are given a higher inheritance and are usually the breadwinner in their families.
However, surviving on a single income is difficult in 21st century society. Therefore, in many families, both partners work to make ends meet. Yet, in most cases, it is the man’s responsibility to look after the household expenses.
Metro UK spoke to five Muslim men about what’s it like to bear majority of the financial responsibilities. Most of the men said big weddings were the cause of their financial hardships.
They agreed that lavish weddings have become a cultural norm, rather than a religious one. But they still find themselves giving in to society’s pressure.
According to Numan, 32, they spent about £55,000 at his wedding. “We both felt the financial strain and my in-laws had to borrow money from the banks,” he told the newspaper. “For people with an average income, it’s a huge pressure.” He added that if you happened to be an immigrant, it was much harder. He questioned large expensive weddings, inviting so many people, splurging on exhorbitant outfits. Would it not be better to use that money for financial security of the couple.
For his part, Zibran, 26, argued that Islam did not encourage people to live beyond their means. If you have the money, great. But if you need to go into debt just to keep your “tradition, ritual and cultural values” alive, there is a problem.
Riyad, 35, said his mother and wife had to spend £20,000 because her family wasn’t satisfied with a simple ceremony. His wife had to get a loan. “We get burnt out when unexpected costs pop up, for example, household maintenance or buying gifts for guests,” he said.
Ahsan, 29, categorically says that his savings took a hit because of his wedding. “I had accumulated a sizeable amount of savings over the years, to put down for a house deposit,” he said. “However, in getting married, I massively underestimated some costs by around £7,000 (mahr, costs of honeymoons, having more guests than initially anticipated, cost of wedding dress!).”