Answered by Ustadha Rukayat Yakub
Question: I am currently in my last year of University. I have done my nikah however not the reception as me and my wife live in different countries, so we’re waiting for our degrees to finish insh’Allah. I love my wife and I want to provide for her, but she expects to have a nice reception of around $15,000- $20,000. I’m still in school and I only make about $800 a month on my job. I am really stressing out and am very concerned my wife just doesn’t understand that its unreasonable to spend this much money on a reception! I don’t think i can save up that much money in time and on top of that i have to relocate to another country and hence have to worry about our future finances and have some savings for that as well. I just don’t know what to do. When i talk to her about it she tells me to get another job a “government job” however the last year of university is really time consuming along with my night-shift job. Please any advice on how to deal with my wife and her wants? I have even tried to tell her about our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and how he got married but it has no effect on her, I’m just lost as to what to do…
Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatulah,
Different Positions on Finances
It is important that you both understand each other’s approach to spending and finances before you get married.
It could be that like she just has a ‘dream’ wedding/ reception and she just wants this and this extravagance will not roll into the marriage. However it could be an indicator of what is to come in the future. Finances can be a big problem in marriages and a leading cause for divorce that many people do not even discuss this prior to marriage.
You state that when you try to speak with her it has no effect, perhaps you can find out the source of her insistence on such a reception, from her family perhaps, or if she will speak with you about it, from her herself,
Ask her to explain her reasons and let her know that you will hear her out, she might be concerned that you will not understand or she just might believe this is non-negotiable, the only way you will find out is by calmly discussing it. If she opens up be sure to listen attentively and once she is done, explain your perspective and ask her what compromise can be reached, It could be that you agree that certain aspects of the reception you pay for, like the food for instance and some of the other non-essential items she pays for, You need to discuss this.
My advice is if this is just a one-off request bore out of societal pressure or a childhood dream etc then try to work with her, but if she believes that you should live beyond your means the you really need to reevaluate your relationship. Two adults can live off the salary of a newly qualified teacher if they budget and live within their means, but if she is used to a certain standard of living or just has expensive tastes then you might have to change your dream of becoming a teacher and find a job that will give her the income bracket she wants, Is this something you are willing to do? You seriously need to think out this, as resentment can build up overtime when people are unable to find purpose in their jobs and lives.
In summary think about this, make the guidance prayer (istikhara) and try to have an open non judgmental conversation with your intended to get to the root of this. Many couples start their married lives with debt, all for one beautiful day. You need to figure out what you both want and what your positions are on finances so that this does not become a problem in your marriage.
May Allah ta’ala bless you and give you ease
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani