In this day and age another burden that adds pressure on those in pursuit of marriage is related to material things and money. From the moment a man asks the hand of a woman for marriage the financial list starts; Mahr ( dowry) , wedding party , Gold, Honey moon , furniture Gold etc. Our culture is so corrupted with unnecessary habits and ideas and newly generated traditions and demands that are not in line with our religion instructions or moral standards, and is truly causing guys to drop the idea of entering into relationship with a potential partner. These demands can be from the girl’s family, or from the girl herself.
Ironically, I went through something similar myself. I met a lady in the traditional way were I visited their family home with my parents, and we were introduced. The girl was white hearted and was showing a positive attitude to everything we talked about so I had an initial interest , and we decided to get engaged, she was so excited about me , and I was too.
When I went with my father to talk to her father and propose formally, her father requested a huge amount of money as Mahr ( dowry , claiming that her cousin was paid that much and she is not any less from her cousin. He also requested that I register all the furniture in her name, and to bring her gold for a big amount of money that he dictated as a minimum value, plus a fancy wedding and a minimum of 500 men to come for formal proposal (as us Arabs call Jaha), with a minimum of 3 ministers among the proposing army! I was stunned. I told her father that I am a man who depends on himself and will not take any money from my parents to get married, and I cannot afford what he is asking as I am still a young man who is just starting to create my career and family. I asked him how many years he has been working? And if he can bring that total amount in cash and put it on the table right then and there. He said he hasn’t got that amount of money, so I responded, if you were working for 50 years and you don’t have that amount, how do you expect me to pay that much? I told my father, it was time to leave and we are not meant to be. Her dad then started bargaining, and settled for 75% of his initial demands! Needless to say; I refused and so we did not go through with the engagement. I had no respect for her parents, their demands and their way of thinking. She was heartbroken and disappointed but there was nothing I could do. If our relationship was beginning with an insane sale I didn’t see a happy or successful future.
How do these demanding parents expect a young man who is at the beginning of his career path to afford paying all the wedding and marriage expenses without asking relatives to pitch in, and if one begins his new life in debt then how would he handle the responsibilities that come after marriage.
In Islam, Prophet Mohammed Peace Be Upon Him, gave us the guide lines for accepting a partner. For the man if his manners and his commitment to his faith are good then give him your daughter without hesitation as money and material things come and go, and God will facilitate things for the couple. For the lady, the man should focus on four matters; her beauty (not necessarily a beauty queen but chemistry should be there) , her family ( good manners and reputation ), her wealth (not as a goal but it could help with settling down) and her religion. He said, if you found and could win the religious one, then you have found the best.
Unfortunately, families these days are not using this as the key criteria when choosing a partner for their son/ daughter. With these pressures many young men prefer to stay single and unfortunately many fall in sin which in turn impacts society in a negative way; as less and less couples are not being able to tie the knot and build a healthy happy family and future.
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