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IslamQA: Is it permissible for a man to marry if he needs his wife’s and relatives’ financial help?

Assalaamu 'Alaikum, In cities and towns with ridiculously high rent and living costs, young Muslim men are doomed. Apparently they're not allowed to marry if they cannot fully financially support the wife? If that's true, then how would one reconcile him now being exposed to immense fitnah (since they may have a women they love for marriage but dont financially qualify for nikah)? What if the couples' parents are willing to support the couple until the man can move out and provide for his wife?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The requirement that you should be able to support a wife means that legally she is entitled to sue you in court if you do not provide for her. But this does not mean that you cannot reach alternative arrangements with her as long as it is consensual. If she is willing to work to contribute financially to the marriage of her own free will temporarily until you can get a better job or a promotion, then she can do that and Islam does not prohibit it. In such a case her contributions would be legally considered charity from her to you, since it is not her legal obligation. But realistically since she is contributing to the good of both of you, in order to attain something both of you desire, it is not mere charity. But the law requires to define things , so according to the law it is charity. She can also give the money as a loan to you that you write down and pay back later in life, some men may prefer an arrangement like this. And in some cultures it is very common and natural for a woman to work and contribute to family finances without considering it an act of charity or a loan, and that is fine. If she is happy with such an arrangement then that satisfies Islamic law.

And if you need your parents’ help to make ends meet, then that is fine too as long as this is agreed upon by everyone involved.

When it comes to marriage, Islamic law only defines what you can sue your spouse for in court. It does not prohibit you from using your common sense and conscience to do what works better for the two of you as long as no duplicity or force or oppression is involved.

And God knows best.
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