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Reflections of a recently married brother - part 1 | Blog



“When are you getting married bro?” “Dude, when is your turn?”

These are the some of the questions a young Muslim is asked frequently; particularly when they have completed their basic education and make a fairly reasonable living.

The pressure starts to dawn on you when you realize that a number of the nikahs (Islamic marriage ceremony) that you attend are those of your friends’. Your circle of buddies gets smaller and smaller until you realise you are one the few bachelors in the group. Is there something wrong with you?

Well, let’s contemplate a few issues.

Marriage is undoubtedly an expensive affair. It was never intended to be this way, but our contemporary society has made taking the big step a lot more difficult. Think of the items to be purchased: furniture, curtains, TV, computers, fridge and oven. These fixed items alone cost close to a million shillings. On the positive side, these fixed items — once bought — don’t have to be replaced for a long time.

Dowry has also become quite expensive. Do not get me wrong: I am not advocating that women not get their fair share of dowry. If a brother can afford to pay an exorbitant dowry, he is free to do so. The problem comes in when this becomes a barrier making it difficult for brothers to get married early thus delaying marriage for a few more years.

Additionally, our own cultural practices compound the problem even further. For example, along with dowry, a potential husband is expected to buy his spouse gold/jewelry as an expression of his love for her. Girls are mocked by their friends and relatives if their prospective spouse doesn’t buy them expensive jewelry.

As for the wedding reception, the couple is expected to host a lavish ceremony that will be the talk of the town. Bear in mind that all these expenses keep piling up. If a brother isn’t already quite well off and neither is his family, there is a likelihood that the couple may start their relationship with a degree of debt or a good amount of borrowing to finance wedding expenses. The brother is also expected to finance a honeymoon that is likely to cost hundreds of thousands of shillings. How do we expect a young couple to start their lives in debt?

To conclude this piece, I was trying to put across the financial challenges that have made marriage quite expensive. Expectedly, it delays what is essentially an important step in their lives. Marriage has become a very expensive affair thanks to our cultural habits in tandem with materialism.

Often, we forget the point of marriage as we allow ourselves to get sidetracked by the routines of wedding venue booking, card printing and so on and so forth. Marriage, to many, is considered to be the foundation of society.

I urge our brothers who are stressed about these issues to not despair and put their trust in Allah (SW). Indeed, the life of this world is full of challenges, and Allah (SW) will provide as long as we strive to do our part.

For families and society at large, we should look beyond materialism and try to make marriage simpler, if not as simple as possible.

photo credit: scholesyfynn via photopin cc


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