Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam alaykum,
My fiancé has asked for an engagement ring (5670 pounds), which I cannot afford unless I take out a loan. Her family is very wealthy, so she is used to a certain level of living. What do I do?
Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
I encourage you and your fiancé to enroll in and complete Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.
Having sincere concern for your spouse is a foundation of Islamic marriage. Being willing to put your spouse into debt runs counter to this.
Dear questioner, your fiancé is asking you for an engagement ring far beyond your means. £5670 is well above the average monthly salary in England, let alone elsewhere, and her request is wasteful. What about the cost of your actual wedding? Setting up your marital home? Your honeymoon?
Unless you have access to permissible Islamic financing, taking out a loan will put you in state of riba. This is a major sin, and your marriage has not even started yet. I caution you against starting your marriage with debt.
I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Guidance up to seven times about what to do. Please observe how events unfold to help you decide what to do. For example, if your fiancé is willing to compromise and settle for a more affordable engagement ring, then this is a positive sign. If she is not, then that is a clear negative sign.
Please see a pre-marital counselor with your fiancé. Speak openly about your different expectations when it comes to finances.
I understand that you are both in love, and this makes it very difficult for you to remain objective. Just be aware that difficulties with finances and marital intimacy can break up marriages.
Narrated Abu Hurayra: The Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, said, “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty, and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be losers.” (Bukhari)
You have described your fiancé as being used to a certain standard of living. The reality is that most young newlyweds go through an initial struggle before finding their feet.
If she wishes to continue the lifestyle which she is used to, then she is better off marrying a much older and wealthier man. If she chooses to marry you, then I pray that she accepts the fact that you are still early in your career. This requires a lot of maturity on her part.
Marriage is an ongoing conversation. I pray that Allah grants you both the wisdom and patience to make this a conversation which brings you both closer to Allah, and not further away.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.
Photo: International Gem and Jewelry Show