Greediness and dissatisfaction with simple life, dowries and expenditures for weddings have become exorbitant,that is why marriages have decreased

Question:

Dear Eminent Father, the entire Muslim world is experiencing two major problems which have very dangerous social effects: the issue of marriage and raising the age of marriage, and the problem of divorce. With regard to the problem of raising the age of marriage, there are frightening statistics in the Muslim World, year after year, which confirm the increase in the number of singles from both genders due to economic and other reasons. Similarly, the problem of divorce is worsening as is the difficulty of getting married in that the number of divorced men and women is increasing to the point that it is confirmed that divorces in one large Muslim country has risen by two million in one year?

Answer:

Actually, marriage and divorce are supposed to involve no problems, but such problems occur due to the ignorance of the people, their lack of sound Islamic knowledge, the rise of irascibility and decline of patience. It is obligatory upon men to hasten to get married if they can afford it. They should not demand excessive dowries and wedding costs so that the number of marriages increase and the number of the singles decreases, and thus the number of spinsters will grow less.

However, due to ignorance, greediness and dissatisfaction with simple life, dowries and expenditures for weddings have become exorbitant, except for those whom Allah wills. That is why marriages have decreased, as this cannot be afforded by everyone. Therefore, it is an obligation upon the believers to cooperate in this matter, to tolerate each other and avoid the high cost of marriage in order to increase the number of marriages and to reduce the number of singles and spinsters.

This is obligatory upon all Muslims, as it is to refrain from divorce, to treat one’s spouse kindly and to avoid wronging our partners and denying them any of rights. The duty of the wife to be modest and to avoid angering her husband or harming him. She should be humble and should use kind and soft words when dealing with her husband in order not to irritate him and drive him to divorce her. It is authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that he stated: “O young people! Whoever among you is able to marry, should marry, for marriage helps to lower the gaze and maintain one’s chastity. Whoever is not able to marry, is recommended to fast, for fasting diminishes the sexual drive.” Agreed upon its authenticity 1.

Likewise, it is ordained for the husband to fear Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and not hasten to pronounce divorce. Rather, he should be patient and should solve problems using wisdom, kind words, and good manner and not be oppressive. Woman, on the other hand, should fear Allah, avoid provoking the husband by asking for divorce, carry out her duties and responsibilities and treat her husband kindly, just as the husband should treat her kindly. Allah’s (Glorified be He) states: “…and live with them honourably.” [Al-Nisa: 19]

He (Glorified and Exalted be He) also states: “And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) according to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them.” [Al-Baqarah: 228]

Both spouses should be patient and seek the reward from Allah in all their affairs as Allah (Glorified be He) states: “Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” [Al-Zumar: 10]

Hence, there has to be patience and cooperation in piety and righteousness, following Allah’s (Glorified and Exalted be He) statement: “Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety)” [Al-Maidah: 2] and applying the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) statement: “Treat women kindly; they are like prisoners in your hands.2

In another narration he (peace be upon him) stated: “If you wish to benefit from her, benefit from her while crookedness remains in her; and if you attempt to straighten her, you will break her; and breaking her is divorcing her.3

Therefore, men should be patient towards the misbehavior of women and women should be patient regarding the mistakes, shortcomings and other deficiencies of their husbands. Both parties should cooperate in piety and righteousness. The husband should patiently endure his wife’s shortcomings, fear Allah, treat his wife kindly and recognize her rights and fulfill his duties towards her. Similarly, the wife should bear with patience, fulfill her obligations and responsibilities in order to avoid divorce. We ask Allah for guidance for all of us and all Muslims.


  1. Related by Al-Bukhari [Book on marriage, Chapter on the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Any of you who can afford it should marry”] no. 5065; Muslim [Book on marriage, Chapter on desirability of marriage for he who longs for it] no. 1400. 

  2. Al-Tirmidhi [Book on breastfeeding] no. 1163;Ibn Majah [Book on marriage] no. 1851. 

  3. Related by Muslim [Book on breastfeeding, Chapter on being gentle with women] no. 1468.