"and We have created you in pairs"
Al Qur'an 78:8
Is Shortage of Money Really Bad for your Marriage Life?

by: Nisaar Nadiadwala

Financial storms cause 12 percent of divorces in the West, but surveys of Muslim divorces console us that this percentage is only 6, which is quite low, yet we must push it down further. In other words, we need to build barricades to survive financial storms. Financial accidents should not be treated as report cards of husbands’ ability to bring home happiness.

Four years ago, Holly Berkley, an American lady, wrote in one of her blog that remains very lively for new readers, “How the recession helped my family”. She informs enthusiastically that though her husband lost his job, he did not lose his temper and they did not miss his money. The family brought down their expenses by disconnecting the Dish TV, deleted all the junk and fast food from the menu and managed with little number of dresses they had. In other words, they brought the life down to simplicity. The result was awesome and she wrote, “Without TV, our nights seemed longer with a taste of togetherness and lots of branded items were not known to us due to the absence of TV. My husband helped in family work and we all had our meals together”. It revived the dead and the dull life and they never cared how long the shortage of money would be remaining in their country.

Holly is not a Muslim; neither has she ever read the Qur’anic law of simple life nor was it known to her that it is the tradition of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) to help in household work. On the other hand, a lot of Muslims had borrowed various loans to provide worldly luxuries to their families and could not swim through the Economic meltdown. The same luxury that they bought for their families became the reason for their dispersion. Many stood in queues along with their Western counterparts seeking divorces during the last recession.

During the infamous banking collapse in 2008 in the US, those who lost jobs were also more among those who lost their wives to divorce. The numbers would have been far higher had the cost of separation not been too high, admit experts. The famous headlines in media were: After the Recession, Comes Divorce. Even long-standing couples have found their marriage in trouble because of strong disagreements about spending, savings and general financial decision-making.

The real heroic outcome of a financial storm is not to let your marriage life sink but to stay there in the storm and keep floating until your reach the shore. Fatima (RA), the daughter of Prophet (PBUH), was married to Ali (RAA) who was not a very rich man. While she struggled with the chores, her sister was married to Uthman (RAA), the richest men among the Prophet (PBUH)’s Companions. She never compared about her life or blamed her husband for her poverty. Her biography says that she struggled throughout her life and died in her youth. But Allah includes her among the four best women of faith. The reason? Her sabr and struggles as a daughter and a wife. Simplicity is the biggest source of richness. It makes you feel rich even in the times of recession because you don’t have to worry about new models of branded phones, laptops, dresses, as well as lavish lifestyles, etc. For you, a simple meal with one or two dishes should be more nutritive if hosted with love and affection.  

Stories of courageous women who stood by their husbands in crises are echoed all around us, but our hearing frequency doesn’t respond. Prophet Ayub (PBUH) lost his health, wealth, friends and family, when he was suffering from a sickness. It was only his wife who stood by her until Allah cured him completely. Many women are rocky when it comes to support their husbands. They may not be the products of Big Universities, but they are well educated of their role during the crises. They form a winning combo with their husband. They don’t sink but they swim.