Marriage: Put off for financial reasons

Q364 :As the only breadwinner in my family, I feel it is my obligation to repay the huge amount of debt my father incurred to bring me up as well as my brothers and sisters. If I am to get married, I am bound to increase my liabilities and expenses. This has caused me to consider staying a bachelor. Is this appropriate?

A364 : It is very good of you to consider the repayment of your father's loan as your most immediate obligation. You should certainly do this as fast as you can. It certainly takes top priority. Also if you help your brothers and sisters complete their education, you are doing something highly beneficial for which you may expect generous reward from God. It is true that marriage is a Sunnah which the Prophet has emphasized as very important. A Muslim should always keep it in mind that he will get married as soon as that is feasible. If your circumstances make it difficult for you to get married at present, then a delay of the marriage is reasonable. This should not be the reason for you to take a decision that you will never get married. What you should keep in mind is that once circumstances allow, you will get married. You need to fulfill your immediate duties first. Suppose, however, that the possibility of marriage presents itself without your incurring much expenses. In this case, you may go ahead and get married. You may also try to delay having children until you are in better circumstances. There is nothing wrong with using a safe contraceptive method to delay having children. What you should guard against is a decision not to get married either in defiance of the Prophet's teachings or in an attempt to devote more time to worship. In either of these cases, you are actually defying the Prophet's recommendations. That is not acceptable from a Muslim.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )