FROM THE DESK OF USTAZ ZHULKEFLEE
The Husband as the maintainer
“Man shall take full care of women with the bounties which Allah has bestowed more abundantly on the former than on the latter, and with what they may spend out of their possessions.”
(Qur’an : an-Nisa’ : 4 : 34)
Marriage entails responsibilities. The onus of providing and maintaining the family is placed upon the male (husband) who thus assumes the leadership / guardianship role. In Islam, women are always under the guardianship of a male. Before marriage, it is the father or a brother etc. termed as “wali”, and the solemnization (ijab / qabul) actually signifies the transference of responsibilities to the bridegroom by her guardian.
Thus, amongst the condition for marriage the Prophet [pbuh] stipulates that the men must be in a position to manage (i.e. provide for and maintain) a home.
“O you assembly of young men ! Whoever amongst you is able to set up a home (ba-ats), let him get married ...........” (Hadith from the Prophet [pbuh] )
Remember the Ta’liq (Special condition recited after nikah)
“ On every occasion I _________ :
[a] leave my wife _____________ for a continuous period of four months or more, intentionally of unintentionally;
[b] fail to maintain her for the said period, whereas she is obedient to me; ....... ”
Maintenance of the wife is the husband’s responsibility and failure to do so can be a reason for the wife to seek the indulgence of the Shari’ah court. Although, pronouncement of divorce is the prerogative of the husband, in the case of failure to provide for her and other abuses by a husband, the Shari’ah court may invoke this condition of freeing the wife from the marriage bond.
How much to provide ?
“Let him who has ample means spend in accordance with his amplitude; and let him whose means of subsistence are scanty spend in accordance with what Allah has given him; Allah does not burden any human being with more than He has given him - [and it may well be that] Allah will grant, after hardship, ease. “
(Qur’an : at-Talaq : 65 : 7)
Joint responsibility to be adhered
“ .... and eat and drink [freely] , but do not waste; verily He (Allah) does not love the wasteful !”
(Qur’an : al-A’raf : 7 : 31)
Both husband and wife must cooperate together in the proper management of the family resources through :
 living and spending in moderation;
 being thrifty and practice the habit of saving.
 to do family budgeting.
Factors which leads to family financial crisis
 Internal factor (which we can have control over)
· - desires and expectations which are unrealistic.
· - initial overspending for the marriage.
· - habit of borrowing money.
· - too spendthrift (spending based on desires and without planning)
· - practices forbidden in Islam (especially gambling, intoxicants etc..)
 External factor (although we have no direct control, yet we should be prepared for)
· circumstances that may affect your income such as :
sickness ...... etc.
Effects of Financial crisis to the family
· forever will be troubled with debts.
· will add “stress” upon the marriage relationship.
· will be the main cause for marital conflict.
· individually, the couple may develop negative self-esteem.- “..sense of failure etc.”
Why the need to budget ? ... what are its benefits ?
· Planning and knowledge of priority in spending
· Encourage communications.
Tips on how to do family budget.
· discuss, set and agree on priority in family spending.
· to spend according to family capability.
· although a budget has been set, to try not to spend all allocation.
· include compulsory savings in the budget.
· to plan together.
· to share ideas and income.
Note : Important guidelines if the wife is willing to assist the family finance by working.
* that her duty as a mother must not be neglected.
* that the wife is willing (and cannot be forced to do so).
* must be with the permission of her husband, who has the right to stop her from continuing.
* the wife is free to stop work if she wants to.
* her income is for the family and not solely for her own use.
How to categorize family spending according to priority
 High priority spending :
· payment of housing - rent, mortgage etc.
· payment of utility bills
· children’s educational fees
· daily spending needs for school-going children
· spending on provisions
· marketing money
· daily travel and working expenses.
 Medium priority :
· purchasing of clothing
· cost to visit wife’s or husbands family (in-laws)
· cost of attending invitations to weddings and other social events
· purchasing of magazines and supplementary reading materials .... etc.
 Emergency spending.
This could be for :
· seeking medical treatment to clinic
· assisting family in dire need ...... etc.
 Any other unforeseen circumstances.
We may not know what the future circumstances may be. Therefore allow for contingencies - “savings for a rainy day.”
TELL-TALE SIGNS OF FAMILY FINANCIAL CRISIS
·When bills are not paid on time or you finding it “hard’ to pay on time.
·Preferring longer loans and buying in credit.
·When you begin to start borrowing, either from family or friends.
·When you start using “savings” to pay for utilities bills.
·When the cause of family ‘quarrels’ is on bills.
·When you begin to “moonlight’ or seek extra-jobs, thus sacrificing family value-time.
·When your family is deprive from enjoying bonus money because it goes towards settling debts.
THE FOLLOWING SHOULD BE NOTED WHEN SEEKING TO OVERCOME FAMILY FINANCIAL CRISIS:
 TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE IS A PROBLEM
Before any solution/remedy can be possible, we have to recognize that we have a problem. People who are still in “denial stage”, would pretend as though everything is all right. Thus no improvement can be made when one do not acknowledge that there is defects. People tends to be defensive as though it is an admission of faults on their part. The exercise here is not to find personal fault but to be “frank’ in assessing the situation.
 BE READY TO “GIVE-AND-TAKE” AND WILLINGNESS TO ADJUST
Both husband and wife must have the attitude of ‘give-and-take”. Remember you are both a team. You should have concern, empathy, supportive and show greater understanding for each other. Frankness and sincerity are necessary elements. Thus, it is no point picking on or blaming one another, but try to find ways to settle the problem. You “sink” or “swim” together. Personal adjustments and change may be required and thus be willing to make sacrifices just so the problems can be settled. Be appreciative of each others sacrifices.
 ALWAYS SEEK TO STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIP
To overcome problems, both must have strong desire and resolve. Thus, at all times show support and cooperate in matters of family concern. The strengthening of relationship would prepare you well when crisis occur. At all times, both husband and wife must display truthfulness and act justly.
 CHOOSE APPROPRIATE TIME TO DISCUSS
Always remember that to discuss family finance it should be done at appropriate time and place. Confidentiality should be maintained. If preparing budget has become a routine, you may allocate discussion to review what may be seen as a problem. Remember, “prevention is better than cure.”