Unregistered Marriage & Financial Problems

28 February, 2017
Q As-Salamu Alaykum. My Husband of 4 years has recently revealed that he has no intension of registering our marriage in the UK, even though we agreed on this previously. He says there is no need for it and that I shouldn't worry about such matters. I only found out when he said that I would have no shares in properties we have invested our saving in. I have also been saving with him since we got married, and he currently wants to use a large proportion of that saving belonging to me. I have declined to let him use this money as I no longer know what his intentions are. I have asked him why he doesn't want to register our marriage, but I cannot get a reasonable answer. He is also angry with me because I will not let him use my savings. I am very upset by all this as I was planning to stop working after we have our second child (if Allah permits this in sha Allah); however, now I feel I cannot rely on him financially subhanAllah if anything was to go wrong. We have been arguing a lot also due to the new responsibility of being parents. I don't know what to do besides making du’aa’ for Allah to ease my anxiety. I don't want to be suspicious of my husband, but I can't trust his motives. JazakAllahu Khayran



Answer by Our Scholar, Dr. Wael Shihab

Wa `Alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

Thank you for your good question. In fact, it’s not acceptable for married Muslim spouses not to register their marriage in a country where un-registered marriages are not officially recognized. This may cause future problems to the wife or the children.

Therefore, I think you need to approach your husband kindly and wisely to convince him to register your marriage. You may seek the help of influential family members, a local imam, or a community leader.

If he does insist on rejecting to register your marriage, you may seek professional advice and help of a reliable, preferably Muslim, lawyer.

May Allah (swt) help you fix your family problems, and may He accept your and our good deeds!

Allah (swt) Almighty knows best.



Answer by Our Counselor, Aliah Azmeh

Salamu ‘Alaykum Sister,

Thank you for sending us your question. It appears that your husband is married to you Islamically but not legally in the UK, which is the country you both live in. You mentioned that you both agreed to register the marriage but later revealed that he no longer wants to do so because he does not want to include you in whatever financial gains he gets from property investments.

It seems he answered your question to why he does not want to register the marriage. You seem like you want more answers to your questions, and you are wondering why he is being secretive and unclear about his intentions. You certainly have every right to feel upset. The first thing any counselor will tell you is to talk candidly about your feelings to your husband. You need to let him know 1. how you feel, because he changed his mind about registering your marriage after you both agreed to do so, 2. How you feel that he does not intend to include you in the property investments and 3. How you feel when he tells you he wants to use your savings. Talk openly and honestly about your feelings and ask him to talk about his feelings and his dreams and how you are included in it. It seems you both have different financial expectations, and you both need to get it cleared out. Let him know what you expect of him financially and what you are willing to contribute and ask him to explain his expectations.

Another important thing you need to examine is your Islamic rights as a wife, especially when it comes to finances. Generally speaking, we know that a wife is not obligated to financially spend on her family unless she willingly does so. It is the husband’s responsibility to financially support his wife and children. If she works or has anything of value, she keeps it to herself. Think about this Islamic ruling and then ask yourself what you are willing to do with your personal finances and share that with your husband.

You both need clarity and openness when dealing with each other. I can completely understand the added frustrations and stress of being new parents as well. Please, keep in mind that you both are partners in life and you are in need to clarity of certain issues that are ailing you. Let him know that. Show him that you are a supportive and loving wife who also deserves to know why her husband is reluctant to do the above three issues.

May Allah (swt) help you both to find a common ground and mutual respect towards each other.



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About Aliah F. Azmeh
Aliah F. Azmeh is a licensed clinical social worker who practices in Detroit, Michigan. Aliah graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has experience working in the United States and overseas. Aliah currently works as a clinical social worker and provides individual, family, and marital counseling at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI.