Stance of Companions On Marrying Wealthy People
Fatwa No: 413497

  • Fatwa Date:20-2-2020 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 26, 1441
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Question

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, is shaming through the use of word gold digger foriegn to Islam? Is this a western concept? Am I right is saying that if someone marries because of his/her wealth then we cannot use the word gold digger as it has a western meaning which results in shaming. Also how did the earlier generation of Muslim meaning the Sahabas react when someone married because of their wealth? Please tell for both when the male was wealthy and when the female was wealthy?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, we thank you for writing to us, but you send too many questions, and a question such as this one is not within the scope of our website. The objective of this website is to provide the questioners with what they need to know and act upon regarding religious matters, and not to discuss passing thoughts and ideas!

Anyway, regarding this term [i.e. gold digger], we do not know that it exists in Islamic culture; it may have an alien origin, and it is better to avoid using it.

As for your question about the stances of the Companions and Muslims towards marrying wealthy people for the sake of their wealth, the answer is that the Islamic Sharee‘ah rendered religion (religiosity) and good moral character the most important qualities that should be sought after in both spouses. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “If someone whose religion and moral character you are pleased with proposes to marry (one of the women under your guardianship), then marry (her off to) him. If you do not do so, Fitnah (temptation) and abounding mischief will spread on the earth.” [At-Tirmithi, Al-Haakim: Saheeh (authentic)] The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said: “A woman is married for four (reasons): her noble lineage, her wealth, her beauty, and her religiosity. So marry the religiously committed one.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

However, taking into account the financial situation of the husband in particular is required as per the Sharee‘ah, because he is legally obliged to pay the Mahr (bride's gift) and support his wife, but not the other way around. When a group of men proposed to Faatimah bint Qays  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her she consulted the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) who said to her: “As for Mu‘aawiyah, he is a poor man with no property.Ibn Al-Munthir  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him allocated a chapter in his book Al-Awsat, in which he cited this Hadeeth under the title: “([Regarding] Preferring the Wealthy to the Poor in Marriage).

What is denounced is keenness on marrying a rich person even if he/she is a dissolute sinner who lacks religious commitment. As for seeking to marry a rich person [in regard to a man or woman] who is religiously committed and has a good moral character as well, then this is not forbidden under the Sharee‘ah.

This is so despite the fact that considering richness one of the qualities that determine the suitability in marriage is a controversial issue among the jurists, but there is no room here to elaborate on it.

As for investigating the stances of the Companions and early Muslims towards marrying rich people for their wealth, it is not possible to do so in these few lines. It is sufficient to relate to you a famous story about one of the Imams of the Taabi‘oon (the generation that followed the Companions of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) in this regard to give you a glimpse of the early Muslim generations’ perspective on marrying the rich and noble. It is the story of Sa‘eed ibn Al-Musayyib  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him who married his daughter off to a poor student of his for a Mahr (bride's gift) of two or three Dirhams. Prior to that, that same daughter had received a marriage proposal from the son and crown prince of the Commander of the Believers, but Sa‘eed ibn Al-Musayyib refused to marry her off to him!

Allah knows best.

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