Can I marry at 16 without a job?

12 Sep 2019 Ref-No#: 2232

I’m currently just 16 years old and I’m interested in marrying but I’m not sure if this is right as I don’t have a job yet and I’m still in school. I want to marry so as to prevent myself from zina as I have done an act considered as zina, thankfully it wasn’t intercourse. My parents believe that I need a job or to finish studies etc to marry since the customs are like that these days. But I feel it shouldn’t be based of economy but belief as the basis. As long as I can be mature and responsible. Even if marriage was difficult and we just had a cloth and bread it would be better as a married couple at peace then being single with all the desires and struggles of having to get a job to then relieve it when you could go astray as you are human. I understand that without a job I’m basically poor with all the assets I own but Allah provides and you place your trust into him. And my reasons to marry is not just to have a halaal way of intimacy etc but rather to complete 50% of my islam and to avoid sin and protect myself and I would not want to die unmarried and not having gone on hajj. Would you rather be 25 and single with a job and with fear of committing the act or 16 and married without a job but protection from the act. From the side of the girl she doesn’t know much islam in terms of knowledge but she seeks to learn it and teach it to her siblings which is far better than someone with knowledge but doesn’t put it to use. We both have a roof over our head and we both have food and come from middle class families. But also I do understand that the burden is not to be put on either of our family to support us but we marry relying on Allah as He gives. I’m lost as to whether I should marry or I do not know how to explain to my parents that it shouldn’t be based of economy as they asked me how will I support my wife? My wife would have an understanding that I don’t have a job and we both already have clothes, a roof and food. And it wouldn’t hurt to share but obviously not putting the burden on my family or hers. Can I get married at this age? From my understanding islam encourages you to marry as soon as possible but these days zina may have also become common as young wait till they get a job and success but fall into this sin through the process as we are humans.

Answer

Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Brother, we commend you for your great desire to protect your chastity. May Allah Ta’ala accept from you, and bless you with the shade of the throne on the day of Qiyamah.

Entering into a marriage with no source of income could be detrimental. It could lead to many disputes, worries and problems. If you get a child and then see that you are unable to sustain the family, it should not be that the marriage goes into turmoil then. Hence, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) has provided another solution:

 

من استطاع الباءة فليتزوج، فإنه أغض للبصر، وأحصن للفرج، ومن لم يستطع فعليه بالصوم، فإنه له وجاء (أخرجه البخاري في صحيحه 3/ 26)

“Whoever has the ability to get married should get married as it is a means for a person to lower his gaze and to safeguard his chastity. Whoever does not have the ability (to get married) should hold firm to fasting as it is a means to curb his desires” (Saheeh al-Bukhari. Vol 3. Pg 26).

Likewise, Allah Ta’ala says,

{وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ} [النور: 33]

“And let those who cannot find someone to marry maintain chastity until Allah grants them both independence through His favours…”

Whilst we applaud your great faith and conviction in Allah, ultimately, this world is a place of means. You cannot hope to bring in any income without even having a job. Yes, once you do start to earn, you can then place your conviction in Allah that He will bless you. You mention that you will just live with a basic cloth and bread; will your wife be fine with this? Even you, if until now you were getting good meals, will you really manage with such a basic life?

Hence, we advise that you rather fast. This will break your passions. Fear Allah, be strong, and Insha Allah, Allah will protect you

However, if you still want to get married now, ultimately, Mahr (dowry) and Nafaqah (maintenance) is the right of the wife. You need to consult with her family, and her father and elders can advise her whether she will manage with the lifestyle that you propose. Alternatively, you can offer to marry now and allow her to stay at her parents home until you get a job. If they agree to still maintain her as they are doing at present, and still marry her to you, then that will be ideal.

In short, firstly discuss this properly with your parents, and then let them discuss with the girls parents.

References

(ويكون واجبا عند التوقان) فإن تيقن الزنا إلا به فرض نهاية وهذا إن ملك المهر والنفقة، وإلا فلا إثم بتركه بدائع.

(و) يكون (سنة) مؤكدة في الأصح فيأثم بتركه ويثاب إن نوى تحصينا وولدا (حال الاعتدال) أي القدرة على وطء ومهر ونفقة ورجح في النهر وجوبه للمواظبة عليه والإنكار على من رغب عنه (، ومكروها لخوف الجور) فإن تيقنه حرم ذلك. (رد المحتار  – 3/ 6 )