Personal Finance

Giving While Living: Part II

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dr-yaqub-MirzaWe are honored to bring you this guest post from Dr. M Yaqub Mirza, President & CEO, Sterling Management Group, Inc. and author of “Five Pillars of Prosperity: Essentials of Faith-Based Wealth Building” which is available on Amazon. This article is an excerpt from his book released here in two parts. You can read Part I here.

Giving While Living: Part II

There appears to be much confusion within the Muslim community when it comes to distribution of wealth among one’s children. To begin with, while living, we must treat all of our children equally in every respect (i.e., upbringing, clothing, education, cars, marriage, and travel), and without discrimination between male and female. A child, whether male or female, has a right to sustenance, education, proper care, and being treated equally while the parents are alive. (An exception is if one child is handicapped and has special needs –therefore, this child may be given more than the others.) This principle is supported by Hadith. The Prophet asked a man who had given a gift to his son: “‘Have you other children besides this one?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ The Prophet asked, ‘Have you awarded a gift like this to all of them?’ The man said, ‘No.’ The Prophet said, ‘I am not going to bear witness to this act of injustice.’”[3] Continue reading

Responsibilities are Rewarding

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Even before the Stone Age, man held the responsibility and honor of being a ‘hunter and gatherer’. Being a provider, naturally or otherwise, has always been a vital and admirable trait in a husband. It is a value central to the male “tool box” and a timeless obligation that extends beyond any specific culture or religion.  However, in today’s day and age, women are increasingly entering and excelling in the workforce. Western culture has shifted the paradigm and placed a portion of the burden for providing for the household on wives.

Despite these shifting societal expectations and norms, the burden placed on men, according to Islam, has not altered.  Not only are men required to provide for their families financially, the subject of this article, but it is also compulsory that they provide emotionally, physically, and spiritually for their spouses and families.

By consensus of the scholars, a man is legally obligated to provide for his wife and children. This includes food, shelter, and clothing.  In addition, this responsibility, in principle, is NOT a shared one.  The husband is required to be ‘THE provider’ and not just ‘A provider’. Continue reading

I have way too much student debt. Can I consolidate my loans?

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There are a few questions that people write to me frequently about. Here are some of them:

  • What do I do about all my student loans?
  • Can I consolidate them?
  • What does that even mean?
  • Will I pay less or more?
  • Is this permissible for me as a Muslim?

What is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation is “the combining of several unsecured debts into a single, new loan that is more favorable.” In laymen’s terms, all the different loans that you are paying money on will be rolled into one big one, and you’ll make one payment. Continue reading

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