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Amaliah Agony Aunt: Should I Fund My Parents Mortgage or Pay off Mine?

by in Culture & Lifestyle on 27th May, 2023

We know that Amaliah is like a Big Sis and sometimes our DMs have been filled with requests for advice on a range of life issues including relationships, friendships or work troubles.

We have started a new segment where we field dilemmas from the community and answer them as frankly as we can with love, truth and honesty.

Need some advice on a dilemma? Send them all here!

Dear Aunt Maya,

Should I focus on helping my parents and younger siblings buy a new house so we can live together or pay off my mortgage in my house or look for a spouse. I am nearly 40. We are supposed to look after our parents when they reach old age but equally getting married is half the deen. Mortgages are haram but my parents want me to buy a new house. I was shocked to find they had invested in property abroad bit were happy for me to take out another mortgage. I really feel torn between what is the right thing to do for me.

Maya Areem Responds:

Salaam alaykum,

I hope you are well and in a good place! Sounds like there are a lot of things at play here between your family and your personal goals.

I have seen similar scenarios play out a few times where a child in a family, often the eldest or the highest earner, is expected to shoulder the responsibility of financial burdens. It can be really difficult to weigh up what your family needs and expects from you vs. what you need and want. Particularly, if you come from a culture where parents have sacrificed a lot, making decisions that are in your best interest may feel incredibly selfish and hence difficult to make.

In terms of feeling torn, it may be useful to think about where the pressure is coming from, is it something your parents have asked of you, or is it something you feel compelled to do. Are there other ways you can look after your parents beyond helping to buy them a house?

I would like to give the disclaimer that I am imparting this advice and these suggestions without knowledge of the intricacies of your situation.

Perhaps you might find answering or reflecting on these questions helpful?

  • Do you want to live with your younger siblings and parents?
    • If the answer is no, then this may inform your decision making and help you think about how else you can support your family and to what extent.
  • What happens if you do not help your family buy a house? Are there other ways they can look after themselves e.g. selling their invested property and utilising that money, or other aides they may have access to?
    • Essentially are you pivotal in their housing plans or can you step aside and continue with your own mortgage?
  • What would change in your life if you were successful in your search for a spouse? Are any of those changes things you can start doing now? I ask this as I was unsure about the link between the family house, your mortgage and searching for a spouse. 
  • If you feel religiously inclined to not take out another mortgage, you can explain this to your family and may Allah grant you goodness from the intention. 

Beyond the family and your personal mortgage, if you are interested in marriage, I would make the intention and start looking for a partner, along with dua, as you don’t know what doors Allah can open. Ultimately Allah has already planned what will happen for you, and sometimes we need to release a little control, trust in Allah, set our intentions and see what unfolds before us. 

Aunt Maya

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. 

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.