Husband is obliged to pay for accommodation even if wife owns house
Fatwa No: 277414

  • Fatwa Date:26-12-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 5, 1436
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Question

My husband and I live in my house which I bought 5 years before marrying him and still paying its mortgage. My husband paid me a monthly sum to cover expenses and accommodation. We had a disagreement after a few months of marriage because he wanted a formal share of the house in exchange for paying accommodation expenses. We could not resolve this issue together and planned to seek help. I stopped taking expenses money from him until the matter is resolved. I thought it wise in case I have to give him the money back. It has now been 1 year since this happened and I have not taken my expenses for 1 year. He has been travelling and is busy with work and he does not find the time to seek help and resolve this issue. I feel that by keeping quiet, being nice and trying to be understanding, he is not under any pressure to resolve this matter. My question is: AM I allowed to refuse to see him and meet him until he sorts this out? or is this haram? Am I allowed to ask my family to intervene? he has said that I cannot talk to my brother about this and have to wait. Please advise.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The wife has the right over her husband that he should provide her with accommodation, as we have already explained in Fatwa 84608. Therefore, he is obliged to provide her with it. If the wife owns a house, he is not exempt from this obligation unless she agrees to it. If he pays her for the accommodation, then she is entitled to this pay and he has absolutely no right to be a partner in this house without her proper consent. Also, he has no right to consider that the money he pays for the house is in return for partnership, as the like of this act involves a degree of selfishness and excessiveness which does not befit a husband.

Also, the husband is obliged to provide the maintenance of his wife even if she is rich and it is not permissible for him to neglect this. In an authentic Hadeeth, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "It is enough of a sin for a man not to provide the means of sustenance to those whom he is obliged to support." [Abu Daawood]

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 168551.

On your part, you have no right to abstain from your husband; the wife must fulfill her husband's rights even if he denies her some of her rights. His injustice to you should not be a reason for you to be unjust to him. Yes, some scholars have issued Fataawa stating that the wife is permitted to shun her husband if he denies her of her rights, but in general, there is no benefit in the wife in shunning her husband.

There is no doubt that if both spouses do not arrive at a mutual understanding and a solution, it is appropriate for wise and rational people from both of their families to intervene in order to reconcile between them; Allaah says (what means): {…reconciliation is good.} [Quran 4:128]

If it is necessary to refer the matter to an authority that functions as an Islamic court, like the Islamic Centers, then this is permissible.

Allaah Knows best.

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