Wife refusing to participate in household expenses
Fatwa No: 31645

  • Fatwa Date:4-5-2011 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 1, 1432
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Question

Is it permissible for a working wife who feels that her husband covets her salary to stop working because she is not willing to financially assist her husband? She wants her salary to be spent on her personal expenditures in lawful means.

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, is His Slave and Messenger.

 

Allaah The Almighty made it obligatory upon men to financially support and clothe their wives and under age children. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

  • {Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allaah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allaah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allaah is ever Exalted and Grand.} [Quran 4:34]
  • {Upon the father is the mothers' provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable.} [Quran 2:233]

Therefore, scholars unanimously agree on the obligation of the financial responsibility of the husband. However, if the wife is well-off and helps her husband, this will result in love and affection. Marital life is based on affection, mercy and cooperation. The husband should not oblige his wife to pay the household expenses. Her property is owned by her and she has a free hand to dispose of it. It is not lawful for the husband to take anything from her without her wish.

However, she should not leave her job just because she is concerned about her husband’s covetousness, unless there is a valid reason under the Sharee‘ah (Islamic law) that prevents her from work or a consequent hardship because of work. If the wife knows that not helping the husband will result in problems, we advise her to help him out of repelling harm and bringing about benefit. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And do not forget graciousness between you. Indeed Allaah, of whatever you do, is Seeing.} [Quran 2:237]

Allaah Knows best.

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