Husband sends her money through his mother
Fatwa No: 335989

  • Fatwa Date:4-1-2017 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 6, 1438
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Question

My husband lives in America while I live in pakistan. We have been married for 10 months now. He sends me money every two or three months or when I tell him that I have no more left. He sends the money through his mother and not directly to me. I feel awkward asking his mother for the money. My question is whether Islam says anything regarding him sending money directly to me. Or should I continue accepting money from his mother?

Answer

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

The Sharia made it an obligation on the husband to spend on his wife according to reasonable terms. Allah says (what means): {The duty of feeding and clothing nursing mothers in a reasonable manner is upon the father of the child. No-one should be charged beyond his capacity.} [Quran 2:233]

Besides, ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said to Hind bint ‘Utbah, may Allah be pleased with her (when she came to him and complained that her husband Abu Sufyaan was a miser and did not give her enough for her and her children), “Take what suffices you and your children within what is acceptable.” [Al-Bukhari]

Hence, the husband is obliged to spend on his wife, but it is not mentioned in the Sharia – as far as we know – how he should deliver that money to her, and some scholars of Fiqh stated that if he puts the money in her hands, then this is enough.

Mughni Al-Muhtaaj, a Shaafi'i book, reads, “The expression ‘making her possess (the money)’ is understood to mean that there is offer and acceptance, but this is not what is meant; rather, it is sufficient to deliver the money to her with the intention of doing what he is obliged to do, like all other debts, and this does not need a special wording; it is enough that he puts it (the money) in her hands.” 

The husband should not deliver it to her in a manner that causes her embarrassment. However, we did not come across a text of the scholars of Fiqh about the method that you mentioned here, which is delivering the money to the wife through her mother-in-law, and whether the wife may refrain from accepting it [in this case]. Yes, some scholars of Fiqh stated that it is permissible for her to refrain from accepting it in case it comes from a stranger who donates the money, because of fear of him conferring his favors upon her.

I’aanatu At-Taalibeen, a Shaafi'i Fiqh reference, reads, “If a stranger volunteers to give the wife her maintenance money, then she is not obliged to accept it because he would be conferring a favor upon her. But if this man gives it to her husband and the latter gives it to her [his wife], then she is obliged to accept it as there is no conferring of favors...

Also, there is no conferring of favors in your case because it is not your mother-in-law who is donating the money to you [as it was only sent to her by your husband to give it to you]. Therefore, it appears – and Allah knows best – that you are not entitled to refrain from accepting it, and your husband clears himself of his obligation to spend on you by sending the money through his mother.

In any case, there is no harm if you and your husband try to reach an understanding about the matter, and he should be thoughtful about it. Rather, if his mother orders him to give you the money through her, then he is not obliged to obey her. Obedience to the parents is restricted to what benefits them while there is no harm on the child, as has been stated by the scholars, and we have explained this in fatwa 131695.

Allah knows best.

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