Husband Should Spend On His Wife Sufficiently
Fatwa No: 384544

Question

My husband is a doctor. I have a son and a daughter. My husband earns enough to fulfill our needs properly and is also able to save his earnings. He provides money for necessary needs of the family for example education, food, clothing for our son and daughter etc. But he is really reluctant to pay any money for my clothing or any extra need.I am not saying I want to waste money on expensive clothes or jewelry. But all the time if I need to buy any clothing he is unwilling to pay. He often travels outside our city and at that time gives me little money to run the family for those days. I am unable to face any emergency situations during those period. As a doctor he is very busy and remains most of the time outside house. I might also require money when he is outside home. I asked him to give me some pocket money monthly for these reasons but he refused although he has enogh money. In this case I lied to him about the salary of our maid which is less than what my husband is told. I keep the extra money so that I can use it for my needs and emergency family needs. Is it permissible?

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 husband is Islamically enjoined to maintain good marital relations with his wife as Allah Says (what means): {And live with them in kindness.} [Quran 4:19]

Part of living with them in kindness is that the husband should spend on his wife according to his wellness and according to the women of the same status as his wife in regard to food, clothing and accommodation. If he does this, then he has fulfilled his obligation. He should spend on his wife (and children) appropriately and he should offer enough gifts to her –without extravagance –if he is affluent.

This, indeed, strengthens love and affection between them. But this excess is not an obligation on him; it is just one of the best manners, so the husband is not obliged to do so.

It is the same case with regard to his children: he is obliged to spend on them according to reasonable terms in the same manner as we have mentioned in regard to the wife.

He should spend on them sufficiently if he is affluent.

If the husband is negligent and does not fulfill his obligation, his wife has the right to take money from him if he has money or she can borrow money and he is obliged to repay it [i.e. he is liable for this debt].

Ibn Hajar said in Fat'h al-Baari when explaining the Hadeeth of Hind Bint ‘Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan: “This indicates that if the father is absent or refuses to spend on his young children, the judge authorizes the mother if she is qualified to take from the father's money if possible or to borrow money while her husband will be liable for repaying it, so that she would spend on the young children. Is she entitled to do this independently without the permission of the judge? There are two views based on the difference of opinion about the story of Hind, if the answer of the Prophet was a Fatwa to her, it is permissible for her to take (money) without permission, and if the answer of the Prophet was a ruling (judgement), then it is not permissible for her except with the permission of the judge.” [End of quote]

Therefore, if your husband is absent and he did not leave enough money for you, then you have the right to borrow money and he will be liable for repaying it, and you are entitled to take money without his knowledge if he refuses to repay the loan.

However, taking money in the manner that you mentioned in the question is not permissible as this entails lying and deception, which are both forbidden by the Sharee'ah.

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa