Husband's Rights Are Related to Marital Life Only
Fatwa No: 396184

Question

Should my wife be accountable to me in how much she earns and spends, understand the fact that I have no control over her earnings, and I go extra mile to spend on her and make her happy, please does wife's obedience include accountability in Islam?

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 wife has an independent financial liability and she is neither obliged to inform her husband about how much money she has nor to spend on him.

Concealing the her money from him is not a sin and it is not betrayal because she did not prevent him from any of his rights.

The wife is only asked about her husband's rights upon her and matters related to marital life but not everything.

Among his rights upon her, is that she has to obey him in what is permissible and not go out of the house except with his permission, and keep good marital relations with him and present herself to him if the marriage contract has fulfilled its conditions and is valid. She has to enable him to (sexually) enjoy her unless she has a sound excuse to refuse, and to not authorize anyone whom he hates to enter his home except with his permission. She has to serve him as a wife serves her husband as Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

She (the wife) has to serve her husband in reasonable terms in a like manner that a wife of the same social status serves a husband of the same social status like him.” [End of quote]

These are the rights that the wife is asked about, as regards him knowing how much money she owns, preventing her from keeping ties with her kinship, and to inform him of every little matter about her or her family, then all this does not have anything to do with marital life, and the husband has no right on her about all this.

We advise both spouses first of all to fear Allah, and then to deal with one another with kindness and good terms and not be fussy and very demanding in asking about one’s rights, let alone in matters that are not considered rights.

Marital life should be based on gentleness and tolerence in forgiving each other’s mistakes and shortcomings, as Allah Says (what means): {And live with them in kindness.} [Quran 4:19]

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said when interpreting this verse: “It means, say kind words to them, treat them kindly and make your appearance appealing for them, as much as you can, just as you like the same from them. Allah says in another verse (what means), {And due to them (wives) is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable.}; and the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “The best among you are those who are the best with their wives. Verily, I am the best one among you with my wives.” It was the practice of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) with his wives to be kind, cheerful, playful and compassionate towards them, and spend on them and laugh with them.” [End of quote]

It is perhaps from good marital relationships that the wife should not conceal something from her husband if this does not lead her to any harm or difficulty.

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 364171.

Allah knows best.

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