Husband does not pray, work or support his family
Fatwa No: 89380


I'm really confused. I'm married but my husband seven years did not working due to his laziness. I have to work and raise my children. What he does is only eating and sleeping. I feel frustrated every time I come back from work, what he does is just watching TV. 15 years of marriage I never see him pray, he never even fasting during month of Ramadhaan. My question is do I have to respect him? Am I performing a sin if I reject him when he wants to make love to me? Do I need to ask his permission when I go out or when I want do fasting? I ask him to divorce me but he did not want. My salary is not enough to cover all our expenses but he never understands. He is very hot tempered and always angry. Please help me.


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 is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.


There is no doubt that it is the duty of the husband to provide for his wife and children, as Allaah stated that men are the protectors and maintainers of women. So it is not befitting for a man to remain at home while his wife endeavours to get sustenance.

As regards abandoning prayers and fasting, this puts him in a very serious state. Prayers and fasting are two pillars of Islam, and without them the religion is not complete. Many scholars may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them stated that the person who abandons prayers out of laziness is a non-Muslim. Therefore, we advise you to do your utmost to advise your husband and remind him about the right of Allaah on him, and about his duties towards his wife and children. You may make use of beneficial books and tapes and seek the help of his pious relatives and friends in order to advise him. If he takes heed, all perfect praise be to Allaah, otherwise you may ask for divorce. The  Muslim jurists may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them stated that the wife has the right to ask for divorce if her husband does not meet her needs as regards sustenance (providing her with food, clothing and shelter). Indeed there is no good for you in staying with a man who does not pray or fast even if he does his obligation of providing for you. He does not provide for you, and worse, he does not pray or fast. If he refuses to perform his religious obligations, you can take your matter to Islamic courts or any institution which serves in its place in order to force him to perform his religious obligations.

As regards whether you should respect him or not, a Muslim is required to have good moral standards with all the people, and Allaah says (which means): {And speak good to people (enjoin righteousness and forbid evil.}. As a husband he is the first person towards whom you should have good behaviour, as this could be a reason for him to be guided and perform his obligations, especially that he is easily irritated, as mentioned in the question. So having a good moral standard towards him is an obligation. However, you do not have to seek his permission to go out as he does not want to provide for you. The jurists may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them stated that the right of the husband to be asked permission is dropped when he does not want to provide for his wife, and he has no right to prohibit her from going out because he can do so only if provides for her. Nonetheless, it is not permissible for you to prevent him taking pleasure from you as long as you are agree to remain with him, and therefore it is not permissible for you to fast a voluntary fasting without seeking his permission. 

Allaah knows best.

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