Wife spending on her jobless husband and her child
Fatwa No: 92004

  • Fatwa Date:30-4-2006 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 2, 1427
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In the name of Allaah, the most Gracious the most Merciful whom I love more than anything in our entire creation - it pains me terribly to write this question but I feel I must; I am married to a lovely Muslim man, he had filled every need except I have been the sole bread winner of our family since we got married 14 years ago. For the first five years I waited patiently for him to come home and tell me he found a job but he never did. I finally gave up and gave my sorrows to Allah. I just wanted his support. Alhamduallah, I went from a small office clerk to a very successful position earning 3 times a salary of one person. When our son was born he told me he would take care of him and he has done so but now after 3 years I feel obligated to put him in Nursery to relieve his stress, our son is a not an easy child he demands a lot of attention but still when I hear he is stressed what about the last 14 years of me supporting our family? When I hear of Muslim women not having to work it hurts me but still I am grateful for everything and I know being patient you must not grumble. I converted to Islam when we got married, I love Islam, I love my husband but it's not about the cash it's about him "trying" to help out. Funda-mentally it's the principal. If the only job available was to stack shelves I would do it in a heart beat. I just want to know how am I supposed to feel. If you tell me, let it be, I will let it be and even if you tell me to say something I probably wouldn't to save his feel-ings. If my parents found out that he's never supported me they would go crazy, it's enough that I married a Muslim and converted (they are Sikh). I just need consultation. If it's charity to have to support a family then I'll be so happy to do my duty I just want to be put at peace with myself and put this behind me and prepare for the next life. Please respond to me, may Allaah have mercy on us and grant us peace-from Him we come and to Him we shall return.








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.




Thank you very much for your great patience and wisdom, and this is how a believing woman should be.




No doubt, Allaah has made bearing all the expenditure of the wife and children incumbent on a husband. Allaah Says (which means):  {Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.}[Quran 4:34]. Islamic legislation makes men in charge of women since they are responsible to provide for them. So, a husband must make all efforts to provide livelihood for his family. He should not stay jobless depending on his wife who becomes compelled to work in order to help him. If he can not fulfill his original responsibility, at least he has to help his wife where she needs his help in housework and not getting annoyed by it, because in principle she is not responsible to spend on herself, her family and husband. See the Fataawa 88121 and 86646.




We entrust you to be more patient, to discuss the matter with your husband frankly and settle the matters with wisdom to avoid hurting his feelings, and we are sure that you are wise enough to handle the situation.




Finally we draw your attention to two important matters:
1- Spending on one's husband and children is among the greatest forms of worship since it is a charity and keeping ties of kinship. The evidence for this is the narration of Zaynab, the wife of Abdullaah bin Mas'ood  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them in which she said: "O Prophet of Allaah! Today you ordered people to give alms and I had an ornament and intended to give it as alms, but Ibn Mas'ood said that he and his children deserved it more than anybody else'. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: "Ibn Mas'ood had spoken the truth. Your husband and your children have more right to it than anybody else." [Al Bukhari and Muslim]




2- Islam does not prohibit a woman from working if she is in need of it, provided she abides by the rulings of Islam such as covering herself with the proper Hijab, not mixing with opposite sex etc. See the Fatwa 82399 about the conditions for the permissibility for a woman to work.




Allaah Knows best.

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