Do I have to financially support my wife if she disobeys me?

Question:

Both myself and my wife have lived with our in-laws throughout our marriage because of financial restriction, I am currently on a work and will be away from my wife and daughter for a period of 6 months, we stayed with her mother for the best part of 18 months and my intentions were for her to stay with my family (mother and young sister for 6 months) which would allow us to get our own place the day I got back home. – However my mother in-law was not happy with this prospect and started to cause trouble between me and my wife. Heated exchanges were passed back and forth. – 3 weeks into my trip she says things are not working out and she wants a divorce,

  I have always provided for my family (wife and daughter), I still provided for both until the day she asked for a divorce, now i only provide for my daughter with anything that she requires, monthly groceries, clothes & some money to replenish anything else that she requires over the month, but am I right to assume that I no longer have to financially support my wife who no longer listens to anything I says?

 

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Brother in Islam,

We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing in your marriage.

It must always be remembered that marriage is not a technical partnership just based on just the wife’s rights and the husband’s rights. Rather marriage is based on love and understanding from both spouses. With the different challenges of life, a marriage needs courage and resolution to keep it moving.

We assume you decided to go on work for 6 months with the consent of your wife, and have arranged shelter and other needs of life before leaving her.[1]

In principle, if a wife leaves her husband’s abode without his permission and without a valid reason acceptable in Shari’ah, she is regarded as a Nashiza (disobedient) and disqualifies herself for maintenance from her husband.

However, apart from the legal injunctions of Shari’ah, Islam has laid down some moral instructions for both husband and wife according to which they are treated as life-companions who should not restrict themselves to the legal requirements alone, but should join hands to make mutual life as comfortable and peaceful as possible. They are invited to cooperate with each other in solving their day-to-day problems. If both of them are restricted to such a crude legal relationship only based on each other’s rights, an atmosphere of mutual understanding and bilateral cooperation cannot develop between them.

If your wish is to reconcile with your wife and save the marriage, not financially supporting her may only aggravate her and be more detrimental to the situation.

As such, we advise you to be patient and continue supporting your wife. This may work in your favour.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Arshad Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net

 

[1] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (3/ 203)

(قَوْلُهُ وَلَا يَبْلُغُ مُدَّةَ الْإِيلَاءِ) تَقَدَّمَ عَنْ الْفَتْحِ التَّعْبِيرِ بِقَوْلِهِ وَيَجِبُ أَنْ لَا يَبْلُغَ إلَخْ. وَظَاهِرُهُ أَنَّهُ مَنْقُولٌ، لَكِنْ ذَكَرَ قَبْلَهُ فِي مِقْدَارِ الدَّوْرِ أَنَّهُ لَا يَنْبَغِي أَنْ يُطْلِقَ لَهُ مِقْدَارَ مُدَّةِ الْإِيلَاءِ وَهُوَ أَرْبَعَةُ أَشْهُرٍ، فَهَذَا بَحْثٌ مِنْهُ كَمَا سَيَذْكُرُهُ الشَّارِحُ فَالظَّاهِرُ أَنَّ مَا هُنَا مَبْنِيٌّ عَلَى هَذَا الْبَحْثِ تَأَمَّلْ، ثُمَّ قَوْلُهُ وَهُوَ أَرْبَعَةٌ يُفِيدُ أَنَّ الْمُرَادَ إيلَاءُ الْحُرَّةِ، وَيُؤَيِّدُ ذَلِكَ أَنَّ عُمَرَ – رَضِيَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى عَنْهُ – لَمَّا سَمِعَ فِي اللَّيْلِ امْرَأَةً تَقُولُ: فَوَاَللَّهِ لَوْلَا اللَّهُ تُخْشَى عَوَاقِبُهُ لَزُحْزِحَ مِنْ هَذَا السَّرِيرِ جَوَانِبُهُ فَسَأَلَ عَنْهَا فَإِذَا زَوْجُهَا فِي الْجِهَادِ، فَسَأَلَ بِنْتَه حَفْصَةَ: كَمْ تَصْبِرُ الْمَرْأَةُ عَنْ الرَّجُلِ: فَقَالَتْ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ، فَأَمَرَ أُمَرَاءَ الْأَجْنَادِ أَنْ لَا يَتَخَلَّفَ الْمُتَزَوِّجُ عَنْ أَهْلِهِ أَكْثَرَ مِنْهَا، وَلَوْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي هَذِهِ الْمُدَّةِ زِيَادَةُ مُضَارَّةٍ بِهَا لَمَا شَرَعَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى الْفِرَاقَ بِالْإِيلَاءِ فِيهَا.

(فتح القدير (3/ 435)

وَيَجِبُ أَنْ لَا يَبْلُغَ بِهِ مُدَّةَ الْإِيلَاءِ إلَّا بِرِضَاهَا وَطِيبِ نَفْسِهَا بِهِ