A wife asking for money to return to her husband’s house

Question 61: A dispute arose between a wife and her husband. The wife took her possessions and went to her father’s house. She refuses to return to her husband’s house unless he buys her this and that. Is the husband obligated to do what she wants? What is the ruling on such an act?

Answer: The basic principle of Islaamic marriage is that each partner has to treat the other kindly. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …and live with them honourably. He (Exalted be He) also says: And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) according to what is reasonable A wife is not permitted to violate the rights of obedience and kind treatment that the husband has over her, and which are entailed by the marriage contract, unless she has a Shar`ee (Islaamically lawful) reason that allows her to do so. When she disobeys her husband with no Shar`ee reason and stipulates that he should buy her this and that in order for her to return, she is sinful... read more here.

Woman lying to her husband

Question 60: A woman had a debt that she did not repay when she was young. When she married and her circumstances changed, she took a gold ring and watch that she had owned prior to marriage and sold them to repay her debt. She did not tell her husband the truth; she said that she had lost them. What is the legal ruling on this and what is the solution?

Answer: If the reality is as mentioned, she did nothing wrong in selling her possessions to repay her debt. There is no blame on her for doing that, as it was narrated by Muslim in his “Saheeh (Book of Authentic Hadeeth)”, on the authority of Umm Kulthum bint ‘Uqqbah, who said... read more here.

Husband disliking his wife

Question 59: I am a twenty-three year old young man. Two years ago, I married the daughter of my maternal aunt. I married her although I did not love her. It was my mother’s talk about her good manners that made me accept her as a wife. After marriage, I could not love her. I tried to force myself to love her but in vain. My place of work is far from my mother’s home and my wife lives with my mother. Now I only see them once in a year because I cannot stand staying with my wife whom I do not love. It should be noted that I have a daughter from her and my daughter loves me and I love her very much.

However, I no longer want her mother as a wife. We are married because as I mentioned previously it was my mother’s will and because I was young at that time and wanted to marry before my peers. I did not think of the future of our relationship. My wife is an honest and sensible woman, but I cannot love her.

Your Eminence, I need an urgent solution. What should I do? If I divorce her, my mother will be angry with me. I also fear that she may suffer after me and may not find another husband.

As I mentioned, she is my cousin and I do not want her to suffer. I also fear for my poor daughter. Should I endure life with her and marry another wife? It should be noted that I prefer to stay at my workplace, lest I do something that may upset my mother, especially as regards my wife, her niece. Again, if I marry another wife, I may not be fair to them as I do not love my first wife.

Answer: A husband should treat his wife kindly. If he hates her, he may divorce her one time. He may change his mind later on and go back to her. Also, it is permissible for you to marry a second wife, but it is obligatory that you observe equity between them as regards sustenance, housing, and spending the nights with them unless one of the wives gives up her right in any of these matters in which case there will be no blame on you... read more here.

Is it lawful for a woman to raise her voice over that of her husband?

Question 58: Is it permissible for a woman to raise her voice over that of her husband?

Answer: It is not permissible for either a husband or a wife to cause any harm to each another when they have no right to do so, whether by raising their voices or anything else... read more here.

A woman raising her voice over that of her husband

Question 57: What is the ruling on a wife who raises her voice over that of her husband when talking to him?

Answer: Married couples should speak to each other in a way that brings them closer and strengthens their relationship. Each of them should also avoid shouting at the other or addressing the other in a way they hate. Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: …and live with them honourably. A wife should not shout at her husband, as Allaah (Glorified be He) says: And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) according to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. However, a husband has to act wisely so arguments do not develop... read more here.

A psychologically ill wife who curses a lot

Question 56: I have a wife who gave birth to four children; the eldest is six years old and the youngest is a baby, and now she is pregnant. She is inflicted with a nerve illness and foolishness and has become rude to the extent that she curses me, my parents, and my children. I commanded her to observe Sawm (Fast) for three days, pay Sadaqah (voluntary charity), and make Tawbah (repentance to Allaah). I also abandoned her in bed, but she has not stopped this bad habit. Whenever she gets sick, she curses. She does not feel that she is committing a sin regardless of the advice and guidance I offer her. I suffer a lot with her and endure her for the sake of my children. However, I am no longer able to bear her. Could you kindly advise me. What should I do with her in this adversity?

Answer: We advise you and your children to treat her kindly; do not be bad with her or irritate her, advise her wisely with good manners, meet her bad sayings with good ones, explain to her that cursing is one of the major sins and that its evil will return against the curser if the cursed does not deserve it. May Allaah guide her to give up cursing and other misdeeds... read more here.

What is the consequence of spouses cursing one another?

Question 55: What is the consequence if a man curses his wife or a wife curses her husband? Do they become forbidden to each other in regard to marriage?

Answer: Neither of them will become forbidden to the other as a result of cursing and it does not result in divorce. However, his cursing her or her cursing him is a major sin and it is obligatory to make Tawbah (repentance to Allaah) and ask Allaah for forgiveness for what they have done. They also have to ask each other’s forgiveness for cursing... read more here.

What is the ruling on cursing the wife?

Question 54: A wife says that she argues a lot with her husband, and he may curse her more than five times. What is the ruling on this? May Allaah reward you good.

Answer: It is not permissible for a Muslim to curse his wife or any other Muslim, for the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, Cursing a believer is as (sinful as) killing them.” He (peace be upon him) also said, Reviling a Muslim is Fisq (flagrant violation of Islaamic law) and fighting against them is (tantamount to) Kufr (disbelief). However, the wife is not considered unlawful to the husband as a result... read more here.

What is the ruling on a person who sends Satan’s curse on his wife?

Question 53: What is the ruling on a person who sends Satan’s curse on his wife? Please advise, may Allaah reward you best.

Answer: He is considered a sinner and has to make Tawbah (repentance to Allaah) and ask his wife to forgive him. However, she does not become unlawful for him... read more here.

Wife seeking her husband’s forgiveness for her mistakes

Question 52: My father consulted my mother and bought seven goats for milk. My mother is the first lady of the house, taking care of everything in it. She was also responsible for feeding and giving water to the goats we raise, as part of her management of the entire house affairs. She was keen not to let the goats suffer hunger so that she may not become liable because of this. She sometimes preferred that another lady of the household, including her daughters and her three step-daughters, do these tasks on her behalf, but she did not order any of them to do so. One day in Ramadaan, we did not have Suhur (pre-dawn meal before the Fast) for loss of appetite, and since my mother suffers non-chronic asthma she got angry. Also, the goats entered some rooms of the house that contained our belongings. My mother got so angry because of what the goats did and due to the uncooperative attitude of some family members.

As a result, my mother cursed the goats and the person who brought them. Then, she invoked curses upon herself if she were to look after these goats or feed them again. All these things took place under the influence of the pricks of hunger due to fasting. On the following day, she retracted her saying and resumed feeding, watering and taking care of the goats out of fear of Allaah. My father was also angry with my mother when he heard her cursing. He deserted her and remained alone in one corner of the house because he thought that it was no longer suitable to live with her after the curses she invoked.

We are a large family, and it is difficult for us to experience disputes between our parents and my father’s desertion of my mother. I sold some of the goats and my father left their price with me, and the rest of the goats are still available in the house. Your Eminence, it is too difficult for us to see disputes between my parents. My father’s isolation caused me to file the case to your Eminence immediately through the head of Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) in Banu `Amr through Abha. He is the only person whom I informed about the case, and I hope that my papers will be submitted and returned to me through him. Do any of my parents incur anything in this story? We want to settle this dispute. May Allaah keep you doing righteous deeds.

Answer: If the case is as you have mentioned, it is obligatory on your mother to seek forgiveness from Allaah and repent to Him from the curses she invoked. She must ask pardon of your father. After that, there is nothing due on her, whether the goats remained in your house or were sold. There would be no harm on her if she feeds them later. We advise her to reunite with your father and behave in a good manner. There is no blame on your father to be intimate with your mother, as the invocation of curses does not end their husband-wife relationship, nor does it take the ruling of divorce. Also, there is no blame on keeping the goats, because cursing them by your mother does not cancel your father’s ownership of them... read more here.

Is Qiyaam al-Layl an excuse not to have intimate relations with the husband?

Question 51: Is it permissible for a wife to refuse to be in bed with her husband under the excuse that she observes Qiyaam al-Layl (optional Prayer at night) or says Tasbeeh (saying: “Subhaan Allaah [Glory be to Allaah]”)? Are such things Shar`ee (Islaamically lawful) excuses for her?

Answer: No, they are not Shar`ee excuses for her; as fulfilling the husband’s rights is obligatory while observing Qiyaam-ul-Layl and Tasbeeh are acts of Sunnah (supererogatory acts of worship following the example of the Prophet). The obligatory act of worship prevails over the acts of Sunnah. On the authority of Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said... read more here.

Cursing the husband does not deem him unlawful

Question 50: A slight clash took place between a wife and her husband. As a result, the wife got angry at her husband and started speaking ill of him and cursing him and his parents. The husband is inquiring about the ruling on this act. Does his wife become unlawful for him as a result of her act? We hope that you attend to this issue and answer us. May Allaah reward you the best for serving Islaam and Muslims. May Allaah safeguard you.

Answer: First, it is a major sin to curse a Muslim. It was authentically reported on the authority of Thaabit ibn Al-Dahhaak that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: A person is not bound to fulfill a vow about a thing which they do not possess” , “If somebody curses a believer, their sin will be as if they murdered him” , “If somebody commits suicide with anything, they will be tortured with that very thing on the Day of Resurrection” , “Whoever falsely swears by a religion other than Islaam will be as they profess” and “Whoever accuses a believer of Kufr (disbelief), it is as if they killed him.... read more here.

Wife cursing the husband and children

Question 49: I have a wife who gave birth to eight children. One of my daughters is used to go out without my permission. Once I beat her and her mother reproached her and cursed her and her father and forefathers. Six months later, the girl went out without taking my permission. I beat her again and her mother cursed my mother three times. I was greatly offended by this insult. It is worth mentioning that I helped my wife to memorize two Juzz’ (a 30th of the Qur’aan) as well as the text of Al-Usool Al-Thalaathah (The Three Fundamentals). Nevertheless, this has not deterred her from cursing me and my parents. Please give me your Fatwaa’ (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar).

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, the curses the woman uttered signify disobedience to Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and an offence against the daughter, her father, as well as her grandmother. The wife has to make Tawbah (repentance to Allaah) by regretting the sin, giving it up, and being determined not to commit it again. She should ask for the forgiveness of those whom she cursed. Allaah (Exalted be He) says... read more here.

Patience with the wife and advising her to repent and adopt good morals

Question 48: I have a very good wife who keeps up Salaah (Prayer)and observes Hijaab (veil) in such a perfect manner that she has convinced all the women of our village to observe it. She has many good qualities but she makes some mistakes that I cannot overlook, lest they have a religious ruling. When she is angry, she curses me or my father, or utters things like, “May the Jinn harm you,” “I am not lawful to you”, or “It is not lawful for me to be your wife anymore.” Is it better for me to be patient? Are these words considered a serious violation of our marital duties?

Answer: If your wife is as righteous as you have mentioned, but she is afflicted with a foul mouth, you should tolerate her for the merits she has and advise her to avoid cursing and using foul language. You should urge her to perform Tawbah (repentance to Allaah) and to avoid the reasons that cause her to get angry. Moreover, she must offer Kaffaarah (expiation) for taking a false oath deeming her unlawful to you, but this has no effect on your marital relationship... read more here.

The spouses accusing one another of being non-Muslim

Question 47: Once after breaking my fast in Ramadaan, I beat my son. When my wife asked me who did it, I lied to her and said someone else’s name. So she said to me, “By Allaah! You are a Jew or a Christian.” Then I said to her, “By Allaah! It is you who are a Jew or a Christian.” Since that moment, I have not spoken to her. I need your advice, may Allaah reward you and a blessed month to you.

Answer: You and your wife must perform Tawbah (repentance to Allaah) and ask Him for forgiveness. You should also forgive one another... read more here.

A man mistreating his wife who goes out without his permission

Question 46: I am a 49 years old woman. I did not have the chance to know my father and I got married soon after his death. I have no siblings or relatives other than my cousins. Now I have ten children of which four are married. I suffer from vitiligo (loss of pigmentation) in my hands and feet since an early age and my husband always mocks me because of this disease since the day we married 22 years ago. Whenever he is angry with me, he says he is the only one who has endured me. At other times, he supplicates to Allaah against me saying, “May Allaah afflict you more and more”. He always threatens to marry another woman, and I do not object. Many times he goes out without saying where he is going. When he returns and I tell him that he is destroying himself and his children, he shouts saying that none will destroy the children but me. Sometimes he calls on me and when I come to him he tells me to go away. When I ask him to discipline the children, he yells at them and tells them that he does not want to see them.

Moreover, after my stepfather has died, sometimes my mother comes to visit me.When he sees us sitting, he does not even greet her; he does not respect her old age. She gets upset when I do not visit her, but he prevents me from going to her. When she comes over, he tells me to send her home, although she has no one but me. Occasionally, I go to her without his knowledge when he is at the Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer. I do not know whom I should obey, my mother or my husband. Sometimes, I go to the neighbors to stay for a while because I am angry at him or at my children because the neighbors are kind. Am I a sinner for going there? I do not want to live with him anymore, but if I leave him I will have to leave my children and I cannot do that. Would you kindly advise me? May Allaah reward you good.

Answer: Firstly, You and your husband should treat one another with kindness and speak and behave politely. Secondly, each one of you should maintain the rights of the other and fulfill all mutual obligations. Both of you should disregard the minor mistakes of one another in order to overcome your problems and maintain a stable life. Thirdly, a wife should not leave the house of her husband except with his permission. If he prevents her from maintaining ties of kinship, there is no harm on her but he will bear the sin for preventing her... read more here.

A wife should strive hard to obey her husband

Question 45: I got married two years ago and I am still a student. I have been living with my family since then. I gave birth to a baby. However, I sometimes feel that I hate my husband and I keep telling myself that I should not and will not think this way, but I always return to the same idea, then regret afterwards, but to no avail. My question is: What should I do with my husband? It should be mentioned that he does not annoy me in any way, except if I am the one who makes the first move.

Answer: You should fear Allaah (Exalted be He), strive against yourself, and be a good companion to your husband. You should also guard his honor, money, and children, and fulfill all his duties. In order to do this, you should first seek Allaah’s Support, and then be patient, observe Salaah (Prayer), recite the Qur’aan, and say Adkaar (invocations and remembrances said at certain times on a regular basis) that are authentically reported from the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him)... read more here.

Advising a wife when she makes a mistake

Question 44: I have not found any comfort with my wife since I married her. She disagrees frequently and wants to go visit her family every day and she listens to what they say. When I bring her food, she prepares it reluctantly, and after preparing it, she tells me that she will go to sleep. Is this correct or not?

Answer: You should advise her and explain to her the marital rights she owes you. Treat her kindly and try to work with her family in this matter. If you fulfill all her rights over you, hopefully she will remedy her attitude and discharge her duties towards you. And it is Allaah Whose Help is sought... read more here.

Abstaining from having intimate relations with the husband due to the wife’s illness

Question 43: A woman has suffered from a psychological disorder since she was 11. It seems as if she is possessed by a Jinn (creatures created from fire). It is noteworthy that with Allaah’s Grace she is abiding by her Deen (Islaamic faith). She is married and has children, but now she keeps away from her husband and prevents him from having intercourse with her, because she always feels as if another man is having intercourse with her. She claims that a man has written some Aayaat (Qur’aanic verse) of Qur’aan for her and she has put them in a Mus-haf under her pillow. But she continues to suffer from this and adds that this happens to her in her dreams while sleeping at night. This is a severe problem that only Allaah knows how to overcome.

First: Is there any sin upon her?

Second: Is there any medical or Islaamic cure for this disease? Please advise, may Allaah reward you the best!

Answer: First: There is no sin upon her for what she sees in her dreams; having sexual intercourse with a man as a husband and wife, for the sleeper is not to be held responsible in Sharee`ah (Islaamic law). Yet, if she observes any discharge of Maniy (spermatic fluid); she should perform Ghusl (ceremonial bath). She should also enable her husband to have a sexual intercourse with her as much as she can but if she cannot or her husband waives his right to that; there is no sin upon her... read more here.

Husband misusing his wife’s obligation to obey him

Question 42: What is the Islaamic ruling on Bayt Al-Taa`ah (House of Obedience; a law that requires a wife to return to her husband’s house and to obey him) especially that some husbands make bad use of this law?

Answer: The basic rule states that the relationship between the spouses shall be based on kind treatment and honor, as Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …and live with them honourably. He (Glorified be He) also says: And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) according to what is reasonable Each of the spouses has rights on the other that must be fulfilled. It is not permissible for either of them to harm the other in any way... read more here.

Obligation of good companionship among spouses

Question 41: My father is sixty five years old and my mother is of the same age. He abuses her verbally, and she leaves the house without his permission. As her children have grown up and gotten married, she has been living with them for five years now. She asks for Talaaq (divorce initiated by a husband), but my father refuses to divorce her, and he does not sustain her. What are the duties on both of them? Bear in mind that both of them are well-off. What is your advice for them? I am their eldest son, and I always advise them to forgive each other. May Allaah guide you to the benefit of Muslims.

Answer: Married couples should live together in kindness and treat each other well. It is not permissible for a husband to abuse his wife verbally, and it is not permissible for her to leave the house without his permission. Each one of them should fear Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) as He should be feared and observe His Boundaries... read more here.

Wife wishing to cut her hair although her husband refuses

Question 40: My sister wanted to cut her hair and told her husband, but he refuses to let her; what is your opinion on this?

Answer: It is obligatory on a woman to obey her husband in what is Ma‘roof (that which is judged as good, beneficial, or fitting by Islaamic law and Muslims of sound intellect), and not cutting her hair is obligatory on her out of obedience to her husband, as this is part of that which is Ma‘roof... read more here.

Wife abstaining from doing housework

Question 39: I have a wife and five children including infants and toddlers. My wife does not fulfill her household and marital duties nor takes care of the cleanliness of my children. She does not care about me and does not accept my advice or requests. For instance, she does not obey me when I call her to bed, and she leaves the house indifferently without my permission. Sometimes I return home and find the children crying, while she is not with them. I do not know where she goes when she is out. I wish she could do some household chores, such as cooking, making me tea or coffee, and doing the laundry, but she does not do any of these things; even worse she has aggressive manners. What should I do with this woman? Some people have suggested something that would cure her and make her obedient to me. Is this cure permissible? What should I do with this wife? May Allaah reward you best and guide you to goodness in this life and the Hereafter.

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, you should advise her and explain to her the rights of the husband on his wife and the rights of the children on their mother and you should do this in a kind and gentle way. Tell her that leaving her husband’s house without his permission is not permissible. Instruct her to fulfill her due rights towards you with peace and love, and fulfill her rights. Ask her parents and Mahrams (unmarriageable relatives) to help you... read more here.

Taking the husband’s permission to offer Tahajjud

Question 38: Is it permissible for a woman to offer Qiyaam-ul-Layl (optional Prayer at night) and Tahajjud (optional late night Prayer) without her husband’s permission when he is present? Bear in mind that she only offers themafter her husband is asleep. She also took his permission once to observe supererogatory Sawm (fasting), and he agreed and told her she can perform any act of religious devotion. Should she take his permission again, or is the first time enough?

Answer: Firstly, a woman should keep up Qiyaam-ul-Layl and encourage her husband to keep it up. It is related by Aboo Daawood and Al-Nasaa’ee that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, May Allaah show mercy to a man who wakes up at night, offers Prayers, and wakes his wife up. And if she refuses to wake up, he sprinkles water on her face. May Allaah show mercy to a woman who wakes up at night, offers Prayers, and wakes her husband up. And if he refuses to wake up, she sprinkles water on his face.”... read more here.

Abstaining from having sexual intercourse with drunken husband

Question 37: Is it permissible for a wife to desert her drunken husband’s marital bed and refuse him when he wants her, as she cannot bear his drunkenness? Is she considered a sinner for refusing to sleep with him and is cursed by the angels until morning as stated in the Hadeeth?

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, she is not considered a sinner. She must advise him and if he performs Tawbah (repentance to Allaah), praise be to Allaah. However, if he refuses and persists in committing this evil, she may ask for Talaaq (divorce initiated by a husband) to escape this Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islaamic law and Muslims of sound intellect). If he refuses to divorce her, she may refer the matter to the court... read more here.

Optional night Prayer as a barrier to the spouses having sexual intercourse

Question 36: My husband asks me to stay up at night with him, but I refuse to do this as I like to maintain Qiyaam-ul-Layl (optional Prayer at night), which is why I tend to sleep early. Is this counted as an act of disobedience to my husband?

Answer: You should obey your husband in Ma`roof (that which is judged as good, beneficial, or fitting by Islaamic law and Muslims of sound intellect), but if he asks you to stay up at night with him in a way that prevents you from offering Fajr prayer (Dawn prayer) or asks you to watch whatever is Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islaamic law and Muslims of sound intellect), in this case you should not obey him. Otherwise, he should be obeyed in anything else even if this results in missing Qiyaam-ul-Layl, for it is a Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet), but obeying the husband is an obligation... read more here.

Woman deserting her husband’s bed

Question 35: Is it permissible for a wife to refuse having sexual intercourse with her husband when he desires it? What is the ruling if she refuses merely out of stubbornness?

Answer: It is not permissible for a wife to disobey her husband when he wishes to be intimate with her except for a Shar`ee (Islaamically lawful) reason, such as menstruation. It is related in the Two Saheeh (authentic) Books of Hadeeth (i.e. Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) on the authority of Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said... read more here.

Husband dying while being angry with his wife

Question 34: I am now an old woman who enjoyed a happy marital life. This happy life was the envy of all the people around us. An evil eye caused our relationship to deteriorate. In recent years, my feelings towards my husband changed; I could not bear speaking or sitting with him. Furthermore, due to my suffering from diabetes and blood pressure I became sensitive to anything my husband did. The clashes between us ended with an experience of overwhelming anger. My husband died on 25/2/1414 A.H. while he was angry with me. I am worried about this as I could not fulfill the rights he had over me. That is why I enquire about whether a Kaffaarah (expiation) is required or not. I have deep regret and want to expiate. Please answer me, may Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: Every right each partner has over the other is great and must be fulfilled. With regards to what you did with your husband, if it was done unwillingly, hopefully, you are not sinful. If it was intentional, you would be accountable and you have to perform Tawbah (repentance to Allaah), ask Allaah’s forgiveness, and make Du`aa’ (supplication) frequently for your husband... read more here.

Is wife responsible for doing housework like cooking, washing, cleaning and so on?

Question 33: What is the ruling on a woman doing housework, such as cleaning and washing? Is she considered a sinner if she neglects it? Is it one of her duties towards her husband to cook for him? Can a husband prevent his wife from buying whatever she wants with her money if she has enough accessories and other luxurious things? Her husband provides her food, clothing,and shelter, but she does not want the clothes her husband buys for her; she wants to buy expensive clothes, accessories and luxurious things for herself and her son. She buys all this from her own money, but her husband does not agree to this and does not buy her most of the accessories that she wants. As the Nafaqah (obligatory financial support) is obligatory on a husband, can he prevent his wife from buying anything for the house with her own money?

Please suggest for me some useful books or publications related to marital life, a wife’s rights, and also child rearing, whether issued by the Committee or others. Do not forget to include information on their prices and where I can purchase them. Please provide me with a detailed reply, as I am a common man and I need to know everything in detail related to marriage and raising children.

Answer: Firstly, the ruling on a wife doing housework, such as cooking, washing, cleaning and so on differs according to the social class, customs and traditions of each society. 

Secondly, a husband cannot prevent his wife from buying foods and clothes with her own money, unless she is a spendthrift or buys something prohibited. In this case, he should prevent her from wasting her money or buying prohibited things and should be firm about that... read more here.

Obeying the husband in Ma`roof

Question 32: I wish to know about the following:

1- My husband follows the Qur’aan and the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) and urges me and others to adhere to the Sunnah, but I do not listen to him or follow him.

2- What is the ruling on going out in his absence and without his permission to visit my family and relatives?

3- Were I to obey what my husband says, women would laugh at me and accuse me of fearing him.

Answer: Firstly, if your husband is as you have described, it is obligatory upon whoever hears him to respond to him as long as what he preaches is in accordance with the Book of Allaah (Exalted be He) and Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him). You should be the first to answer his call, obey him with regard to Ma`roof (that which is judged as good, beneficial, or fitting by Islaamic law and Muslims of sound intellect) and thank Allaah for endowing you with such a husband who encourages you to do good. May Allaah guide you to what pleases Him... read more here.

Feeding the cattle against the husband’s request fearing for them

Question 31: My husband breeds cattle, he beseeched me by Allaah not to feed grains to the cattle until he returns. However, he was late and I feared that they might die of hunger, so I fed them the grains despite my husband’s request to not do so; what do I have to do in this case? Answer us, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned, there is no sin on you for doing this, rather you will be rewarded for this In-shaa’-Allaah (if Allaah wills), for it is impermissible for you or your husband to kill the cattle by depriving them of food, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: It is a great sin that a person neglects whom they sustain... read more here.

Wife’s rights and duties

Question 30: What are the Islaamic guidelines I should follow to fulfill the rights of my husband and my household? What is lawful and unlawful with regard to the rights of spouses? Things have become obscure to many people, so that they make things permissible or impermissible without knowledge. My brothers have some religious knowledge and are practicing Muslims, but I feel shy to ask them about anything of this nature.

Answer: It is your duty to maintain good relations with your husband, treat him in a kind and reasonable manner and perform the tasks that wives typically do for their husbands. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) according to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them.... read more here.

What are a wife’s rights over her husband and a husband’s rights over his wife?

Question 29: What are a wife’s rights over her husband and a husband’s rights over his wife?

Answer: The basic rule regarding the mutual rights and duties between spouses is the statement of Allaah (Exalted be He): And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) according to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allaah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said.. read more here.

Paying the first wife in return for marrying another

Question 28: In our village, we follow a tradition which we do not know whether it is a custom or an act of `Ibadah (worship). When a man marries a second wife, he is required – and sometimes even forced – to give his first wife a sum of money, gold or what is equal to one fourth of the Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) of the second wife, in order to please her. What is the ruling on this act? If it is Mashroo` (Islaamically acceptable), what is the evidence?

Answer: If a man marries a second wife, he is not obligated to give anything to his first wife; and no one should force him to do so. However, he may willingly give his first wife whatever amount he wishes as a way of honoring her and maintaining their good relationship... read more here.

Giving the first wife the same amount as the second

Question 27: One of the customs of the people of the southern region is the following: When a man wants to marry a second wife and he fulfills all the requirements of marriage, such as Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom), the household furniture, the clothing needed for the marriage, and all other necessary items, he should fulfill all the same marriage requirements for his first wife or at least he should give her the equivalent of this in money. This is considered two marriages at the same time. These procedures, definitely, cause great exhaustion to the groom and increase his debts. Is this custom a right of the first wife or is it considered a Bidd`ah (innovation in religion) which we should stop as much as we can? This custom is called Wisa’ and the wife’s family, relatives, and neighbors are invited to this occasion, which is considered a renewal of the marriage contract with the first wife. Could you please enlighten me in this regard?

Answer: It is not obligatory for a person desiring to have another wife to do Wisa’, which is paying Mahr for the first wife as he pays for the second wife. However, if he treats his first wife well and gives her what pleases her, there is no harm and this is a manifestation of kind treatment... read more here.

Marrying seeking offspring

Question 26: A man married eight years ago and does not have a child yet. Although he is happy with his wife, the problem is that his mother and older brother are telling him to marry another wife, but he does not want to do this, because his wife is devoted to him and looks after him very well. His mother is asking him to marry again to have children. He went to see a doctor, who told him that his wife needs medical treatment that would cost 1,000 Pounds. He told his mother about this, but she does not agree with it. He is very confused and anxious; because, if he obeys his mother and marries another wife, his first wife will leave him, but if she stays with him he cannot reconcile with his mother or his elder brother or speak to them as they live far away from him. Also, if he marries another wife, he cannot provide for them both. We are hoping to hear from you.

Answer: It is permissible for you to marry another wife if you are able and want to have children, as this will help increase the number of Muslims. Maybe you can come to an agreement with your wife as to what would be best for you both; whether to separate or stay together... read more here.

When to start dividing time among wives and leaving congregational Prayers

Question 25: If a man marries a maiden, he stays with her for a week. If he marries a matron, the said period will be for three days; in either case he does not go out for the congregational Salaah; does this have any basis in the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet)?

Answer: If a man marries a maiden (and he already has other wives), he should stay with her for a week and then divide his time equally between other co-wives. If the new bride is a matron, he stays with her for three days... read more here.

Wife giving up her right to remain married

Question 24: A wife who does not fulfill the marital rights and obligations of her husband, and consequently her husband wants to separate from her, but the wife prefers to stay with him and her two young childrenin return for conceding all her rights on him, in terms of him spending the night with her, fairness, and the other rights a wife is entitled to, and she will not ask him for anything. They have both agreed on this, but is this type of agreement acceptable according to the Book and the Sunnah (whatever was reported from the Prophet)? Is the husband sinful if he carried out this agreement?

Answer: If a wife gives up her marriage rights on her husband in return for staying under his ‘Ismah (the bond of marriage), and they both agree to this, there is no objection to it, because Sawdah (may Allaah be pleased with her) asked the Messenger (peace be upon him) to let her remain in his ‘Ismah in return for giving her night to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), and the Prophet (peace be upon him) agreed to this... read more here.

Wife giving up her right to have sexual intercourse

Question 23: My wife gave birth to twelve sons and daughters. She has been rejecting to have sexual intercourse with me for a year saying that she does not need it any longer. Furthermore, she took Allaah and her children, especially the elder son and daughter, as witnesses that she gave up her right in sexual relationship. My question is: Can her giving up this right free me from the liability? I sent this letter to you for fear of being sinful. I hope you will answer me soon.

Answer: If the reality is as the questioner has mentioned, her giving up this right is valid and the husband is not sinful. She is entitled to give up any of her rights... read more here.

Giving a wife money since the other wives get money from their relatives

Question 22: My daughter is an employee. She gives her mother some of her salary. I do not need money from her but she gives me more than she gives her mother. My second wife has a son who invests in my money and gives some of his income to his mother.My third wife has young children and does not receive money from anyone. When she asks me for money I give her the same as I give to my other wives because I fear being unjust to them. I intend to give her more than my other wives as they have other sources of income. I depend on the Hadith, which states: “You and your property belong to your father.” Is the money my children give to their mothers considered my property and so I can give an equivalent amount to my third wife? Could you please enlighten me in this regard?

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned; that your daughter from the first wife gives some of her salary to her mother and your son from the second wife gives some of his income to his mother, then it is not obligatory for you to give the third wife the same amount as your children give to their mothers... read more here.

Equality between wives in apparent matters

Question 21: A man has two wives; one of them is an employee who receives a monthly salary, which she spends as she wishes without giving him any of it. He pays the expenses of the house, such as electricity and telephone bills. She does not help him with any part of her salary. When she buys a piece of cloth, it is he who pays the dressmaker’s fees. The other wife is a housewife. She does not have a source of income, but she may get some money from her daughters who are employees. However, it is not enough to fulfill all her needs. The husband pays for the electricity and telephone bills.

If he gives his second wife – the housewife – some money to fulfill her needs,does he have to give the other wife the same amount in order to observe equity between them? Does he have to give something to the working wife every time he gives something to his wife who does not work?

We need your advice to tell him. May Allaah grant you success in doing good! May Allaah safeguard you!

Answer: The husband has to be observe equity between his wives with regard to supporting them, providing them with clothing, housing, gifts, spending the nights with them, and other such material rights. It is not permissible for him to give one of them something without giving anything to the other unless she accepts this willingly... read more here.

Nafaqah as the wife’s right unless she gives it up

Question 20: What is the ruling on a man married to two women but providing for only one of them?

Answer: Nafaqah (obligatory financial support) is the wife’s right and it is permissible for her to waive it, if she so wishes. Yet, if she does not waive it, the husband is obligated to financially support and treat his wives on an equal basis, according to his capacity. Otherwise, he will be committing a sin and will come on the Day of Resurrection with one of his sides split. Allaah will expose him before all the people as reported in a Saheeh (authentic) Hadeeth from the Prophet (peace be upon him)... read more here.

Treating wives equally in Nafaqah and so on

Question 19: In 1376 A.H., I married a righteous woman and had eleven sons and a daughter. Two of my children passed away, I ask Allah to reward us in the Hereafter, and the others are still alive, may Allaah keep us all safe and sound. After completing their studies, five of them got married and are now living with their spouses in their houses. In 1405, my wife suffered from a mental and physical disease which made her abstain from having sexual relations with me. I consulted many doctors seeking her recovery from Allaah (Glorified be He) and was satisfied with Allah’s Decree. I did not think of getting married again for two reasons.

First, I hoped she would recover.

Second, to be able to look after my children during their mother’s illness. In 1415, after my children got married and the condition of their mother worsened, my children asked me to marry. I married another righteous woman for I wanted to get married and all my children were grown ups as the youngest is 18 years old. We live in a separate house and we have a daughter. I support both houses with regard to lodging, food, clothes, education, and all the necessary things. I also guide them to the good of their religion and worldly life. After I got married, my first wife’s health improved. Is there any blame on me because I am staying with my second wife, even though my first wife did not object? Please advise, may Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: You should do justice in division between your two wives. It is not permissible for you to do otherwise without the first wife’s permission... read more here.

Drawing lots to decide which wife will accompany the husband on a journey

Question 18:  I married a woman fifteen years ago but she bore me no children, so I married another woman and had children, all praise be to Allaah. They both live in two separate apartments in the same house, and we eat together with no problems. However, my heart is inclined towards my first wife, just like the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) loved `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) more. They are both jealous, although they rarely show it, but I cannot control their hearts. I cannot do what the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do with his wives, and mine are not like the Prophet’s. I believe equity is related to Nafaqah (obligatory financial support), housing and spending the nights with them; whereas the rest of the matters that are not part of Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) cannot be divided equally.

Please answer me concerning the following:

Firstly, am I considered a sinner for not being fair in other matters?

Secondly, if I am committing a sin, what are the criteria of treating wives equally?

Thirdly, when does inclination to one of the wives become permissible?

Fourthly, what is your advice to me and my wives? I had performed Hajj and `Umrah with my first wife this year with our money. Her share of this money was even greater than mine, and my second wife did not object, since she did not have enough money to travel with us. Is it obligatory to take my second wife to perform Hajj as well? Should I spend some nights with my second wife instead of those I spent with my first wife while traveling?

Answer: it is obligatory to treat wives equally in what is controllable, such as Nafaqah, housing, clothing and spending nights with them. However, you are not blamed for the uncontrollable things, such as feelings of love and inclination. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much (to one of them by giving her more of your time and provision) so as to leave the other hanging (i.e. neither divorced nor married). The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to divide his time and provisions equally among his wives and invoke Allaah saying... read more here.

Equity between wives in gifts and so on

Question 17:  If a husband gives privileges to one of his wives, such as giving her a gift, to the exclusion of the others, will it be a deviation from the fair treatment that Allaah (Exalted be He) has imposed upon a husband towards his wives? This gift is a token of gratitude for the wife who always helps her husband in his work; she carries water to him in his work, collects the harvest from the field, and delays her own housework, such as spinning and the like, to help him. On the other hand, her co-wife abstains from helping the husband and only cares about her work, such as spinning and embroidery, and spends the money she gets from this work as she likes. The first wife leaves all this work most of the time to help her husband as much as she can. Should not the husband reward her for her efforts?

Answer: If a man has more than one wife, he should observe equity between them with regard to supporting them, spending the nights with them, and providing them with houses. He is not permitted to favor one of them with a gift for no Shar`ee (Islaamically lawful) reason. In this way, there is no harm to give a gift to the wife who helps him in his work... read more here.

Is it lawful to stop spending the night at a wife’s house due to fearing her?

Question 16: I married twenty-five years ago and my wife and I had children, who are all married by now, except for the youngest son who will marry soon, In-shaa’-Allaah (if Allaah wills). My life with my wife has not been at all happy for a long time as married life should be, I could not even get what a man needs from his wife. After a while, I was able to marry another woman, and, with the Blessings of Allaah, I found comfort and peace of mind. I tried, as far as I was able, to deal equitably with my wives in terms of food and drink, accommodation, and nights. Shortly, after my second marriage, I was in my first wife’s house and she gave me a glass of milk. I did not want to drink it myself, so I took it from her and gave it to one of my children who was sitting next to me. When my wife saw me give the glass to the child, she snatched it from his hand and did not want him to drink it. From this I realized that she had put something in the glass, but I do not know whether it was magic or poison. I became very angry and wanted to hit her, but I stopped myself because my children asked me to leave her for their sake. They said that Allaah would hold her accountable for what she did. After this, I have not slept, eaten, or drunk with her, fearing that she might harm me, but I still meet all her needs in terms of food, drink, and clothing. I have not divorced her, because her parents are no longer alive, she has no brothers, and also for the sake of my children.

My question to Your Eminence is: Am I sinful for not spending the night with her, or eating or drinking with her, bearing in mind that she no longer desires sexual intercourse because she is now around 60 years old.

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, there is nothing wrong in you not spending the night, or drinking or eating with her to protect yourself... read more here.

Inequity between wives and children

Question 15: I am a religious young Muslim man. I treat my mother well, Praise be to Allaah. My father is married to a second wife and he loves her and her children more than us. He gives preference to his children over me and my two sisters. My stepmother is an envious woman. She lives on the ground floor and we live on the first floor of the same house. My father sleeps, eats with the second wife and buys them food but does not do the same for us under the pretence that I receive a perpetual annuity. It is worth mentioning that his other children also receive a perpetual annuity. He has not slept or eaten with us for approximately 13 years. When I see him, I greet and respect him but I do not go to visit him on the ground floor because I do not feel comfortable with my stepmother as she looks at me with her eyes full of hatred. When quarrels erupt between my mother and my stepmother, my father takes the side of my stepmother because he fears her. He does not respect my mother and he quarrels with her due to minor things even though my mother respects him. It should be noted that my mother served his mother for twenty years until the grandmother passed away.

The question now is:

Is there any sin or harm on me if I speak evil about my father in his absence because of the injustice we suffer from him? Is there any sin on my father because of his unfair treatment to us? It is worth mentioning that he barely gives my mother sufficient money for expenses. Is there any sin on me if I do not go to congratulate him on the `Eed Days bearing in mind that he does not come to us on `Eed to congratulate us? What is the Islaamic way which my mother should follow to take her living expenses from him? How should I treat him according to Islaam? It should be taken into consideration that my father comes to see us every two or three days for only 10 minutes a time.

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned, your father has committed a sin with regard to not treating both wives as well as his children equally. However, it is not permissible for you to deal with him in the same manner because you are commanded to establish the ties of kinship with him and not to cut them. Do not defame or disobey him in any way. Advise him nicely and guide him to the correct way with which he should treat his wife and children. Your mother, sisters and you should ask for your rights kindly and nicely... read more here.

Wife dedicating her time to the co-wife

Question 14: My wife makes me angry and we fight a lot. This is why I refuse to share her bed. One day I informed her that I am not satisfied with her actions and she said that she would forgive me for marrying another wife in return for a monthly sum. I agreed and kept supporting her financially. She lives in a separate house with our children and I visit them regularly. If I stay with her, we fight and thus I do not stay there. I live now with my second wife and we have children. Am I to be blamed for this? I want to do justice between them but I can not. Please advise! May Allaah benefit Muslims with your knowledge!

Answer: It is permissible for a woman to give up her night to her co-wife or to her husband as this is her right. It was authentically reported that the mother of believers Sawdah (may Allaah be pleased with her) gave up her (turn) day and night to the mother of believers `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her). However, the husband should do justice between them, if the granter changes her mind... read more here.

Is it lawful to agree with the wife to give up her rights?

Question 13: I have two wives. I have been married to the first one for twenty years, and we have four sons and five daughters. I have been married to the second one for three years, and we have one daughter. The last three years have all been miserable, mostly for my first wife. I have tried so hard to treat both my wives fairly and equally, but I am still failing to do it. Because of the problems, I began to hate my first wife, to the extent that I used to force myself to have sexual relations with her. I am still married to her for the sake of our life together and our children. However, I cannot bear what I am going through. In 22/2/1405 A.H., her brother came and we were all sitting together. After an argument, I told her I could not bear to live with her anymore. I did not have the intention of Talaaq (divorce initiated by a husband). Then I told her brother to discuss with her what she wanted. I meant that she could either have Talaaq or stay and live with her children, on the condition that I will not live with her but I will provide for her housing and food from the Nafaqah (obligatory financial support) I send to my children. However, I cannot bear to live with her, and I decided that this was my last night with her. She replied at once that she would not leave her children. I told her that she did not have to leave, but I was not going to stay with her anymore. Now I am thinking, for the sake of the old days, and out of mercy for our children, to let her stay with the children in their separate house, provide her daily sustenance and clothing twice a year, treat her if she becomes ill, and drive her to her family at least twice a month, in addition to any emergencies. All this is in times of ease; whereas in times of hardship, we will share whatever we have, even if it is one loaf of bread. Since that day, I left her. However, we live in the same house, each of us in a different apartment.

My questions are the following:

Firstly, does this contradict Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) and am I a sinner?

Secondly, have I done well, or will I be considered a wrong-doer or wronged for the rest of my life?

Thirdly, is it better for her to stay with her children – if she chooses to – or to have Talaaq?

Fourthly, am I obligated to divide sustenance between my two wives equally, given that my second wife is the one who will care for me?

Answer: If the situation is as you mentioned, and you both agree to these arrangements, this is permissible and does not contradict Sharee`ah. This is not considered Talaaq. However, if you disagree, you should refer the matter to the court... read more here.

Remarrying although first wife is not negligent

Question 12: I have been married for five years now to a righteous man, all praise be to Allaah. We have four children and we lead a happy life, all praise be to Allaah. However, after I had this fourth girl, my husband married another woman at a time when I was really in need of him. He said that he did not marry her out of any negligence on my part, but to maintain the Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet) of polygamy and to have many children. I could not bear it. When he married this woman, I did nothing but be patient and seek the reward from Allaah (Exalted be He), while I was torn inside. The whole matter affects my health and the baby’s, although many days have passed and no one but Allaah (Exalted be He) knows how I feel. I wishyou could guide me to the right solution that does not involve me committing a sin. Can I ask him to leave me, despite the four children we have? Should I ask him to leave her while she is pregnant? What is ruling on that? Will I bear a sin for asking him to leave her and will he bear a sin if he leaves her? Note that at one point, I visited her in the Kingdom and asked her to leave him, explaining that I cannot bear it. She told me that my reaction is natural and that after a while, I will get used to it and feel nothing. The exact opposite happened, each day my bitterness and pain increase. What should I do?

Answer: If your husband is as you mentioned a righteous man whose company is good and you have some children, we advise you to be patient and remain with your husband, if you have nothing else against him. You have to be good company for him and help him to fulfill his duties and to save your children from separation and its effects. Beware not to say or do anything that offends him or his wife, and if you do, hasten to apologize. If your husband or his other wife offend you in any way, try to be patient and reproach them in a friendly way. May Allaah guide you all to be good companions to one another and help you build this family and raise your children on the Islaamic morals... read more here.