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.

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