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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Husband neglecting his wife’s rights

Question 10: I am a Muslim woman from Pakistan. I am twenty-seven years old, and I have a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. I married two years ago, and I do not have any children. I have been living with my motherin Saudi Arabia since 1394 A.H., except for the years of my university study that I spent outside Saudi Arabia. My mother is divorced and lives with her father. I met my husband while studying in college. He is a graduate of the same Faculty of Medicine where I graduated in Pakistan. We got married when he was in the intern year, which fresh graduate doctors should pass by working in a certified hospital in return for no salary. My husband did not have the financial ability to sustain me and provide me with a suitable home, as he had neither a separate home nor a permanent source of living, so I decided to return to Saudi Arabia to live with my mother, after taking my husband’s permission. We hoped to find a job for my husband in Saudi Arabia after finishing his internship, so that we could live together, but things did not work out as we had planned, and we failed. My husband could not enter Saudi Arabia to get a job there. Moreover, he did not exert any efforts to get a job in Pakistan to sustain himself; even the temporary jobs he managed to get he left to search for other ones.A year ago, he decided not to search for a job anymore, and he preferred to stay at home and continue his postgraduate studies. He has taken the exam three times until now, but he failed every time. He neither has a job to sustain himself, nor has he passed the exam to continue his postgraduate studies, and he is unable to meet his obligations towards me as his wife.

Since our marriage, he has borrowed 80,000 Pakistani rupees from me, with the intention of repaying it when he can. However, he sent me a letter recently telling me that he cannot repay the debt, which he has promised me to repay, at all.

My husband’s family never consented to our marriage. During the first days of our marriage, a fight took place between my husband and his brother, and they used knives. My husband was stabbed by his brother and was on the verge of death. However, he told me that this fight had nothing to do with our marriage, but it had to do with family affairs. Then, my mother-in-law decided to dismiss my husband from the house. The family members have, finally, reunited,but they do not accept me as their daughter-in-law until this moment.

My husband’s financial circumstances do not allow him to provide me with Nafaqah (obligatory financial support); he does not care about my financial, physical, and emotional needs; in addition to his great dependence on me in financial matters. I have also figured out that he is an irresponsible man.

My husband’s family is violent, harsh, and irritable. They are also dissatisfied with my marriage to their son, which means that living with this family might cause me harm and jeopardize my safety. There is no guarantee that they will not harm me if I move to live with them, as my husband does not have a separate house. I have recently felt deep hatred for my husband for the previous reasons, which caused me to ask him for Talaq (divorce pronounced by a husband) many times, but he refused.

Your Eminence, my problem can be summed up in the following points:

First, my husband has not been able to provide me with Nafaqah since our marriage, which was two years ago.

Second, there is no hope that my husband gets a job in the near future to provide a means of living for me.

Third, my safety will be jeopardized if I live with my husband’s family in the same house.

Fourth, my family’s conditions force me to live with my mother who has been divorced since 1408 A.H.; she has two other daughters; and she does not receive any financial support from my father.

Fifth, I have no source of living to sustain me, as I have not got a job yet.

Sixth, the years pass quickly, and I am a woman who wants to have a family, children, and a husband that supports me.

Seventh, I now hate my husband to the extent that I cannot fulfill my duties towards him.

Eighth, can I ask for Talaq from my husband?

Ninth, what is the most suitable attitude my husband should take concerning my request for Talaaq? Al-salaamu `alaykum warahmatullaah wabarakaatuh (May Allaah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, you have right to ask for Talaaq, and you are not committing a sin for this… read more here.