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What are the rights of the spouses to each other?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I have the following 2 questions,

1-a-what are the rights of husband towards wife and what are the rights of wife towards husband?

-b-can a wife make personal decisions with regards to personal property like gold, personal money and pay personal car without asking her husband?

-c-due to various reasons, if she doesn’t trust her husband can she make her own decision personally?

-d-does the husband have the right to stop her from making her decisions even if she doesn’t trust him and even if the husband doesn’t find it right?

2-in a quarrel (problem) between husband and wife, if the brother in laws of husband comes in and starts shouting at the wife, and using abusive language, and the in laws are very old in age, in such situation what should the husband do, just keep quiet and watch what is going on or take her wife’s side? Which side does the husband have to support and for wife, if there is a quarrel between husband and wife, can the wife’s brother interfere in this affair?

Please let me know the reply to the above questions so I can correct any of the mistakes seen here.

Answer

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

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

 

There are two issues to your first query:

1.      A Sharī right

2.      The practical situation

According to Sharīah, every adult individual has an independent right to manage his/her monetary affairs. This right is for males as well as females irrespective of them being married or not.

If a wife has wealth and wishes to deal in her wealth, she is at liberty to do so. She can do whatever she wishes with her wealth. She does not need the consent of anyone, whether it is her husband, father or brother.

After dealing with her wealth, she does not have to report to anyone. This is a Sharī right of an individual which should be respected by everyone. 

As far as the practicality is concerned, Allah Taāla says regarding spouses,

 

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for      people who reflect.

(Qur’ān 30:21)

 

This tranquility, affection, and mercy can only be achieved when the husband and wife are understanding and considerate of each other’s feelings.

In order to maintain a balance in the relationship and create a harmonious and pleasant environment, both spouses have to forego some of their rights. If each one demands his/her rights, the stage will be set for a volatile and hostile relationship.

Human beings are neither perfect nor perfectly matched. The quest for zero defects is neither practical nor possible. Most problems in domestic life begin as minor incidents which become magnified when couples become insensitive and intolerant of each other’s weaknesses.

Nevertheless, it is for the couples to decide what is practical and ideal for the relationship.

In relation to your second query, the in laws of both the spouses should abstain from the despicable act of abusive language towards the other spouse. Kind words go a long way. One should learn to cooperate and tolerate mistakes and shortcomings from their spouses.

Couples should try resolving the matter on their own without involving others with love and affection. If the need arises, have a scholar of Deen or an experienced individual speak to both of you.

Balancing between the family and one’s wife is a challenge which you have to overcome. Giving preference without a Sharī justification to one and leaving the other in an act of injustice.

However, one must reassure one’s wife with so much love and respect that she herself deals with the problem in a calm and intelligent way. Your spouse can endure many annoyances from the in laws as long as your spouse feels that you recognize and appreciate the hardship she is going through for your sake to keep the peace.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Zaid M Shelia,
Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, Illinois (USA)

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
www.daruliftaa.net

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