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Nafaqah for Full-Time Working Wife

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Abdul Muktader


My wife works full time and keeps all her money. I pay for all house bills, food for the house and I give my wife £100 a month. In accordance to this, am I (the husband), fulfilling my financial related obligations towards my wife?

Please can I request a detailed response with Quran and Hadith evidence? Jazak Allah Khair

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


وَعَلَى الْمَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ لَا تُكَلَّفُ نَفْسٌ إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ       

“Upon the father is the mothers’ provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable. No person is charged with more than his capacity.” [2:233]

This verse indicates that expenditure towards the wife should be based on custom and norm. All expenses on maintenance should be met.

The wājib (necessary) expenditure is food, clothing, and residence.

النفقة الواجبة المأكول والملبوس والسكنى (الفتاوى الهندية ج١ ص٥٩٨ ط. دار فكر)

All of the expenditures will be based on both of your circumstances, whether the husband is in a time of financial hardship or at ease.

يعتبر ذلك بحالهما جميعا موسرا كان الزوج أو معسرا

(القدوري ص. ٥٣٩ ط. مكتبة البشرى)

وَإِن كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَىٰ مَيْسَرَةٍ ۚ وَأَن تَصَدَّقُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

“And if someone is in hardship, then [let there be] postponement until [a time of] ease. But if you give [from your right as] charity, then it is better for you, if you only knew.” [2:280]

The definition of hardship and ease is based on custom when it comes to expenditure to the wife.

صرحوا ببيان اليسار والإعسار في نفقة الأقارب ولَم أر من عرفهما في نفقة الزوجة ولعلهم وكلوا ذلك إلى العرف والنظر إلى الحال من التوسع في الإنفاق وعدمه

(رد المحتار ج.٣ ص. ٥٧٥ ط. دار الفكر)

If the husband is struggling and the wife is at ease, then he should give less but in the opposite scenario, he should give more (I.e the amount which is the norm).

فان كان موسرا وهي معسرة فعليه نفقة الموسرين وفِي عكسه نفقة المعسرين

(رد المحتار ج.٣ ص. ٥٧٥ ط. دار الفكر)

If both are at ease then more should be given. If both are struggling then less should be given.

قال في البحر واتفقوا على وجوب النفقة الموسرين إذا كانا موسرين وعلى نفقة المعسرين إذا كانا معسرين

(رد المحتار ج.٣ ص.٧٤ ٥  ط. دار الفكر)

As he is already paying for the food and house bills he has fulfilled those obligations. What is left from the obligations is the clothing which is suitable for her normally in the summer and winter. If this is covered sufficiently by the monthly £100 then the obligation is fulfilled.

الكسوة واجبة عليه بالمعروف بقدر ما يصلح لها عادة صيفا وشتاء

(الفتاوى الهندية ج.١ ص. ٦٠٤ ط. دار الفكر)

Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Abdul Muktader

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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