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Nafaqah for a Divorced Wife

Answered by: Maulana Mohammed Dilwar Hussain

Question:

I would like to ask what the Shariah says regarding a wife’s right upon divorce in terms of finances. The husband bought a house on qardh/loan, the wife was helping him towards that. Can she ask for that money back?

The money she put towards the expenditure, such as food and shopping, can she ask for that back? As it was the husband’s right to pay for it.

In terms of electrical appliances, can she ask for the money back, as the husband now owns them and lives in the house?

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

Answer:

During the period of Iddah, the divorced wife will continue to receive her regular rate of Nafaqah.

Allāh Ta’ālā says, “

Provide to them (the divorced women) residence where you reside according to your means, and do not harm them in order to oppress them. And if they are pregnant, spend on them till they give birth to their child. Then if they suckle the child for you, give them their payment, and consult each other (for determining the payment) with fairness, and if you are in discord between yourselves, then another woman may suckle him.” [Surah al Talaq, 65:6] [1]

However, after that period concludes, she will not be liable to receive any other payments of Nafaqah except for that which is required to support his children unless she is pregnant. Then her Nafaqah will continue until she gives birth.

Nafaqah constitutes providing clothing, food and shelter. The children will be liable to receive these from the father or the monetary equivalent thereof until they reach an age where they are now able to earn for themselves (i.e., puberty). If the child has some sort of disability restricting his ability to work, then this Nafaqah payment will carry on. [Radd ul Muhtaar, vol 5 pg 278] [2]

Allāh Ta’ālā says, that a wealthy man should spend according to his means and anyone with limited wealth should spend whatever Allāh has given to him.

“Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted – let him spend from what Allāh has given him. Allāh does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allāh will bring about, after hardship, ease.” [Surah Talaq, 65:7] [3]

This is what the Shari’ah has stipulated for the divorced wife. In regards to what she may have contributed towards the family home, this is assumed that it was done so of her own accord. As such, she will not be entitled to any reimbursement for what she voluntarily spent on the family. This attitude towards seeking reimbursements and half the share of the husband’s wealth at the time of divorce is not an Islamic principle. Rather it is a western, non-Muslim attitude which diminishes the laws of Shari’ah in favour of man-made laws. Thus, such behaviour should be avoided.

For the purpose of harmony and ease of separation, you may consider reimbursing your divorced wife for what she has spent. However, you will not be compelled to do so.

Only Allāh knows best.

Written by Maulana Mohammed Dilwar Hussain

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

}[1] أَسۡكِنُوهُنَّ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ سَكَنتُم مِّن وُجۡدِكُمۡ وَلَا تُضَآرُّوهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُواْ عَلَيۡهِنَّۚ وَإِن كُنَّ أُوْلَٰتِ حَمۡل فَأَنفِقُواْ عَلَيۡهِنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَضَعۡنَ حَمۡلَهُنَّۚ فَإِنۡ أَرۡضَعۡنَ لَكُمۡ فَـَٔاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ وَأۡتَمِرُواْ بَيۡنَكُم بِمَعۡرُوف وَإِن تَعَاسَرۡتُمۡ فَسَتُرۡضِعُ لَهُۥٓ أُخۡرَىٰ {

[2]وشرعا: (هي الطعام والكسوة والسكنى) وعرفا: (ونفقة الغير تجب على الغير بأسباب الثلاثة: زوجية وقرابة وملك) بدأ بالأول لمناسبة ما مر أو لأنها أصل الولد (فتجب للزوجة) بنكاح صحيح

}[3] لِيُنفِقۡ ذُو سَعَة مِّن سَعَتِهِۦۖ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيۡهِ رِزۡقُهُۥ فَلۡيُنفِقۡ مِمَّآ ءَاتَىٰهُ ٱللَّهُۚ لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا مَآ ءَاتَىٰهَاۚ سَيَجۡعَلُ ٱللَّهُ بَعۡدَ عُسۡر يُسۡرا {

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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