Q. Between a husband and wife relationship, if a wife is the bread winner or must bring in an income in order to survive (because the husband’s income is not sufficient) is that okay in islam? If the husband admits after nikah that he is unable to take care of a wife, what is left for the wife to do?
A. In Islam, Allah Has made the husband the ‘over looker’, ‘provider’ and ‘caretaker’ of his wife. This is a duty placed upon the husband, and it is a right which the wife has over him. If however, the husband is unable to provide, and the wife takes up the responsibility to be the bread winner, then this is allowed and acceptable in Islam. However, the wife must not be compelled and coerced in doing this. If the husband forces her to work (to provide for him) – then in this case, the wife can request to be separated from him. If she has no problem in fulfilling this task (even when she is forced) and she accepts the task to provide for the husband, then it will be allowed for her to do so.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan