Q: Can the learned Mufti Saheb kindly provide references from the Qur’an and Hadith, for living expenses in a marriage. Which spouse is responsible for paying specific monthly commitments?
A: Islam is second to none in advocating fairness and justice. In every dimension of a person’s life, one will find Islam advocating the highest degree of justice. As a result of Islam’s unparalleled justice, we see that each spouse is allocated their own responsibilities and duties in their marital life.
It is recorded in the Mubaarak Hadith that when Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) married Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha), Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) advised them regarding the manner in which they should conduct themselves in the nikaah. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) outlined the duties and responsibilities of each spouse, instructing Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) to attend to the duties within the home and Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) to fulfil the responsibilities out of the home.
From this Hadith we understand that each spouse has been allocated their specific duties and responsibilities. The husband’s duty and responsibility is to fulfil the needs and requirements of his wife and family, such as providing them with food, clothing, shelter, etc. He is thus required to leave the home in order to generate an income through which he will be able to fulfil his responsibilities. On the other hand, the wife has been commanded to remain within the confines of the home and not to leave the home except at the time of need, as she has been allocated the duty of tending to the internal affairs of the home. Hence, she should serve her husband, take care of the children and manage the affairs of the home such as cooking, keeping the home tidy, etc. If each spouse acts responsibly and fulfils their respective duties and responsibilities, the home will run smoothly and they will prosper as a happy family. Each spouse will be able to fulfil the rights they owe to Allah Ta’ala and the rights they owe to each other. Furthermore, both parents will be able to focus on instilling Islamic values into the children and giving them the correct upbringing which they require.
Islam does not recognize the modern day concept dubbed “gender equality”. In this alien and unnatural system, undue advantage is taken of the wife in the guise of gender equality. The wife, despite being from the weaker sex, is shamelessly exploited and expected to shoulder both her own responsibilities and the responsibilities of her husband by supplementing his income and contributing to the running expenses of the home. Hence, apart from her own duties, she is burdened with the added responsibility of earning an income to assist the husband in fulfilling his duties. It is generally witnessed that when the spouses do not fulfil their respective roles which have been stipulated for them by the Shari’ah, then problems, complications, misunderstandings, quarrels and disputes arise in the nikaah.
True respect, honour, dignity and happiness in our marital and social lives can only be attained by following the pure and pristine teachings of Islam and the Mubaarak Sunnah of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). If we seek honour and respect elsewhere, we will bring nothing but disgrace and humiliation to ourselves. Hazrat Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu) has emphasized:
إنا كنا أذل قوم فأعزنا الله بالإسلام فمهما نطلب العز بغير ما أعزنا الله به أذلنا الله (حاكم #207)
“We were the most disgraced of people. Allah Ta’ala then gave us honour through Islam. If we ever seek honour in something besides that through which Allah Ta’ala has honoured us (Islam), Allah Ta’ala will disgrace us.”
May Allah Ta’ala bless us with the ability to uphold every command of Shari’ah and adhere to the Mubaarak Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in every facet of our lives. Aameen.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ﴿الأحزاب:٣٣﴾
عن ضمرة بن حبيب قال قضى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على ابنته فاطمة بخدمة البيت وقضى على علي بما كان خارجا من البيت من الخدمة (مصنف ابن أبي شيبة رقم 29677)
عن أبي أمامة عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أنه كان يقول ما استفاد المؤمن بعد تقوى الله خيرا له من زوجة صالحة إن أمرها أطاعته وإن نظر إليها سرته وإن أقسم عليها أبرته وإن غاب عنها نصحته في نفسها وماله (ابن ماجة رقم 1857)
عن عبد الرحمن بن عوف قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إذا صلت المرأة خمسها وصامت شهرها وحفظت فرجها وأطاعت زوجها قيل لها ادخلي من أي أبواب الجنة شئت (مجمع الزوائد رقم 7634)
فروع استأجر امرأته لتخبز له خبزا للأكل لم يجز قال الشامي: قوله ( لم يجز ) لأن هذا العمل من الواجب عليها ديانة لأن النبي قسم الأعمال بين فاطمة وعلي فجعل عمل الداخل على فاطمة وعمل الخارج على علي (رد المحتار 6/62)
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)