What is obligatory for the husband to spend on his wife?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

What is obligatory for the husband to spend on his wife?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

(Reliance of the Traveller: m11.0-m11.9)

It is obligatory for a man to cover the following types of expenses for his wife:

Food, articles for personal hygiene, medicine, clothing, housing and servants.

First, it is only obligatory for a man to support his wife when she allows him full enjoyment of her person, and does not refuse him intercourse during the night or day. But she is not entitled support from him when she is:

a) rebellious (that she does not obey him, further explained at m10.12, Reliance)

b) traveling without his permission

c) when she is on hajj or `umra

d) when she performs a voluntary fast without his permission


The man is obliged to provide her sustenance day by day. If he is affluent, he must provide her with one liter of the grain of the staple food of the town, or whatever it is that people eat. If he is not affluent, he need only provide 0.51 liters, if he is in between, he provides 0.77 liters. He is responsible for making it into bread. He should also buy what is customarily eaten in the town of meat, oil, dates, cheese, differing with the seasonal foods. He may compensate by giving her money in its place, if she agrees.

Articles for personal hygiene

She is entitled to what she needs for her hair, including oil, shampoo, and a comb of the kind and amount of what is customary in her town. He also must provide what it takes to remove her underarm odor if soap and water doesn’t suffice. And he must pay the price for the water she needs to take her ghusl from janaba (major ritual impurity) or nifas (post-natal bleeding).

Cosmetics and Medicine

The husband is obliged to pay for her medical expenses connected with childbirth.


He must provide for her the type of clothing that is customary in the town. What is obligatory is according to the woman’s size, and according to the weather. She is entitled new clothing at the beginning of each season (whether last season’s clothing wore out or not). In the summer, she is entitled to a head covering, shift, underwear, shoes and a shawl and the same in the winter, plus a cloak quilted with cotton for the cold, or two if she needs it. He must also provide the fuel that she needs to keep warm (with the wood and coal) and the amount that is customary in the town of bedding. He should also give her cooking utensils and implements for eating and drinking. He must give her what she needs at the first of each day and the first of each season.

Housing and servants

She is entitled to the type of housing that other women like her have. If she had servants in her father’s house, she is entitled to have servants.

Finally, these are not recommendations for how much to spend, but rather this is the minimum permissible, which a stingy husband may not lawfully spend less than. Abu Hurayra related that the Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If you spent a dinar in the way of Allah, a dinar in freeing a slave, a dinar that you give in charity to a poor person, and a dinar on your family, you would get the most reward for the one that you spent on your family.” Related by Muslim.

And Allah knows best.

Shazia Ahmad

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