Subsistence Money of Women

[1]

“Lodge them in a section of where you dwell according to your means…” (At-Talaq/ The Divorce 65:6)

“Let a man of wealth spend for the subsistence according to his means. And let him whose means of subsistence are limited spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah burdens no person beyond what He has given him. Allah will soon bring about, after hardship, ease.” (At-Talaq/ The Divorce 65:7)

Spending for the food and lodging of his wife is the duty of the husband. The woman does not have to contribute to these, even though she is rich.

The woman eats and drinks as much as she needs at her husband’s table. She also spends for her clothes by her husband’s means.

If the husband does not admit his wife to his table or harasses her at the table or scrimps food, then the maintenance costs are determined by the court upon wife’s request. If necessary, the woman can get into debt to be paid by her husband, in return for her maintenance costs. For example, she can make her husband pay for the food she buys at the grocery on account. However, this last case requires the order of the court.

Supply of heating, lighting and cleaning are also the responsibilities of men.

Underwear, dress and outfit are included in the maintenance costs besides private bed and essential house goods. The woman has the right not to use any of the clothes or goods she owns. The husband cannot demand the opposite.

Local and temporal conditions, besides the means of husband and wife, are considered for determination of clothes and foods.

A customary dwelling should be provided for lodging heeding the status of wife and husband. For a noble and wealthy wife, a private house should be reserved. For a wife of moderate means, a dwelling with private toilet, kitchen and other essential sections should be provided. A flat in an apartment would be a proper example. If the wife is poor, a dwelling with a private room and common usage areas, such as toilet and kitchen may suffice.

A wealthy, noble woman has the right not to reside in a building where a co-wife or the relatives of her husband reside. The wife may not have intercourse with her husband until he reserves a private residence.

The neighbours of the house are also important. Husband may behave unjustly or exercise power over the wife. A dwelling without fair neighbours who are able to protect the wife from husband’s wrongdoings is not a proper house by shariah. The neighbours should be kind in human relations and reliable by religious means. The wife cannot be forced to live in a dwelling that do not fulfill these reqirements.[2]

[1] This piece of writing is a section of the article “Reasons of Husband-Wife Controversy Nowadays”, which will be translated into English in the future.

[2] Ömer Nasuhi BİLMEN, Hukukı İslamiyye Kamusu, II,448-450.

Let a man of wealth spend for the subsistence according to his means. And let him whose means of subsistence are limited spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah burdens no person beyond what He has given him. Allah will soon bring about, after hardship, ease.”

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Date: Jul 27, 2011