I need to ask the following question concerning my wifes attitude in relation to her responsibilities within a household. She believes that everything should be provided to her because this is what the Shariah requires. The situation is as follows:
We both work and earn money. She is of the opinion that because the husband is seen as the provider, not a cent of her salary should be spent in contribution to things like mortgage, food, clothes, holidays, her transport anywhere, and any other expenses. No matter what the financial burden is, the husband must address it and allow her to do as she sees fit with what she earns.
She spends her money paying off her parents’ mortgage, making contributions to their hajj, lending moneys to her family members, incurring more dept on herself while the debt within the householdÂ is of no concern to her, her understanding is – she is not responsible for this. This view is causing many fights and an unpleasant atmosphere. Talking about this ultimately results in a statements by her that “the husband is the provider” and no more discussion is required.
IS THIS VIEW CORRECT in light of the situation?
Islam prescribes a gentle and harmonious relationship between husband and wife. It urges honesty, compassion and respect for those who have chosen a matrimonial partnership. The answer to your question isn’t a simple you’re right, she’s wrong or vice versa. It deals more with the comfort and relief marriage is supposed to provide for both partners. It can be looked at as two separate halves creating a functioning whole. While I acknowledge that your wife is accurate in her statement that you are the provider, it should be clear that the foundation of this Islamic concept does not stop there. It is true that you are the provider and therefore must bear the burden of the financial expenses related to the home. But having said that, your wife must recognize that she is the other “half;” so she should do her part for your marriage. If she fulfills her duties, just as you fulfilled yours, and has a side job to make a little extra money for herself than that is up to her, it is her prerogative to do with her earnings as she pleases. She may lend her money or pay off her parents’ mortgage or even give all of it in charity. As long as she is doing nothing wrong according to Islamic doctrines, she is allowed to do as she sees fit. No one, not even you can say anything about her money. Keep in mind that whatever debt she incurs is an obligation she brings upon herself. You are not responsible for the debts she incurs without your consent and permission.
Finally, your responsibility is providing for both your livelihoods (and to your children if you have any). Her responsibilities are just as tremendous, yet if she can balance that and work then she has full right to use her money, as she desires. It would benefit the both of you to observe patience and understanding with one another. Sometimes when a couple has problems the best way to figure out a solution is to talk about it calmly and respectfully. You may find that there is a deeper issue other than the one that is apparent. Really, your only option is to ask her kindly to help you out, however if she refuses then there is no point in arguing about it. Once she rejects your request you should let it go, it’s not worth the frustration. You should both observe the prescriptions of the Shari`ah regarding marriage.Â Love one another with compassion and amicable courtship. Remember that living a loving and caring relationship which consists of kindness, tenderness and affection is a form of worship to the Almighty.
And among His Signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect. (Al Room 30: 21)
I hope I have clarified the issue.
God knows best.