Nafaqah: A Financial Responsibility in Marriage!

Nafaqah: A Financial Responsibility in Marriage!

Today we are living in a consumer society; everything has its own value, and money is the medium of exchange. The house we live in, schools we send our children to, vacations we go on, clothes we wear, the food we eat all depict our status in society, all of which is governed by money. 

Marriage is a blessed union that unites the lives of two people emotionally, legally and physically. Yet, it is seen that marriages go through a stressful stage when money comes in. The primary fundamental component in a fruitful marriage building or family building is money and finances. 

In Islam, it states clearly, that the man (husband) is responsible for providing for his wife and children financially. The husband is obliged to share his wealth with his wife and children of his nuclear family. Narrated by `Abdullah bin `Umar, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “…A man is the guardian of his family (household) and is responsible for his subjects; a woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and of his children and is responsible for them…” [Sahih al-Bukhari, 7138]. So, it is the husband’s job to fulfill their necessities in the best way he can. However, he is only required to satisfy their needs and not their desires. 

Many times, it is seen that marriages fell apart due to financial reasons. When calamity strikes, people tend to lose finances, and this is the time when family support is required. The wife should be comforting towards her husband in times of stress and crisis. If the husband has a profitable income, he will provide everything of the best quality, but in a time of financial crisis, the wife, without any complaint, is advised to live with whatever the husband provides.  “Men are the caretakers of women, as men have been provisioned by Allah over women and tasked with supporting them financially. And righteous women are devoutly obedient and, when alone, protective of what Allah has entrusted them with.” [Quran, 4:34]

The wife has no financial responsibility towards the husband or the family. Whether she comes from an affluent family background or she earns good, she serves no duty to run the family in any way. If the wife wishes to contribute financially, she can do so, and Allah (SWT) would bless her immensely. A wife can help her husband with finances to relieve him of his burden and conceal his flaws. “They are your garment, and you are a garment for them”- [Quran, 2:187]. Also seen in the Seerah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) supported Khadijah (R.A) in her business and fulfilled the necessities of his family. If the wife is earning, she can spend her wealth accordingly without any guilt of not contributing to the family expenditure, as Allah (SWT) has not commanded her to do it.

Advised by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the wife is supposed to keep in mind that she has to spend his husbands’ wealth adequately and not spend it extravagantly. “..Take from his wealth on a reasonable basis, only what is sufficient for you and your children”- [Sahih Al-Bukhari 5049, Muslim, 1714].  

In this era, people are losing the fear of Allah (SWT) and dwelling in worldly life. Allah (SWT) has commanded us to live according to the Shariah and not to run after materialistic life. This world is nothing but a test and trial from Allah (SWT). “Your wealth and your children are but a trial, and Allah (SWT) has with Him a great reward”- [Quran, 64:15]. Allah (SWT) has warned us not to lose self-control by worldly desires because, in contrast to the hereafter, the former is for a limited time and holds no blessing. Allah (SWT) has recommended we live a frugal life and not be deceived by the temptations and desires of this world. “…as compared with the life of the hereafter, the life of this world is nothing but a brief passing enjoyment”- [Quran,13:26]

The husband must take care of the wife’s financial responsibility, and the wife is not commanded to do the same. However, if she does so out of affection towards her husband, she will be rewarded by Allah (SWT). However, the husband should not make her feel obliged to contribute to his financial responsibility. Marriages are where you conceal each other’s flaws, and it’s not always a 50/50 relationship. Sometimes you need to give your 80 and receive 20 or vice versa. “And among His signs is this, that he created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them. And he has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily, in that are signs for those who reflect.”- [Quran. 30:21]

 

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