A person sends all the money he earns to his extended family who live in a different country. He relies on his wife’s income to cover all the other costs they face. She pays for their rent, food, and clothing from her own pocket. Is this permissible for the husband to do?
All praise is for Allah ﷻ, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and salutations upon our Master Muhammad ﷺ, upon his blessed family and his noble companions.
To run away from the responsibilities of providing for one’s wife and children which Allah ﷻ has made wajib upon a man and placing this duty on the wife is not permissible.
It is mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah:
﴿ وَ عَلَى الْمَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ﴾
“And upon the father of the child is the responsibility of feeding and clothing those mothers in an appropriate manner.” (Al-Baqarah:233)
From this verse it has been clearly established that the father is the one who must provide for his wife and children. If for any reason he cannot provide for his family, then he will consult with his wife and come to an agreement where the wife will cover the costs of the household for a specified amount of time.
The money which the wife has spent upon her household will either be in the form of a loan which the husband must pay back or it will be in the form of a gift which does not need to be returned.
And Allah knows best.
Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari
Director of British Fatwa Council