As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Sister,
In a relationship, male and female have different rights and obligations, and I think the first thing we should discuss is the husband’s role in a marriage and what it means to support the wife from an “Islamic perspective.”Allah in His magnificent knowledge created the man physically stronger and made them the guardian of the family:
“Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.” (Qur’an 4:34)
By maintainers, in my understanding, the husband is obligated to provide for his wife the necessities of life with honor, such as shelter, food and clothing. My opinion is based on the following hadith, when Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, came to the Prophet (PBUH) and said:
“O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a stingy man and does not give me and my children enough provisions except when I take something from him without his knowledge.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Take what is reasonably sufficient for you and your children.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Sister, from what I understood, you’re complaining because of the fact that your husband does not give you money, but he does provide for you a reasonable condition of living. The traditional Islamic view generally says that husbands have an obligation to spend on their wife (wives) under the condition that she will also fulfill her obligations and roles as a wife and makes herself available to him to nurture and love in ways that he needs, and vice versa. It is important to note that there is the letter of law and the spirit of the law. The letter of law says a man and woman have roles and rights, but the spirit of the law would require us to use our hearts and be kind and not ask for things of luxury that would burden one another.
Nowadays, many sisters are studying and working outside their home, sometimes out of necessity and other times to contribute in supporting their families, thus the context and each family and society will offer more insight as to what is “expected” of each partner.
This verse is interesting because it provides a basis of the letter of the law. The important note here is that it is based on “what is reasonable” and this varies from person to person and context to context.
“(…) Upon the father is the mothers’ provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable. No person is charged with more than his capacity. (…)”(Qur’an 2:233)
Reflecting on Surah 65:7 below, Allah (saw) reminds us that He is the most fair, and no one should be obligated to give more than he can afford:
“Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted – let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.”
In my opinion, before you decide to separate from your husband, you should analyze this situation deeply. Do you really feel that your husband does not provide you an honorable life? You said he has a good job, house and car, so I am assuming that you live in a comfortable environment. I suggest you think about what he gives to you and not what you want him to give you, and sincerely ask yourself “is this enough? Am I being oppressed?”
Another option you have is to earn your own money to spend on the extra commodities you desire or need. In Islamic law, the women’s wealth belongs solely to her and he has no right upon it. You have no obligation to contribute to the house finances (unless necessary and within reason) and nobody can force you to work, but you should consider having an income for your own protection and means to fulfill other expenses. You are probably aware of how many women, mothers, and grandmothers actually work in order to help or even fully provide for their families. Alhamdulillah, it doesn’t seem to be your case. You can see it as an opportunity to empower yourself, learn and grow.
Remember sister that a woman needs more than financial support in a relationship. She also needs emotional and physical support. If your husband has been fulfilling your other needs, is a good man, has good character and is also religious as you said, those characteristics should be exalted. You are newly married and still adjusting to your new life, therefore be more patient and use your kindness to show your husband your needs. You can mention to him these following ahaadith:
“Of the Dinar you spend as a contribution in Allah’s Path, or to set free a slave, or as a Sadaqah given to a needy, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward (in the Sight of Allah) is that which you spent on your ‘ahl’ (wives and children, family).” (Al-Tirmidhi)
“The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best among you to my family. When one of you dies speak no ill of him.” (Ibn Majah)
“The Prophet (saw) said: The most perfect believer in respect of faith is he who is best of them in manners..” (Abu Dawud)
Keep in mind that for most of us who have many financial obligations, work daily, deal with commute and bosses, it can be very stressful. Maybe if you understand that and make your home a stress free place, one of relaxation and joy, your marriage will have more chances to succeed in a beautiful way. It seems to be too early for you to give up on your family because of one obstacle.
May Allah (saw) bless you and give you direction.
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