Tag Archive | over

The Wife’s Rights Over Her Husband

The wife has financial rights over her husband, which are the mahr (dowry), spending and accommodation.

And she has non-financial rights, such as fair division between co-wives, being treated in a decent and reasonable manner, and not being treated in a harmful way by her husband.

1. Financial Rights

(a) The Mahr (dowry)

This is the money to which the wife is entitled from her husband when the marriage contract is completed or when the marriage is consummated. It is a right which the man is obliged to pay to the woman. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart” [al-Nisaa’ 4:4]

The prescription of the mahr demonstrates the seriousness and importance of the marriage-contract, and is a token of respect and honour to the woman.

The mahr is not a condition or essential part of the marriage-contract, according to the majority of fuqahaa’; rather it is one of the consequences of the contract. If the marriage-contract is done without any mention of the mahr, it is still valid, according to the consensus of the majority, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

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The Husband’s Rights Over His Wife

The rights of the husband over his wife are among the greatest rights; indeed his rights over her are greater than her rights over him, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them.” [al-Baqarah 2:228]

al-Jassaas said: “Allaah tells us in this aayah that each of the spouses has rights over the other, and that the husband has one particular right over his wife which she does not have over him.

Ibn al-‘Arabi said: “This text states that he has some preference over her with regard to rights and duties of marriage.

These rights include:

(a) The Obligation Of Obedience

Allaah has made the man a qawwaam (protector and maintainer) of the woman by commanding, directing and taking care of her, just as guardians take care of their charges, by virtue of the physical and mental faculties that Allaah has given only to men and the financial obligations that He has enjoined upon them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means” [al-Nisaa’ 4:34]

‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah said, narrating from Ibn ‘Abbaas: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women” means, “they are in charge of them, i.e., she should obey him in matters of obedience that Allaah has enjoined upon her, and obey him by treating his family well and taking care of his wealth.” This was the view of Muqaatil, al-Saddi and al-Dahhaak.(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/492)

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