Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
My husband says the child support I get from the government is what covers his part of providing and working for the family. Any income he gets he pays for groceries and bills.
He says he doesn’t have to contribute to anything for kids and me from his actual earnings. Is that right?
I pray you are well.
The default ruling in the Shari’a is that everyone’s maintenance and expenditure comes from their own wealth if they have any – with the exception of the wife. The husband is responsible for financially providing for her even if she is wealthy.
The child support payments could be seen as money given to the parents to spend on the children, so this is where the costs of the child’s needs would primarily be taken from. If the money is not sufficient then the husband has a responsibility to pay the rest. [Qudri Basha, al-Ahkam al-Shar’iyya fi al-Ahwal al-Shakhsiyya]
The bills, the wife’s expenditure, and other costs are his responsibility. This is one of the greatest ways of drawing closer to Allah for someone in this situation. Not fulfilling this responsibility is also a major cause for concern.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “It is shockingly wicked for a person to withhold from those he is to provide for.“ [Muslim]
This is a serious matter. I suggest you speak to his family or a reliable local scholar to get the matter addressed with minimal friction between the two of you.
A marriage can’t be successful in the presence of problems that lead to anger and resentment.
May Allah facilitate all matters for you.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.