Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I am concerned if the earnings of my husband are halal. He hasn’t been working in the last 6 months. He does not share anything concerning finances and I have no oversight over our finances. I shared my thoughts with him, but he insists that I cannot look into his bank account. Alhamdulillah, he gives me everything I need, I am just concerned because I do not want anything haram to touch our household. He says that everything is alright and that I should trust him, but I clearly see that he is not working.
What can I do? Should I be concerned or let this matter go? As a spouse do I have any religious responsibility to ask my husband those questions and make sure that our earnings are halal?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for being concerned about the pleasure of Allah Most High
A man’s obligation toward his wife is that he provides for her food and clothing and necessities. If she is rich, she is not required to spend anything on herself. Allah has mentioned in the Quran, “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 Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also explained to us the following: “The best dinar a man spends is the dinar which he spends on his family, the dinar which he spends on his companions in the Way of Allah, and the dinar which he spends on his riding animal in the Way of Allah.” [Albani]
Al-Qadi mentioned in his hadith commentary that spending on the family is better because it is obligatory to spend on them first, and there is more reward in obligatory spending than voluntary spending. And this is supported in the following hadith: ‘Abdallah bin ‘Amr told that a steward of his came to him and he asked him whether he had given the slaves their food. When he replied that he had not, he told him to go and give it to them, for God’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), had said, “It is a serious enough fault for a man to withhold his food from one whom he possesses.” [Muslim]
Now, we see that your husband is providing well for you, and he has assured you that he is not doing anything haram, so you should trust him. Also, if he has asked you not to check the bank accounts, you should not. If you are highly suspicious that he is doing something haram, and you have some evidence, then there may be some leeway to check, but just seeing that your husband doesn’t have a traditional job is not enough.
Leave It Alone for Now
There are many money-making schemes out there, where people buy and sell online, without ever touching the merchandise, or play the stock market, or invest, or it might be something embarrassing for him like a family member is giving him money. I advise you to leave it alone and give thanks for having a husband who has time for you and the kids.
Realistically, when you are together for a long time, you will find out more, finances will become more transparent and he will end up opening up to you. Expect that it won’t be like this forever and that eventually, you will be aware of, and even involved in the finances, perhaps even be in charge of paying the bills. Until then, spend wisely, save some money yourself, and try to get in the know-how of how money, budgeting and banking work. Don’t shy away from opening your own account, and an account for your child’s future education.
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.