Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: If a woman earns her own income, from an Islamic point of view, is she obligated to give her entire salary to her husband? Or should this be based on mutual understanding?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out clarity on this important issue.
Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “The best alms is that which you give when you are rich, and you should start first to support your dependants.” [Bukhari]
No, a woman is not obligated to give anything of her salary to her husband. If she does give anything at all, even if it is a small amount, then that would be considered sadaqah. As a gesture of goodwill, it would be praiseworthy for a working wife to contribute to the finances of her household, but that is up to her.
When a husband demands his wife’s enitre salary, it sounds like there are deeper issues at play. Is the husband in a bad financial state? Does he feel unhappy that his wife is working outside the home? Has there been a recent big household expense?
It is important for both husband and wife to sit down, assess their financial situation, and come up with solutions from a place of sincere concern. A considerate wife would do her part to reduce expenses if her husband is going through a rough financial patch, and potentially even help to contribute to the household. However, this is not obligatory upon her.
Please clear the air with your husband. Be calm, respectful, and seek counselling if you need to. Money matters can lead to divorce if unaddressed.
I encourage both you and your husband to complete Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life to help you both understand the spirit and the law behind marriage in Islam. Issues of money and marriage are often fraught with emotion and mismatched expectations. It is easy for resentment to build, hence it is important for both of you to be on the same page, based on a correct Islamic understanding of marriage.
Please refer to the following links:
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani