Imam Haddad’s Poem at His Wife’s Death

Am I Financially Responsible for My Wife If She Lives Abroad?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


If my wife lives abroad, am I financially responsible for her or only if she moves in with me?


Thank you for your question.

Wife’s support

It says in the Reliance of the Traveller:

The husband is only obliged to support his wife when she gives herself to him or offers to, meaning she allows him full enjoyment of her person and does not refuse him sex at any time of the night or day. She is not entitled to support from her husband when:

  1. She is rebellious (nashiz, ) (O: meaning when she does not obey him) even if for a moment;
  2. She travels without his permission or with his permission but for one of her own needs;
  3. She assumes ihram for hajj or ‘umra;
  4. or when she performs a voluntary fast without her husband’s permission (O: though if he allows her to fast and does not ask her to break it, he must provide her support).

I don’t know why your wife is living abroad, but hopefully, this is a temporary situation, as the rights of both spouses cannot be fulfilled this way. If she disobeyed you, left town, or refused to return, you are not responsible for supporting her. But if there is an understanding between you that she needs to be abroad for a fixed time and you have allowed it, then you should continue to support her while she is away.

Please see these links as well:
Defining Ill-Conduct (Nushuz) in Marriage

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 and 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.