Should My Husband Spend Less Money on Me?
Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My husband regularly sees friends and invites his cousin to join as he is staying in the UK and doesn’t have many friends here. He always pays for his cousin on these outings and sometimes complains about it. I asked my husband to encourage his cousin to pay for himself; he is 28 and a married man. My husband is 29. My husband sometimes asks me to pay for food or outings for us to share his financial burden. He also frequently asks me to pay for things for our child because he says he is low on money.
He says this is because I am English and raised differently, and he has to continue paying for his cousin because, in his Pakistani culture, the elder one pays. I feel it’s unfair if his family members receive different treatment from his wife.
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration, and I pray you can resolve this issue with your husband.
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]
In Islam, the husband needs to support his wife with food, articles for personal hygiene, cosmetics, medicine, clothing, housing, and servants according to what she is used to in her social standing. Anything beyond this is charity, and he is not obliged in Islam to pay for more.
As for buying things for your child, he must spend on the child for clothing, shelter, and food. He must also ensure that the child is given proper religious education and imbued with Islamic values and character. He is not obliged to pay for anything beyond this.
Charity to Family
After this, it is superior, decent, and virtuous for him to spend on you and his child the same way he would like someone to treat his sister, mainly because you are both his dependents. Spending on his family is a charity and will get a great reward. He will find a strong bond later in life with his child, and by the grace of Allah, his child will take care of him the same way when he is elderly.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “No man earns anything better than that which he earns with his own hands, and what a man spends on himself, his wife, his child and his servant, then it is charity.” [Ibn Maja]
And he said, (Allah bless him and give him peace), “Giving charity to a poor person is charity, and (giving) to a relative is two things, charity and upholding the ties of kinship.” [Nasa’i]
And he said, (Allah bless him and give him peace), “The best kind of charity is that which is given when you are rich, and the upper hand is better than the lower hand, and start with those for whom you are responsible.” [Nasa’i]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) encouraged men to spend on their families first, as he said, “A dinar which you spend for the sake of Allah, a dinar which you spend on freeing a slave, a dinar which you give in charity to a poor person and a dinar which you spend on your family – the greatest of these in reward is that which you spend on your family.” [Muslim]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “None of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Tirmidhi]
If your husband provides you with the basics and is not willing to spend more than that, he is behaving contrary to the sunna. I urge you to talk with him about how you feel and tell him that your husband doesn’t need to pay for his cousin all the time. Pakistani culture is irrelevant, as is English culture. Remind him that being stingy is an ugly trait in Islam. He should be generous and rely on Allah, and he will find all his needs fulfilled by Allah’s grace.
If you can’t get him to spend more on you and your child, remember that any money you spend on your family is also charity and will not go unrewarded. You will see good come from it in this world and the next, and remember Allah’s promise.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another except that Allah increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for Allah except that Allah raises his status.” [Muslim]
Please see these links as well:
What are my children’s rights upon me?
Rights of Children in Detail
What Are the Financial Responsibilities of a Man Regarding His Children From a First Marriage?
May Allah Most High give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadh] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, 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.