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Subject : The Financial Relationship between Spouses

Fatwa Number : 671

Date : 27-04-2010

Classified : Rights of spouses (conjugal rights)

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

How did Sharia organize the financial relationship between the spouses?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

The financial relationship between the spouses is divided into  three parts:

First: Implications for the marriage contract, such as the Maher (Bridal gift), the Mut`ah and their annexes.

Second: Implications in case one of the spouses passed away, which is called the inheritance.

The implications for the marriage contract can be summarized into the following:

1- The Maher can be any amount of money, small or big. 

2- In case divorce takes place before the consummation of marriage, the woman is entitled to half the advanced and deferred portions of the Maher.

3- The woman is entitled to the whole Maher in the following situations:

A-The marriage is consummated.

B-The husband dies, even before the marriage is consummated.

C- The wife dies, even before the marriage is consummated, and her Maher becomes part of her inheritance.

D- The wife is entitled to maintenance so long as she is married. She is also entitled to it while observing her Iddah (waiting period) after being divorced. This maintenance includes food, drink, clothes, accommodation, medication and other, in accordance with the husband`s financial ability.

E- The woman is entitled to a certain amount of money, which is assessed by the judge in accordance with the degree of the harm inflicted on her because of the divorce, and this is called (Mut`ah).

The implications for the death of one of the spouses, they are as follows:

1- The husband is entitled to half the wife`s inheritance if she had no children from him or from another husband. If she had children, then he is entitled to a quarter of the inheritance.

2- The wife is entitled to a quarter of the husband`s inheritance if he had no children from her or from another wife. If he had a child, then she is entitled to an eighth of his inheritance.

However, regarding the implications for the other financial relationships  ( trade, partnership, right of first refusal, mortgage and the like), the provisions of Sharia governing similar  relationships among unmarried individuals are applied. Partnership has its rules and so does Mudarabah (A contractual relationship executed between two parties, one supplying the capital (rabbulmal) and the other supplying the labor and skill as agent or manager (mudarib)). …etcetera.

If the financial relationship between the spouses is mixed, then the provisions of reconciliation are applied. If the spouses have mixed their funds to spend on their family, purchase or furnish a residence, and the latter was registered in the husband`s or wife`s name or they had a business of mixed capital where the share of each is unknown, and wanted to split the funds, due to divorce or else, they have to go to court. The judicial proceedings are based on evidence and oaths. If this was impossible, then they should resort to reconciliation. In other words, both agree on dividing the funds according to a certain percentage. 

Jurors have mentioned some useful rules to solve such disputes. Thus, they have differentiated between household items of the husband and those of the wife. The judicial system is capable to solve financial disputes between spouses just as it is capable to do so between unmarried individuals.

As for dividing funds with a fixed ratio upon death or divorce, this deviates from the provisions of Sharia and damages the marital relationship, because the husband or wife is selected based on amount of wealth, not piety or ethics. In addition, one spouse could seek to get rid of the other for a financial gain. This doesn`t apply to all spouses, but Sharia aims to curb corruption although its occurrence is highly unlikely, and this is called Saad`ada da ra`ei`I (Forbidding all that which may lead to committing sin). Islamic Sharia is the path of truth and whoever deviates from it is at loss.

Islamic history is replete with intimate human relationships amongst spouses at the time when the provisions of Sharia were implemented internally and externally. 

In conclusions, the rules regarding Mut`ah, which is granted to wife upon divorce is a wide channel through which the wife may receive compensation for the harm inflicted upon her due to being divorced. And Allah the Almighty Knows Best.       



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