Date : 06-01-2011

Question :

What is the ruling of Sharia on the father who refuses to provide for his wife and daughter although he has sufficient financial capacity? Also, what is the ruling on providing them with adequate accommodation to secure their future? This is knowing that the daughter works in a hospital.


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.


It is obligatory upon the husband to provide what suffices his wife in terms of food, clothes, and proper accommodation. This is because Allah the Almighty says (What means): " Let the man of means spend according to his means: and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what God has given him. God puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. After a difficulty, God will soon grant relief." {At-Talaq, 7}. The legal residence is one that contains all the necessary furniture and bedding, kitchen utensils and household utilities. However, it isn`t conditioned that this residence should be the property of the husband nor that he transfers its ownership to the wife, even if he has sufficient financial capacity to purchase and own a residence. Rather, it suffices that he rents a residence that contains all the essentials stated above.


In addition, the father isn`t obliged to provide for the daughter who makes a living and can afford her own expenses. This is because the father is obliged to spend on his children when they are young and unable to make a living due to being sick, pursuing education, and the like. Scholars have stipulated that every person is obliged to provide for themselves except the wife since it is obligatory upon the husband to spend on her.


Al-Shirbini says, "No maintenance is due to one who has what suffices his essential needs or lawfully earns what suffices them because such person is self-sufficient. However, if he doesn`t have what suffices for his essential needs, then he must be given only the portion that he needs." {Moghni al-Mohtaj, V.5:185}.


This is also established in Article (187/2010) of the Jordanian Personal Status Law, which states: "If the child doesn`t have wealth to spend from, then it is obligatory upon the father to provide for him/her." And Allah the Almighty knows best.