Subject : Does Man become in Charge of Woman upon Conclusion or Consummation of Marriage Contract?
Fatwa Number : 2078
Date : 03-07-2012
Classified : Rights of spouses (conjugal rights)
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Does the man become in charge of the woman upon conclusion or consummation of their marriage contract?

The Answer :

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

Husband being in charge of wife is a right imposed by Almighty Allah where He said {What means}: " Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women)…." {An-Nisa`, 34}.

This issue is divided into three types; each of which has its own ruling. Here, We (Iftaa` Department) shall highlight all of them for the sake of clarity: 

First: Maintenance.

Maintenance starts upon conclusion of valid marriage contract as stipulated by article (60/2010) of the Jordanian Personal Status Act, which states: "Husband must provide for wife, even if she isn`t a Muslim, starting from the time of concluding the valid marriage contract, and even if she is staying at her parents`. If he asked her to move to his dwelling and she refused without a valid excuse, then she isn`t entitled to any maintenance. However, she has the right not to move to his dwelling in case he hasn`t paid her advanced portion of the dower or hasn`t provided a dwelling that suits marital life."

Second: Issuance of official documents.

Husband is in charge of his wife even before consummation of marriage contract as far as issuing her official documents are concerned. Administrative regulations grant him the right of marital power. Thus, issuance of her official documents must be done with his approval.

Third: Giving herself to him and asking for permission to go out.

As for giving herself to him, asking for permission to leave her parents' dwelling and his taking her on journey, all these rights are established after the wedding. Therefore, there is no sin on her for refusing to make love with him before the wedding. Also, there is no sin on her for asking her father`s permission, not his, to go out.

This is because he may not have paid the full dower and often the man doesn`t spend on the woman before the wedding. In this situation, scholars are agreed that it is permissible for her not to give herself to him until he pays the dower. However, if he had paid the dower, it is customary that the wedding is delayed to a certain date and the Sharia maxim, in this regard, states (What means): "What is known by convention is deemed as conditional." Therefore, the husband must abide by this condition since full marital power is transferred to him after meeting it. I.e. the wedding time has come.

This particular detail is addressed in Hanafi books where scholars of this doctrine stated: "Wedding is conditioned for establishing the husband`s marital power." {Tabiieen al-Haqaa`iq}. They also said: "She has the right to ask the husband to spend on her before the wedding in case he didn`t ask her to move to his house because she can`t give herself to him without his asking her for that. The same ruling applies when she refuses to give herself to him because he abstained from paying the advanced portion of the dower." {Al-Ukood Al-Duriah}.

Anyway, being in charge of wife doesn`t give husband full marital power. Rather, it is all about entrusting him to run family affairs in a manner that achieves stability and peace of mind. Husband-wife relationship should be founded on consultation and mutual frankness to pave the way for love and mercy to settle in their hearts and prevent any disputes. And Allah the Almighty knows best.  




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