According to Shariah, the husband has to maintain the wife whether she has wealth or not. We will be discussing the following points:
- Does the husband have a right to know the wife’s wealth.
- Does she have to seek her husband’s permission in administrating her financial issues.
The relationship between the husband and wife is unique. It is a legal bond submerged with intense love. The implications of a legal issue are different from the implications of a love issue.
In legal issues there are rules and regulations that govern the issues. In love, rules are broken.
According to Shariah if a wife owns wealth, she is totally independent in her wealth. She can administer her financial issues as she wants. The husband has no right over her financial issues. He should respect the right Shariah has granted to her. She can buy, sell, loan, and deal in her wealth in such a way that it does not infringe the rights of the husband.
When the husband regulates his financial issues, and he does not tell his wife about his financial issues, he expects her to respect his right. If she questions him on his wealth, he does not have to divulge information to her. If he buys or sells or does anything, he can conceal all that from his wife. The wife should respect that. Likewise if she conceals her financial issues from him, he too should respect that.
Money can become a bone of contention in a marriage. A husband and wife should not live like adversaries in a boxing ring. All the time fighting on financial issues.
In marriage, often laws are broken to maintain love and harmony.
On one side we have the example of Hazrat Sara the wife of Ebrahim(a.s).She owned Hazrat Hajra, but she gave Hajra as a gift to Ebrahim(a.s).
On the other hand we have the wife of Rasulullah Sallallāhu Alayhi Wasallam Hazrat Khadija (r.a). She was very rich and wealthy. She gave her wealth to Rasulullah Sallallāhu Alayhi Wasallam. Allah says:
وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَى (سورة الضحى آية 8)
And He found you poor and made [you] financially rich.
This was through the wealth of Hazrat Khadija (r.a).
It is because of this flexibility between the spouses, it is not permissible for the husband to give zakat to his wife and vice versa. The wife cannot give her zakat to her husband. It is very possible, she herself will give her zakat to her husband, and she will end up using the same money she gave her husband.
– Mufti Ebrahim Desai