Question # 154: Brother, my husband is not fulfilling my home desires… I do my work and earn money not enough…but he stay home eat n enjoy and when he is not at home his brother at home… I am living with my four kids… twice married …first husband kids also living with me …he’s in financially crises …he’s also not giving my kids foods expense… What I do?? Should I stop giving food? He’s living with his bro at home free… as he’s saying in this home my haqq too so am here or not, my bro live with u… I shout cry but nothing happens .. I do reham and give again food to my bro in law and him and when I say please help he say yallah out … is am doing right? Allah give me ajar or not …or what I do? Bro am fade up twice I marry and both hurted me… I am depending on sadaqa or charity… who knows my problem they help if they want, I never beg in front of any one … but for this 2nd husband I am really very hurt … Is this my exam from Allah? That I suffer n suffer till die? Or I take decision better I say him to talaq me… or I do as am doing ..

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The husband is obliged to spend on the maintenance of his wife and children as Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said “…A man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock…” and “… [the one who] does not discharge his duties sincerely,… he will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise.” Next, If it is proven that the husband is no longer able to spend on the wife, she has three options: a) she may annul the marriage; b) she may stay with him and allow him to be intimate with her, and it is her right that he should spend on her whatever he is able to spend; or c) she may remain married to him, without having to allow him to be intimate with her. As for the brother-in-law staying with the family, he is not a mahram and is not permitted for you to be alone with him in the house.

“…Truly! Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient ones)”. Look carefully at your husband’s situation and what you think will have a positive impact on him; be wise and prudent in exercising your rights. We ask Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help you and give you strength, and to guide your husband aright. 

Long Answer: Undoubtedly by taking care of your children and your husband, you are doing good and will be rewarded in sha Allah, for Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) does not cause the reward of those who do good to be lost.

The husband is obliged to spend on his wife’s maintenance, on a reasonable basis, because Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means” (Soorah an-Nisa’a, 4:34) And “Let the rich man spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him” (Soorah at-Talaaq, 65:7)

It was narrated that Mu‘aawiyah al-Qushayri (رضي الله عنه) said: I said: O Messenger of Allah, what are the rights of the wife of one of us over him? He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “That you feed her as you feed yourself, clothe her as you clothe yourself, do not strike the face, do not disgrace her and if you want to shun her (by way of disciplining her) do not leave home.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah; classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawood)

Further, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler is the shepherd of his people and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock….” (This hadith was narrated by al-Bukhari; Muslim from Ibn ‘Umar) And the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said of his household: “Allah will ask every shepherd about that which was entrusted to his care, whether he took care of it or neglected it, and He will even ask a man about his family.” (Narrated by Ibn Hibban, classed as sahih by al-Albani in Ghaayat al-Maraam)

And he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “It is sufficient sin for a man to neglect those who are under his care.” (Narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawood from the hadith of ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr; classed as hasan by al-Albani in Sahih al-Jaami’) And he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “There is no man whom Allah causes to be appointed to a position of responsibility and he does not discharge his duties sincerely, but he will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari)

Muhammad Najeeb al-Mutee‘i said in his Sharh: “If it is proven that the husband is no longer able to spend on her, she has three options: she may annul the marriage; she may stay with him and allow him to be intimate with her, and it is her right that he should spend on her whatever he is able to spend; or she may remain married to him, without having to allow him to be intimate with her – rather she may leave his house, because allowing intimacy is only obligatory upon her when he spends on her maintenance, but he is not doing so in this case, but she is not entitled to maintenance when she is keeping herself away from him, because maintenance is only enjoined in return for allowing intimacy, but in this case she is not allowing him to be intimate with her.”

Ash-Shiraazi ash-Shaafa‘i said in al-Muhadhdhab fi Fiqh al-Imam ash-Shaafa‘i: “If she chooses to stay after he becomes unable to spend on her, she is not obliged to allow him to be intimate with her, and she may leave his house, because allowing intimacy is in return for maintenance, so it is not obligatory when there is no maintenance.”

Next, as for brother-in-law staying with your family, the husband’s brother is not a mahram… On this basis, it is not permitted for [you to be alone with him in the house.] The basic principle in this matter should be the hadith of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم): “Beware of entering upon women.” A man of the Ansar asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what do you think about the brother-in-law?” He said, “The brother-in-law is death.” (Reported by al-Bukhari, Fath al-Bari)

Al-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “This hadith refers to all the relatives of the husband apart from his father and sons, who are mahrams for the wife and she is allowed to be alone with them; they are not described as “death.” It refers to the brother, nephew, uncle, cousin and other relatives of the husband whom she would be permitted to marry if she were not already married. Because people customarily treat this matter so lightly, and a man may sit alone with his brother’s wife, the brother-in-law is likened to death, and he is the foremost among non-mahram men who should be prevented from doing so.”

(The above answer is based on various answers provided by Islamqa.info on similar topics)

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “…Truly! Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).” (‘Inna Allaha Ma`a As-Sabirina) (Soorah al-Baqarah, 2:153). Look carefully at your husband’s situation and what you think will have a positive impact on him; if you have a right over him, be wise and prudent in exercising your rights. We ask Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help you and give you strength, and to guide your husband aright.

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam