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Family Matter
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : Culture & Community : Family Matter
Message Icon Topic: Is a working woman to pay for anything in marriage Post Reply Post New Topic
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Chrysalis
 
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 24 June 2012 at 4:37pm
It seems to me that you are kind of frustrated with your situation, and want to know how you can get back at her with ''your rights'' and her ''responsibilities''. That can't be good for your relationship. Do you have an otherwise good relationship with your wife?

I can tell you as a woman, that women respect men with chivalry. A man who wants his wife to chip in financially, or one that stews over the fact that she is making more money than me - is not being very chivalrous. I can tell you that if you let this matter go, and stop expecting financial contribution from your wife, she will have more respect for you. When she has more respect for you, you will find it easy to fulfill the role of the 'man of the house''. If she loves you and respects you, she will automatically want to do things for you.

Before I got married, I was very adamant about ''housework is not my responsibility''. Alhamdulilah my husband also agrees with that, and does not expect me to wait on him. Due to his chivalry, I find I want to do things for him. This is not something you can enforce on your spouse. She should be doing it out of love and respect for you. Practice being a bit more chivalrous and generous (financially) around your wife for a month. See if it effects her behavior towards you.

Yes, Islam is fair.. which is why it makes sure that the woman is taken care of. Women cannot have as successful and smooth careers as men due to eventual pregnancies, kids etc. If she was wise enough to save up now, that is good. She may need to help out her relatives, spend on her kids in the future etc. This is how Allah intended for women to be financially secure. All good husbands want their wives to be taken care of. Their main concern is their wife and kids' welfare in-case something happens to them...

You both could set out a budget so she does not overspend (although chivalrous men overlook that now and then lol. Unless its crazy spending).
Look on the brighter side, if she didn't have her own money, she would be even more financially dependent on you and you would be chipping in more.

With regards to house (and any spending) your financial responsibilities are based on what you can afford (islamically). So if she wants a house that you cannot afford, you are under no obligation to go under debt for her. The husband is supposed to provide within his means.

I also suggest you communicate your feelings to your wife. Talk about it... and its better to forget about the money she has saved up, or what she earns. Tell her you feel its unfair etc and talk it out. Hear what she has to say.






"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Chrysalis
 
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 24 June 2012 at 4:58pm
Also, I want to add that your situation is not very different from most muslim households in terms of the man's contribution. The only difference in your case is that your wife is actually financially secure. In most muslim households, the woman usually is not earning. So if you ignore your wife's paycheck - you are doing what the average muslim man does anyway! The average muslim man spends on his wife, pays for her clothing, shelter, amusement, shopping sprees AND house-help. In the west - where paid househelp is expensive, many muslim husbands help out with chores. In the east, where labour is cheap, the average muslim household has maids, drivers, cleaners etc.

Then there are those muslim husbands who are God-fearing and generous
who go beyond their islamic responsibilities of the wife and end up financially helping the wife's relatives too.

Leaving your wife's paycheck out of the equation, wouldn't you have been doing all this anyway? Most muslim husbands do.

However I do feel bad that you feel things are unfair. Are you a born-muslim? Or a convert? I would strongly advise you do something about your apprehensions because 8 months into the marriage, you both shouldn't be worrying about financial responsibilities, its not a very healthy foundation. You both need to sit down and work all this out now.

"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Munnim
 
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Quote Munnim Replybullet Posted: 24 June 2012 at 7:43pm
Dear Chrysalis, yes there is frustration. And I have always let her know that what I have is hers. But we did agree initially that she should keep her prior savings to herself but what we earned after was our money. So without being in need of my chivalry, she then tells me I should be providing for everything, even if she doubts that I could! I am not a convert. Born Muslim. I have issue with being the provider monetarily if my wife needs it, is not working and keeps the house. Now if I do most of the housework already, then she is not being fair and when I offer to pay for all bills and grocery, she tells me to study more Islam, I.e. there is nothing I 'get away with not paying for'. I thought it was chivalrous of me to offer that to please her, but then it's like she wants the whole arm when hand is extended. So now I'm trying to find out if I am obliged to Pay for her car and cinema expenses.
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Pati
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Quote Pati Replybullet Posted: 26 June 2012 at 2:50pm
Dear Munnim,

It's too much difficult to receive a satisfactory answer from this forum, because everyone has different point of view.

I would just suggest you to ask your wife to come with you to the mosque, and talk with the Imam or any old man who can give good advise. I think this would be the only way to make peace between you both.

Actually, I think you should not wait to ask for help from a third person, who is not from your circle. Maybe, there is something in her mind that you are not aware about, I don't know, and you are getting crazy from something you ignore.

Try to convince her to go to the Mosque and ask for help, I know lot of couples who did and it works.

Good luck again
Patricia
No God wants the killing, but the peace.
The weapons are carried by people, not by religions.
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Munnim
 
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Quote Munnim Replybullet Posted: 26 June 2012 at 4:08pm
Thank you very much Patricia. That was the first objective answer from someone who didn't know any of the answers to my questions. And the mosque thing is always on my mind. Just trying get wiser on the subject in the meantime. Because I think this woman's rights thing has got distorted in the process of trying to show the west how much Islam cares for its women. Especially the issue of a working woman.
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Chrysalis
 
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 27 June 2012 at 6:56pm
Originally posted by Munnim

Dear Chrysalis, yes there is frustration. And I have always let her know that what I have is hers. But we did agree initially that she should keep her prior savings to herself but what we earned after was our money. So without being in need of my chivalry, she then tells me I should be providing for everything, even if she doubts that I could! I am not a convert. Born Muslim. I have issue with being the provider monetarily if my wife needs it, is not working and keeps the house. Now if I do most of the housework already, then she is not being fair and when I offer to pay for all bills and grocery, she tells me to study more Islam, I.e. there is nothing I 'get away with not paying for'. I thought it was chivalrous of me to offer that to please her, but then it's like she wants the whole arm when hand is extended. So now I'm trying to find out if I am obliged to Pay for her car and cinema expenses.


I understand that non-muslims would have a different approach towards this issue... when it comes to Muslim households, the man needs to step up to the task of being the 'Ameer'... and this is how things go in most muslim households unless the wife agrees/wants to contribute to household finances. (in your case she doesn't. we can't force her can we?).

I agree with Patti, its definitely a good idea to consult an Imam or Scholar so you will be more at ease, since he will probably get to hear both sides of the story from you and your wife.

The reason why we can't really answer your question is because only a scholar would now how to define the financial needs of today. Would entertainment be part of modern-day necessities? Transport does seem like a necessity today.


"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Nausheen
 
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Quote Nausheen Replybullet Posted: 27 June 2012 at 10:11pm
Tho I truly sympathise with your situation I dont think any of the opinions given to you were wrong islamically.
 
You are looking for an islamic way out of making your wife share in the household expenses because she is a working woman - does not work that way in Islam my dear friend/brother!  Yes, if you want to become a westernized muslim, sure compromise the islamic sharia - provided she is willing to take part in that arrangement.
 
There is one aspect I read in your situation - perhaps the frustratin part on you is not just because she is not sharing the financial burden but due to her going beyond your means [a spendthrift wife?]. If that is the case you can discuss with her. Tell her what you can afford and what you cannot.
 
Islamically she has a right to earn. Right to keep all her money to herself and right to spend it the way she pleases. You cannot do much about it.
 
However you have a right to control how the money you earn is spent in the household. Since you are the husband, the Ameer of the family, she cannot spend your money in whichever way she pleases. You must provide for her within your means, however you can be honest and open about your real means with her - talk to her, discuss with her, tell her how you would like to run the home - that is your islamic right :) 
 
A wife is not allowed to even give away her husband's money in charity without his consent - or he gets the reward of charity and she gets the sin of disobedience - perhaps Islam is fair enough :)
 
As for house work, do what you can and leave the rest pending ... her feminine nature would perhaps prompt her to pitch in and give a hand in washing dishes, doing the laundry etc if you are not able to complete all of it on top of your own job.
 
Good luck brother!
 
PS: if and only if, you are brave enough to do this - hand out all your salary to her every month and ask her to run the financial affairs for both of you - that would include everything she so much demands from you. That way she will know where to spend and where to cut. Also she will feel secure.
 


Edited by Nausheen - 27 June 2012 at 10:18pm
Wanu nazzilu minal Qurani ma huwa
Shafaa un wa rahmatun lil mo'mineena
wa la yaziduzzalimeena illa khasara.
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Munnim
 
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Quote Munnim Replybullet Posted: 28 June 2012 at 8:22pm
Dear Nausheen,
You are also only saying what is popular belief. And having a situation where the man becomes limited in his choices for himself and his family because of the financial burden that is expected of him to carry and popular perception dictates, whereas the woman can over-power him with her continuous increase of equity, does not reflect on what we know to true of the spirit of Islam. And what you say also gets contradicted in that my wife can not control how I spend the money on the household, because if I say no, then she can get it anyway. This disturbs everything we know about men and women. And men are not working donkeys, men are also highly regarded in the eyes of Allah. Read this verse 4:32, it says 'men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn'.
If the world was as you suggest no poor man could or should get married and no man with reasonable money would then marry any woman with any means, as it is not human nature to be wanting to give to those who have more than oneself and wishes to give nothing back. So what you say cannot be the whole truth. Although many preache it all the time. My wife and her friends joke with 'your money is my money, and my money is my money'. Men are not donkeys. And if women carry this narrative forward, I foresee it wil carry conditions to times when women were held down. And as I have shown you, at least one place in the Quran, says that what any of you say is conclusive.
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