Question: I am often reading your blog and I am impressed by your strength. I have a question and you seem to know a lot about islamic law. I am afraid to write to islamic sites since they don’t seem to give correct answers but only answers to favor the man.
My husband married a second wife four years ago. I didn’t want him to but he went ahead any way. I have been trying to live my own life and cope and he promised to always be just and keep everything separate. He worked for a local company and earned good money and since I have a very good salary too everything has worked out. I have sent some money to our parents and I have been saving up from my salary, my husband was the provider the islamic way.
Three years ago my husband got laid off when his company went bankrupt like so many others where we live in the US. The first year he got some money from insurance, and then he got money from the state. For four months now though that’s been out, since I earn too much for him to get any money from the state. But islamically I don’t have to share my money with my husband but the state doesn’t care.
I have given my husband a credit card with some pocket money, but very little. I don’t want to give him money that might end up with her. Now, my husband is ordering me to have my salary transferred to his account every month. He says it is halal for a woman to give her money to her husband and a wife must obey her husband completely in everything halal. But can this be right? I mean, I know I must obey him in everything that is not a sin. But it also says specifically in islam that a man has no right to his wife’s earnings. I want to be able to save up for my children and I want to be able to live comfortably and help my parents – I do not not not want my money to pay for his second wife. She does not work and has no earnings. So my question is, what are my obligations? And I also want to know about obedience. Since I am the breadwinner now, I have been providing for my husband now for a couple of years and now he earns absolutely nothing but lives completely off me, doesn’t that mean I am head of the family now since it’s spending on their wives that gives men this role? And does my husband have to divorce his second wife since he can’t provide for her?
Answer: I’m afraid I don’t know enough about islamic law to be able to give you a correct answer to your question from a religious point of view. I’m sorry, but if you want an islamic answer I’m afraid you have to send your questions to an islamic website and as you say, they seem to be more concerned with looking after the interests of men than being just and correct.
But if I were you I would give him nothing. A credit card with some money for a coffee is good, like five dollars a week, that way he knows also that you can check every item he buys and if you ever find he buys two coffees, you take the credit card back! 🙂
I’d say islamically too you don’t have to give him anything, but again I’m not sure.
In my world, this definitely makes you head of the family! If he wants to be provided for, he’d better start serving you if that is what he expected of you earlier. But you might end up with him divorcing you instead of her… Maybe not a bad deal though from what you tell me.. 😉
Good luck! We have been very lucky and many times people with better knowledge of islam than mine have come here to help answer islamic questions. I’m hoping somebody will come to your aid too!