Disputes between Husband and Working Spouse

In the Name of Allāh,

the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

Praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, may the blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the last of prophets, on his family, and all his companions.

Resolution No. 144 (2/16)

Disputes between Husband and Working Spouse

The Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, holding its 16th session in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 30 Ṣafar – 5 Rabīʿ al-Awwal 1426h (9–14 April 2005),

Having examined the research papers submitted to the Academy concerning

Disputes between Husband and Working Spouse, Having listened to the discussions on the subject,


First: Separation of Financial Identities of Spouses

The wife has full aptitude, an independent financial identity, and the absolute right – within the framework of the Shariah – to earn money through work and possesses her own properties. She also has the right to dispose of what she owns, and her husband has no authority over her properties. She needs not any permission from her husband to own or to dispose of what she owns.

Second: Wife’s Expenses

The wife is entitled to the right of full reasonably-determined living expenses on her husband. The amount of spending is determined according to the financial capability of the husband, recognized, correct norms and customs and Shariah- accepted social traditions, and the wife does not lose her right to living except in case of her recalcitrance in discharging her conjugal duties.

Third: Outdoor Work of the Wife
  1. Looking after the family, upbringing the children, and caring for the future generations are among the primary responsibilities of the wife. Nevertheless, if need be, the wife has the right to pursue an outdoor job that suits her capabilities and specialization as per Shariah-acceptable traditions provided with abidance of Shariah rulings and decency and observance of her primary responsibilities.
  2. Being engaged in an outdoor job does not deprive the wife of her

Shariah-stipulated living expenses obligated on the husband, unless her engagement in the outdoor job creates a situation of expense-depriving recalcitrance from conjugal duties.

Fourth: Wife’s Contribution to Family Expenses
  1. According to Shariah, it is not obligatory for the wife to contribute to the household expenses as they are initially assigned to the husband, and therefore, she should not be forced to do so.
  2. Voluntary contribution of the wife to such expenses is desirable in Shariah because it involves cooperation, mutual support, and affinity between
  3. It is permissible for the couple to amicably agree on what they are going to do with the salary or wage earned by the wife.
  4. When the performance of the outdoor job of the wife results in addi- tional expenses relating to it, such additional expenses should be borne by the wife.

Fifth: Stipulating the Wife’s Work in the Marriage Contract
  1. It is permissible in the marriage contract for the wife to stipulate that she has the right to pursue an outdoor If the husband accepted such clause, which must be explicit in the contract, he is required to abide by it.
  2. It is permissible for the husband to ask the wife to quit a job he already permitted if quitting the job is in the best interest of the family and the
  3. It is prohibited, according to Shariah, for the husband to take his per- mission to the wife (or the contractual clause) to have an outdoor job, conditional upon her contribution to living expenses, as they are from the beginning obligated on him, or upon giving him part of her salary or earning.
  4. The husband has no right to force the wife to do an outdoor

Sixth: Wife’s Participation in Ownership

When the wife contributes from her own sources or earnings to a residential house, a building, or a commercial project, she is entitled to a share in that property commensurate to her actual contribution.

Seventh: Abuse of the Right to Work
  1. Marriage entails mutual rights and duties between the spouses that have been laid down by the Shariah so that the marital relationship becomes based on equity and mutual solidarity, support, and Violation of such rights is strictly prohibited by the Shariah.
  2. It is not permissible for the husband to abuse the right by preventing the wife from outdoor work or asking her to leave it for the mere sake of causing prejudice. Prevention may be acceptable when it becomes clear that the harm it causes supersedes the benefit expected from
  3. The same is also true for the wife, who should not misuse her right by insisting on keeping work for the mere sake of causing harm to her hus- band or family, or when it becomes clear that the harm which results from the work outweighs any benefit expected from


  • Undertaking studies of social, economic, and medical effects of outdoor work of the wife on the family and the wife herself to clarify the various true as- pects of the subject. Samples to be used for such studies should be taken from different
  • Confirming the need for implanting the concept of mutual complemen- tarity between spouses and emphasizing the keenness of Islam to have the relationship between the two, based on intimacy and
  • Organizing a special seminar to discuss the issue of Muslim women in general, and their role in uplifting the Muslim society in Such a seminar would contribute to the development of civilization under the umbrella of the principles of Shariah, which would lead to adopting the resolutions and recommendations of the Academy by all Muslim govern- ments and institutions and presenting them at international conferences on women and population.

Indeed, Allāh is All-Knowing.

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