Shafaqna (International Shia News Agency) – The Grand Ayatollah Sistani answered some questions regarding ‘matrimonial obligations’. According to Shafaqna the questions and answers are as follows:
Question 1: A woman, who is not obedient to her husband and does not carry out her matrimonial obligations, had, without his consent, left her matrimonial home and stayed with her parents for seven months. She, then went to a non-Islamic court, filed a divorce application, and demand maintenance and custody of the children. Has such a woman, who has violated her marital duties, any right in anything from her husband?
Answer: The said woman is not entitled to shari’i maintenance. As for her dowry and her right in nursing her offspring for the hawlayn (the two years), it should not be forfeited by virtue of nushouz (recalcitrance of the woman toward her husband).
Question 2: What is the quantity of the maintenance which a husband should provide his wife with? Moreover, can a man force his wife out of his home during Iddah (waiting period)?
Answer: The amount of maintenance, from the point of clothing, food and shelter, must be in accordance with the wife’s social status. During the Iddah, husband must not kick his wife out of the house.
Question 3: I would like to have more information regarding the depth and extent of a husband’s obligations for maintenance and expenses of the wife. Is it true that the husband should provide the same level of life (luxuries, maids, education) as the wife had before marriage? Does the answer differ from one scholar to another? Are there any hadith and/or rulings in this regard?
Answer: The husband is obliged to provide his wife with food, clothing and housing in conformity with her social status and dignity; dignity meaning the same level of life that she had before marriage. In this regard, the scholars share the same view.
Question 4: If a wife and husband are both working, and the husband incurs some debts, is it obligatory for the wife to help the husband in paying his debt or she can use her money as she wishes.
Answer: It is not necessary for the woman who is working to give her wages to her husband. The husband does not have the right to make her do so, but if the wife helps her husband from her own desire, then she has performed a praiseworthy action.