Language Options:



175 pic


What is the ruling for a husband that leaves his wife without provisions (nafkah)? Are they considered as divorced?


Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

In answering this issue, we will start our discussion with a statement from Allah SWT:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

“And live with them in kindness.”

Surah al-Nisaa’ (19)

The above verse states Allah SWT’s command towards husbands to live and be kind towards their wives and this is an obligation. Hence, the negligence of providing nafkah (provisions) and leaving his wife without any excuse or explanation is prohibited and sinful. The scholars agreed that it is an obligation for a husband to provide nafkah (sustenance) to his wife and fulfilling its conditions.

The Evidence of the Obligation for a Husband to Provide for His Wife

This is in accordance with the Quran and al-Sunnah.


Allah SWT states:

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ

“Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.”

Surah al-Nisaa’ (34)

The above verse clearly explains the responsibility of a husband in providing (giving nafkah) for his wife.

Allah SWT also states:

وَالْوَالِدَاتُ يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ ۖ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ ۚ وَعَلَى الْمَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

“Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period]. Upon the father is the mothers' provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable.”

Surah al-Baqarah (233)


From Jabir RA, he said:

فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ فِى النِّسَاءِ فَإِنَّكُمْ أَخَذْتُمُوهُنَّ بِأَمَانِ اللَّهِ وَاسْتَحْلَلْتُمْ فُرُوجَهُنَّ بِكَلِمَةِ اللَّهِ وَلَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ أَنْ لاَ يُوطِئْنَ فُرُشَكُمْ أَحَدًا تَكْرَهُونَهُ. فَإِنْ فَعَلْنَ ذَلِكَ فَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ ضَرْبًا غَيْرَ مُبَرِّحٍ وَلَهُنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَقَدْ تَرَكْتُ فِيكُمْ مَا لَنْ تَضِلُّوا بَعْدَهُ إِنِ اعْتَصَمْتُمْ بِهِ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ

“Fear Allah SWT in handling the affairs of your women. You take them as a responsibility from Allah SWT and they are made permissible for you through the word of Allah SWT. Your right on them is for them not to allow the people that you dislike from entering your room. If they allow it, then hit them not causing them pain (as a teaching). And you are obligated to provide for them, and cloth them as you are capable. Indeed, I leave you one thing, if you hold on to it, you will never be led astray, and that is the book of Allah SWT (Al-Quran).”

Sahih Muslim (1218)

The Wisdom for the Obligation of Providing for One’s Wife

Here, we include the wisdoms behind the obligation of providing for one’s wife:

Marriage is built on one of the following three basis:

  • The husband took the responsibility as sole provider for his wife and children
  • The wife takes over all the responsibilities (replacing the husband in providing for the family in terms of money)
  • Husband and wife work together in fulfilling the responsibility of working and providing (nafkah) for their family

The question is, what would happen if the first basis is neglected (this is the ruling set in Islam) and the second or third basis took place?

The result could be as the following:

  1. It would involve the issue of dowry, whether the woman is solely responsible to prepare the dowry or they (man and woman) prepare the dowry together.

Women would then go out and try to find a guy to be her husband, whereas Allah SWT has honoured them and make it so that man are supposed to search for a woman to be his wife.

The reason is, the person that is responsible to give the dowry is supposed to search for its recipient. If this happens, women will face all sorts of deception and lies from men in her search to find a responsible man as her husband.

  1. Women are forced to work to provide for herself. This would result in them having to compete with men in the workforce.

If this happens, surely women will be exposed to negativity and exploitation. This can be observe happening in our society today.

It would also affect the marriage institution, for it needs someone to manage and take care of the well-being and education of their children. A marriage should be the source of happiness and peace, however now it has changed into the source of problems and chaos.

  1. If the marriage is built on either the second or the third basis, surely the rights would also be the wife’s alone or shared with her husband. The economy and social law dictate that whoever provides (financially) would be the one with the authority. In the discussion of this issue, it has been stated the great wisdoms on why the rights resided on the husband.

Regarding whether they are still considered married or divorced, we would like to explain that a divorce will not take place unless there’s a clear ta’liq during akad (marriage) and there is a case presented to the office or court. We recommend that this issue is referred to Syariah court. May Allah SWT bless all our marriages to be Baiti Jannati. Amiin.