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IslamQA: Should a wife obey a husband who doesn’t support her financially?

Salaam alaykum Can i ask ur opinion? Surah An nisa says "Men are protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other &because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women re devoutly obedient & guard in absence what Allah would have them guard" If a husb doesnt ever pay نفقه &isnt around to protect his wife, does he still have the right to b obeyed?If wife doesnt ask his permission in this case is she blameworthy

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

If a husband doesn’t carry out his duties then he loses the right to be treated according to the Islamic framework of qiwama in which a man is the head of the household. The wife has the right to look out for her own interests independently and to seek divorce, the husband would no longer be the head of her household. But the most admirable and pious thing for a woman to do in that situation would be to continue to fully embody her role as wife until she gets the situation resolved, either by seeking divorce or by convincing her husband to act responsibly. She will not need the husband’s agreement to get a divorce. She can go to an imam or scholar and explain the situation to them, and if they agree that the man is not acting as a proper husband, then they can officially divorce in the presence of witnesses without the husband needing to agree or to be present.

Islam has a zero-tolerance policy toward in-between situations where a husband or wife is only partly committed to the marriage. Either they should be fully committed or they should divorce.

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And God knows best.

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