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Issues in Husband and wife relationship


Assalam o alaikum

I am a married woman who is struggling as a wife and a mother and don’t really know what to do. One of the reasons for agreeing to this marriage was my husband’s interest and knowledge in Islamic jurisprudence and Fiqh. However, things are not quite really as I had thought. We live in UK and we share 2 children between us and 2 children from his ex spouse (4 in total).

His ex spouse has more control and authority over him than I as his wife doesn’t have and she makes my husband agree to everything she wants in relation to their 2 children the way she wants and he’s paying a good sum to her every month in Child maintenance. Though this is one of the major issues in our marriage however there are other reasons for contacting you.

My husband says he’s the Decision Maker and Guardian in the house so he can decide and do whatever he wants in terms of our 2 children and he doesn’t really need to involve me in anything. Furthermore, he says that since he is the paying parent he must have control over all the communications and documents of the children. He is the point of contact in everything, he filled out the passport form, birth certificate, doctor’s registration and nursery etc and he is keeping his contact details everywhere as the main point of contact and emergency contact.

He doesn’t involve me in anything relating to the children rather he just informs me about his decision. He has kept all the documents of the children including hospital records, birth certificates and passport with him. I don’t even know what details has he filled in those forms. Not only that, he’s kept all my documents and posts with him which have his address saying that the address and house belong to him so he’s the right to keep these documents.

I have no authority on anything, everywhere he has filled in his contact details and everything is with him because he says he’s the guardian and custodian of everything related to the children as per Islamic law.

He is paying his ex 4.5 times the amount without any issues and terms for his other 2 children, however, he gives me a nominal amount as maintenance money (he doesn’t buy me anything other than paying that amount) but in return asks me to do all the household work and says it’s obligatory on me else he will deduct the amount if he needs to get it done by anyone else. I have shared Ayatollah Sistani ruling which confirms household work is not an obligation on the wife but he says he is paying my maintenance money and he agreed with my family about the house work etc which I am not aware of.

Furthermore, he recently shared a ruling which says a husband can check on his wife’s phone and personal things and this ruling is only for him, I can’t do the same in case of suspicion on my husband.

I don’t really know whether

Whatever he’s doing is actually the right Islamic approach?

Has a husband or father been given these many rights in Islam?

What are the rights of a wife or a mother?

Is the mother or wife’s responsibility only to do the house chores and has no right to be involved in matters relating to the children?

Don’t they have the right to be the point of contact for their children?

Can a husband keep his wife’s things only because these are sent to his property regardless of address and belongs to the wife?

Can’t a wife make or influence any decision?

Awaiting your kind response



Waalaykum al-Salam
Thank you for your question.

It is quite sad to learn that a person who claims to have learnt about Islam, fiqh and jurisprudence actually misuses his wife’s innocence in the matter.

Marriage is like a carriage running on two wheels. We all know, that for a carriage to run smoothly, it needs both wheels to be aligned and work together otherwise the carriage may go around in circles, around itself and the final destination may never be reached. Having children and looking after them is another responsibility of both parents. It cannot be left to one or be denied by one. Both parents are to be involved in the child/ren’s Upbringing. This harmonious way of bringing up the children will ensure balanced children who will prove to be great parents and successful human beings themselves.

It is obligatory for the man to provide for his wife and children with all their necessities. And if he fails to do so, he is indebted to them. This involves many aspects, like maintenance, and basic needs (like food, clothing, shelter, education..etc) Hence, your husband is obliged to provide for you just like he is obliged to provide for his children from the previous marriage.

Sister, just because someone may have studied some jurisprudence does not mean that he can make rules for himself and implement those on others like his wife and or children. It is only the Mujtahid. like Sayyid Sistani, who has the right expertise to make the rules and the rest of the people only follow those. For the same reason, to understand your rights and privileges I suggest your read the following Islamic laws to see how marriage looks under an Islamic lens. I also find it important to mention that Islam is not just Islamic laws, it has many other aspects that play a vital role in making life manageable and more meaningful.

hope this helps. Please write back to us if you need further help or have a query.
It is good to make your marriage healthy by making a harmonious environment and understanding between the two of you. Knowing your responsibilities and right and his too will make things fall in place and more doable.

best wishes,