What are a wife's rights on her husband according the Quran and Sunnah? or what are a husbands duties to his wife and viceversa?
Praise be to Allaah.
Islam has enjoined upon the husband duties towards his wife, and vice versa, and among these duties are some which are shared by
both husband and wife.
We will mention – by the help of Allaah – some of the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah which have to do with the duties of the spouses towards one another, quoting also from the commentaries and views of the scholars.
The rights of the wife which are hers alone:
The wife has financial rights over her husband, which are the mahr (dowry), spending and accommodation.
And she has non-financial rights, such as fair division between co-wives, being treated in a decent and reasonable manner, and not being treated in a harmful way by her husband.
1. Financial rights
(a) The mahr (dowry). This is the money to which the wife is entitled from her husband when the marriage contract is completed or when the marriage is consummated. It is a right which the man is obliged to pay to the woman. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart” [al-Nisaa’ 4:4]
The prescription of the mahr demonstrates the seriousness and importance of the marriage-contract, and is a token of respect and honour to the woman.
The mahr is not a condition or essential part of the marriage-contract, according to the majority of fuqahaa’; rather it is one of the consequences of the contract. If the marriage-contract is done without any mention of the mahr, it is still valid, according to the consensus of the majority, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
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