February 24, 2024

In Muslim law, the notion of maintenance of wife was introduced to support individuals who are unable to support themselves. The principle of maintenance encompasses all of a person’s basic needs for survival, including having access to facilities like food, clothing, housing, schooling, and other necessities.

What is a Maintenance?

  • Maintenance is the sum of money paid by the husband to the wife (or wife to husband) if she is unable to support herself during the marriage or following a divorce.
  • Basic requirements for a normal life, including clothing, food, and shelter, as well as reasonable needs for financial stability and general well-being, should all be covered by maintenance.

What is maintenance to muslim women?

  • According to Muslim law, “maintenance,” also known as “nafqah,” is the amount a man spends on his family to meet their basic needs for clothing, food, shelter, and other necessities for survival. It is the duty of a Muslim husband to provide for his spouse throughout the duration of their marriage. It is the husband’s responsibility to support his wife regardless of his financial situation.
  • Ameer Ali’s Mohammedan law states that a Muslim wife’s right to maintenance is contingent upon her non-refractory behaviour, or her refusal to live with her husband without a good reason. Muslim law refers to maintenance as “Nafqah,” or the money a man spends on his family.

maintenance of Muslim wife under crpc

  • It is a secular section that regulates maintenance obligations under all personal laws.
  • Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that the wife would be entitled to maintenance from her husband until she remarries if she was unable to support herself following the divorce.
  • The minor who cannot support themselves, whether they are married or not, whether they are unmarried or legitimate.
  • The major child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, who suffers from a physical or mental disability and is unable to support themselves (married daughters are not taken into account in this).
  • A parent who is incapable of providing for themselves.
  • Section 125 of the CrPC also applies to Muslim women who lose their right to maintenance after the Iddat period. This action makes the husband liable for continuing to support the wife even after the Iddat period has passed.

maintenance under Muslim law

  • A Muslim husband is required by Section (3) (a) of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 to provide for the future of the divorced wife in a reasonable and equitable manner.
  • This also applies to her upkeep. Consequently, after the iddat period, the husband must give the wife a just and reasonable amount of maintenance in line with Section 3 (1) (a) of the Act.
  • Under Section 4 of this act, a divorced Muslim woman who is not married again and is unable to support herself after the iddat period may make a maintenance claim against her relatives, who will be entitled to her property upon her death. Muslims now have more rights as a result of this.

maintenance to Muslim wife: Important Case Laws

  • In the case of Shah Bano v Muhammad Ahmad Khan (1985), it was mentioned that Muslim women could file for maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), just like women from other communities, prior to the enactment of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.
  • In the case of Rahamathulla v Piyare (1996), the Muslim woman filed a case under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure against her husband in order to receive maintenance. The petition was denied by the court on the same grounds that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 entitled her to maintenance. 
  • In the case of Daniel Latifi v Union of India (2001), under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, all of the writ petitioners contesting the constitutionality of the Muslim Women Act of 1986 were combined into one P.I.L. The Supreme Court denied the writ petition contesting the legality of the Muslim Women Act of 1986. The Act’s legality was maintained by the Court.
  • In the case of Noushad Flourish v Akhila Noushad (2023), according to the Kerala High Court, a Muslim wife who obtained a divorce through a khula decree, divorce granted at the request and approval of the wife, is not eligible to receive maintenance from her husband under the virtue of Section 125 of the CrPC.

The provisions pertaining to maintenance in Muslim law differ from those in other personal laws. It will take more work and support from the legal system and legislation to improve the status of wives under Muslim law.

The idea behind maintenance of Muslim wife is to safeguard the wife’s rights and ensure that she leads a respectable life. Even after the marriage is dissolved, the husband is still obligated to support his wife in the event that she is unable to support herself. In addition to the wife, other blood relatives such as parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and children also receive it.

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