Wife Has a Legal Right To Be Supported By Her Husband
The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that, as long as a woman is “loyal and fulfils her own matrimonial obligations,” she has a legal right to be “supported” by her husband.
According to Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in a ruling he wrote, “A Muslim husband is required to maintain his wife even if no term in this regard was agreed upon between them at the time of marriage or she can maintain herself out of her own resources.”
Justice Shah was a part of the three-judge Supreme Court panel led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial that was hearing an appeal brought by Haseenullah against a Peshawar High Court (PHC) decision from March 9, 2020.
Naheed Beghum Seeking Maintenance For Herself
The issue at hand is a lawsuit Ms. Naheed Begum, the wife of Haseenullah, filed in a Charsadda family court seeking maintenance for herself and her five minor children as well as the four kanals of agricultural property that were listed in column no.16 of her Nikahnama, which served as her dower. The husband was living with his second wife after entering into a second marriage.
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The court dismissed her claims for recouping her dower and maintenance, but upheld her claim for maintenance of her minor children. Her appeal was rejected by a district court, which upheld the family court’s decision.
Petitioner Appealed To The Supreme Court
She subsequently went to the PHC, which overturned the court’s decisions and upheld her claims for dower and support. In light of this, the petitioner appealed to the Supreme Court.
Justice Shah emphasised in the ruling that the Holy Quran declares men to be the protectors and maintainers of women since God has given one of them greater strength than the other and because they provide for them financially.