4th April 2014
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Question: I am in need of guidance regarding a particular problem I have. My husband’s income is sufficient to cover the household bills, half house payment and car costs and prior to us marrying some 18 years ago, he agreed that I could continue working if I wished after marriage and this helped with mine and the house expenses (my clothing, car) the children’s clothes, items, school costs, dinners, house furnishings etc. Regarding Islamic ruling of a wife ‘taking’ from a husband’s property if he is not maintaining her and the children’s expenses like school fees, would I be able to do this here?
الجواب حامداً و مصلياً
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
According to the Islamic principle, it is the husband who is primarily responsible to financially support and maintain the home and family essentials, adequate for living. Even though the wife has arranged alternative financial means for herself (e.g. through employment), she is not obliged to contribute financially and the husband must still financially support her and his children. Other than basic food, clothing and a reasonable standard accommodation, paying off house hold bills, rental accommodation and children’s fee, all come under financial obligation, which the husband must initially provide.
If he allowed you to continue working after marriage and the financial contribution was divided between you both, as in, there was mutual agreement between both of you as to who will take financial responsibility in specific areas, then you must fulfil it within your capacity and abide by the initial agreement.
This being the case then you cannot take from him without his consent any additional money for that which you already agreed to contribute. You may however, take without his consent the necessary amount to pay off what he agreed to contribute when he fails to fulfil his part of agreement. 
[Allãh Knows Best]
Written by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed
Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam
JKN Fatawa Department
 Fatawa Hindiyyah, Book of Talaq, Chapter on Expenses, p. 568 vol 1
الْفَصْلُ الْأَوَّلُ فِي نَفَقَةِ الزَّوْجَةِ تَجِبُ عَلَى الرَّجُلِ نَفَقَةُ امْرَأَتِهِ الْمُسْلِمَةِ وَالذِّمِّيَّةِ وَالْفَقِيرَةِ وَالْغَنِيَّةِ
 Bukhari, Chapter of a man who does not spend then his wife can take what suffices her, Hadeeth No: 5364
Sayyidah A’isha (ra) relates, “Hind Bint Utbah (ra) said, ‘O Messenger of Allah (saw), verily Abu Sufyan (her husband) is a stingy man and does not give me what suffices for me and my child except what I take from him whilst he does not know of it (i.e. what I take without seeking his permission).’ He said,’ Take what suffices for you and your child (but) with kindness.’”