In Muslim law, maintenance is not commonly used in the law it is similar to
other personal laws. Every divorced wife has a right to maintenance by her
former husband. The husband should maintain her wife during the iddat period and
beyond the period. The husband's liability must be to maintain her wife and
fulfill every condition which is required for the maintenance. Let's find some
more points related to the liability of the husband in maintenance.
What is Nafaqah (maintenance)?
In Muslim law, maintenance is known as kharcha-i-pandan. The husband must agree
to give maintenance after the dissolution of marriage. Another obligation is
that a spouse can agree to the payment of maintenance to his wife. It is known
as kharcha-i-Pandan, guzara, mewa khori. Nafaqah is the word used for
maintenance which means "what a person spends over his family". In the legal
sense, three things count in this (i) food (ii) clothing (iii) lodging.
When is the husband liable for the maintenance?
The period of iddat- Iddat period is very important in Muslim law for the
entitlement of maintenance. A divorced wife is entitled to be the maintenance by
her husband during the iddat period.
Iddat period is defined in section 2(b) of Muslim Women (Protection of rights on
divorce act) 1986 iddat period means that three menstrual courses after the date
of divorce if she is subject to menstruation and three lunar months after her
divorce if she is not subject to menstruation and if she is enceinte at the time
of her divorce, the period between the divorce and the delivery of her child or
the termination of her pregnancy.
It is the agreement that is signed by the couple by the time of marriage. In
Muslim law, the husband is liable for the maintenance by this agreement in the
form of mahr. This amount is decided by the time of marriage. It is the
safeguard for every woman who is a divorced wife and can be maintained by the
When the husband is not liable for the maintenance?
- If she has been imprisoned
- If she eloped with somebody
- if she refuses to live with her husband without any reason
- if she deserted her husband and does not perform her marital duties
- If she makes an agreement of desertion on the second marriage of her
- If she is disobedient to his reasonable command
- If she is a minor and that is the reason marriage cannot be consummated
Shah Bano CaseFacts:
Shah Bano was married to Mohd. Ahmed khan in 1932 and he was a
renowned lawyer in Indore. After the marriage they become parents of 5 children.
After 14 year of marriage 1946 he was married again with a younger girl than
him. In 1975 when she was 62 years old her husband was thrown out from the
matrimonial home along with the children. In 1978 she applied for the appeal
under section 125 of Crpc in Indore.
She filed the suit in 1978 because her husband abandoned her. Husband of shah
bano was given a guarantee to pay Rs. 200 Per month. In 1978 November her
husband gave divorce to her as a form of saying triple talaq and it was
irrevocable. after the pronouncement of triple Talaq husband of Shabana took
safe guard and his wife was not legally wife right now and this time he was not
accountable to pay the maintenance and alimony to her wife the local Court
directed to her husband to pay 25 rupees per month as a maintenance on 1st July
on a divisional application the High Court of Madhya Pradesh and hence the
amount of maintenance to Rs. 179.20 per month.
Ahmed Khan filed a petition to appeal before the supreme court and he argued
that the divorce he cannot keep any form of connection with his divorce wife
because it is not allocated by Islamic law and is Haram and hence he is not
legally responsible to maintain her wife.
the court held that section 125(3) of Crpc solicited to Muslims to without any
sought of discrimination. Supreme Court concluded that there is no conflict
between the provision of section 125 and dose of Muslim personal law on the
question of the Muslim husband obligation to provide maintenance for a divorce
wife who is unable to maintain herself. Thus at the end the court concluded that
husband's legally liable to maintain his wife.
Danial Lathifi v. Union of India
The court held that this provision means
that the reasonable and fair provision and maintenance is not for the limited
period but it is the life long until she remarries.
Can the husband be liable for the maintenance after the iddat period?
Yes, he is liable for the maintenance after the period of iddat. In the case of
Shabana Bano v. Imran Khan
the Supreme Court held that a Muslim divorced
woman who has no means to maintain herself is entitled to get maintenance from
her former husband even after the period of iddat and she can claim the same
under S.125 Crpc.
In every personal law, husband liability is important for maintenance. By the
time changes can be seen in the law. remind the duties of a husband to take care
of his wife. Liability arises because they become husband and wife and that wife
is legally wedded. So, her husband must maintain her wife. The husband cannot
neglect this duty because it is given in the law. Maintenance is the concept
that is always superior authority in the eye of law in the sense of justice