The whole concept of maintenance was introduced to provide financial support for a person’s living expenses, or the support so provided to ensure a reasonable standard of living. In Indian Society, the maintenance laws and rules differ from religion to religion. The amount of maintenance decided by the court depends upon the monthly income of the husband, an income of the wife, his financial status and keeping other things in mind.

According to Ameer Ali’s Mohammedan law, the right of the Muslim wife to maintenance is subject to the condition that she is not ‘refractory’ or does not refuse to live with her husband without reasonable cause.

Under Muslim law, maintenance is known as “Nafqah” which means what a man spends on his family. As per Muslim laws, women are considered weak as compared to men. It is believed that they are not able to maintain herself on her own whereas it is the liability of the husband to provide maintenance to her wife even if she is capable of maintaining herself.


As we discussed above men are considered superior to women in all cases in which is considered to be dependent on men. It is the responsibility of a husband to maintain his wife even after divorce. The husband is under the obligation to maintain his wife arises out of the status of the marriage. Listed below the following circumstance:

  • Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

  • Maintenance under Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986

  • Maintenance under anti-nuptial agreement

  • Status arising out of a valid marriage


Under Muslim Law, Mandatory obligations of a husband to maintain his wife arise out of the status of marriage. It is a mandatory provision as per Quran that a husband is bound to maintain his wife of a valid marriage and not the wife of a void or irregular marriage. The obligation of a husband to provide maintenance even after the dissolution of marriage. However, the obligation of the husband exists only when the wife remains faithful towards him and obeys all his reasonable orders.

As per Muslim is ‘nashizah’ or rebellious, she has no right to maintenance until she returns to her husband’s house. A woman who goes out from her husband’s house and denies herself to him, in contradiction to one who merely refuses to abide in her husband’s house, whereas which is not necessary for the purpose of restraint. Therefore, when she ceased to be a ‘nashizah’, she is again entitled to maintenance.


The provision of quantum maintenance is not prescribed under any personal law. It is granted as per the discretion of court depending upon the financial condition of husband and wife and other relevant circumstances.

Under the Shia Law, the quantum of maintenance is granted by taking into consideration as per the requirements of the wife.

Under Shafei law, the quantum of maintenance is decided by the post of the husband.


According to Anti- Nuptial agreement, Muslim marriage is a contract or an agreement is made between the parties to the marriage in which it states the rights and duties of husband and wife. The condition of the agreement should be valid otherwise the marriage should be considered as void. In this agreement, a wife can stipulate some conditions for husband and if he breaches such conditions, she has a right to live separately and is entitled to get maintenance. Listed below some conditions are as follows:

  • If the husband ill-treats her

  • In case, if he brings a second wife or keeps a concubine


Maintenance of Muslim women under section 125 of the Code of the Civil procedure, 1973 is basically secular in nature. Due to secular nature, it does not affect the various personal laws.

Section 125 Criminal Procedure Code, provides for the maintenance to divorced wife of all religion. It empowers the Magistrate to order maintenance in favor of Muslim women whose marriage remains intact in law.

Moreover, it stated that after divorce if the wife is not able to maintain herself, she is entitled to get maintenance from her husband. Under this act, Muslim women also get a fair amount of maintenance by her husband within the given Iddat period and this act also creates the liability over husband to pay the maintenance even after the period of Iddat. Whereas, if the husband neglects or refuses to maintain his wife without any lawful cause, the women may sue him for maintenance. She may apply for an order for maintenance under 125 of Crpc in which the Court may order the husband to pay maintenance.

As per Maintenance under Muslim personal law, there are different types of divorce in Islam. Under the “women (Protection of Rights On Divorce) Act, 1986”, a Muslim wife has a claim over the following act:

  • A reasonable amount of maintenance by her ex-husband within the given iddat period.

  • The husband is required to provide ‘dower’ or ‘Meher’ as promised at the time of the wedding.

  • If the wife is pregnant, during the divorce she is entitled to get a fair amount of maintenance for at least 2 years from the date of birth of a child.

  • The property right as given to the wife by her relatives, parents, and husband or his family or relatives.

  • In case, they had a child at the time of divorce, a wife is entitled to claim maintenance for the child till the time she remarries or until the child is dependent.

Moreover, If the Muslim wife is not able to maintain her living after iddat period, the Magistrate can order her relatives who would receive her property after her demise, to make suitable provisions to maintain her as per the law of maintenance and divorce laws in India.


eStartIndia Team

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