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Law Of Domestic Relations - Chapter 6

Maintenance (Nafaqa) (Articles 28-36)

Article 28 defines the term maintenance (Nafaqa) as providing for ones family, including food, clothing, lodging, medical care and help for ones wife to maintain a reasonable standard even where the wife is incapable (e.g. invalid, old age). Payment of maintenance is decided between the couple or by the Qadi. The article on medical care is a very modern addition and does not exist in Ottoman Law (see Article 92) or in Egyptian reforms. (13)

Article 29 allows for additions or reductions in maintenance after re-estimation in accordance with changes in prices or the financial situation of the couple, for good or bad. (See Article 92 of Ottoman Law.)

Articles 30 -33 deal with guaranteeing maintenance to the wife if the husband becomes an invalid or disappears. Article 34 rules that if a missing husband has assets deposited with a third party, and this party admits holding these assets, or if he denies their existence, and it is proven by the wife through a civil court of law, that such assets exists, then the Qadi may determine the amount of maintenance she will receive from these assets or the interest on them, from the day the claim was made. The wife must swear before the Qadi that her husband did not provide maintenance for her, nor is she divorced. This article is in contrast to Hanafi doctrine. (14) Ottoman Law (Article 99) does not recognize the authority of Civil Courts, to determine whether the husband has such assets or not.

Article 35 states that the accumulated outstanding debt for maintenance payments, agreed upon or ordered by the court, are not canceled by the death of the husband or wife, or by divorce. In contrast to Ottoman Law (Article 100), maintenance payments do not cease due to disobedience (nushuz) on the part of the wife.

According to Anderson, this article is in direct contrast to Hanafi doctrine, in which the maintenance ceases on the death of either one of the couple or the disobedience of the wife, and in some cases as a result of divorce (if the wife is the guilty party); unless money were borrowed on the husband's account with the court's authority.(15)

Article 36 defines disobedience on the part of the wife and withholds from her the right to claim maintenance as long the misunderstanding arising out of the wife's disobedience exists. This article denies her right to maintenance if she left her husband's house without sufficient legal grounds, or she remained in the house but prevented her husband from entering before his agreeing to her request to move to another house. This law does not exactly parallel Ottoman law (Article 101).

Intorduction Chapter 1 - Eligibility to Enter into Marriage (Articles 1 - 5) Chapter 2 - Forbidden Marriages (article 9 - 13) Chapter 3 - Arranging the Marriage (Articles 14 -19) Chapter 4 - Marriages Rules (Articles 20 -23) Chapter 5 - Dower ("Mahr") (Articles 24 - 27) Chapter 6 - Maintenance (Nafaqa) (Articles 28-36) Chapter 7 - Separation (Article 37-49) Chapter 8 - Waiting Period (Idda) (Articles 50-53) Chapter 9 - The custody of the children (Articles 54-66) Chapter 10 - Child allowance (Articles 67-74) Chapter 11- Payments by sons to parents and other relatives (Articles 75-80) Chapter 12 - Guardianship over minors (Articles 81-87) Chapter 13- Guardianship and wills (Article 88-98) Chapter 14- Responsibilities of the guardian [executor] (Articles 99-118) Chapter 15- Circumstances under with a Qadi may disqualify a person and appoint a guardian (Articles 119 -125) Chapter 16 - A Missing Person and his Trustee (article 126 -136) Chapter 17 - Paternity (nasab) (Articles 137-144) Chapter 18 - Wills and Inheritance (2) (Articles 145 -170) End Notes