Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
If a wife wants to travel abroad to help refugees, is it permissible for her to secretly take her husband’s money to pay for her and or her friend’s trip?
In the Name of God, Most Merciful, Most Kind
Thank you/ Jazāk Allāh Khayr for contacting us with your question.
There is some indication in the prophetic ḥadīth that a wife is permitted to take her husband’s money without permission, however, only for basic necessities regarding herself and his children [if he is not providing for them]. To do so for other reasons such as pay for a friend’s travel costs is not permissible and in fact considered theft according to islamic jurisprudence.
The Messenger of God, Muḥammdad (peace and blessings upon him) has said, “One who takes anything without consent, I shall plead for the victim on the Day of Judgment.” (Sunan Abū Dāwūd)
“The wealth of another person [and or believer] is not permissible except with their willingful permission.” (Musnad Aḥmad)
“And whoever betrays, [taking wealth unlawfully], will come with what they took on the Day of Resurrection [for judgment before God]. Then will every soul be [fully] compensated for what it earned, and they will not be wronged.” (Qurʾān 3:161)
Muftī Shafī (may Allāh’s mercy be upon him) writes,
“An act of theft occurs when someone takes the belonging of another from a protected place, hiding oneself, without the permission of the owner”. (See: Maʿārif Al-Qurʿān)
In the described scenario, such funds must be returned to the husband otherwise one will be answerable before the Almighty.
It should also be noted that helping refugees is a praise worthy cause, however doing something good with unlawful means is sinful in Islam.
May God facilitate guidance and success for all.
And Allāh Knows Best
This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.