Q: My husband is in heavy debts. I have a good amount of gold given to me in my marriage as a gift by my parents, in-laws and relatives. The zakat on gold amounts to thousands of rupees. I am a housewife so whatever my husband gives me for my personal expenses is the only income I have. First year of my marriage I sold a few items of my gold and paid off the zakat to nearest relatives who were in need. Now I heard about this following hadith: Al-Bukhaari (1462) and Muslim (1000) from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him), that when the Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) commanded the women to give in charity, Zaynab the wife of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood came to him and said: “O Prophet of Allaah, today you told us to give in charity. I have some jewellery and I want to give it in charity, but Ibn Mas’ood claims that he and his child are more deserving of my charity.” The Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Ibn Mas’ood has spoken the truth. Your husband and child are more deserving of your charity.” So I ask you if you could clear my doubts regarding it accordingly. Can I give the amount my husband gave to me for my peesonal expenses as zakat back to my husband so he could pay off his debts?
A: It is not permissible for the wife to give zakaat to her husband. You may assist him with lillah. The Hadith you have quoted refers to lillah.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)