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Pocket and grocery money for the wife

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: A Molisab recently said in a bayan:

“The Islamic method of giving money to one’s spouse (wife) is as follows; you should give her household shopping money so that she can buy food and other such things for the family (the husband and children). As regards to this ‘shopping money’ you are allowed to ask her to show you how she spent the money and she is not allowed to give sadaqa, etc from that money without your permission.

In addition to that you have to give her regular ‘spending/pocket money’ for her services to you as she can’t go out to earn herself (as she is busy serving you and the children). As regards to this ‘pocket money’ after you give it to her it becomes her ‘mi-lk’ (possession) and therefore you can’t ask her how she spent the money or who she spent it on, etc. If she wishes she can give it all to her parents and you have to right to ask or demand that she stops giving to her parents, etc.

The wife should also save up the ‘pocket money’ and give her zakat , go for hajj and perform other obligations with this money instead of paying zakat, etc from the husbands money “

Mufti saheb my question is – Is this statement of the Molisab correct?


A: As for the money that has been given to her for her own expenses, she may use it as per her discretion. She is under no obligation to give her husband a detailed account of how she spent her personal wealth. Obviously, when it is her personal wealth then she is liable for zakaah and if she has sufficient money to do hajj  then it also fardh for her. It is better that you find out from the aalim that had heard from. Pocket expenses is not fardh, it is a moral obligation.  

باب النفقة هي لغة ما ينفقه الإنسان على عياله وشرعا ( هي الطعام والكسوة والسكنى ) (الدر المختار 3/571-572)

( فتجب للزوجة … على زوجها … بقدر حالهما ) به يفتى

قال الشامي: قوله ( به يفتى ) … قال في البحر واتفقوا على وجوب نفقة الموسرين إذا كانا موسرين وعلى نفقة المعسرين إذا كانا معسرين وإنما الاختلاف فيما إذا كان أحدهما موسرا والآخر معسرا فعلى ظاهر الرواية الاعتبار لحال الرجل فإن كان موسرا وهي معسرة فعليه نفقة الموسرين وفي عكسه نفقة المعسرين وأما على المفتى به فتجب نفقة الوسط في المسألتين وهو فوق نفقة المعسرة ودون نفقة الموسرة (رد المحتار 3/572-575)

كتاب الهبة وجه المناسبة ظاهر ( هي ) لغة التفضيل على الغير ولو غير مال وشرعا ( تمليك العين مجانا ) أي بلا عوض (الدر المختار 5/687)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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