IslamQA

Paying Zakat to One’s Wife 

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

My wife is presently taking a student loan to attend university. After she finishes, she will have no means of paying off her loans. If I pay them for her, would that be considered zakat, or am I responsible for paying them?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate. May His abundant blessing and most perfect of peace be on His Beloved Prophet, the best of creation, and his family, companions and followers.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

There is great reward in paying off another’s debts, particularly when they are unable to repay them, and even more so when they related (such as one’s spouse). However:

It is not permitted to give one’s zakat to one’s wife by scholarly consensus, as Imam Ibn Qudama al-Hanbali (Allah have mercy on him) states, and then relates from Imam Ibn al-Mundhir (Allah have mercy on him). [Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni 2.270]

The reasoning behind the ruling is that it is obligatory for the husband to provide for his wife, so this lifts her need for zakat. [ ibid.]

Also, material benefits are shared between the spouses, so it does not fulfill the condition of zakat, which is that it be given in a manner in which there is no (direct material) benefit returning back to the giver. [Marghinani, Hidaya; Tumurtashi, Tanwir al-Absar]

The definition of zakat is that it is:

“Transferring ownership of an amount of material wealth specified by the Lawgiver to a poor Muslim who is not Hashimi not their client, without material benefit returning to the giver in any way, for the sake of Allah Most High.” [Tumurtashi, Tanwir al-Absar]

There are many important points understood in this definition:

1. It is a condition that there be a transferring of ownership. (Simply put: your zakat has to be given). As such, it is not valid to forgive a debt someone owes you as zakat.

2. Zakat has to be given to the poor and needy. It is not valid to give zakat for projects, mosques, and virtuous activity, unless the zakat itself will be given to the poor and needy.

3. Zakat must be given to a Muslim. Unlike charity, it is not valid to give zakat to a non-Muslim.

4. Zakat cannot normally be given to Hashimis.

5. The giver cannot materially benefit from giving their zakat. As such, one cannot give zakat to one’s parents, children, or spouse, because benefits between these people are shared.

[Ibn Abidin and Haskafi, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar 2.2-4; Ibn al-Humam and Marghinani, Fath al-Qadir Sharh al-Hidaya ]

As for those who say that it is permitted for the wife to give zakat to her husband because of the hadith of Zaynab (the wife of Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with her and him)): the very text of the hadith clearly indicates that she asked the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) about charity (sadaqa) not zakat. [Ibn al-Humam and Marghinani, Fath al-Qadir Sharh al-Hidaya]

She had money and Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) was poor. She asked whether ‘it would count’ if she provided for him. The Prophet said, “Yes. She would have two rewards: the reward of charity (sadaqa), and the reward of relationship.” [Bukhari (1466), Muslim (1000),Nasa’i (2583), and others]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani
Wassalam.

 

قال الإمام ابن قُدامة في المغني: (2/270-271)( 1769 ) مَسْأَلَةٌ : قَالَ : ( وَلَا لِلزَّوْجِ , وَلَا لِلزَّوْجَةِ ) أَمَّا الزَّوْجَةُ فَلَا يَجُوزُ دَفْعُ الزَّكَاةِ إلَيْهَا إجْمَاعًا . قَالَ ابْنُ الْمُنْذِرِ أَجْمَعَ أَهْلُ الْعِلْمِ عَلَى أَنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَا يُعْطِي زَوْجَتَهُ مِنْ الزَّكَاةِ ; وَذَلِكَ لِأَنَّ نَفَقَتَهَا وَاجِبَةٌ عَلَيْهِ , فَتَسْتَغْنِي بِهَا عَنْ أَخْذِ الزَّكَاةِ , فَلَمْ يَجُزْ دَفْعُهَا إلَيْهَا , كَمَا لَوْ دَفَعَهَا إلَيْهَا عَلَى سَبِيلِ الْإِنْفَاقِ عَلَيْهَا.قال شيخ الإسلام برهان الدين المرغيناني (رحمه الله تعالى) في الهداية:قَالَ ( وَلَا يَدْفَعُ الْمُزَكِّي زَكَاتَهُ إلَى أَبِيهِ وَجَدِّهِ وَإِنْ عَلَا , وَلَا إلَى وَلَدِهِ وَوَلَدِ وَلَدِهِ وَإِنْ سَفَلَ ) لِأَنَّ مَنَافِعَ الْأَمْلَاكِ بَيْنَهُمْ مُتَّصِلَةٌ فَلَا يَتَحَقَّقُ التَّمْلِيكُ  عَلَى الْكَمَالِ ( وَلَا إلَى امْرَأَتِهِ ) لِلِاشْتِرَاكِ فِي الْمَنَافِعِ عَادَةً ( وَلَا تَدْفَعُ الْمَرْأَةُ إلَى زَوْجِهَا ) عِنْدَ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ رحمه الله لِمَا ذَكَرْنَا , وَقَالَا : تَدْفَعُ إلَيْهِ لِقَوْلِهِ { عليه الصلاة والسلام لَكِ أَجْرَانِ : أَجْرُ الصَّدَقَةِ , وَأَجْرُ الصِّلَةِ } قَالَهُ لِامْرَأَةِ  عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ رضي الله عنه وَقَدْ سَأَلَتْهُ عَنْ التَّصَدُّقِ عَلَيْهِ ; قُلْنَا : هُوَ مَحْمُولٌ عَلَى النَّافِلَةِ .في الدر المختار شرح التنوير:وَلَا ) إلَى ( مَنْ بَيْنَهُمَا وِلَادٌ ) وَلَوْ مَمْلُوكًا لِفَقِيرٍ ( أَوْ ) بَيْنَهُمَا ( زَوْجِيَّةٌ ) وَلَوْ مُبَانَةً وَقَالَا تَدْفَعُ هِيَ لِزَوْجِهَا .في الدر: ( هِيَ ) لُغَةً الطَّهَارَةُ وَالنَّمَاءُ , وَشَرْعًا ( تَمْلِيكٌ … جَزْءُ مَالٍ ) خَرَجَ الْمَنْفَعَةُ , فَلَوْ أَسْكَنَ فَقِيرًا دَارِهِ سَنَةً نَاوِيًا لَا يَجْزِيهِ ( عَيَّنَهُ الشَّارِعُ ) وَهُوَ رُبْعُ عُشْرِ نِصَابٍ حَوْلِيٍّ  خَرَجَ النَّافِلَةُ وَالْفِطْرَةُ ( مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ فَقِيرٍ ) وَلَوْ مَعْتُوهًا ( غَيْرِ هَاشِمِيٍّ وَلَا مَوْلَاهُ ) أَيْ مُعْتَقِهِ , وَهَذَا مَعْنَى قَوْلِ الْكَنْزِ تَمْلِيكُ الْمَالِ : أَيْ الْمَعْهُودِ إخْرَاجُهُ شَرْعًا ( مَعَ قَطْعِ الْمَنْفَعَةِ عَنْ الْمُمَلِّكِ مِنْ كُلِّ وَجْهٍ ) فَلَا يُدْفَعُ لِأَصْلِهِ وَفَرْعِهِ ( لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى ) بَيَانٌ لِاشْتِرَاطِ النِّيَّةِفي الحاشية: ( قَوْلُهُ مَعَ قَطْعِ ) مُتَعَلِّقٌ بِتَمْلِيكِ , وَقَوْلُهُ مِنْ كُلِّ وَجْهٍ مُتَعَلِّقٌ بِقَطْعٍ ط ( قَوْلُهُ فَلَا يَدْفَعُ لِأَصْلِهِ ) أَيْ وَإِنْ عَلَا , وَفَرْعِهِ وَإِنْ سَفَلَ , وَكَذَا لِزَوْجَتِهِ وَزَوْجِهَا وَعَبْدِهِ وَمُكَاتِبِهِ لِأَنَّهُ بِالدَّفْعِ إلَيْهِمْ لَمْ تَنْقَطِعْ الْمَنْفَعَةُ عَنْ الْمُمَلَّكِ : أَيْ الْمُزَكَّى مِنْ كُلِّ وَجْهٍ ( قَوْلُهُ لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى ) مُتَعَلِّقٌ بِتَمْلِيكِ أَيْ لِأَجْلِ امْتِثَالِ أَمْرِهِ – تَعَالَى ( قَوْلُهُ : بَيَانٌ لِاشْتِرَاطِ النِّيَّةِ ) فَإِنَّهَا شَرْطٌ بِالْإِجْمَاعِ فِي مَقَاصِدِ الْعِبَادَاتِ كُلِّهَا بَحْرٌ

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

Find more answers indexed from: Qibla.com
Subscribe to IslamQA Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe to IslamQA Weekly Newsletter

You will receive 5 Q&A in your inbox every week



We have sent a confirmation to you. Please check the and confirm your subscription. Thank you!