Q&A (Fatwa)

#1148: Can A Married Woman Spend Her Wealth Without Her Husband’s Permission?

“As a married woman, working as a civil servants, do u have right to spend ur money without ur husband permission especially on some little things and giving charity? And secondly, u must table it to him, how u want to spend ur money b4 it comes.”



First, it is important to note that the wealth of a woman in the Shari’ah is entirely and solely hers, and the husband does not have a right in and on her wealth except that which she chooses to give him of her own volition. This is because in the Qur’an Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَنْ تَرَاضٍ مِنْكُمْ

“O You who believe, do not consume the wealth of your other selves without right except by way of genuine transactions that are done in mutual agreements”

And He said:

وَآتُوا النِّسَاءَ صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً فَإِنْ طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَنْ شَيْءٍ مِنْهُ نَفْسًا فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئًا مَرِيئًا

“And give to women their Sadaaq religiously and rightfully. But if it thereafter pleases them to give you something of it, then consume it with delight and gratefulness”

In the later verse, like the Mufassirun explained, Allah commands that the Awliyaa of the bride hand over the Sadaaq to her and it is not permissible for them to take anything of it without her permission and free giving, and she must not be compelled or bullied into giving it otherwise it is Haraam.

It is also important to note that the Ulamaa are in agreement that even if the wife is very wealthy, the responsibility of spending on her still lies on the Husband and she may only take off him some of that responsibility if she so pleases and by way of Sadaqah to him though they also agree that the spending upon which she has a right is commensurate with his capability.

Second, as for Sadaqah generally, then it can be divided into three.

One, that the wealth from which she gives Sadaqah is his wealth but that which he already gave to her or that which is little and insignificant. As for this, there is nothing wrong if she gives it as Sadaqah without his permission. This is due to the Hadith that was recorded by Imam Muslim from ‘Aa’ishah radiyallahu anha that the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam said:

إذا أنفقت المرأة من طعام زوجها، غير مفسدة، كان لها أجرها بما أنفقت، ولزوجها أجره بما اكتسب

“If a woman does Infaaq from the food of her husband without being extravagant or causing harm, she has the reward for that which she spent and her husband has a reward for what she has earned (of reward also)”

This is so, especially if she knows that he doesn’t take such things negatively and gives her the express permission to that, and provided it doesn’t harm or reduce the share of any of his dependents.

Two, that it is of his wealth but it harms or is significant.

As for this, it is not permissible for her to give. This is because of the Hadith that was recorded by Imaam Abu Daawud As-Sijistaani and An-Nasa’i from Abdullah bn Amr radiyallahu anhuma that the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam said:

لا يجوز لامرأة عطية، إلا بإذن زوجها

“It is not permissible for a woman to gift our without the permission of her husband”

Though the wording of the Hadith is generic by implication, it is restricted by the Hadith from Aa’ishah radiyallahu anha as referred earlier. Thus the Fuqahaa differentiated between them in the manner we have done.

This that we have mentioned was stressed by Imaam An-Nawawi rahimahullah in the Minhaaj.

Third, that the wealth is hers and she is spending it by way of Sadaqah.

As for this, the majority of the Ulamaa hold that it is permissible for her to give out without his permission unless if in doing that there is harm on her marriage or on her family then she may seek his permission by way of avoiding a harm. There are several Ahaadith to this regard.

Of them is the Hadith that was recorded by Imam Al-Bukhari and Muslim that once Maymunah bint Al-Haarith radiyallahu anha freed one of her slave girls without seeking the permission of the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam.

So when the day of her turn came and he was in her apartment she said:

“O Messenger of Allah, did you notice that I have freed the slave girl of mine?”

He said: “Really, you did? ”
She said: “Yes”
He said: “But if you had given her to your Aunts, it would have been more rewarding for you”

An-Nawawi said about this Hadith:
“In it is proof of the permissibility of a woman giving her wealth in gift without the permission of her husband”

Whilst, some of the Fuqahaa hold that she may not give anything of her wealth in Sadaqah without his permission. They based this position on the Hadith that we referred earlier.

لا يجوز لامرأة عطية، إلا بإذن زوجها

“It is not permissible for a woman to gift out without the permission of her husband”

And the Hadith is confirmed to be Sahih. But the Fuqahaa have explained the Hadith in light of what we have explained earlier.

In the illustrious book ‘Awn Al-Ma’abud, Shamsu al-Haqq Al-‘Adhim Abaadi, while commenting on this Hadith quoted Imaam Al-Khattaabi as saying:

“But this is interpreted by majority of the Fuqahaa to imply that it is recommended only by way of good living and pleasing the heart of the Husband (by seeking his permission) unless for a lady who is not smart and sound of reason (i.e in her case she must seek his permission because she has no sound reasoning of her own). For it is confirmed that in the Hadith the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam commanded the womenfolk to give Sadaqah and the women began to take off themselves their ear rings and their finger rings while Bilaal was gathering them in his spread clothe. And this is (evidence of) giving out without the permission of their husbands”

The Hadith to which he refer is the Hadith that was recorded by Imam Al-Bukhari and Muslim from Jaabir bn Abdillah radiyallahu anhu where he said:

قَامَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَوْمَ الْفِطْرِ فَصَلَّى فَبَدَأَ بِالصَّلَاةِ ثُمَّ خَطَبَ فَلَمَّا فَرَغَ نَزَلَ فَأَتَى النِّسَاءَ فَذَكَّرَهُنَّ وَهُوَ يَتَوَكَّأُ عَلَى يَدِ بِلالٍ وَبِلالٌ بَاسِطٌ ثَوْبَهُ يُلْقِي فِيهِ النِّسَاءُ الصَّدَقَةَ . وفي رواية : ( قَالَ : فَجَعَلْنَ يَتَصَدَّقْنَ مِنْ حُلِيِّهِنَّ)

“The Prophet stood up to offer the prayer of the `Id ul Fitr. He first offered the prayer and then delivered the Khutba. After finishing it he got down (from the pulpit) and went towards the women and advised them while he was leaning on Bilal’s hand. Bilal was spreading out his garment where the women were putting their alms”

In some Riwaayah he said:
“So they began giving Sadaqah with their ornaments”

The position of Maalik and Taawus on this matter is that it is permissible for her to give her wealth in Sadaqah without his permission provided it does not exceed a third.

The position of Al-Layth is that it is not permissible for her without his permission regardless of the quantity and the amount.

His evidence is the Hadith we already explained.

And the position of the majority on the permissibility without seeking the husband permission is what is correct on this matter.

But we have mentioned that it is better she seeks his permission as Al-Khattaabi mentioned, by way of softening the hearts and pleasing her husband, and Allah knows best.

Barakallahu fikum.
Jazakumullahu Khayran

📚 IslāmNode



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