Can A Woman Donate Any Of Her Money Without Her Husband's Permission?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I want to
help my family, my father, mother and siblings, by
giving them some money. I work and I have a lot of
money, alhamdulillah. I am able to help them, but my
husband will not let me. What should I do?
Praise be to Allaah.
family (your father, mother and siblings) are poor and
you are able to spend on them, then you are obliged to
do so, and it is not permissible for you to obey your
husband and not spend on them.
See Question no. 44995.
If your spending on your family is done on a voluntary
basis, i.e., they are not in need of this money,
rather you want to treat them kindly and uphold the
ties of kinship by giving this money, then the
scholars differed concerning the ruling on a woman
donating some of her wealth voluntarily without her
The majority of scholars are of the view that the wife
cannot be stopped from donating some of her wealth;
she has the right to dispose of it as she wishes
without her husband's permission. They quoted several
texts as evidence, such as the following:
1 – The proven report that Umm al-Mu'mineen Maymoonah
bint al-Haarith (may Allaah be pleased with her) freed
a slave woman and she did not ask the permission of
the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him). When it was her day for the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to stay
with her, she said: "Did you notice, O Messenger of
Allaah, that I freed my slave woman?" He said: "Did
you?" She said: "Yes." He said: "If you had given her
to your maternal uncles you would have earned a
greater reward." Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2592;
This shows that it is permissible for a woman to
dispose of her wealth voluntarily without her
2 – al-Bukhaari (978) and Muslim (885) narrated that
Jaabir ibn 'Abd-Allaah said: The Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up on the day
of al-Fitr and led the people in prayer. He started
with the prayer then he delivered the khutbah
(sermon). When he had finished he came down and came
to the woman and exhorted them, leaning on Bilaal's
arm, and Bilaal was spreading out his cloak for the
woman to throw their sadaqah (charity) into it.
According to another report: they started to give
their jewellery in charity.
This hadeeth shows that a woman may give her wealth in
charity without her husband's permission.
This hadeeth shows that it is permissible for a woman
to give some of her wealth in charity without her
husband's permission and that this is not limited to
one-third of her wealth. This is our view and the view
of the majority. Maalik said: It is not permissible
for her to give more than one-third of her wealth
except with her husband's permission. Our evidence for
that from the hadeeth is the fact that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not
ask them whether they had their husbands for
permission, or whether they were giving more than
one-third. If the ruling had differed he would have
Some of the scholars are of the view that a woman
should not donate any of her wealth except with her
husband's permission. They quoted as evidence the
words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him): "It is not permissible for a women to give
anything except with her husband's permission."
Narrated by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, 6643; Abu Dawood,
3547; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abu
The majority of scholars interpreted this hadeeth as
referring to a foolish woman who does not handle money
properly, or as meaning that it is mustahabb for a
woman to ask her husband's permission, not that it is
obligatory, and that this is part of good manners.
According to the majority of fuqaha', this is part of
good manners and making the husband feel good, but
that only applies in the case of a woman who is not
wise or mature. It was proven that the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said to the women, "Give charity," and they started to
throw their earrings and rings and Bilaal caught them
in his cloak, and these gifts were given without their
Al-Shawkaani said in Nayl al-Awtaar (3/414):
This hadeeth has been quoted as proof that it is not
permissible for a woman to give away any of her wealth
without her husband's permission, even if she is wise
and mature. But there was some difference of scholarly
opinion concerning that. Al-Layth said: That is not
permissible at all, either concerning one-third of her
wealth or less than that, except with regard to
insignificant things. Tawoos and Maalik said: It is
permissible for a woman to give away up to one-third
of her wealth without her husband's permission, but no
more than that; it is not permissible to give more
than that without his permission. The majority are of
the view that it is permissible for her to give any
amount away without her husband's permission, so long
as she is not immature. If she is immature then it is
not permissible. It says in al-Fath: the latter view,
which is that of the majority of scholars, is well
founded in the Qur'aan and Sunnah.
Based on this, a woman should not be prevented from
giving some of her wealth in charity, even if her
husband does not approve.
But it is better to ask his permission so that he will
feel good, and so as to avoid any hard feelings on his
part about his wife's spending. And he should give her
permission and not stop his wife from doing good deeds
and treating people kindly.
And Allaah knows best.
See also question no. 21684.