What Kind of Financial Responsibility Does One Have for One’s Sister?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


I have read that a brother is not obliged to spend money on his sister (even if she is poor and he is financially independent). Is this true? 


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

A brother is obligated financially support his sister with the following conditions:

Her father or son (if any) are poor or Islamically considered unable to earn
She is a Muslim
The brother himself is not poor or unable to earn. [al-Mawsu’a al-Fiqhiyya al-Yusufiyya]

If there are multiple brothers, the responsibility will be distributed among them.

Tariq al-Muharibi (Allah be pleased with him) said, “We arrived in Madina, and the Messenger of Allah was standing on the pulpit delivering a sermon. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The hand of the giver is the highest. So give first to your dependents: your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, then the closest and closest thereafter.” [Nasaai; Ibn Hibban]

Kulayb bin Manf’a al-Hanafi narrates that his grandfather (Allah be pleased with them both) said, “O Messenger of Allah, who do I show my righteous treatment to?” He (may Allah bless and give him peace) said, “Your mother and your father, your sister and your brother, and those that follow. That is a mandated right and family ties that must be joined.” [Abu Dawud]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he went on to study at Darul Uloom Seminary in New York and completed his studies in Darul Mustafa in Tarim, Yemen. There he completed the memorization of the Qur’an and his study of the Islamic Sciences. Throughout his years of study he was blessed to learn from many great scholars: al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz, al-Habib Kazhim al-Saqqaf, al-Shaykh Umar bin Husayn al-Khatib, and others. Upon returning, he joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.