Putting Charity Before the Needs of Your Family

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam.

Question: Assalamu Alaykum,

I am writing to you again for sincere help and guidance with an issue in my marriage.

My husband is too generous with his money in my opinion. He gives away so much money to his poor friends that we often run out of money before his next paycheck. We have absolutely no savings because of his actions, and so I am the one who has to compensate with my own money so we can have food and transportation.

I tell him that his family should come before his charity to others but he tells me it is the devil in me that makes me upset, and that Allah will give back his charity double so he does not care.

But also he has no problem asking me for my money, saying that our money is mutual, but I do not agree because if our money was mutual then he would consult me before he gives charity from the money we are to use for our family.

When I refused to give him money and he got very angry with me and said some disrespectful things, I stood my ground and did not say anything back to him because Allah heard him.

Am I right or wrong? I would greatly appreciate your help and guidance.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

No, you are right not to give him money. Your money belongs to you, and he has no right to it.

This is a case of misplaced “generosity”. The wife and children are the husband’s priorities, and they take precedence over everybody else. They have a right to the husband’s money, and if he does not give or provide for them, he could be considered an oppressor (zalim). “Oppression will be manifest darknesses on the Day of Judgement,” said the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Charity begins at home, and he should fear Allah.

Fulfill rights and the blessing (baraka) and reward of charity will return to one. Otherwise it will just make life more and more difficult. Obligations take precedence over supererogatory acts. How much baraka will you have in life if you don’t pray Fajr and Zuhr, and instead, pray six units (rak’ats) in the evening?

Pray the prayer of need (salat al-hajah) daily, praying that he change his ways. [see: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?] Ask Allah, for He does not reject the pleas of the oppressed.

And remember the words of the truthful one (Allah bless him and give him peace), “How wondrous is the matter of the believer, for all that happens to him is good: if good befalls him he shows gratitude, and it is best for him; and if ill befalls him he shows patience, and it is best for him.” [Muslim]

See: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.