Question: If someone is spending money on his married sister who is financially stable, is it considered sadaqah? If it is not sadaqa but ihsan, what are the virtues of Ihsan? And is it better to spend his money as sadaqah to needy people or helping a community?
The word sadaqa is often used as a broad term incorporating all good deeds. The Prophet (blessings upon him) said, “Every act of good is sadaqa.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Therefore, what you give to your family members of monetary wealth to assist them is a form of sadaqa, even if they are financially stable. As to whether it is superior to give to the poor or family members, then the best approach is to strike a balance between the two. There may be some contexts where spending money on your family is required and appropriate, while other times it would be better to assist the poor and the community.
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas was born in New York and graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics.