Is it permissible for a woman to pay her Zakat to her husband?

It is permissible for a woman to pay her Zakat to her husband if he meets the conditions of those deserving to receive Zakat, as it is not obligatory for a woman to provide for her husband.

This comes in accordance with the general meaning of Allah’s (Exalted be He) Saying:

Which means: “Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Al-Quran, Surah at-Tawbah, verse 60].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted the wife of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with them) to pay her Zakat to her husband.

Narrated by ‘Amr bin Al-Harith:

So I (Zainab, wife of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud) went to the Prophet and I saw there an Ansari woman who was standing at the door (of the Prophet) with a similar problem as mine. Bilal passed by us and we asked him, ‘Ask the Prophet whether it is permissible for me to spend (the Zakat) on my husband and the orphans under my protection.’ And we requested Bilal not to inform the Prophet about us. So Bilal went inside and asked the Prophet regarding our problem. The Prophet asked, “Who are those two?” Bilal replied that she was Zainab. The Prophet said, “Which Zainab?” Bilal said, “The wife of ‘Abdullah (bin Mas`ud).” The Prophet said, “Yes, (it is sufficient for her) and she will receive a double rewards (for that): One for helping relatives, and the other for giving Zakat.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim].

Whereas, it is not permissible for the husband to give Zakat money to his wife, because it is his obligation to support his wife and provide her with clothing and shelter.

Thus, it is also not permissible for parents to give children the Zakat money because it is not lawful to give Zakat to one’s ascendants (one’s parents, regardless of their degree) or descendants (one’s children, regardless of their degree).

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

Fatwa source: The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

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