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Who pays fitrana for the wife and children?

Question:

I am a married woman whose husband is a well to do man. Will I still have to pay Sadaqah al-Fitr even if my husband pays on my behalf. Would his payment be sufficient even if I possess my own wealth?

Answer:

All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is Messenger.

The wife’s Sadaqah al-fitr is wajib upon the person who is responsible for her maintenance, such as her father, husband, or son. However, if the individual responsible for her is not well off then it will be wajib upon the woman to pay for herself from her own wealth. On the condition she has surplus cash remaining after taking out her daily expenditures (which the shariah classes as necessities).

Ibn Umar reported that the the Messenger of Allah ﷺ made it an obligation to pay charity at the end of Ramadan, a portion of dates or barely, upon the slave and the freeman, the male and female, the young and the old among the Muslims. The Prophet ordered it to be given before people go out for the Eid prayer. (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Imam Malik has mentioned in his famous al-Muwatta that paying Sadaqah al-Fitr is a duty upon the man. He will on behalf of all those people under his care. It is incumbent upon him to fulfil this duty.

Imam Nawawi has also mentioned in Rawdha al-Talibin wa Umda al-Muftin’: “A person offers Sadaqah al-Fitr on behalf of himself and sometimes he may pay on behalf of others.”

The scholars agree that a person will be liable to pay the Sadaqah al-Fitr if he is responsible for a person through marriage or family ties. It is therefore the duty of the husband to fulfil the Sadaqah al-Fitr of his wife if he has the means to do this. His payment will be sufficient even if she is well of and capable of performing this act of worship.

And Allah ﷻ knows best.

This Fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari