What do the expert scholars of shari’ah say: A man has wealth which he puts into his savings but does not pay any zakah on it. His wife without him knowing, takes his money to pay the zakah which is due. She also takes whatever money is required for herself and their children. What will be the ruling for her actions?
Giving zakah is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a fardh upon every Muslim who possesses the minimum amount of wealth called nisab for one lunar year. The one giving zakah is not in debt, and the savings is extra to one’s necessary expenditure. The nisab is wealth equivalent to 85 grams of 21ct gold. The value of 85 grams gold is £3,870 (£45.53/g). When these conditions are met then 2.5% of the wealth must be given as zakah.
In the scenario given, once the husband’s savings have fulfilled these conditions then zakah will be necessary. If the wife paid the zakah from his wealth on his behalf, then the obligation will be lifted from the husband for that year. It will be necessary for the wife to inform her husband.
A wife can only take from her husband’s wealth to cover her own and her children’s needs. This is on condition that the husband is miserly with his wealth and does not provide for them on his own accord. The Prophet ﷺ mentioned to Hind, the wife of Hazrat Abu Sufyan, “take what is enough for yourself and your child with fairness.” (Al-Bukhari)
And Allah ﷻ knows the best
This Fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari