Who has more right to the wife's earnings?
Fatwa No: 128688

  • Fatwa Date:4-11-2009 - Thul-Qi'dah 17, 1430
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Question

i m a doctor, my parents put in their hard efforts for my studies. now i am married and now i am doing some job for the very first time after completing my studies. i just wana ask who has right on my pay. do clear it regarding my parents, i want to give and support my parents as much as i can. but people do talk in a way that parents shd not take from their daughters, is there any religious fact regarding this? and does my husband has any right to question me if i give anything out of my pay to my parents? does my husband has more right on my pay than my parents? i know that its not allowed for me to give zakat to my parents, i otherwise want to support them as because of ALLAH and then because of them i m what i m today. my parents are ALHAMDOLILAH blessed with everything but still they are bit weak financially and when i earn gud amount i want them to share it with them. plz clarify this in detail on basis of QURAN and sunnah.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

We have already clarified in some previous Fataawa, like Fatwa 101899 that a woman’s earning is her own right and that a husband does not deserve anything from it except if she gives him something with her own will.

We have also published Fatwa 95631 clarifying that a husband is not allowed to prevent his wife from spending her money in permissible fields and that she is not obliged to inform him about anything in this regard. However, if she fears that this may cause dissension, then she may use Tawriyah (saying something which has more than one meaning and intending a meaning different from what the listener is likely to understand).

Therefore, we advise you to continue being kind and dutiful to your parents especially that they did much good to you and helped you in your studies as you mentioned. So, your donation to them is an act of charity and keeping ties with kinship. Indeed, each spouse should help each other to be kind and dutiful to his/her parents.

The statement that the parents should not take anything from the earnings of their daughter is not correct. Rather, it is confirmed that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said to one of his companions: “You and your money belong to your father.” [Ahmad, Abu Daawood and Ibn Maajah] Of course, in this narration the text is not peculiar to sons only, but it applies to both sons and daughters.

Furthermore, the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them stated that it is permissible for the father if he is in need to take from the money of his child to the extent that the child is not harmed. They also stated that if the parents are poor and they have no earnings, then their children, whether sons or daughters, are obliged to spend on them if they have money.

As regards your question about who has more right to the earnings of a woman from her work, then the answer is that her earning is her own right, but she should be generous to her relatives, and the parents come in priority over any other person. Allaah Says (what means): {Say, “Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives….}[Quran 2:215]

Moreover, a woman may be obliged to spend on her parents as we previously explained but she is not obliged to spend on her husband.

Of course, what we stated here in regard to the parents coming in priority over the husband and other relatives (in donating to them) is when the woman can only donate to one of them, otherwise it is appropriate for her to do good to everybody including the husband if she can do so. 

Allaah Knows best.

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