Islamic duty: Responsibility for

Q301 :People in my home country, India, say that a wife may not perform pilgrimage, pay zakah or offer the sacrifice on Eid Al-Adha using her husband's money. She must have her own resources to perform these duties. They say that if she utilizes her husband's money to do the pilgrimage, it is not valid. Please comment.


A301 : Islam treats both man and woman as equals with regard to religious duties. Everyone is responsible for the completion of his or her duties. Hence, a man is not responsible to pay for the travel expenses of his wife in order that she fulfills the duty of pilgrimage. However, if he willingly pays for her travel, she may accept and go on pilgrimage. Her pilgrimage is certainly valid and her reward is the same as every other pilgrims. The fact that she did not pay for it does not detract from the validity of her pilgrimage. She would have earned more reward if she were to pay for her own expenses. In that case, she receives a reward for spending money in order to obey Allah and a reward for fulfilling her duty. When her husband pays for her pilgrimage, he also earns a generous reward from Allah. What follows from this is that if a woman has a rich husband who is unwilling to pay for her pilgrimage and she does not have money for her own to cover her expenses, she does not meet the requirement of ability which makes pilgrimage a binding duty. As you realize, pilgrimage is required to be fulfilled by every Muslim, man or woman, who is able to undertake the journey. That ability includes both the physical and the financial. The sacrifice on the day of Eid is recommended, not obligatory. However, it is an act of worship for which reward is granted by Allah. If a woman wants to do it, she should use her own money. If she has no money and her husband offers to buy her the sheep for sacrifice, she may accept that. Both of them will be rewarded by Allah for their actions. Again, zakah is an individual duty. But zakah is paid only by a person who has money in excess of the threshold of zakah. Therefore, no husband needs to pay zakah on behalf of his wife, if she has no money of her own. In this case, she has no zakah to pay. The only exception is the zaka-tul-fitr at the end of Ramadhan. This is a duty which the head of a family must fulfill on his own behalf and on behalf of all his dependents including his wife and children and other relatives, if he supports them. There is a point of confusion in the question. While we say that the duty is binding on the individual, and that the woman should pay for her own pilgrimage, it does not mean that if someone else pays for it, the pilgrimage is not valid. It is indeed valid and rewarded by Allah.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )