Spending on the Needy Relatives

It has been narrated that Maimuna bint Al-Harith (radi Allahu anha) had set free a slave-girl without the Prophet’s (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) permission. When her turn came (the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to visit his wives in turns), she made mention of that to him saying, “Did you know I have set slave-girl free?” He said, “Have you, indeed?” She replied, “Yes”. He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) then remarked, “Had you given her to your maternal uncles, you would have your reward increased.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]


This Hadith brings out the following two points:

  1. A woman is free to spend anything of her own property without the permission of her husband, but not of things owned by her husband.
  2. To spend on the needy relatives is more meritorious than to set a slave free because to set a slave free is a Sadaqah (charity) only, while paying Sadaqah to a kinsman has a double merit as it carries the reward of Sadaqah as well as “maintaining the ties of kinship.”

And Allah Knows Best!

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