Is the husband obliged to give zakaat al-fitr on behalf of his Christian wife?

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
There is a Muslim man living in a western country, and he is married to a Christian woman. Does he have to give zakaat al-fitr on her behalf?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Check below answers in case you are looking for other related questions:

Answer:
Praise be to Allah.

Firstly: 

Zakaat al-fitr must be paid on behalf of every free Muslim, male or female, old or young. With regard to the non-Muslim, zakaat al-fitr is not obligatory for him, because of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) enjoined zakaat al-fitr upon the people at the end of Ramadan, a saa‘ of dates or a saa‘ of barley, upon everyone, free or slave, male or female, among the Muslims. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1504) and Muslim (984). 

It says in Mughni al-Muhtaaj (2/122): No zakaat al-fitr is required of one who is originally a non-Muslim, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “of the Muslims”, and this is the consensus of the Muslims. al-Maawardi said: … because it is a purification, and he (the non-Muslim) is not one of its people [i.e., it is a purification from sin, and there is no purification from sin for the non-Muslim unless he becomes Muslim]. End quote. 

Abu Ishaaq ash-Shiraazi said in al-Muhadhdhab: Nothing is required of him except the zakaat al-fitr of a Muslim. If the one on whose behalf he is giving it is a non-Muslim, he is not required to give zakaat al-fitr on his behalf, because of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar, “[it was enjoined] upon everyone, male or female, free or slave, among the Muslims”. Moreover, the purpose of zakaat al-fitr is purification of the one on whose behalf it is given, and the disbeliever cannot be purified [of sin]. End quote. 

An-Nawawi said: ash-Shaafa‘i and his companions said: He is not obliged to give anything except the zakaat al-fitr of a Muslim; if he has a relative or a wife or a slave who is a non-Muslim, he is obliged to spend on them, but he is not obliged to give zakaat al-fitr on their behalf. There is no difference of opinion concerning this matter among us. This was also stated by Maalik, Ahmad and Abu Thawr. End quote from al-Majmoo‘ (6/74) 

Al-Hijjaawi said in Zaad al-Mustaqni‘: He should pay it on his own behalf and on behalf of any Muslim on whom he spends. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said in ash-Sharh al-Mumti‘ (6/155): It may be understood from the author’s words (may Allah have mercy on him) that he should not give zakaat al-fitr on behalf of a non-Muslim wife or a non-Muslim slave. End quote. 

To sum up: the Muslim husband does not have to pay zakaat al-fitr on behalf of his non-Muslim wife. 

And Allah knows best.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Related Answers:

Recommended answers for you: