Sunday 19 Thu al-Hijjah 1441 - 9 August 2020
English

Will a woman have the reward for giving iftaar to a fasting person if she prepares food for her family members?

Question

Does a woman attain the reward for giving iftaar to a fasting person when she prepares food, or must she be the one who buys the ingredients?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

What appears to be the case is that the reward for giving iftar to a fasting person is not limited to the one who offers the food and at whose expense people who are fasting break their fast. Rather if the man spends on that from his wealth, and the woman is the one who cooks the food and prepares it for those who are fasting, then the man will have reward for what he spent from his wealth and what he did to give iftaar to those who are fasting, and it is hoped that the woman will also be rewarded for her work and effort, and making the food.

This is supported by the following hadiths:

Al-Bukhaari (1425) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If a woman gives from the food that is in her house, without causing any damage [i.e., without spending unreasonably], she will have a reward for what she gave, and her husband will have a reward for what he earned, and the storekeeper will have a similar reward, without the reward of any of them detracting from the reward of the others at all.

In another report narrated by al-Bukhaari (1440), it says: “If a woman gives from the food that is in her house, without causing any damage [i.e., without spending unreasonably], she will have a reward, he [the husband] will have a similar reward, and the storekeeper will have a similar reward. He will be rewarded for what he earned, and she will be rewarded for what she spent.”

This hadith indicates that the woman will have the reward for giving charity, as will the storekeeper, even though the wealth belonged to the husband.

Al-Bukhaari (1438) and Muslim (1023) narrated from Abu Moosa that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The trustworthy Muslim storekeeper who does as he is commanded or gives what he is commanded to give, giving it in full and willingly, to those to whom he is commanded to give it, is one of the givers of charity.”

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari:

The words “he [the husband] will have a similar reward” mean: a reward like hers; “and the storekeeper will have a similar reward” means: subject to the conditions mentioned in the hadith of Abu Moosa.

What appears to be the case is that they will all be rewarded equally.

However, the Arabic text of the hadith may be interpreted as meaning that they will all be rewarded, but the one who earned the money and bought the food will have a greater reward. End quote.

An-Nawawi said:

What these hadiths mean is that the one who participates in a good deed will have a share in the reward.

What is meant by having a share in the reward is that he will have a reward as the one who initiates the deed will have a reward; it does not mean that anything will be detracted from the reward of the one who initiated the deed.

What is meant is that, in principle, each of them will have a reward, so that this one will have a reward, and that one will have a reward, even though one of them may have a greater reward. It does not necessarily mean that the amount of their rewards will be the same; rather the reward of one may be greater or less. If the owner of the wealth gives his storekeeper, his wife or someone else one hundred dirhams and the like, to give it to one who is entitled to charity who comes to the door of his house, and the like, then the reward of the owner of that wealth will be greater. If he gives him a pomegranate or a loaf of bread and the like, which is not of great value, to take it a great distance to a needy person, and if he were to hire someone to take it, that would cost more than the value of the pomegranate or loaf of bread, then in that case the one who delivers it will have a greater reward; but if the cost of hiring him would be equivalent to the value of the loaf of bread, for example, they would have an equal reward. End quote.

It was narrated from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will admit three people to Paradise for a single arrow: the one who made it, seeking reward for making it; the archer who shoots it; and the one who passes the arrow to the archer.”

It was also narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah. At-Tirmidhi said: It is hasan saheeh. It was classed as hasan by al-Arna’oot in Tahqeeq al-Musnad (17338) on the basis of corroborating evidence.

From these hadiths it may be understood that a woman will attain reward for giving iftaar to one who is fasting by preparing the food, and her husband will have a similar reward. In fact the one who delivers the food to the fasting person will also have a reward, without the reward of one of them detracting from the reward of the others.

And Allah knows best.