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I am married and my husband works but I claim money of the government stating that I am a single mother. Is this money halaal or haraam? Need to know as I pay my charity out of this money.
All praise be to Allah.
Indeed, Islam gives high importance to lawful money, both earning and spending it. It should be known that lawful money in Islam has three main conditions; to be lawfully gained, to be lawfully spent, and to be prevented from unlawful spending.
It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "If anyone threw a mouthful of haram food in his/her abdomen, none of his/her work would be accepted by Allah for forty days." (At-Tabarani from Ibn `Abbas)
In addition, besides following the Islamic Shari`ah rules, a Muslim, man or woman, has to follow the law of the country where he/she lives so that the money he/she earns is lawful according to both the state and Shari`ah.
In his response to your question, Sheikh `Abdul Majeed Subh, a prominent Azharite scholar, stated,
It is not permissible for you to take this money, as this contradicts the law of your country. Also, this is a kind of cheating and cunning which is forbidden in Islam.
By taking this money, you are earning unlawful (haram) money that is not of your right. Moreover, in some countries, some women in similar cases tend to get married with a non-official marriage contract (`Aqd `Urfi) to avoid lawful questioning and penalty. Consequently, she and the whole family might face problems and dangers of many kinds.
From this it is clear that the money you are taking from the government is not halal, and you have to stop receiving it so that Allah Almighty may accept your good deeds.
May Allah guide us all to the right way, Amen.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Question Date: 2010-07-05
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