Q: The Messenger of Allāh (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:
“Ṣadaqah (voluntary charity) given to the needy is Ṣadaqah, but when given to Dhul-Rahim it is two things …” what is meant by Dhul-Rahim (relatives), who the Messenger (peace be upon him) has urged us to give Ṣadaqah to? Does the term refer to Mahram (spouse or permanently unmarriageable relative) females and also male relatives?
If it is permissible to give relatives Ṣadaqah, is it permissible to give it to them if they are rich or have the same standard of living as those who are giving them Ṣadaqah?
If our relatives have a better standard of living than us or are wealthy, is it sufficient to maintain the ties of kinship with them through visits?
A: Firstly, the full text of the Hadīth related by Ahmad, At-Tirmidhī, Al-Nasā’ī, and Al-Hākim, reads:
“Ṣadaqah given to the needy is Ṣadaqah, but when given to Dhul-Rahim it is two things: Ṣadaqah and maintaining the ties of kinship.”An-Nasā’ī 2581, at-Tirmidhī 658; classed as Sahīh by al-Albānī in Sahīh an-Nasā’ī 2420.
The Hadīth was reported on the authority of Salman ibn `Amir Al-Dabby.
Secondly, Dhul-Rahim refers to poor relatives, whether they are men or women. As for wealthy relatives, you can maintain the ties of kinship with them through gifts, visits, meeting them cheerfully, and offering them advice.
May Allāh grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
Source: The sixth question of Fatwa no. 9817, The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’