Is my husband still liable to this verbal promise??

This post has 1,318 views.


Assalaamu ‘Alaykum waRamatullahi Wabarakatuh

I have a family issue that is being worrying for a long time and needs to be sorted out.

My husband opened a business six years ago but does not have the administation, accounting and computer skills.  He employed his brother in law (sisters husband), on a part time basis, who is now late, passed away last year October, (May Allah SWT grant his Janaat), to assist with the admin part of the business whilst my husband did the day to day running of the business.  This arrangement worked out well and his brother-in-law was paid an above board wages for his services rendered.

Along the way, due to an oversight by his late brother-in-law, my husband had lost an amount of

R130 000.00 due to theft by the workers in the business, at first this was denied that it was no fault of his but later accepted the error he had made. My husband was furios, but as time went along he forgave.

During the time of his employement, my husband had promised his brother-in-law an X amount will

be given to him as gratitude for his assistance. No written agreement was ever drawn up or this

subject never surfaced again as there was a big loss my husband had incurred in the business.

My husband has a nephew, his late brother-in-laws son,  who is 23-24 years of age who is not working for the past two and half years and does not make any attempt to work.   His is an Hafiz Al Quraan, and performs his Salaah timeously. This nephew has a degree, but refuses to go to work and run his home as he is adimant that he also wants to open up a business.  He lives alone with his mother and his sister is married.  He does not have the capital to open the business as he wants a business that obviously

requires a very huge capital.

His nephew has been for a long long time making very very degrading, rude, swearing and ugly comments about my husband.  He has informed the whole family, verbally and via e-mails that  my husband is a rough and he will pay in the hereafter as the money that was promised to his father was never give. He feels that those funds should now come to him.  Because this nephew does not work, my husband has been making a contribution of  R1 000 a month to his sister for the running of the home.

Recently, two weeks ago, the nephew visited my husband at the business and again to his face told him that he will pay in the hereafter for not giving the money he promised.

I can go on and on but my questions are as follows:

1.    Is my husband still liable to this verbal promise??

2.    Is the nephew not showing greed and because he wants to gain financially, behaving the way he


3.    Is it not his sole responsibility to look after his widowed mother????


Muhtaram / Muhtaramah

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāh wa-barakātuh.

Bismihi Ta’ala

1) According to the information you have provided us with, it is not binding upon your husband to hand over this sum of money to his nephew. If he chooses to do so out of his own free will, he will be rewarded.[1]

2) We are not in the position to comment whether his nephew’s actions are motivated by greed or due to some misunderstandings.

3) If the mother requires financial support, it will equally be the right of the son and daughter to support their mother i.e. if they both are wealthy enough to pay Zakāt.

(Al-Hidāyah, Vol.1, Pg.446, Shirkah)[2]
(Fatāwā Qādhi Khān, vol.1, pg.448, Rashīdiyyah)


We advise your husband to call up a meeting with his nephew and discuss the issue with some seniors of the family. In this manner, not only will the problem be solved but it will prevent unnecessary family disputes and malice being created.

And Allah knows best
Darul Iftaa

Madrasah Inaa’miyya

· The Sharée ruling herein given is specifically based on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.

· The Darul Ifta bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer. The Darul Ifta being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.

· This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of the Darul Ifta.


[1] وجه قوله أن الوفاء بالوعد من مكارم الأخلاق (بدائع الصنائع)

[2] ( ولا يشارك الولد في نفقة أبويه أحد ) لأن لهما تأويلا في مال الولد بالنص ، ولا تأويل لهما في مال غيره ، ولأنه أقرب الناس إليهما فكان أولى باستحقاق نفقتهما عليه ، وهي على الذكور والإناث بالسوية في ظاهر الرواية وهو الصحيح ، لأن المعنى يشملهما .