Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Man is responsible for spending on his wife and children according to his means.
Responding to the question, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states the following:
There is a great deal of evidence in the Qur’an and the Sunnah to encourage spending on one’s children and describing the virtue of doing so. This includes:
1. Evidence from the Qur’an
Allah says, (But the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis.) (Al-Baqarah 2:233)
Allah Almighty also says, “Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him.” (At-Talaq 65:7)
And in another verse He Almighty says, “And whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers.” (Saba’ 34:39)
2. Evidence from the Sunnah
There are many reports from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) concerning the virtue of spending on one’s wife and children, especially daughters. For example, Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “A dinar which you spend for the sake of Allah, a dinar which you spend on freeing a slave, a dinar which you give in charity to a poor person and a dinar which you spend on your family—the greatest of these in reward is that which you spend on your family.” (Muslim)
It was also narrated by Muslim and others from Thawban, the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) that the Prophet said, “The best dinar which a man can spend is a dinar which he spends on his children, a dinar which he spends on his riding beast for the sake of Allah, and a dinar which he spends on his companions for the sake of Allah.” (Muslim)
Abu Qilabah said, “He started with one’s children. What man earns a greater reward than one who spends on his small children so as to spare them from having to beg or so that Allah may benefit them through him and make them independent?”
It is narrated from Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said to him, “You will never spend anything seeking the face of Allah thereby, but you will be rewarded for it, even (the food) that you put in your wife’s mouth.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
It is narrated from Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When a man spends on his family, hoping for reward, that is (counted as) an act of charity for him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
It is narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is no day in which people wake up but two angels come down. One of them says, ‘O Allah, compensate anyone who spends’ and the other says, ‘O Allah, destroy the one who withholds.’” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
In Al-Bukhari and Muslim, it is narrated that `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: A woman entered upon me and she had her two daughters with her. She asked me [for food] and I did not have anything except one date. I gave it to her and she shared it among her daughters and did not eat any of it herself.
Then she got up and left. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came in and I told him (what had happened). He said, “Whoever is tested with any of these girls and he treats them kindly, they will be a shield for him against the hellfire.” (At-Termidhi)
In Muslim, it is also narrated that `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, A poor woman came to me carrying her two daughters, and I gave her three dates. She gave each of them a date, and raised one date to her mouth to eat it. Then her daughters asked her for more food, so she split the date that she had wanted to eat among them. I was impressed by her action and I told the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) what she had done. He said, “Because of that, Allah has guaranteed Paradise for her, or saved her from the Hellfire.”
In Muslim, it is narrated from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever sponsors (takes care of) two girls until they reach adulthood, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection (like this)”—and he put his fingers together.
Ibn Battal (may Allah have mercy on him) said: He should spend on himself, on his wife and on those on whom he is obliged to spend without being stingy or extravagant in that, as Allah says, (And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes)) (Al-Furqan 25:67) This spending is better than charity and all other kinds of spending.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.
Source: Excerpted, with slight editorial modification, islamqa.info