Chapter 36 Sustentation of the Members of the Family

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“The father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis”. (2:233)

“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. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him”. (65:7)

“And whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s Cause), He will replace it”. (34:39)

289. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “A dinar you spend in Allah’s way, or to free a slave, or as a charity you give to a needy person, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is that which you spend on your family”.
[Muslim].

Commentary: A Muslim is ordained to spend first of all on the need of his wife and children and their food and clothes. There is greater reward for him in this because these expenses are obligatory on him while spending on other items is in the nature of Nawafil. Obviously, one cannot forego the former for the latter.

290. Thauban bin Bujdud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “The most excellent dinar is one that a person spends on his family, and the dinar which he spends on his riding-animal in the way of Allah (in Jihad), and the dinar he spends on his companions in the way of Allah”.
[Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith relates to the same subject which has been mentioned in the previous Hadith. It stresses that men of small means should first of all spend on their own families and children. It is in fact an act of great merit. After fulfilling their needs, if he still has something left with him then he can spend it on other items in the order of precedence mentioned in the Hadith.

291. Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked Messenger of Allah (PBUH), “Would I be rewarded for what I spend on Abu Salamah’s sons? For I can’t let them go here and there (to beg people).” Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied, “Spend on them and you will be rewarded for what you spend on them”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: Although parents spend money on their children out of their natural love for them, Allah is so Gracious that He not only rewards them for it, but He gives it in greater proportion than what they spend on other meritorious items.

292. Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported in a Hadith included in the chapter of Intention, that Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Whatever you spend seeking thereby the Pleasure of Allah, will have its reward, even the morsel which you put in the mouth of your wife”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith also highlights the point that one should feed his family and children with the intention that it has been ordained by Allah. In that case, this natural instinct will become an act of worship for which he will be rewarded.

293. Abu Mas`ud Al-Badri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “When someone spends on his family seeking his reward for it from Allah, it is counted as a charity from him”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  `Seeking his reward’ means that one is supporting his family as a duty entrusted by Allah. It is also warranted by compassion for the near ones. A person who does it as a duty ordained by Allah and shows mercy to his deserving relatives to attain His Pleasure then what he spends with this intention on his children will be eligible for reward from Allah.

294. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Neglecting one’s own dependents is a reason enough for a man to commit a sin”.
[Abu Dawud]

The narration in Muslim is: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “It is enough sin for a person to hold back the due of one whose provision is in his hand”.

Commentary: This Hadith tells us that negligence in matter of maintenance of one’s family is such a great sin that if a person is free from all other sins, this one alone will be enough to make him accountable before Allah. The words used in this Hadith are so comprehensive that they include servants and slaves besides family and children because he is also equally responsible for their maintenance. Thus, this Hadith makes it evident that it is the responsibility of the head of the family to provide the necessities of life to all his dependents; and any negligence on his part in this respect is a great sin.

295. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Two angels descend every morning, and one says: `O Allah, give him who spends something, in place of what he spends.’ The other one says: `O Allah, give destruction to him who withholds”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith provides justification to pray for virtuous people to get better than what they have spent, and to destroy the wealth of the niggardly who refuse to spend in the way of Allah.

296. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The upper hand is better than the lower one (i.e., the spending hand is better than the receiving hand); and begin (charity) with those who are under your care; and the best charity is that which given out of surplus; and he who asks (Allah) to help him abstain from the unlawful and the forbidden, Allah will fulfill his wish; and he who seeks self-sufficiency will be made self-sufficient by Allah”.
[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary: This Hadith mentions the importance of spending in the way of Allah, preference of one’s family and children over others, and chasteness and contentment. It also tells us that Allah helps one in getting what one prays for.

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