The reward for spending on one’s wife and children
Praise be to Allah
There is a great deal of evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah to encourage spending on one’s children and describing the virtue of doing so. This includes:
1 – Evidence from the Qur’aan:
Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):
“but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis”
“Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allaah has given him”
“and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allaah’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers”
2 – Evidence from the Sunnah:
There are many reports from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) concerning the virtue of spending on one’s wife and children, especially daughters. For example, Muslim (995) narrated from Abu Hurayrah in a marfoo’ report: “A dinar which you spend for the sake of Allaah, 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.”
It was narrated by Muslim (994) and others from Thawbaan, the freed slave of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a marfoo’ report: “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 Allaah, and a dinar which he spends on his companions for the sake of Allaah.” Abu Qilaabah said: he started with one’s children, then Abu Qilaabah said, what man earns a greater reward than one who spends on his small children so as spare them from having to beg or so that Allaah may benefit them through him and make them independent?
In Saheeh al-Bukhaari (1295) and Saheeh Muslim (1628) it is narrated from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him: “You will never spend anything seeking the Face of Allaah thereby, but you will be rewarded for it, even (the food) that you put in your wife’s mouth.”
In al-Bukhaari (55) and Muslim (1002) it is narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a man spends on his family, hoping for reward, that is (counted as) an act of charity for him.”
In al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 1442, Muslim, 1010), it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “there is no day on which people wake up but two angels come down. One of them says, ‘O Allaah, compensate anyone who spends’ and the other says, ‘O Allaah, destroy the one who withholds.’”
In al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 1418; Muslim, 2629) it is narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah 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 between her daughters and did not eat any of it herself. Then she got up and left. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah 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 Fire.’”
In Muslim (2630) it is also narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah 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 between them. I was impressed by her action and I told the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) what she had done. He said, ‘Because of that, Allaah has guaranteed Paradise for her, or saved her from Hell.’”
In Muslim (2631) it is narrated from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah 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.
And there are many similar ahaadeeth. And Allaah knows best.
(Adapted from Ghidha’ al-Albaab, 2/437)
Ibn Battaal (may Allaah 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 Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes)”
This spending is better than charity and all other kinds of spending. (Tarh al-Tathreeb, 2/74)
And Allaah knows best.