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Who has More Right to be Spent upon, The Wife or the Mother?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Who has More Right to be Spent upon, The Wife or the Mother?
The Noble Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen said in Explanation of the Book: Zaad Al-Mustaqni’
If he is not incapable (of spending upon the mother) then he spends (upon her). Spending upon the wife is obligatory in every circumstance, even when one is incapable of doing so. So we say that for her (the mother) the spending is except if he is unable; then he is not sinning while if he is able to do so (but does not) then he is sinning.
As for this one (the first case) then it is not obligatory upon him, nor is it required of him except if he is able to spend. And how is his ability to spend determined? It is the one who has wealth which he is able to spend upon himself and his wife; and she (the wife) takes precedence over the relatives; even the mother and father and the children as well. That is because spending upon the wife is in reality spending upon oneself. Hence, if she does not find that the husband spends upon her (correctly) then she can seek and annulment; and he is in need of her. So giving the wife precedence over the mother and father in terms of spending is because spending upon her is in reality spending upon oneself. This has been affirmed from the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) in that which Muslim and Ahmad reported from giving preference to the family over the relatives. That is when he (alayhi as-salaatu wa as-salaam) said:
“Spend upon your family; then your relatives, then here, and then here.”
Meaning: Give charity to them.
The gist of the matter is, that having the ability to spend is a condition for spending upon the relatives. The meaning of “ability” is that he has surplus wealth in addition to that which suffices him and suffices his family; meaning his wife or his multiple wives; then after that comes spending upon his relatives.
Translated by Raha ibn Donald Batts


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