Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti. I want to ask a question. What is the ruling for parents using the savings of their children, but they repay the money later? Can SS Dato’ Seri Mufti explain this matter? Thank you.
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
In our daily lives, things are growing more and more challenging, for the usual case is the daily expenses exceed one’s income. Hence, our society is becoming more creative to have a better life. Among the questions asked are regarding the usage of children’s property such as their savings in order to meet the daily expenses. Here, we share the opinions of scholars and their simplified discussion regarding this issue.
Jumhur (majority) of jurists (fuqaha’) in madhab al-Syafi’e, Hanafi and Maliki hold the opinion that a father is impermissible to use or take the property of his children unless if it is a necessity. See Mughni al-Muhtaj (3/446), Hasyiyah Ibn ‘Abidin (4/513), Hasyiyah ad-Dasuqi ‘ala al-Syarh al-Kabir (2/522)
They used a general hadith of the Prophet PBUH where the Prophet PBUH restricts a person from taking another person’s property as he wishes.
فَإِنَّ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَأَمْوَالَكُمْ وَأَعْرَاضَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ حَرَامٌ كَحُرْمَةِ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا فِي بَلَدِكُمْ هَذَا
"Allah has made your blood, your properties and your honour Sacred to one another (i.e. Muslims) like the sanctity of this day of yours in this month of yours, in this town of yours."
Sunan al-Tirmizi (2159)
Al-Mubarakfuri Rahimahullah said: “Indeed, your blood, properties and honour is sacred and prohibited from being taken from among you on the days of honour which is the day of Arafah (another opinion: Eidul Adha day), and in this town which is in Mecca.” See Tuhfat al-Ahwazi (8/382)
Jurists’ opinion in madhab Hanbali states a father has the absolute right to take the property of his children, whether the child is still young or a grown-up under two conditions:
- Does not harm the child and do not take something that is a necessity of the child
- Do not take the property of a child to be given to another child of his
See al-Mughni (6/62)
They supported their opinion using the following hadith of the Prophet PBUH:
عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ رضي الله عنه, أَنَّ رَجُلا قَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّه, إِنَّ لِي مَالا وَوَلَدًا وَإِنَّ أَبِي يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَجْتَاحَ مَالِي, فَقَالَ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: أَنْتَ وَمَالُكَ لأَبِيكَ
"O Messenger of Allah, I have wealth and a son, and my father wants to take all my wealth." He said: "You and your wealth belong to your father."
Sunan Ibn Majah (2291)
Regarding the above hadith, after citing the opinions of scholars such as ad-Daruqutni, Ibn Qattan and al-Munziri Rahimahumullah, al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani Rahimahullah commented: “The combination from the chain of narrators for this hadith does not weaken it and it is permissible to be used as evidence to support an argument.” See Fath al-Bari Syarh Sahih Bukhari (5/211)
Al-Hafiz al-Suyuti Rahimahullah said: “This hadith’s sanad is sahih, the narrators are thiqah (trustworthy) according to the conditions set by Imam al-Bukhari and have syahid (another chain of narrators with the same text) from the narration of ‘Aisyah RA.” See Misbah az-Zujajah fi Zawaid Ibn Majah (3/37)
The scholars have differing opinions on whether it is permissible for a mother to use her children’s property if there is a necessity for it and if she is included in the hadith: “أَنْتَ وَمَالُكَ لأَبِيكَ”
Some scholars state that the mother is not included as what the hadith meant. Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi Rahimahullah said: “It is impermissible except for the father to take the property of his child without asking permission from the child. The reason is, the hadith is intended for the father (أنت ومالك لأبيك) and it is invalid to analogically deduce (qiyas) the father to anyone else for a father has the authority on his child and the property of the child when the child is young.” See al-Mughni (5/397).
Some scholars hold the opinion that the mother is included as the meaning of the hadith. They support their opinion with the words of the companion of the Prophet PBUH, Abdullah bin Jabir RA:
يَأْخُذُ الْأَبُ وَالْأُمُّ مِنْ مَالِ وَلَدِهِمَا بِغَيْرِ إذْنِهِ ، وَلَا يَأْخُذُ الِابْنُ وَالِابْنَةُ مِنْ مَالِ أَبَوَيْهِمَا بِغَيْرِ إذْنِهِمَا
“Father and mother are permissible to take the property of their child without the need of asking permission from the child, and it is impermissible for a son or daughter to take the property of their parents without the permission of their parents.” See al-Muhalla (6/385)
They also argued using the narration from Atho’ bin Abi Rabah and al-Zuhri who ruled it permissible for the mother to take the property of her child the same as for the father. See al-Mudawwanah (2/264)
In our opinion, the majority of the scholars’ state, it is impermissible for a father to take the property of his children as he pleases and it is only permissible in dire situations for this is the accurate way in terms of the objective of syara’. This ruling is also applicable to the mother of the child. Regarding the hadith (أَنْتَ وَمَالُكَ لأَبِيكَ), the scholars answered it with two answers:
- The letter lam in the word (لأَبِيكَ) does not mean complete ownership, but the permissibility to use it.
Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jauziah Rahimahullah said: “The letter lam in the hadith (أَنْتَ وَمَالُكَ لأَبِيكَ) does not mean absolute ownership, whoever said that it refers to the permissibility to use it, then this is the accurate meaning of the hadith. If not, then the wisdom and meaning of the hadith will not be accomplished.” See I’lam al-Muwaqi’in ‘an Rabb al-‘Alamin (1/116)
- If a child dies, his property will be inherited by his wife, children and other family members, not solely his father. If his property is owned by the father completely, then his other heirs do not have the right to inherit his property.
Imam al-Syafie Rahimahullah said: “Indeed, when Allah SWT obligates the father to inherit the property of his child, He made the father similar to the child’s other heirs and there is even a possibility that the father will receive a smaller portion than the other heirs. This proves the child is the one who has complete ownership of his property and not others.” See ar-Risalah (pg. 468)
To conclude, it is impermissible for the parents to use the money of their children as they wish except when there is a necessity for it. If the parents have used the property of their needs for necessity, then it is obligatory for them to repay the money.
May Allah SWT give us goodness and the correct understanding in his commandments and subsequently grant us the strength to practice it. Amiin.