Inability to provide for both one's wife and mother
Fatwa No: 365599

  • Fatwa Date:3-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 16, 1439
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Assalaamu alaykum. Currently, I am staying together with both my mother and wife. The little I earn is not enough to take care of the both of them, so please advise on what to do. Assalaamu alaykum.


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

If you are unable to provide for both your wife and mother and you cannot find any other way to increase your income, then providing for your wife is given precedence over providing for anyone else as long as the marriage bond is still intact.

Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"If a person does not have enough wealth except to provide for himself and one other person and he has a wife, she is more entitled to the maintenance; he is required to provide for her apart from any other relatives in need of maintenance. Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, 'If anyone of you is poor, he should begin by providing for himself; if anything is left after that, he should spend it on his dependents; if anything is left after that, he should spend it on his relatives.'" [Al-Mughni, 9/270]

If your mother is wealthy, then her maintenance should be from her own wealth. If she is poor, then her wealthy relatives are obliged to provide for her. Please, refer to fatwa 186187.

Allah knows best.

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