Can the children of a father use the haram (illegitimate) earnings of their father?
Submitted by on Sat, 17/05/2014 - 17:12
Dear Brother / Sister,
The sustenance of the mother and children is an obligation on the father. It is his natural duty and a religious responsibility incumbent on him by Allah Almighty. The following is stated in verse 233 of the chapter of al-Baqara:
“…But he (the father) shall bear the cost of their (mother and children) food and clothing on equitable terms….”
Imam Qurtubi, the interpreter (mufassir) shows this verse as evidence that the sustenance of the child belongs to his father due to his weakness. 1
That is, it is necessary for the father to meet his child's needs until he reaches the age to earn his own living. It is his natural duty as a father.
The father is ordered in some verses and hadiths to fulfill this duty through legitimate and halal ways. That is, the head of the family needs to earn the sustenance for himself, his wife and other members of his family like his father and mother through legitimate ways.
A person who does not find halal earnings sufficient and resorts to haram ways by using earning his living as an excuse and who even earns all his earnings through illegitimate ways by disregarding legitimate ways undertakes the responsibilities and sins of all of his family members whom he feeds through illegitimate ways.
For, the individuals he has to take care of have no responsibility and sins regarding the issue. They eat the illegitimate earnings because they have to. Therefore, they are not regarded to have committed sins.
Ibn Abidin writes the following regarding the issue:
“It is not a sin for a woman to eat the food or to put on the clothes that her husband buys out of his illegitimate earnings. The sin belongs to the husband. However, if the nafaqa (subsistence money) given to her by his husband is something extorted, it is not permissible for her to eat from it.” 2
The situation of the children is no different from it. For, the sustenance of the children is the responsibility of the father just like the sustenance of the mother. The children have to eat what they father brings out of illegitimate earnings; so the sins occurring from this act belong to their father.
When the children grow up and become capable of earning their own living through legitimate ways, they will have to spend their own money.
1. at-Tafsiru’l-Qurtubi, 1: 163.
2. Raddu’l-Mukhtar, 5: 247.
Mehmed Paksu Helal – Haram
Questions on Islam
- Can a woman and her children eat from the haram earnings of the husband and the father?
- Can having little income be regarded as a barrier to marriage?
- “There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.” How should we understand this hadith?
- What is an illegitimate child? What does the religion of Islam say about this term?
- Is the father’s earning halal for his child?
- Are the mother and father regarded to have violated the rights of their child who is married and who lives in a different place from them if they take from his property without his permission?
- Is it permissible to have a test tube baby in order to have a male baby?
- How should we inform our children about sexuality?
- What are children's rights over their parents?
- In what cases does a woman have the right to work without her husband’s permission? What is the freedom of single or married women to spend their earnings?