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Spending on One’s Child

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(Advice of ‘Allaamah ‘Abdul Wahhaab Sha’raani [rahimahullah])

Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahimahullah) would say, “Training people (i.e. instilling in them correct character, qualities, etc.) is more difficult than training animals.”

Imaam Shaafi‘ee (rahimahullah) would also say, “Spend on your children, wife and servant to the extent of need. Do not completely hold back from spending on them, as they will then develop a strong disliking for you. At the same time, beware of giving them more wealth than they require, for they will become independent and you will lose control over them, as their obedience to you will be in proportion to their (financial) dependence on you.”

I heard my esteemed senior, ‘Ali Al-Khawwaas (rahimahullah) mentioning, “Do your best to give your children the correct upbringing, and make every effort to instill the disinterest of the world and its attractions within their hearts. Do not give your children money in their hands (i.e. to spend at their discretion), as they will then use the money to fulfill their desires and buy things that will corrupt and destroy them. Allah Ta‘ala mentions in the Quraan Majeed, ‘Do not give, to those who are weak in understanding, your property which Allah Ta‘ala has made a means of support (and sustenance) for you, but rather you provide for them with it and clothe them, and speak to them words of kindness.’” (Surah Nisaa v5)

Hence, one of the etiquettes of raising the child correctly is for the father to spend on his child, without giving him money in his hand before he has reached the age of understanding (and realized the value of money and the priorities of spending). The reason for this is that the world has a certain sweetness. Once the child grows up addicted to this sweetness, he will become greedy and will even be reluctant to spend money on his own father. 

(Al Minanul Kubraa pg. 483)