Q: Is it true that whatever belongs to a child belongs to the child’s father?
A: There is a narration wherein it is mentioned that a man came to Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam and he said, “O messenger of Allâh, I have wealth and children, and verily, my father intends to take away my wealth.” The Nabi of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam replied: “You and your wealth belong your father.”
In the explanation of this hadith the scholars of Hadith have stated the following:
1) Whatever the child earns and owns does not belong to the father. The above statement of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam does not imply ownership but merely illustrates that the child should not oppose his father regarding his wealth and children and that the command of the father regarding these matters should be obeyed.
2) The above statement of Rasooullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has to be taken in the context which it was uttered. The father was in need of expenses and the son refused to spend on his father. The Messenger of Allah, therefore, emphasized the need to spend on his father by exaggerating the father’s control of his (the son’s) wealth.
3) When the father is in dire need and does not have wealth of his own, he will be permitted to utilize the property of his children according to his need. He will not have the authority to utilize it with extravagance and wastage. The child still remains the owner of his wealth. Under normal circumstances parents are not allowed to take or use of their children’s wealth without their permission.
And Allâh knows best.
(Sharah Ma’anil Aathaar 4:158; An Nihaayah Fi Ghareebil Aathaar 1:834)
Answer by: Moulana Riyaad Lagerdien
Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai