Rada’aat – Suckling – part 4

Rada’aat – Suckling


cont’d … from post 3/5


4.2 b) Maintenance of Female Children

A father is bound to maintain his female children until they are married, if they have no independent means of their own. He cannot hire them out to work or send them into service of any male person not within the prohibited degrees of marriage.


Marriage does not necessarily absolve the father from the obligation of maintaining his daughter. Should he contract a daughter in marriage to a man, concealing the fact that she was suffering from a disease which furnishes the husband with legal grounds for dissolving the marriage, he would be liable for her maintenance in case where the marriage is dissolved.


Children possessed of private property are to be maintained out of it from the time they are weaned. Until then, the father is bound to support and provide suitable attendance for them.


When a father maintains his children out of their earnings, it is his duty to be careful of the surplus and to make it over to them when they arrive at maturity. If the father cannot discharge this duty, or if he be false to the charge reposed on him, the judge should appoint some trustworthy person to take care of the earnings of such chidden until they are of age to receive them. A father is bound to support his son’s wife, when such a son is young, or infirm, or engaged in study.


When a man is absent, but has left available property , the judge may order maintenance out of the same  for the following persons, provided they are poor, viz., (a) the wife; (b) the male children, if young; or if adult, unable to earn their own livelihood; ? the female children, whether young or adult ( if unmarried); and (d) the parents.


A woman may compound with her husband for the maintenance of her minor children, but if such composition proves prejudicial to their interests, it would not be binding on the mother. In the same way, if a woman, on separating from her husband, were to agree to take charge of the children of the union and support them without requiring any assistance, and if she were to discover subsequently that she was unable to do so from poverty, the law would compel the husband to support his children, in spite of the stipulation entered into at the time of separation.


4.2.1) Children’s Obligations to Maintain their Parents When children have means, they are bound to maintain their parents if they be in difficult circumstances, and it makes no difference in their liability whether the parents are Muslims or non-Muslims. Even should the parents be able to eke out a livelihood by manual labour, the children, if they have means, would not be absolved from the obligation of helping to maintain them.


When the children are in straitened circumstances themselves, they are not bound to maintain their parents unless they are absolutely infirm and unable to obtain a livelihood, even by manual labour. In such cases, the children are required to share their food with their weak and infirm father or mother, or with both.


Under the Hanafi law, a person is bound to maintain his grandparents, his infant male relations within the prohibited degrees, if they are in poverty; all female relations within the same degrees, whether infants or adults, when they are in necessity; and also, all adult male relations within the same degrees, if they are blind or disabled, and, at the same time poor. But, with the exception of the grandparents, the support of these relations is only quasi-legal obligation.


Daughters as well as sons are liable for the maintenance of their poverty stricken parents. When a mother is poor, and a son is able to work for his livelihood, he is bound to support her according to his means, though he may be in straightened circumstances himself.


When a son is able to maintain one parent or grandparent only, the mother or the grandmother, as the case may be, has the preferential right. When a man has both parents and an infant child dependant on him, and has not the ability to support all of them, his child has the first claim on him.


When there are several persons on whom the liability of maintaining a particular individual devolves, the Hanafi’s hold that the liabilities should be apportioned according to the shares to which such persons would be entitled in the inheritance in the one whom they are required to support.


When a particular sum is agreed upon between the person who is liable, and the person to whom maintenance is due, or when the judge has ordered a specific sum to be paid periodically, should a change occur in the circumstances of the parties , such change would justify a re-adjustment of the liability. If the liability has been fixed by an order of a judge, it is in his discretion, upon a proof of a change of the circumstances of the parties to modify his order to suit the new requirements of  the case.


If the person against whom an order is made, fails to comply with it, satisfaction of the debt may be obtained either by an attachment and sale of his goods, or he may be imprisoned for contumacy.


A mere plea of poverty would not absolve an individual from the obligation of maintaining his wife and children. If the man is able to work for his livelihood, if he be not a cripple or so infirm that he cannot do anything to earn a living, he is bound to provide for their maintenance.


cont’d … post 5/5 (Ilm)