The rights upon one’s parents are some of the greatest rights upon a person, and from the goodness of a son to console his father when he requires money, before parents would feel embarrassed to take money from their children, so this prophetic saying came : “You and your wealth belong to your father” out of goodness to the minds of the parents, permitting them to take money and not ownership.

Is it compulsory for a Muslim to spend on his parents like he spends on his wife and children?

To understand the answer we must understand the boundaries of compulsory spending on parents, as Ibn Al Mundhir narrated with consensus of the scholars that spending on poor parents who do not have an income or any money is compulsory upon a son and his wealth. It is known that spending is only compulsory on the necessary items which are needed to live properly. 

If the parents are poor and the son is the one spending on them, then the obligatory spending is confined to necessary things and anything beyond that is out of pure goodness, generosity and from the door of love and charity towards them. And if he is unable to spend on his parents like he spends on his wife and children then there is nothing against him, as this is not disobedience, because the root of our religion is that Allah SWA has removed all discomfort from all people. Allah says in the Quraan: Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond what it has been given – surah Talaq- ayah 7 and He says: Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond its capability- surah Baqarah- ayah 286

The sheikh Abdul Khaliq Al shareef says:

There is no doubt that restrictions should be placed on the saying of the Prophets saying: “You and your wealth belong to your father” and are represented in the following:

1. The father has to comply to his piety and devotion

2. The financial circumstances of the father and the one looking after him

3. The situation or the need for which the father requests money from his son

4. The state of the son and the extent of his wealth and his needs.

If the son has a large amount of wealth which is beyond his basic needs and he is the one who looks after them, and his father requires money so that he may live a comfortable life, then in this circumstance the son must be generous and help him, even if the father is capable of working, but he stopped so that his son may spend on him.