'Umar ibn al-Ahwas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say during the Farewell Pilgrimage: "Take good care of women, for they are your prisoners and you have no rights over them beyond that, except if they commit open illegal lewdness; if they do that, then you should shun them in their beds and strike them, but not in a way that causes pain. And if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). You have rights over your women and your women have rights over you. Your rights over your women are that they should not allow anyone to sit on your beds whom you dislike, or allow anyone to enter your houses who you dislike, and their rights over you are that you should clothe and feed them properly." (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 1163; Ibn Maajah, 1851. Al-Tirmidhi said this is a hasan saheeh hadeeth).
Mu'aawiyah ibn Haydah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "I said, 'O Messenger of Allaah, what is the right of the wife of any one of us over us?' He said: 'That you should feed her as you feed yourself and clothe her as you clothe yourself, that you should not say to her "May Allaah make your face ugly!" and that you should not beat her." (Reported by Abu Dawood, 2/244; Ibn Maajah, 1850; Ahmad, 4/446).
Imaam al-Baghawi said: "Al-Khattaabi said: This means that it is obligatory to spend on her and clothe her, according to the means of the husband. Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made it a right of the wife, it is obligatory on the husband whether he is present or absent. If he is not able to do this at any particular time, it becomes a debt that he owes, as in the case of other duties, whether or not the qaadi (judge) imposes it on him for the time when he is absent."
Wahb said: "A freed slave of 'Abd-Allaah ibn 'Amr said to him: 'I want to spend this month here in Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem).' He said, 'Have you left your family anything for their provisions during this month?' He said, 'No.' He said, 'Then go back to your family and leave them something for their provisions, for I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying, "It is enough sin for a man to neglect those he is responsible to feed."'" (Reported by Ahmad, 2/160; Abu Dawood, 1692)
The original hadeeth is reported by Muslim (245), with the wording: "It is enough sin for a man to keep food away from those he is responsible to feed."
Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Allaah will ask every responsible person (literally, shepherd) about those for whom he was responsible, whether he took care of them or not, and He will even ask a man about the members of his household." (Reported by Ibn Hibbaan and classed as hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami', 1774).
Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: "By Allaah, if one of you were to go out in the morning and gather firewood on his back, and sell it and make himself independent, and give some of it in charity, this is better for him than his coming to a man and asking for anything, whether he gives or refuses. The upper hand is better than the lower hand, and start with those who are under your care." (Reported by Muslim, 3/96). According to a report narrated by Ahmad (2/524): It was said, "Who are those who are under our care, O Messenger of Allaah?" He said, "Your wife is one of those who are under your care."
With regard to the consensus of the scholars (ijmaa'):
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