I am married to the daughter of my maternal aunt. Is my spending on her regarded as charity and upholding ties of kinship, and is my kind treatment of her regarded as honouring my mother and my maternal aunt?.
A husband’s spending on his wife may be obligatory or it may be charity and kindness. If his wife is also a relative such as the daughter of his maternal aunt, then his kindness towards her is also regarded as kindness towards her mother and to the husband’s mother too.
The obligatory spending has to do with providing accommodation, food and clothing, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Lodge them (the divorced women) where you dwell, according to your means, and do not harm them so as to straiten them”
“but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in his khutbah during the Farewell Pilgrimage: “Their (women’s) rights over you are that you should provide for them and clothe them in a reasonable manner.”
A man will be rewarded for his spending on his wife, as al-Bukhaari (1295) and Muslim (1628) narrated from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “You will never spend anything seeking thereby the Countenance of Allaah, but you will be rewarded for it, even (the morsel) that you put in your wife’s mouth.”
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim: This shows that spending on one’s dependents brings reward, if he intends thereby to seek the Countenance of Allaah. End quote.
Al-Bukhaari (55) and Muslim (1002) narrated from Abu Mas’ood al-Badri (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a Muslim spends on his family, seeking reward for that with Allaah, then it will an act of charity on his part.”
And Muslim (994) narrated from Thawbaan, the freed slave of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best dinar that a man spends is a dinar that he spends on his family, and a dinar that a man spends on his mount (for jihad) for the sake of Allaah, and a dinar that he spends on his companions (in jihad) for the sake of Allaah.”
Abu Qilaabah said: He started with the family. And Abu Qilaabah said: What man is greater in reward than a man who spends on young dependents and protects them from resorting to haraam deeds – or Allaah benefits them through him – and makes them independent of means.
Whatever a man spends on his wife and dependents, he will have a reward for that with Allaah, so long as he seeks reward for that, and intends to draw closer to Allaah by doing what is required of him, or by making them happy, or by honouring his relatives and treating them kindly.
And Allaah knows best.