Sufficient sin for a man is that he neglects those he should provide for – Expl of Shaykh ‘Abdul Muhsin

Abū dawūd reported the hadīth of Abdullāh ibn ‘Amr (Allāh be pleased with him), he said, “Allāh’s Messenger (sallallāhu alaihi wa salam) said”

“Sufficient sin for a man is that he neglects those he should provide for.”(1)

Shaykh ‘Abdul Muhsin (hafidahullāh):

“Meaning, a person sins due to the absence of spending and providing on the one spending upon is obligated.

Regardless of whether that was due to him not seeking sustenance for them (by working), or if he was wealthy but was stingy and tightfisted with them.

Or perhaps he spends and gives optional charity to those who aren’t close to him, neglecting those who it is obligatory for him to spend on, from those close to him, (wife, children etc), so by doing this he fulfils a recommended act but abandons an obligation.

Indeed he is sinful because he abandons that which Allāh (‘azza wa jal) obligated upon him, from spending upon those it is obligated to provide for.

This is similar to the previous hadīth(2), Spend it on yourself, then your child, then your wife, then your servant, then he (sallallāhu alaihi wa salam) said: You have better knowledge; meaning: after that, give charity to whomsoever you wish, or don’t, its entirely up to you.”


Slightly Paraphrased from Shaykh ‘Abdul Muhsin’s (hafidahullāh) explanation of this hadīth in his lessons on Sunan Abū Dawūd in the Prophets Masjid.

(1) Authenticated by Shaykh Al-Albāni Sahīh Sunan Abū Dawūd Hadīth Nos. 1692 Vol.1 Pg. 469
(2) Full wording of the Hadīth:

On the Authority of Abū Hurayrah, he said Allāh’s Messenger commanded with giving in charity. Then a man said, “Oh Allāh’s Messenger! I have a dīnār?”

So Allāh’s Messenger said “Spend it in on yourself”.

He (the man) said, “I have another?”

(Allāh’s Messenger) said “Spend it on your offspring.”

He (the man) said, “I have another?”

(Allāh’s Messenger) said “Spend it on your wife.”

He (the man) said, “I have another?”

(Allāh’s Messenger) said “Spend it on your servant.”

He (the man) said, “I have another?”

(Allāh’s Messenger) said “You have better knowledge.” (On how to spend it, or give in charity to.)

Authenticated by Shaykh Al-Albāni Sahīh Sunan Abū Dawūd Hadīth Nos. 1691 Vol.1 Pg. 469

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The Quran and Sunnah Upon The Understanding of The Salaf

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