Custody of children and maintenance

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Q: What should a husband do/fulfil in all perspectives of life for kids/wife after separation or divorce?


A: In a case of separation or divorce, the custody of the children goes to the mother unless she remarries. If she remarries a non-mahram of the children, then she will lose the custody of the children. In the case of a boy, the mother has the right of custody till the age of seven and in the case of a girl, the mother has the right of custody till the age of nine. Thereafter the right of custody of the children moves over to the father. While the children are in the custody of the mother, the father will not be deprived of visiting his children. It is a Shar’ee obligation upon the father to provide maintenance for them. Maintenance entails fulfilling their basic requirements of food, clothing, shelter, etc. Similarly, ensuring that the children receive the correct upbringing and education is also the responsibility of the father. Hence, all the expenses will have to be borne by the father according to his financial status and position. No specific amount can be stipulated as the needs and requirements as well as the financial position of people varies. This ruling is in relation to the case where the children do not have wealth. If they possess wealth, then the law of Shari’ah is that the children’s wealth should be used to fulfill their needs and requirements unless the father wishes to pay for these expenses from his own wealth.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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