‘It is compulsory to provide nafkah for your parents’

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PARENTS and elderly citizens must be aware on the laws allowing them to claim their rights for nafkah (sustenance) from their children, said the chief registrar of the Syariah Appeal Court.

Hj Hassan Hj Metali said that cases where husbands do not provide nafkah for their spouses are common in the court but they never receive any cases of parents not receiving nafkah from their children despite news reports of the elderly requiring assistance from other parties.

“There are many cases of parents or elderly citizens applying for assistance from the government. This can be seen in the news and social media,” Hj Hassan said before questioning “Where are their children or grandchildren?”

He said there are two common types of nafkah in the Islamic Family Order: Nafkah for the wife and nafkah for the parents.

“The first nafkah is for the wife given by their husband. This is written in Section 217 under the Islamic Family Order. Second, in section 184, children are required to provide nafkah for their parents, old relatives such as uncles, aunties as well as grandparents,” he said.

“If uncles and aunties are not married and they are already old, their nephews or nieces are responsible for their care and this includes providing them nafkah,” he said.

Hj Hassan said nafkah does not refer to just monetary assistance.

“It is important to remember that nafkah refers to basic necessities that we need in our everyday lives such as shelter, foods and clothes. But in this modern world nafkah can be in terms of monetary.”

He said many people are not aware of the order and this should not be taken lightly or overlooked.

“If children are being irresponsible for their parents, they (parents) can report this to the courts. It is compulsory for children to give their parents nafkah and ensure their parents have food to eat, a house to live and clothes to wear.”

He said there is no specific age for children to be responsible for providing their parents nafkah.

“As long as the children have a job and can afford to give, that is when they are responsible to provide nafkah for their parents or elder relatives,” he said.

“It is all about the parents’ rights... Give them what they deserve. If people ignore their parents’ rights, it will become problem for us in the future. Through this order, parents have the right to speak up and claim what they deserve to have,” said Hj Hassan.

The Brunei Times