Building a needed house

Q: I have a friend who is married and has two sons. He has a good job, but he is hesitant about saving money. It is worth mentioning that he does not have a house of his own and lives in a furnished apartment. Is it permissible for him to save money to make a house of his own? The reason for his hesitancy is the following Ayah (Qur'anic verse): And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: “That which is beyond your needs.” He has also read in a Hadith what means that it is not permissible for a person to own and save what is beyond their needs. Rather, they should give in Sadaqah (voluntary charity) any excess beyond their needs. Moreover, he has tried more than once to save money to make a house, but every time a needier person asks him for money, he gives it to him. Can he abstain from giving money to the needy until he owns a house?

A: First, this person should save from his earnings what saves him and his family from being in need in order to build a house for him and those in his charge. Neither the Qur'an nor the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) includes any Nas (text) that prohibits saving money or obligates a Muslim to give any excess beyond their needs as Sadaqah. Furthermore, a house where a person should live in with his family is considered a need. Also, neither the Qur'an nor the Sunnah includes any Nas that obligates a Muslim to give their money to a needier person so as to raise the latter's level and make them equal or almost equal to theirs. (Part No. 21; Page No. 155) Allah (Exalted be He) has prescribed Zakah (obligatory charity) on the excess money left beyond one's needs, provided that it reaches the Nisab (the minimum amount on which Zakah is due) and has been possessed for one lunar year. During times of calamities, Allah (Exalted be He) has obligated the people in the place where the calamity is taking place to help with all that ensures safety or the end of this calamity; and He has made this responsibility a collective or an individual obligation according to each one's means. Second, there were rich Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet - may Allah be pleased with them), such as `Uthman ibn `Affan, `Abdul-Rahman ibn `Awf, and others. Although their excess money were kept for one lunar year and reached the Nisab, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not obligate them to pay more than the due Zakah. In fact, he used to recommend the Zakah collectors to deal fairly with the rich and the recipients of Zakah. He advised them not to do wrong to the rich and at the same time not to undervalue the due of the poor, the needy, and the other categories of Zakah recipients, and to be merciful towards both parties, and to establish justice among them. At times of calamities, he (peace be upon him) used to urge them to spend money as happened in the Conquest of Tabuk when some Sahabah brought all their money, such as Abu Bakr; others brought half their money, such as `Umar; and some others equipped the army of Al-`Usrah, such as `Uthman (may Allah be pleased with them). This means that each one of them gave in Sadaqah what appealed to him as a way of answering the call of doing good and supporting Jihad (striving in the Cause of Allah). (Part No. 21; Page No. 156) They were not reproached for not giving in all their money as Sadaqah, whether what was left of it was little or much. Even more, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has urged Muslims to bequeath their money, but not more than a third of it, even if there is a lot of money and there are a few inheritors. There is other evidence indicating that a person is permitted to keep in their possession what is beyond their needs.Accordingly, it is permissible for this person to save money that enables him to build a suitable house for him and his family.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.