Salaams, I am a uni student and I have a friend who can no longer afford rent and food. He visits me daily and spends numerous nights and I dont have a problem with him sleeping over. However, I always have to share my meals and cook twice more than I would normally. Therefore, I would be spending almost double my grocery bill, which as a university student is difficult. I believe that I would be able to afford it but I feel that as a student I should not have to feed him to this extend,since this isnt a matter of a few dollars, it's doubling my grocery bill. He is a friend and i do not want to ask him for money for food or to ask him to stop eating my food. As a muslim brother and friend am I obligated to provide him with meals, given that he has no one else to ask?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.
You are neither obliged to shelter your friend nor to feed him, and you are not obliged to bear an expense that is hard for you to bear.
In general, sheltering your friend and feeding him are among the moral behaviours and good customs, and if you have a sincere intention [of doing this for the Sake of Allaah], then you will get a great reward from Allaah. Surely, Allaah will not allow a good deed to be lost.
However, you should balance this expense in a manner by which you do not refrain from a charity that you can give and at the same time you do not bear more than what you can actually bear, as the condition for giving charity is that the charity should be a surplus over the need of the one who is giving it.
The Fiqh Encyclopaedia reads: “The richness that is considered in regard to giving a voluntary charity is that the person should have a surplus over his need and the need of those whom he is obliged to spend on, so he may give in charity from it.”
Allaah Knows best.