Subject : Ruling on Benefitting from the Wealth of the Child under one`s Custody
Fatwa Number : 3728
Date : 02-11-2022
Classified : Mother's nursery rights
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

My sister separated from her husband and took custody of her three children. As a result, she receives a salary for her and them. At present, she and her children are living with us, so she sometimes buys things to help with the household expenses. Is it permissible to eat from the food that was paid for from the children`s salary?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

In principle, the child under custody must be spent on from his/her own wealth if he/she has any. If not, he/she must be spent from the wealth of their father or the one acting on his behalf. Imam Zakaria Al-Ansari {May Allah have mercy on him} said: "The child under custody must be spent on from his/her wealth if he/she has any. If not, he/she must be spent on from the wealth of their father or the one acting on his behalf." {Asna Al-Matalib Fi Shareh Rawd At-Talib, Vol.3:P.447}.

Article No.(189)/(2010) stated: "Father`s solvency or insolvency must be taken into consideration when estimating child`s support; provided that it, at minimum, suffices child's basic needs." 

This includes expenses of education, food, clothing, housing, and the like considering the financial situation of the father and provided that the child`s basic needs are provided for in case the father was insolvent.

The guardian must take the best interest of the child under his custody into consideration when spending from the latter`s wealth. However, if the child lives with his mother, brothers or a relative, then it is allowed to take from his wealth to participate in the household expenses, but according to the child`s actual needs. Moreover, sharing household expenses with other family members is better for the child and saves his wealth. For example, the child may share the utility bills with them. Scholars have permitted the guardian to mix his wealth with that of the child under his custody if it is better for the latter. However, covering all the expenses from the child`s wealth isn`t permissible and considered eating up his wealth unjustly. In this regard, Allah says {What means}: "And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities." {Al-Baqarah, 188}. It was narrated from 'Amr bin Shu'aib from his father, that his grandfather said: “A man came to the Prophet (PBUH) and said: 'I do not have anything and I have no wealth, but I have an orphan (under my care) who has wealth.” He said: “Eat from the wealth of your orphan, without being extravagant or use it for trade.” He (narrator) said: “And I think he said: 'Do not preserve your wealth using his instead."       Allah the Almighty says {What means}: "If the guardian is well-off, Let him claim no remuneration." {An-Nisa`, 4}. He also says {What means}: "but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable." {An-Nisa`, 4}.

It is stated in the Shafie book {Moghni Al-Mohtajj, Vol.3: P.156}: "It is permissible for the guardian to mix his wealth with that of the child under his custody and share household expenses for this saves the wealth of the child. Allah says {What means}: "if ye mix their affairs with yours, they are your brethren." {Al-Baqarah, 220}. If this doesn`t preserve the child`s wealth then it should be refrained from. Allah says {What means}: " And come not nigh to the orphan’s property, except to improve it," {Al-An`am, 152}.

In conclusion, the general rule is that the needs of the child under custody must be spent on for from his/her own wealth; however, it is permissible that the child participates in household expenses of the house where he lives, but in a reasonable manner that meets his/her actual needs without exaggeration. In this case, those living with this child are allowed to eat from the food the child participated in buying. And Allah the Almighty knows best.




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