Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
We have a question about the Islamic ruling on child tax credit. It is paid to the main carer who is my wife. She uses it to provide for our daughter. There is extra money left over which is in the savings. Is this money the child’s property or is it the parents to use as necessary? We were under the impression that the money belonged to the child and have treated it as such. However, circumstances have changed that now we adults need to use it but before doing so we wanted to know if we do use it does it need to be paid back as debt?
In the Name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate
Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question
The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children. Therefore, it is ideal to set aside these amounts to pay for child related expenses. If some of the funds are used for the parent’s or guardian’s basic necessities (such as rent and food), that is islamicaly acceptable. Parents receiving the CCB should not deplete the funds on personal unnecessary activities such as personal luxury or a vacation.
A Qurʾānic verse related to guardians of orphans and children advises as follows:
“Whoever (amongst guardians) is wealthy, they should refrain from taking from the children’s wealth, but if they are poor, let them have for themselves what is just and reasonable.” (Qurʾān 4:5)
And Allāh Knows Best