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Is it Permissible to Pay for the Orphan`s Private School Fees from his Own Money?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
What is the ruling of Sharia on using the orphan`s money to pay for his tuition at private school?

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.

It is obligatory upon the father to spend on his child, but if the former is dead, then this responsibility is transferred to the child`s next of kin from his father`s side. This is provided that the child is poor because if he is rich then he has to provide for himself from his own money.  

Accordingly, if the orphan has money, then he has to spend  from it and this includes paying for tuition. However, this spending should be equal to that of the child`s peers in terms of wealth and social status. Therefore, if his peers study at private schools, although public schools are available, and if his studying there will grant him a brighter future, then this has to be taken into consideration.

If this spending suits his peers then it is permissible to pay for his tuition at private school from his account at the Orphans Fund Development Foundation. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: (Their bearings) on this life and the Hereafter. They ask thee concerning orphans. Say: "The best thing to do is what is for their good; if ye mix their affairs with yours, they are your brethren; but God knows the man who means mischief from the man who means good. And if God had wished, He could have put you into difficulties: He is indeed Exalted in Power, Wise." {al-Baqarah, 220}. In jurisprudential terms, Al-Yateem is a child who has lost his father, however, when he reaches puberty he isn`t called that anymore since the Messenger of Allah says, "No one is considered an orphan after he has attained maturity." {Related by Abu Dawoud}.

In addition, Al-`ji is a child who has lost his mother while Al-Lateem is a child who has lost both of his parents. And Allah the almighty knows best.  

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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