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Ruling on Spending Orphans` Revenues in Favor of others

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
We are a charity that cares for orphans and their families. We own a school and a medical center. They yield revenues and profits, for the charity, from tuition payments and patients. Is it permissible to spend these revenues (school and medical center) on activities and programs targeting groups other than the orphans themselves?

Answer:
Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

Donations collected by the charity in favor of the orphans, in addition to the revenues yielded from running these sums-such as the income of the school and the medical center-should be spent only on the orphans, because the stipulation of the donor has the same binding force as the text of Sharia. Al-Bajirmi (May Allah have mercy on him) says, "The stipulation made by the endower is binding. If he stipulated not to let a property or dedicated a mosque for a certain group, then his stipulation should be fulfilled"{Hashyat Al-Bajermi Ala Al-Khateeb, 3/253}.

We warn this charity against not fulfilling the condition of the donor since Almighty Allah says, "And approach not the wealth of the orphan save with that which is better, till he reach maturity. Give full measure and full weight, in justice. We task not any soul beyond its scope. And if ye give your word, do justice thereunto, even though it be (against) a kinsman; and fulfil the covenant of Allah. This He commandeth you that haply ye may remember."{Al-An`am, 152}.

As for the donations that the charity collects via other means, it is permissible to spend them on activities and programs targeting groups other than the orphans provided that the donors` permission is secured in advance. And Allah the Almighty knows best.

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

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