Giving to children


Fiqh, Part 5-Principles of Business / Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

1. When anything is given to a child on the occasion of his circumcision or any other such occasion, the purpose and object is not to give the child but to his parents. All those gifts are therefore not the possession of the child. Instead, the parents are its owners and they can do whatever they wish with those gifts. However, if a person gives an item specifically for the child, he will be its owner. If the child has reached an age of understanding, it is sufficient for him to take possession of the item himself. Once he takes possession of it, he will be its owner. If the child does not take possession of it or is incapable of doing so, then by the father taking possession of it, the child will become its owner. If the father is not present, the child will become its owner by the grandfather taking possession of it. If the father and grandfather are not present, the guardian of the child should take possession of it. If the mother or grandmother take possession of the item despite the father or grandfather being present, it will not be considered.

2. If the father or the grandfather (in the absence of the father) wish to give the child or grandchild a gift, it is sufficient for them to say: “I have given this to the child.” In the absence of the father or grandfather, if the mother or brother wish to give a gift to the child and this child is also under their care, then by their saying the above words, the child will become its owner. It is not necessary for anyone to take possession of the item.

3. When wishing to give anything to your children, ensure that you give it equally among your children. The son and the daughter should be given equally. If you give one of your children more than the others, there is no harm in this. However, you should not have the intention of causing harm to the one whom you gave less. If this is your intention, it will not be permissible to give him less.

4. Anything that belongs to an immature child should only be utilised for him. It is not permissible for anyone to utilise it for their personal purposes. Even the parents should not utilise it for their personal purposes nor for any of the other children.

5. If an item is given outwardly to the child but the actual purpose was to give it to the parents, but the person gave it in the name of the child because he considered the gift to be insignificant, then that item will be considered to be under the ownership of the parents. They can utilise it as they wish. Furthermore, one should see who has given the gift. If the gift was given by the wife’s relatives, it will belong to the wife. If it was given by the husband’s relatives, it will belong to the husband.

6. You sewed a set of clothing for your immature child. That child will now be its owner. You made a set of jewellery for your immature daughter. She will now be its owner. It will not be permissible to give that clothing or jewellery to any other boy or girl. It should be given to the one for whom it was made. However, if at the time of making it, you clearly stated that this item belongs to you and that you are merely loaning it to this child, the item will belong to the person who made it (or got it made). It is the habit of many elder sisters and also mothers to borrow a scarf and other items from their immature sisters or daughters. It should be noted that it is not permissible to borrow such items even for a little while.

7. Just as an immature child cannot give any of his possessions to anyone, in the same way the father cannot give any of the possessions of his immature child to anyone. If the parents give any of the possessions of the child to anyone or lend it to anyone, it will not be permissible to accept it. However, if the parents have a severe need for it on account of poverty and cannot obtain it from anywhere else, then at such a time of need and desperation it will be permissible for them to take an item that belongs to the child.

8. It is not correct for the parents to loan the wealth of the child to anyone. In fact, it is not correct for the parents themselves to borrow the wealth of the child. Remember this well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *