Child Benefit Query

Salaam Mufti’s,

During my childhood and through my teenage years my parents claimed the ‘Child benefit’ which the UK government gives to parents to help with the cost of raising children etc. I’m unsure if they definitely needed to claim it or not as I think they were fine financially most of the time, but it’s a tax free benefit that the government offers to all parents for their children so it makes sense to claim it, also I read in a news article that it was claimed by most parents. Rather than spending the money, my parents saved this money aside for me so that I could put it to good use in the future.

I’d like to use this money to start my halal investing journey. Therefore, before I invest any of it I wanted to double check if this money is permissible and halal for me to use/invest? I know that money is also purified when it changes hands and is gifted (just in case there was anything wrong with it or they didn’t need to claim it), therefore I think it should be ok to use?, but I wanted to double check with you first before investing.

Would greatly appreciate a response. Thank you and may Allah bless you for all your assistance.


May Allah bless you and your wealth.
Yes it is halal for you to use this money.

And Allah knows best!

@Mufti_Billal Jazakallah Mufti.

Just to clarify, even if they were in a fine financial position and didn’t need to claim it, is it still halal for me to accept and use? Also, even though they didn’t spend it on food, clothes etc for me whilst I was growing up (which is what it’s intended for) and instead they saved the money aside for me, is it still permissible/halal for me to use and invest?

Finally, my mum is sceptical of me investing in things like shares due to the risk etc and she’d prefer me not to, although she said I can still do it. If she’s saved the child benefit money for me and I’m now the owner of it can I still spend it how I like (invest in shares) even if she’d prefer me not to? I’ve reassured her and explained all investments carry risk, and as mentioned she’s said I can invest, but I know she’d prefer I didn’t as she’s sceptical of these things. So I just wanted to know if using and investing the money as I wish (in line with shariah) is fine and halal for me as she said I can, even with her being sceptical about shares.

Would really appreciate your response. Jazakallah!

What do you mean by they didn’t need to claim it? Do you mean they defrauded the system?

@Mufti_Billal No, they didn’t defraud the system as up until January 2013 child benefit was a universal benefit which all parents could claim and receive, regardless of how much money they earned. So legally they done nothing wrong as they were entitled to claim and receive it like all parents to help with the cost of brining up children (so even if parents earned a lot of money, they were still allowed to receive it). What I meant by the question in my last response was that from an Islamic point of view, even though they were legally fully entitled to receive the child benefit like all parents, was it fine for them to claim the money even if they didn’t really need it? They saved the money aside for me for my future rather than spending it at the time on things like food, clothes etc. Is this fine for me to use and accept?

Secondly, the rules on child benefit did change in Jan 2013, as it then became means tested and if either parent was earning above £50k per year then the parents would receive a lower amount of child benefit, and if the parents earned £60k they wouldn’t receive anything. As my dad may have been earning over £50k or maybe even £60k but reporting he earns less to save on tax, can I still keep the child benefit received prior to Jan 2013 when it didn’t depend on how much parents earned, and then simply give away the amount received from Jan 2013 onwards to charity if I feel my parents shouldn’t have received the full amount when the rules changed in 2013?

  1. Yes it is halal for you to keep.

  2. Yes, it is better to give it away if you are sure that they were not entitled to this money after 2013.

And Allah knows best!

@Mufti_Billal Jazakallah! So just to be clear, I can keep the amount received prior to 2013 when the child benefit wasn’t based on parents’ income? And then I should give away the amount received from Jan 2013 onward when the rules changed if I feel they may have defrauded the system in any way by not providing their true earnings when the child benefit became based on parental income?

Also, does order of purification matter? For example, if I have £10k, £7k of which is the halal/permissible child benefit amount received prior to Jan 2013, and £3k is the amount received from Jan 2013 onwards which I need to give away to ensure purification.

If I have already spent some of the money before giving away the haram £3k amount, is this fine as long as I still give away the £3k at some point? So from the pot of £10k , if I have spent the £7k first before giving away the haram £3k to charity, is the £7k still halal and everything bought with the £7k still permissible as long as I eventually do give away the £3k, even if I give away the £3k last after spending the £7k?

@Mufti_Billal Mufti please could you respond to the points in above query so I have clarity on this matter? I’d really appreciate a response. Jazakallah.

  1. Yes correct

  2. No the order does not matter. There is a principle in fiqh about money which unfortunately I cannot translate in the English. But basically, it does not matter which physical money you give away, as longer the correct amount is there.

and Allah knows best!

@Mufti_Billal Jazakallah! So basically everything I have already bought with the £7k is still halal even though I haven’t given away the haram £3k amount yet? All I need to do is ensure I do eventually donate the £3k to charity to ensure purification?

Also you mentioned ‘physical’ money, so can I give away/transfer the £3k online to a charity’s website directly from my bank account without physically touching it as this is far easier, or do I need to go to the bank and withdraw it and have it in hand physically before giving it away?

  1. Yes.

  2. You can do both. What ever is easier as longer as its done inshAllah.