Assalamualaikum Mufti saab,
In England, child benefit is afforded to the parents of the children. Who would be the recipient of it (as it is afforded to any one of the parents if they apply)? Will it be permissible for the parent to use, or must it be only used on the child?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
In general, children can own wealth, and it can be placed in the care of the parents to look after and spend on their children’s needs. It would then need to be returned to the child, who is the rightful owner when they are old enough. This is due to Allah (swt)’s saying:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤَدُّوا الْأَمَانَاتِ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهَا
“Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due.” (Surah An-Nisa, Verse 58)
Child benefit is not a gift to children but it is a benefit to enable parents to cope with the additional costs of bringing up children. It is money given to the parents to offset the cost associated with having a family, such as food, clothing and housing.
This benefit takes into consideration the number of children in the family.
The money is not given in the ownership of the children, but rather to the parents to take care of their family. According to Islam, it is the duty of the father to provide for his family, and if he requires aid from the State, there is no problem with that.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Raddul Muhtaar, Volume 3, Page 612