Can parents give away their children’s old clothing in charity? 

Q. If a small child’s clothing has become old, can the parents give it out in charity? Do parents have the authority to do so?

A. In principle, any items/toys/clothing purchased for or given to the child (non-Baaligh/immature) becomes the sole ownership of the child. Hence, the decision of giving the items/toys/clothing of the child to another child, third person or in charity remains the decision of the child. The parents cannot make a decision on behalf of the child in normal circumstances. (Tabyeenul Haqaaiq 5/96)

However, in the case of the child’s items/toys/clothing that cannot be used by the child and since the child does not possess the power to make such a decision, as the child is still immature to enact it, the parents may replace the old items/toys/clothing for the benefit of the child that are of no use with a reasonable value and then give the old items/toys/clothing on their own behalf in charity. (Fataawa Darul Uloom Zakariyyah 5/563/564)

Alternatively, parents may consider not giving items/toys/clothing to the child as his/her sole ownership; rather, parents may purchase it as their sole ownership and allow/lend the child the items/toys/clothing. In this way, the parents will not have any difficulty in making a decision of giving or gifting to another child, a third person or in charity.

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa