A guardian disposing of a minor's property

Q: Please be informed Your Honor that the government gives an annual financial assistance via social insurance to handicapped males and females throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including Bishah province. This aid is given to the parents of the handicapped who spend the aid on their personal needs, agricultural works, and their other children neglecting the handicapped. Some parents of the handicapped are not in need as they are given another type of monetary aid from social security in addition to their salaries, agricultural revenues, and their children's work in public posts. My question is: Are these parents authorized to spend this money on their personal needs and agricultural projects while neglecting their handicapped children? Should the money be collected and saved till the handicapped child reaches puberty and then be spent on them? Is it permissible to give charity from this money on their behalf although they are not obliged to fulfill their Islamic duties due to their mental disabilities? We ask that you reply in writing so parents (Part No. 14; Page No. 213) will be aware of their rights and duties towards those children, and for the Muslims within the province to be able to benefit from this.

A: First, the parents of the handicapped should spend the monetary aid on their handicapped children. They are not allowed to take hold of the money and neglect these children and their welfare. However, the money can be used prudently when necessary in providing food so long as the handicapped are not affected. Secondly, it is obligatory on the parents of the minor to pay Zakah (obligatory charity) on the money if it reaches the Nisab (the minimum amount on which Zakah is due) and an entire lunar year has passed. As for Sadaqah (voluntary charity), they are not obliged to give it on behalf of the handicapped. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!