Inheritance of children of unknown descent

Fatwa no. 7922 All praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions.The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has read the question submitted by his Excellency the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs to His Eminence the President, referred under no. 2713 on 1/11/1404 A.H. which reads:Please allow me to discuss an issue related to children of unknown parentage who are under the Ministry's care and I hope you guide us to what is best. Some of these children receive (Part No. 16; Page No. 517) gifts and presents that are kept by their guardians to be delivered to them when they reach the legal age. However, children may die before or after reaching the legal age. In this case, what is to be done, in your opinion, with these gifts? Should they be sent to Bayt-ul-Mal (Muslim treasury), given to the children's guardians, or given in charity? Please give us the Shari`ah (Islamic law) opinion in this regard so that the Ministry may follow it when faced with similar cases. May Allah guide us all to what is best!

A: If the case is as you mentioned, all gifts and grants received for the child should go to Bayt-ul-Mal after paying any necessary duties. However, if the mother is known and alive at the time of death, she receives everything as her prescribed share and due to surplus redistribution. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.