Zakat is an Islamic term meaning “obligatory charity”. The definition of zakat is, it is a religious obligation in Islam where Muslims donate a portion of their wealth to the needy. Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 592:
“The Prophet said, ‘Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.'”
Sometimes, a member of our own family may need Zakat. Because of a sudden change in their financial situation, our uncle, aunt, or cousin may be in desperate need of money. There is a common confusion about giving Zakat to family members. So, can you give Zakat to a family member? It is a bit complicated that can not be answered with yes or no. In this article, we will discuss when and how can you give Zakat to a family member.
The purpose of zakat is to purify one’s wealth and provide for the needs of the community. Also it helps you to gain purity of mind. In Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:43:
“And establish regular prayers and give regular charity; for such deeds purify your soul.“
Along with the eligibility for giving zakat, Zakat needy people also have to meet some requirements. The eligibility criteria for Zakat recipients are:
Zakat is the most rewarded charity in Islam. Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1041:
“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘The best form of charity is to give during one’s lifetime.'”
The limitations and standards involving giving Zakat to family members are based on hadith and extensive research by Islamic jurists. One of the many wisdoms behind the Zakat and family members limitation is to guarantee that Zakat stays accessible to the broader public and does not merely stay inside one’s family.
According to Islamic Scholars these are the categories for giving Zakat within family:
Overall, when deciding whether or not to give Zakat to a certain family member, keep the following in mind: Do you owe that individual anything financially, and will you profit directly or indirectly from the Zakat? If you answered yes to both questions, it is fair to infer that you should not pay Zakat to them.
By giving Zakat to family members, you are supporting your loved ones in need, strengthening family ties and gaining personal satisfaction.
It is permissible to give halal items as Zakat other than money. If the items will help the recipients more than money, then you can distribute them as Zakat. For example- Suppose you have an aunt and her husband died without providing any savings or properties to her. Now she is struggling for her basic needs with her children. Giving her money once, will not solve her problem. If you give her a sewing machine and get her trained for that, she can earn money from it. And it will help her and her family for survival.
If your family members have Zakat eligibility, then you can donate your Zakat to them. But before giving Zakat to family members, there are certain things to consider. Such as-
So our initial question was, “Can you give Zakat to a family member”? Yes, it is permissible to give Zakat to family members except your blood relatives (Son, Daughter, Wife, Parents or Grandparents). Giving zakat to family members can be a fulfilling way to support them and fulfill a religious obligation at the same time.
However, it is important to consider the eligibility of family members for receiving zakat and to distribute it fairly among those who are eligible. And if you are unable to find someone in your family, you can easily donate your Zakat to different organizations like UMR Relief. That’s how you can also be anonymous. Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 1392:
“The Prophet said, ‘If you give charity openly, it is well, and if you give it to the poor in secret, it is even better for you.'”
UMR spreads all of your Zakat according to Shariah. Here in UMR, your Zakat is being distributed to the poor all over the world.