Is it permissible to give the Zakah to relatives ?
Our Shaykh, Muḥammad bin Hizām (may Allāh preserve him) said:
“If he (the relative) is not from those who can inherit from him (the one giving Zakāh), the people of knowledge have mentioned that it is permissible, rather it is recommended because its Ṣadaqah as well as keeping the ties (of kinship). And if he’s from those who can inherit from him, then many of the people of knowledge hold its permissibility also, and some of the scholars hold its impermissibility…(the Shaykh continued to mention)
Shaykhul-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah has deemed it permissible in the cases of debt even if they be from those whom it is upon him to provide for, and this is a strong statement.
End quote from Fatḥul-ʿAllām Vol.2, P.532-533.
Summary: It is permissible to give Zakāh to the relatives as long as they are not from those whom its upon you to provide for them.
Benefit: The one who has extra income over his needs, its incumbent upon him to spend upon his poor needy relatives who can inherit from him, who do not have any means of being self-sufficient. Due to the saying of Allāh the Most High:
وَعَلَى الْمَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ لَا تُكَلَّفُ نَفْسٌ إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَا تُضَارَّ وَالِدَةٌ بِوَلَدِهَا وَلَا مَوْلُودٌ لَّهُ بِوَلَدِهِ ۚ وَعَلَى الْوَارِثِ مِثْلُ ذَٰلِكَ ۗ
“And the father of the child shall bare the cost for the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis. No person shall carry a burden greater than he can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child nor a father on account of his child, and upon those who inherit is (a provision) like of that.”
Surah al-Baqarah : 233
So Allāh has made incumbent upon the inheritor similar to what was made incumbent upon the father from provision (Nafaqa).
Also the saying the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam:
وَابْدَأْ بِمَنْ تَعُولُ: أُمَّكَ، وَأَبَاكَ، وَأُخْتَكَ، وَأَخَاكَ، ثُمَّ أَدْنَاكَ، أَدْنَاكَ
“Start with those who are under your (immediate) maintenance: your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, then those after them, then those after them.”
Reported by An-Nasāʾī on the authority of Ṭāriq al-Mahāribī. Authenticated by al-Albānī.
This view is the opinion of many of the people of knowledge as it is the fatwa of Imām Ibn Bāz may Allāh have mercy upon him, and is also the choice of our Shaykh Muḥammad bin Hizām. Fatḥul-ʿAllām, Vol.5, P: 38,41-42.
Allāh ʿAzza wa Jalla knows best.
والحمد لله رب العلمين
Compiled by Abū Hārūn Muḥammad ʿAbdinūr
Verified by Abū ʿAṭiyyah Maḥmūd