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Zakat and your family

We are taught that poor relatives should be given preference when distributing Zakat due to the hadith. Quite similar to the Western saying 'charity begins at home' - however, not every family member can receive your Zakat.

The Hanafi & Hanbali schools are of the opinion that one's lineal ascendants and descendants cannot receive Zakat as a common interest exists between the two.

The Maliki & Shafi'i schools opine that Zakat can only be given to those poor relatives when one is not legally responsible for their maintenance.

Conditions apply:

  • Recipients should be assessed individually and not as a family.
  • However, if the close relative fits into the categories of other types of recipients, such as being a Zakat collector, then he can be given Zakat for that.

If the relative is not a close relative then Zakat can be given to them directly as long as they meet the criteria to be eligible to receive Zakat.

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