Q: Just wanted to know if it is permissible for me to use my Zakat to pay towards my father’s mortgage. I read that you can pay towards a relative’s debts as you are not obliged to pay that but wasn’t sure if parents came under that.
A: According to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, a person cannot give Zakat to anyone among his parents or children irrespective as to whether they may qualify for Zakat or not. If the children are able to earn, then it is their responsibility to support their parents if they are faced with financial difficulties and this is also our position at NZF. Please note, that if the mortgage is a conventional riba based one, it cannot be deducted for the purpose of Zakat calculations.
This is in contrast with the Malikis, Shafiis and Ibn Taymiyyah from the Hanbalis, who advocate the permissibility for a person to pay off the debt of a parent with the condition that paying the debt doesn’t benefit the donor in any ways.
And Allah knows best!
Reviewed on 09/11/2021