Is it permissible to give Zakāt to my brother? If yes, then do I have to inform him?

Question:

1-My brother who is a Hafiz of the Quran is in debt due to buying a property for himself and his family to live in,is it permissible for me to help him financially with Zakat money, so that he is able to pay of his debt?

2-When giving Zakat money to my brother do I have to tell him its Zakat money or could I just give the money as a gift?

3-Will it be more rewarding for me to spent the Zakat money to help my brother pay of his debt or to help the poor people in another country or poor students studying in  Madresa?

 

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 The recipients of Zakāt have been identified in the Qur῾ān.  Allah Ta῾ālā states:

“Zakaat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakaat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Surah Taubah verse 60)

The verse contains eight types of people:

1) Poor (Fuqaraa’)

2) Needy (Masaakeen):

3) Zakaat collectors (‘Amileen alayha):

4) Those whose hearts are being reconciled (mu’allafah al-quloob):

5) Emanciapting slaves (ar-riqaab)

6) Debtors ( al-gharimeen)

7) Those in the cause of Allah (Fi sabeel Allah)

8 ) Travellers (Ibn as-sabeel)

 

A debtor who is overwhelmed with debt and the debt exceeds the value of his total assets is eligible to receive zakāt. [i]

It is not permissible to give Zakāt in the following avenues:

1)     Non-Muslims

2)     Public welfare projects

3)     Burial expenses

4)     wealthy individuals

5)     one’s father, grandfather and so on.

6)     One’s children, grandchildren and so forth

7)     One’s Spouse

8 )     Banu Hāshim (the family of the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam).

Besides the above, it is permissible to give zakāt to whosoever is entitled to receive zakāt.[ii]  Hence, to give Zakāt to one’s brother is permissible if he is entitled to receive it.  In fact, the fuqahā (jurists) state it is better to give Zakāt to one’s family members when they are in need.  From all the avenues one can give Zakāt in, to give to one’s brother is the most superior avenue to give zakāt in.[iii]  The dispenser of Zakāt in such a case receives double reward; one reward for fulfilling the need of a person and secondly, the act of maintaining one’s family ties.

It is not necessary to inform the recipient of Zakāt that the money being given to him is from one’s Zakāt.  It is advisable not to inform one’s family that you are forwarding Zakāt money to them.  People are usually apprehensive when utilising Zakāt funds.  In addition, they may feel uncomfortable in taking Zakāt money.  Hence, when giving Zakāt to a brother or someone else directly, it is permissible to say to them that this money is a gift.  However, the intention of the dispenser of this money should be of zakāt.[iv]

In conclusion, it is better to give Zakāt to one’s brother when he is eligible to receive Zakāt in comparison to other avenues.  Neither is it necessary to disclose the nature of the money advanced to such a person.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Faraz ibn Adam,
www.darulfiqh.com

 


[i]في حاشية ابن عابدين

(وَمَدْيُونٌ لَا يَمْلِكُ نِصَابًا فَاضِلًا عَنْ دَيْنِهِ) وَفِي الظَّهِيرِيَّةِ: الدَّفْعُ لِلْمَدْيُونِ أَوْلَى مِنْهُ لِلْفَقِيرِ.(ج 2 ص 354 ايج ايم سعيد)

[ii] في اللباب في شرح الكتاب

ولا يجوز أن يدفع الزكاة إلى ذمي، ولا يبني بها مسجدٌ، ولا يكفن بها ميتٌ، ولا يشتري بها رقبةٌ تتعتق، ولا تدفع إلى غني، ولا يدفع المزكي زكاته إلى أبيه وجده وإن علا ولا إلى ولده وولد ولده وإن سفل ولا إلى امرأته، ولا تدفع المرأة إلى زوجها ولا يدفع إلى مكاتبه ولا مملوكه ولا مملوك غنيٍ ولا ولد غني إذا كان صغيراً، ولا تدفع إلى بني هاشمٍ، وهم. آل عليٍ وآل عباسٍ وآل جعفرٍ وآل عقيلٍ وآل حارث بن عبد المطلب ومواليهم، (ص 166-165 المكتبة العمرية)

[iii] وفي البناية شرح الهداية

وأما الأخوة والأخوات والأعمام والعمات والأخوال والخالات وأولادهم فلا بأس بدفع الزكاة إليهم، وذكر الزندويسني أن الأفضل في مصرف الزكاة المال إلى هؤلاء السبعة، أخوته وأخواته الفقراء، ثم أولادهم ثم أعمامه وعماته الفقراء، ثم أخواله وخالاته الفقراء، ثم ذوو أرحامهم ثم جيرانه ثم أهل سكنه ثم أهل مصره.  (ج 4 ص 200 المكتبة الحقانية)

وفي حاشية ابن عابدين

وَالْأَفْضَلُ إخْوَتُهُ وَأَخَوَاتُهُ ثُمَّ أَوْلَادُهُمْ ثُمَّ أَعْمَامُهُ وَعَمَّاتُهُ ثُمَّ أَخْوَالُهُ وَخَالَاتُهُ ثُمَّ ذَوُو أَرْحَامِهِ ثُمَّ جِيرَانُهُ ثُمَّ أَهْلُ سِكَّتِهِ ثُمَّ أَهْلُ بَلَدِهِ كَمَا فِي النَّظْمِ.(ج 2 ص 354 ايج ايم سعيد)

وفي فتح باب العناية بشرح النقاية

والأَفضل صَرْفُها إِلى إِخوته، ثُم أَعمامه، ثُم أَخواله، ثُم ذوي أَرحامه، ثُم جيرانِهِ، (ثُم أَهْل سَكَنِهِ)، ثم أَهل محلّته، ثُم أَهل مصره.(ج 2 ص 170)

وكذا في فتاوى محمودية ج 9 ص 539 إدارة الفاروق

[iv] وفي حاشية الشرنبلالي على درر الحكام

 وَلَا يُشْتَرَطُ عِلْمُ الْفَقِيرِ بِأَنَّهَا زَكَاةٌ عَلَى الْأَصَحِّ لِمَا فِي الْبَحْرِ عَنْ الْقُنْيَةِ وَالْمُجْتَبَى الْأَصَحُّ أَنَّ مَنْ أَعْطَى مِسْكِينًا دَرَاهِمَ وَسَمَّاهَا هِبَةً أَوْ قَرْضًا وَنَوَى الزَّكَاةَ، فَإِنَّهَا تُجْزِئُهُ (ص 174 مير محمد كتب خانه)


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