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Is Zakat lifted by Spending on Eligible Zakat Recipients?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: My husband is paying our zakat. We have spend 1 lac rs. on my bro-in-law’s marriage last November 2011. He doesn’t earn enough for his own needs.  Also we have an intention to keep certain funds /gold for our elder bro-in laws’ widow’s daughter for her secured future. Can we keep this fund/gold aside for her instead of giving it directly to her? Also, can the money we spent on my bro-in-law’s marriage be considered as zakat?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

Zakat must be given to a person. As such, if he was legally poor, and you intended zakat when you gave it to him, you would have fulfilled your duty. Though, spending on his behalf would not be considered a valid lifting of the duty.

Zakat can be given to any person who is defined as being legally poor. This is someone who does not possess the zakatable minimum (nisab). [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; `Ala al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

However, there are a few exceptions. As such one would not give to one’s parents/grandparents (and above), children/grandchildren (and below), or to one’s spouse.

As for saving wealth, this would be permitted though one would continue to pay zakat upon it. [ibid.]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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