Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
My spouse wants to give zakat to my parents who are poor. Can she?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
Yes, your spouse may give her zakat to your parents. The prohibition relates to giving zakat to your own parents, yet not to the parents of your spouse.
This is because, in the former case, there remains some semblance of returning benefit, and the basis in zakat is that there is a transfer of ownership without any form of benefit accruing to the giver.
Nonetheless, you can still aid them with your non-zakat charity, and in fact, this would be greater in reward than giving to others.
[‘Ayni, Minhat al-Suluk fi Sharh Tuhfat al-Muluk]
Please also see: Is Your Zakat Due? – A Reader and Resources on Giving Zakat
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.