Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Assalam aleykum
I don’t have any direct relatives who are poor but my father does. He prefers I send them my zakat but although I know they are poor I don’t know if they are so poor that they qualify to recieve zakat. What should I do?
Answer: assalamu alaykum
Technically, it is valid and acceptable for you to send Zakat to distant relatives if they are zakat-eligible. You will have to make a judgment over whether they are based on the information at your disposal. Such a judgment does not require certainty but reasonable surety based on what is outwardly apparent to one.
If you have doubts or concerns regarding this, it may be better to give your zakat elsewhere. Many scholars stress that one should give their zakat locally and this is even more pertinent today where we often witness suffering, hardship, and poverty in areas outside of our community but fail to recognize it within our community. You can always give zakat locally and assist your distant family through general charity (sadaqa).
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.