Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra
People donated money for my disabled daughter’s medical expenses. She is a quadriplegic, and they donated to help us afford an elevator in our home and other medical equipment. Do we have to pay zakat on this money set aside for expenses related to her care?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
May Allah Most High give ease and well-being to your daughter.
If the funds collected have been given into the ownership of an adult Muslim, that becomes part of their wealth. It will be included in their calculation of whether they possess the minimal zakatable amount (nisab). If they start and end their Zakat-year owning more than the nisab in wealth (minus debts), then they will have to pay zakat on that collected amount as well. (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al Falah)
If that is the case, it is advisable to purchase the equipment and spend the funds *before* Zakat becomes due from that individual’s wealth.
The cash from the proceeds can also be divided among any adults in the family who will not end up owning the nisab by possessing that share of the donations, and therefore will not have to pay zakat on it (as long as you are confident they will then spend it for the medical expenses).
However, if your daughter is a minor [i.e., she has not reached the age of puberty], she does not need to pay zakat on her wealth if the funds are given to her, and the parents can then spend that amount on the child’s best interests. (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al Falah)
Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the Seekers Guidance, The Global Islamic Seminary.