Can Zakat Be Paid to University Students?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle


Can Zakat Be Paid to University Students?


Thank you for your important question.

Zakat may be paid to Muslim students on the following conditions:

  1. That one is not already obliged to provide them with financial support
  2. That those who are obliged to support them cannot provide for them, or that the students could not earn enough money while studying
  3. That the students are hardworking and likely to achieve good results
  4. The field of study is needed to fulfill a communal obligation, such as the Islamic sciences, medicine, electronics, engineering, and many other specializations whose preservation and development are needed in order for life not to come to a halt. [Mughni al Muhtaj, Khatib al-Shirbini; Hashiyat al Tarmasi]

Please see:

It is Permissible to Give Zakah to a Student, with Conditions

If you are not sure if the studies that they are embarking on count as fulfilling a communal obligation, you will have to ask again providing more details.

It is also very possible that a university education is considered part of the basic needs that any young man or woman in the modern world has a right to. If that were the case, it would be part of the basic financial support that is obligatory on their parents, and whoever could not afford would be zakat eligible, regardless of what they were studying. This would require a more nuanced and specific fatwa.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.