May I Use Zakat towards My Cousin’s Wedding Expenses?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


My cousin is an orphan, and my mom took responsibility for her when she was ten. Alhamdulillah, mom and dad were earning and taking care of my sister, cousin, and me back then. However, currently (and for the past seven years), I am the sole breadwinner of my family, Alhamdulillah.

My sister and I are now married. We are planning for my cousin’s wedding. I have never differentiated between my sister and my cousin.

Can we cover her wedding expense from zakat that I will be paying? It will not cover all the costs, but it will reduce my burden.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.

May Allah reward you and your family for the kindness shown to your cousin. Wedding expenses do not belong to the eight categories of zakat recipients.

Since the financial responsibility of your cousin is not an obligation placed upon you by Sacred Law, if she qualifies as a valid recipient of Zakat (like being legally poor), you may pay your zakat to her. [Nawawi, Majmu‘]

Still, she has no obligation to utilize the zakat received toward her wedding expenses. It would belong to her to use as she sees fit. You cannot spend it on her wedding on her behalf, and Allah knows best. [Ibid.]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.