Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
Question: Assalam alaykum,
I have only one child who is in an adult.
Due some personal issues he faced he is in huge debts. His income exceeds his monthly expenses which further increases his debts and he I am afraid he is suffering from major depression as a result.
Am I allowed to pay Zakat for him?
Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam
Thank you for your question.
You are correct that your adult son who enjoys his own income is not your dependent by agreement of the scholars. In addition, the fact that he is your son does not disqualify him from receiving zakah from you. Consequently, it would be permissible for you to pay from your Zakah to your son so that he may settle his debt.
قال النووي في المجموع 6/223 : (وأما إذا كان الولد أو الوالد فقيراً أو مسكيناً وقلنا في بعض الأحوال لا تجب نفقته فيجوز لوالده وولده دفع الزكاة إليه من سهم الفقراء والمساكين بلا خلاف؛ لأنه حينئذٍ كالأجنبي). انتهى
In his Majmu, Imam Nawawi said, “If the son or father is poor, and the circumstance is such that nafaqah (maintenance) is not compulsory upon the father or son respectively, then it would be permitted for one to pay his zakah – from the share of the poor or needy – to the other by agreement.
And Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.