Giving Zakah To His Brother
Can he give his zakah to his brother on whom his father spends?
Is it permissible to give my zakat to my brother who has not yet completed his university studies because of psychological problems and has not found a job? He is currently staying with my father who spends on him. Please note that my father is not very well off.
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam, is His Messenger
Firstly: Giving zakah to one's deserving relatives is better than giving it to those who are not your relatives, because charity given to a relative is both charity and upholding the ties of kinship. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Charity given to a poor person is charity, but charity given to a relative is two things, charity and upholding the ties of kinship.”
[Narrated by al-Nasa’ie, 2581; al-Tirmidzi, 658; classified as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Nasa’ie, 2420.]
But if these relatives are among those on whom you are obliged to spend, then it is not permissible for you to give your zakah to them.
Spending on your brother is obligatory for your father, but if your father is not able to spend on him, it is permissible for you to give your zakah to him.
The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked:
My father died (may Allah have mercy on him), and left behind a family of seven people, including another wife besides my mother. They do not have any source of support apart from Allah. Is it permissible to regard what I spend on them of my own money as zakah, knowing that I am married and support another family of my own?
Secondly: I have an older brother who is married and has two wives, and he has a lot of children and can hardly afford to look after them. He often asks me for help. Is it permissible to regard what I send to him as zakah?
There is no reason why you should not send zakah to your siblings through your father, both males and females, in the future, if they are poor and do not have sufficient wealth to render them in no need of zakah. Similarly it is permissible for you to send zakah in the future to your older brother if he is poor and has no wealth or earnings to render him in no need of zakah, because of the general meaning of the verse on zakah, in which Allah says :
“As-Sadaqaat (here it means Zakah) are only for the Fuqara’ (poor), and Al Masaakeen (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause (i.e. for Mujahidun — those fighting in a holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise”
Shaikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afifi, Shaikh ‘Abdallah ibn Ghadyaan.
[Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/57, 58.]
Elsewhere they said:
It is permissible for you to give to your half siblings and wife’s father zakah that will suffice them, if their income is not sufficient for them.
[Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/59]
Shaikh Muhamamd al-Saleh al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
With regard to the question as to whether it is permissible to give zakah to a half-brother or full sister, the answer is that if giving zakah to them involves waiving something that is a duty for you, such as if it is obligatory for you to spend on them, and you give them zakah so that you will not have to spend on them and can save money, that is not permissible, because zakah cannot be a means to avoid spending. But if it does not, such as if you are not obliged to spend on a person, because you are not one of his heirs, or because you cannot afford to spend on him as well as your own family, or you give it to him to pay off a debt that he owes and cannot repay, then it is permissible for you to give your zakah to him, and indeed that is better than giving it to someone else, because giving it is both charity and upholding the ties of kinship.
[Majmu’ Fatawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 18/422, 423].
And Allah knows best.
[ Via Islam Q&A]